June 2023 High Energy Forage for Organic

Working with numerous farms over the past 40 years, it has always been frustrating to see organic farmers trying to do the impossible simply because “real farmers grow corn”.  They plant the corn as high energy forage necessary for all profitable livestock production.  It is critical that it be cultivated on a timely basis or weeds will overwhelm the crop.  The result of repeated cultivation is that it loosens (super aerates) the soil which oxidizes organic matter vital to the soil’s health and structure.   Loose soil on slopes is very vulnerable to rain washing it away the most productive part.  The biggest issue is that the multiple cultivations come at the same time and in the same nice weather as the first cutting hay crop.  Critical hay harvest is delayed for the corn’s benefit.  When hay is at peak quality there is nothing on the farm that is more important than harvesting and storing that quality.  You are losing money literally by each day the harvest is delayed.  But you must cultivate, or you will not have a corn crop.


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