Ray's Crazy Summer

Goats grazing on sunflowers

This is a versatile warm-season mix made up of a diverse variety of stress-tolerant summer annuals—cowpea, sorghum-sudans, pearl millet, radish, forage brassica and sunflower—that can be used a short-term cover crop, a soil-building transition crop to renovate depleted soils, a smother crop, a grazing mix, and a wildlife food plot. It also contains several blooming species that, if left to grow and flower, will attract beneficial insect species. The mix is beneficial for both no-till and conventional-till management.


*Formula is subject to change based on product availability

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Dual Grazing & Cover Crop Application

To maximize forage quality, begin grazing this mix when the sorghum-sudan and millet have reached 18-20 inches. If re-growth is expected, remove the cows when the residual height is ~6 inches. Successive strips can be planted for season-long grazing. The more mature the plants become, the higher the lignin levels and the lower the quality. While allowing them to reach heights depicted in the pictures below is beneficial for the soil, the feed quality produced at this height is better suited for maintenance animals (mature cows). Finding a balance between quality forage and soil health will be determined by your livestock’s needs.

Break Crop

Need to re-seed perennial pastures? Try using this mix as a summer break crop before re-seeding to help build soil health. Protocol is to terminate existing perennial stand in the spring, then plant, grow and graze Ray’s Crazy Mix. Terminate Ray’s Crazy Mix in late summer and re-seed perennial pasture. Great for rotating out of K-31 into Novel Endophyte Fescue!

Strictly Cover Crop Application

For a quick crop rotation turnaround during the summer, grown between spring harvested and late summer planted crops, use the recommended seeding rate. A lower seeding rate is appropriate, IF the crop will be left to grow as a longer-maturing cover crop past the stage of high-quality forage use, simply to maximize biomass and organic matter production in the field. It can be terminated with herbicides, mowed and mulched and left on the surface for no-till scenarios, or it can be mulched and turned under as a green manure in conventional till or organic scenarios. In either case this can be done in time for fall planting.

Smother Crop

One multi-use application for this mix is a smother crop for rejuvenating pastures. Seed heavy into a suppressed (by grazing or mowing) existing stand and allow the mix to smother out the existing stand. This does not work in all conditions so consult your extension agent or representative to see if this application will work for your field.

Planting Instructions

Due to the size of the seed, should be drilled. Calibrate the drill for best results and seed into moisture when soils reach 65 degrees and rising. 

Soil sampling is necessary for direction on applying the appropriate soil amendments. For this mix we recommend an upfront application of nitrogen as well an application after each grazing.

Seeding rate40-60lbs/A
Planting depth (in)0.5-1"
Soil Temperature60°F
Target harvest height2-5ft
Target residual height for regrowth8-10"