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.
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.
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 for King’s representative to see if this application will work for your field.