What product is best for me?
Unfortunately, there is no simple way to answer this question. To really understand what your needs are, it's best to have a conversation with one of our agronomists. Browse around for a while, check out the Grass Selection Guides, and our series of manuals to get started. Still have questions? Give us a call.
How big should I let my legumes get to get the most nitrogen?
If properly inoculated legumes begin fixing nitrogen early on in their life cycle. That being said, the amount of nitrogen created is related to the dry matter production of the plant (ie, how big it gets). When a legume begins to flower, it's vegetative growth has halted and dry matter production will not increase much more. To get the absoulte most nitrogen out of legumes, allow them to reach early flowering. Do consider how this will impact your overall system: is maximum nitrogen production your goal (cover crop) OR is your goal quality forage production (grazing)?
Can I broadcast this seed?
In general, the larger the seed the deeper it needs to go in the ground. Clovers, brassicas, and the small-seeded grasses (millet, ryegrass, fescue, etc) tend to broadcast very well. We do recommend that even with broadcasting small seeds, find some way to increase the seed to soil contact either by dragging, running livestock across the field, or running a cultipacker after seeding. This is especially critical if there is residue on the soil surface. Larger seeds (peas, sorghum sudan, cowpeas, small grains) are more likely to fail if broadcasted. If you absolutely cannot drill, select small seeds that broadcast successfully.
How do I set the drill for a mixture?
There are no predetermined settings on a drill for mixtures. The absolute best way to get the accurate seeding rate is to calibrate the drill. It's fairly simply and takes about 5 minutes to do—save money and calibrate. Learn how here.
How many days until I can graze this forage?
Although we can give some general guidelines in terms of "days-to-grazing", time is not the best way to assume a plant's readiness for grazing. Height is the best determination and gives us a more accurate status about plant energy. Check the management table at the bottom of each product page to get the correct START and STOP grazing or harvest heights for plants. Looking at a mixture? Graze high enough to preserve the tallest plant in the mixture.
What is inoculant for?
Legumes do not fix nitrogen alone—they require the proper bacteria to get the job done. Some legumes share the same bacteria, like true clovers and alfalfa. Others use their own unique bacteria strains, like soybeans or peas and vetch. To ensure that legumes bring the most benefit to your pastures and cover crops, be sure to add inoculant to untreated seed. Coated legume seed already contains the inoculant and does not need to be added. If you have grown the same legume species on the land in the last 3-5 years, inoculant may not be needed. You can always check this by uprooting some of the plants when they get 6-8" and checking the roots for nodules. These nodules are the "house" for the bacteria.
How do I need to fertilize this?
Base phosphorous and potassium on your soil test results. Not sure about nitrogen? Check out this blog post.