Friday, November 14, 2003

I live in a gray area (so to speak) as far as producing good forage (hay) goes. I'm just a tiny bit too far south to be able to maintain a good stand of orchard grass and just a bit too far north for coastal Bermuda grass. We can grow Tifton 44, but most of the horse people who make up my clientele aren't familiar with it.

I've got a neighbor who does keep a fair stand of orchard grass, but he has a drill and re-seeds every other year. I've had mixed results with seeded Bermuda (Cheyenne). I tried alfalfa three years ago (Amerigraze 401) had a great stand the first two years, but this year it seems to be thinning out.

Fescue, for better or for worse, seems to do better around here than anything else (except maybe ryegrass). I mixed some Jesup (endophyte-free) with my alfalfa and it seems to be taking over. I doubt it would persist in my pastures, but I've got it in a field that's only used for hay. If the price ever comes down on MaxQ I may replant some of fields that we use for both grazing and hay. I'm still a little leery of it though. Mississippi State (among others) has been doing a lot of testing with pregnant mares with good results, but I think they've only been testing for two or three years now.

The best grass I've planted has been ryegrass. I've planted several different varieties, but Marshall seems to do better than anything else.

I'm running out of time to plant any this year, I should have already planted some. I'd rather rotate pastures in the winter than feed hay. I'd rather sell the hay to the people who don't have the grazing options I do.