What to Plant for a Cutting of Hay this Summer

In the past couple of days I have received phone calls asking what farmers can still plant for a cutting of hay this summer and what could they put out this fall.  This post will answer that question. We should have adequate supply on all of the seed for now.

From now until August 1 summer annuals are still a go.  Sweet Six, Sweet Forever, Super Sugar DM, Sweet Summer Pearl Millet.  These crops are 50-60 days until mature as the growing season cools down.  These plants will start to shut down below 50F at night.  My experience has been that a September cutting results in almost no harvestable regrowth.  Prussic acid will be a problem if a frost occurs in everything except the Pearl Millet.  The sorghum sudangrass crops need to sit 7-10 days after a freeze/frost to allow the prussic acid to dissipate.

Sweet Six BMR Dry Stalk Sorghum Sudangrass

From August 15 to September 15, I would recommend planting oats, spring triticale, Milk Maker, or other normally “spring” seeded small grains.  Seeding rates of 100 lb/ac with 30 to 50 lb/ac of N applied.  These should be about a 60 day crop. 

MilkMaker Triticale Pea Mix

Don’t forget Feast II Italian Ryegrass

Feast II Italian Ryegrass

After September 15 switch to barley, fall triticale, or cereal rye.  N-Vest cover crops will also be an important forage source for this year.

N-Vest Forager Mix

There are no summer seeded crops that can be planted now, harvested, and harvested again next spring.  Currently it is too early for cereal rye.  It will only be vegetative growth until it goes through the winter.