In two passes across the field, Jeremy Sweeten planted a summer forage crop, and then added a permanent pasture, which he hopes to be able to graze next Spring. Check out the video below as he explains how he plans to do that.Read More
Are you taking advantage of Reed canarygrass on your grazing operation? Check out the video to watch Jeremy Sweeten explain some of the advantages of utilizing this versatile crop.Read More
Teff Grass is a versatile summer annual crop that can be fed to multiple species. It thrives in hot weather and produces high quality forage. If you're running low on forage, Teff Grass may be an option to help you fill the barn.Read More
Rotational Grazing of Boer Goats in Northeastern Indiana
This is an update from a blog article on May 13, 2015. We have continually visited with this producer, listening to his ideas and sharing in his grazing successes and challenges. Since we last wrote, his herd size has nearly doubled to over 400 head.Read More
Cover crops can be a very effective tool for building soil health, weed control, and forage. However, establishment can be tricky in Michigan due to climate and other factors. One solution is to establish cover crops early through INTERSEEDING. Attend this free educational field day to learn about the equipment, methods, and programs available to help you get started!
Location & Time
Wednesday, July 11, 2018 (9:00 am - 2 pm) at Grandpa Tiny’s Farm
7775 Weiss Street / Frankenmuth, MI 48734
To see the flyer and learn more about this opportunity, click here.
I visited with a producer in Northeast Indiana that is in year 2 of interseeding cereal rye into his corn while he is applying liquid 28% nitrogen.Read More
There are multitudes of different small seeds you can plant on your farm, whether it is forage or cover crop. When you purchase seed from CISCO, there has been a lot of work put into choosing that product for you. It's not just something that we stock in our warehouse. Let’s look at the process involved in choosing seed for your farm.Read More
Combing grazing with cover crops is like 1+1=3.
First, there is the benefit of the cover crop and manure for soil health. Nutrients are being cycled. Approximately 66% of the phosphorous and 90% of the potassium that is in a plant when grazed are returned to the soil in the form of manureRead More
by Jeremy Sweeten
Cover crops are known for producing and releasing nitrogen when terminated.
Below is a link to an article on research done in southern Illinois comparing the quantity and release timing of hairy vetch (a nitrogen producer) and cereal rye (a nitrogen scavenger). As a cover crop seed purchaser, it is important to know how to maximize the benefit of cover crops for the row crops.
Nitrogen is one the most expensive inputs for corn. If you are not doing so, consider letting cover crops provide some of the nitrogen for you.
Click here to read the full article.
One other very significant benefit you get from your cover crop is that of soil structure. In the video below, Abbey Wick from NDSU Extension Service demonstrates the benefit of cover crops (and their residue) on handling traffic in your field. The difference between cover crop soils and non-cover crop soils is astounding.
Harvesting fall-planted small grains in the spring can be very challenging because of the weather. If weather conditions permit, some very high-quality forage can be harvested.Read More
If you are in a situation where you need to make hay in a transition year, Frosty may be a crop you might consider.Read More
This week a CISCO dealer asked about a customer seeding timothy on sandy soils. The producer wanted the timothy for dry hay for beef cattle.Read More
A nurse crop can be a blessing or a curse when it comes to seeding forages.Read More
When you decide to seed a new pasture or frost seed an existing pasture, consider planting the longer-lived Gallant red clover. It provides you a better return on your investment.Read More
For those of you raising forages in Michigan, there's an opportunity coming up for you on March 7, 2018. The Great Lakes Forage & Grazing Conference is being held in St. John's, Michigan, from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
The keynote speaker for this event is Gary Zimmer, the founder and Chief Visionary Officer of Midwestern BioAg, headquartered in Madison, WI. Zimmer is known as the "father of biological agriculture."
For all the details, just click on the link below.
You can register at this address:
Before the cover crop craze began years ago, we used to sell a lot of late summer and fall-planted forages to "extend the grazing season" in order to ease the burden of feeding hay all the while improving farmer profitability. Little did we know that our efforts in this area were also having positive benefits to soil health and subsequent cash crop productivity.
In this recent onpasture.com article, Genevieve Slocum gives several tips and procedures for making these positive benefits happen on your farm.
She covers the following areas:
- closing the nutrient cycle by grazing
- jumpstarting soil organic matter gains
- the myth that grazing automatically increases soil compaction
- grazing covers actually helps improve permanent pastures by giving them rest
- big gains are possible because forage quality can be quite good
- the benefits of plant diversity for overall soil health
If you've thought about planting cover crops, or have livestock that you can graze, give this article a look. You can find it here.
If you'd like to hear first hand how one Indiana farmer utilizes cover crops in his grazing system, follow this link for a February 19 meeting in Brown County. Here's a description from their website:
Josh Cox, a farmer in Tippecanoe County, will discuss how his parents and he have implemented grazing cover crops as a way to improve soil health for their row crops and as a way to rest their permanent pastures. Cox customizes his cover crop mix to provide quality forage for the beef cattle and to reduce compaction and add organic matter to his soils.
Here's a PDF version if you'd like to print out a copy.
It's time to think about frost seeding your pastures and alfalfa stands. Frost seeding clover is an excellent way to improve forage quality and yield.Read More
The most important thing is that small seeds need good seed to soil contact at the proper depth. The good contact allows the seed to absorb moisture, germinate, and establish roots into the soil. Seeding depth is just as important because small seeds need to germinate and start photosynthesis soon after emerging.Read More
In October of 2017 I needed to put in cattle waterer to overwinter 20 bred beef heifers.I purchased a Tru-Test Water Well2 drinker from CISCO. The following videos show the product in action.Read More