Grazing crop aftermath discussion

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Darroll Grant
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Re: Grazing crop aftermath discussion

Postby Darroll Grant » Sat Feb 05, 2011 2:33 pm

Local farmers have normally sprayed out cover crops by late March. So by April 1it is back to the summer pastures.
Darroll Grant
western Oregon

Bill Fosher
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Re: Grazing crop aftermath discussion

Postby Bill Fosher » Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:04 pm

We usually still have intermittent snow cover in late March. Ground thaws in early April, usually. Cover crops are seldom sprayed down, usually just plowed under or disked up.
Bill Fosher
Westmoreland, NH

Tom Nichols
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Re: Grazing crop aftermath discussion

Postby Tom Nichols » Sat Feb 05, 2011 8:09 pm

[quote="Darroll Grant"]Every state has its own unique local opportunities. What Lana has available in south central Oregon does not match up with feed resources Tom and I have available in western Oregon. Watch for possible feed sources in your area.
and in a later post: "Local farmers have normally sprayed out cover crops by late March. So by April 1it is back to the summer pastures."

This shows the diversity in just 30-40 miles. We moved off the orchardgrass and fescue fields on Feb 1 and onto annual ryegrass where we will stay until April fifteenth or May 1st, we will then move to White clover fields until early June. In the past we would then move to a new seeding fescue field until mid summer when we would move back to recently harvested fescue fields. With millions of pounds of seed backing up in grassseed warehouses there currently are no new fescue fields being planted so we now move to a few permenant pastures and feed cannery waste and hope for a few summer rains and an early fall. The summer is our tightest time of year. Maybe i should put wheels under them and ship them to the upper midwest or North east for the summer.
We are in a bit of a dance with our winter feed in that we never know what forage conditions will be. We've had a perfect fall and winter so far and we brought in over 1200 head of ewes and feeder lambs to help utilize the abundant forage growth. Two or three years ago we scrambled for feed for our own sheep due to a poor fall and cold winter.
Tom
Tom Nichols
Lebanon, Oregon

Stan Potratz
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Re: Grazing crop aftermath discussion

Postby Stan Potratz » Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:41 am

Tom

You indicated that the forage seed warehouses in OR have excess inventory.

That's an interesting nuggest of information to me.

Am I correct to assume this is also a result of the high demand for grain which has, in turn, reduced the land in hay and pasture, and which has,in turn, pushed the demand for forage seed well below the supply levels?

Darroll Grant
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Re: Grazing crop aftermath discussion

Postby Darroll Grant » Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:12 am

Its not forage seed that is stacked up. Its turf seed.Forage seed is the bright spot as it is moving with some price advances. Seed is moving, some to China and some millions of pounds of ARG went to the midwest for cover crop. Bigger corn and SB yields after ARG cover crop. 100,000+ acres taken out of grass seed of which most went into wheat. If current wheat prices hold even more will be planted as the net is better than g seed even at the better prices. Haven't seen pasture taken out as the grass seed had done than years back.
Darroll Grant

western Oregon

Tom Nichols
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Re: Grazing crop aftermath discussion

Postby Tom Nichols » Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:54 am

Just looking and listening over the fence here.
As a sheepherder I get around enough farmers to know there is still plenty of older variety and VNS fescue and orchardgrass in warehouses down my way. The newer varieties and novel endophyte seed is probably all that is moving. These are the types grown up Darroll's way where crops are more frequently rotated. Many of the farmers down here are still producing from 20+ year old stands that must sell in competition with Oregon VNs and Missouri's crop.
I definitely see more seed moving than a year ago. One indicator is the empty pallet stacks are starting to form outside of the warehouses.
New home starts and golf courses are probably a bigger market, at least more lucrative than forage, so the recession hit the industry hard. About the only thing the industry has had to brag about lately is the turf on the world cup soccer pitches. It seems like there should be opportunity on the Mid-west forage front but everytime you hear a seed company say they are going to make a run on that side of the industry they seem to come back with their tail between their legs. The market is just not there yet.
The 2010 Oregon County and State Agricultural Estimates were released in the past few days and made the newspaper yesterday morning. I just googled the previous few year's reports and found that Tall Fescue income had plummeted from 184 million in 2007 to 58 million in 2010. I could probably find production and sales estimates with either more googling or a few phone calls but the faces of grass seed farmers tell about all one needs to know. Fescue has been plowed out and replaced with wheat, where soils allow, but even with a reduction in production seed is still abundant and cheap. A good percentage of fescue was hayed or grazed last year rather than taken for seed. As one farmer told me, "I'd rather get something this year than sit on seed for a couple more years."
Maybe this will be the turn around year. i'd much rather rent pasture from a happy farmer than a grumbling one, especially when he knows sheep prices are at an all time high.
Tom
Tom Nichols
Lebanon, Oregon

jpa
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Re: Grazing crop aftermath discussion

Postby jpa » Thu Nov 24, 2011 7:06 pm

I found this while browsing through some of the cornell factsheets that someone posted a link to in another topic. This factsheet discusses the nitrogen benefits of using red clover as a cover crop following small grain harvest prior to planting corn. It doesn't specifically discuss grazing the clover so it doesn't apply perfectly.

This is what I was trying to locate in my initial post and I still think is an important but overlooked aspect of increasing sheep production in the United States. I am not saying that every farmer would be open to such an idea, but some might consider it. I know in the past Patrick Henne (Sp?) from Michigan has in the past done this with a neighboring farmer to provide great feed for his commercial flock at a time when "clean" parasite free graze is hard to find. I think that ASI would be well served to investigate, promote and develop resources on this and other ideas like this that might help sheep producers gain access to good feed while also helping crop farmers.


http://nmsp.cals.cornell.edu/publicatio ... heet60.pdf

jpa
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Re: Grazing crop aftermath discussion

Postby jpa » Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:13 pm

Here is a link to an article in John Deere's Furrow magazine from March 2012. The article is titled Shadow Cropping and seems to be an opportunity for sheep farmers. I was talking to a seed dealer at the Michigan Sheep Breeders conference who was from Indiana. He was talking about how much cover crops are being used in his area. Developing "partnerships" between sheep farmers and cash-crop farmers to utilize "shadow cropping" and or cover crops seem to be a win, win, win, win for both farmers as well as the land and the water.

http://www.deere.com/en_US/CCE_promo/fu ... 6e&page=10

jpa
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Re: Grazing crop aftermath discussion

Postby jpa » Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:20 pm

Another link on cover crops from the February 2012 issue of the Furrow. This article is titled "Livestock's new logic" and note this article is right after an articles titled "Losing Ground" and "Managing the fertilizer bank". The article is on page 34-37.

http://www.deere.com/en_US/CCE_promo/fu ... b2012.html


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