Planting Organic Winter Forage Crops

This is the time of year that our Organic Dairy Producers have been hard at it to get those winter forages planted. Most producers are overseeding their bermudagrass pastures with a small grains like oats or wheat. Some producers like to sling out ryegrass which comes up basically on top of the soil and some like to drill in some clover seed to get a high protein legume.

In this picture you can see we are using a Brillion seeder in a field that is basically bare ground. It was a field that had been sprigged earlier in the year but the sprigs just never got going. We are using the Brillion because clover seed is so small that it just falls through a typical grain drill.

In these pictures you can see both planting and the plots we put in of the different clovers with an alfalfa at the end of the plots. Plans are to monitor growth, do some harvests throughout the season and do a final harvest at maturity. These same varieties have been overseeded in a “mix” into several bermudagrass pastures and we can harvest them growing together to see both persistence of individual species and yields in an overseeded situation.

Legume Forage Trial – Postmus Dairy
Planted: October 22, 2021
2 passes per variety – 24′ wide total
4-5 lbs./ac. per variety
1. Medium Red Clover
2. Dixie Crimson Clover
3. Yellow Blossom Sweet Clover
4 Berseem Clover Frosty
5. Barduro Red Clover
6. Alfalfa GCS Nitro Graze

Author: Bob Whitney, Regents Fellow & Extension Organic Specialist

Agriculturalist, extension educator and researcher, organic agriculture enthusiast and promoter, international program developer, Christian, husband, father and friend.

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