Extension Notes …

Posted January 17, 2019 at 9:50 am

Tips to successfuly renovate grass

pastures with legumes

Sources: Garry Lacefield and Jimmy Henning

Following established management practices is a critical factor in beef cow-calf producers’ successful legume renovation of grass pastures and hayfields. Renovation is a solid management practice for the more than seven million acres of pastures and hayfields for Kentucky’s animal-based agriculture.

To be sure you use legume varieties that will perform well in your area, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service office to obtain the results of forage variety trials from the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture. The results of our legume variety trials, among others, will help you pick the best varieties for your particular operation.

Consider the ultimate use of the forage when deciding which legume to use. Alfalfa or red clover usually is best for hay. A red clover-ladino-clover combination works well for both hay and pasture. For pasture only, ladino clover, red clover or annual lespedeza work well.

Since legumes need a higher soil pH and fertility level than grasses, take a soil test and apply the recommended lime and fertilizer. Don’t add nitrogen during the establishment year because it will stimulate growth of grass that will compete with seedling legumes for nutrients and moisture and likely will shade the emerging seedlings.

Always use improved certified varieties for better yield and stand persistence. Red clover variety trials revealed that seeding an improved, certified variety yields three tons more dry matter over the life of the stand.

To provide the bacteria needed for nitrogen fixation, mix a high-quality inoculant with seed before planting, or use lime-coated, pre-inoculated seed. Use a sticking agent to be sure the inoculant adheres to the seed.

It’s important for seed to fall on bare dirt; then, allow the winter freezing-thawing action to work seed into the soil. The thawing method doesn’t work well with alfalfa.

To improve seed-soil contact, use a disk, a field cultivator or a field tiller to break up soil so the seed have a better chance to germinate and grow. An alternative practice is to use a no-till renovation seeder. Broadcast clover seed on the soil surface, or drill them from now until mid-March. After mid-March, drill to improve seed-to-soil contact.

Follow recommended seeding rates of six to 12 pounds per acre for red clover and one to two pounds an acre for white clover.

Allow heavy grazing through early winter to remove excess grass cover and improve seed-soil contact.

For more information, contact the Clinton County Cooperative Extension Service office at 606-387-5404.

Educational programs of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability or national origin.

Upcoming Meetings

Twin Lakes Cattleman’s

Association meeting

The Twin Lakes Cattlemen’s Association will meet Tuesday, January 22nd at the First United Methodist Church in Albany. The meeting will begin at 6:00 p.m. CST with a meal.

Dr. Charles Townsend DVM, with Burkmann Feeds will be the guest speaker. Dr. Townsend will discuss pre-breeding vaccination protocols for cows and heifers, and discuss issues that can affect conception rates. To help prepare for the meal, please call 387-5404 if you plan to attend.

Private Pesticide

Applicator training

Private Pesticide Applicator training will be held on Wednesday, January 23rd at 1:00 p.m. at the Clinton County Extension Office.

Producers needing to purchase restricted use pesticides will need to have a current private pesticide applicator number. Space is limited, please call if you plan to attend.

Beef Cow/Calf

Production Series

The Clinton and Cumberland County Extension Services are partnering to host a Beef cow/calf production series. The series will have four sessions designed to help improve cow/calf efficiency on your operation.

The first session will be held on Thursday, January 24th beginning at 5:30 p.m. with a meal, at the South Kentucky RECC office. Dr. Jeff Lehmkuhler, UK Extension Beef Specialist, will discuss winter hay feeding nutrition and evaluating co-product feeds to help stretch hay supply. This series is free and open to anyone and will satisfy the CAIP educational requirement.

Beef Quality and Care Assurance Meeting

A Beef Quality and Care Assurance (BQCA) training will be held on Tuesday, January 29th at 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. at the Clinton County Extension Office. Producers that will be receiving cost-share through the CAIP program will need the BQCA number for the large animal investment area. The training cost is $5 for materials and will be valid for three years. If you plan to attend the training, please call the Extension Office at 606-387-5404 due to limited space.