By Rayford Pullen
If you’ve ever wondered which month of the year the wind blows the least, just get you a windmill and a small trough for a herd of cattle, and you’ll soon find yourself hauling water in August. Not much good can be said about August most years, but hot and dry seems to describe it best.
As we all look for a cooler place to be, (anywhere the air-conditioning is working is just fine) it’s a great time to begin thinking about our plans for the fall, which is just around the corner and with it, hopefully cooler temperatures. Our major focus this time of year is making plans for our fall and winter pastures, which on our place is establishing ryegrass for fall and winter grazing.
We have seen and done many things throughout the years with some working and some not when it comes to getting the biggest bang for our buck in regards to early grazing and winter forage. We have done the wheat, rye, oats, triticale, barley, turnips, ryegrass, and combinations of all these, but when the sun set we discovered that the best thing that worked for us was ryegrass, but we had to do the right things at the right time to make it work.
By using the ryegrass and planting it right, we were able to greatly reduce or eliminate the health problems associated with the most common winter forage wheat. We had a lot fewer insect problems and seldom have had to spray for any insects except armyworms on rare occasion. Deleting wheat from our program also greatly reduced and mostly eliminated cattle dying from bloat and wheat grass tetany in our cows nursing calves.
To read more pick up a copy of the August 2018 NTFR issue. To subscribe call 940-8725922.