To ensure forage crops get adequate nutrition for optimal growth, maintaining good fertility from one season to the next is critical—whether you grow for grazing or cutting. Forages absorb large amounts of all nutrients, making nutrient management a key part of a successful season. Consider using nutrient use efficiency products alongside fertilizer applications to improve plant uptake and help reduce the loss of applied nutrients.View Forage Products
What You Need to Know About Forages
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Key Considerations for Forage Crops
Nutrient Management & Plant Growth
Crop nutrition is incredibly important for forage production. Forages are typically used in rotation as cover crops to help with soil nutrition in the following seasons, and some forages (especially alfalfa) require a resting period between seasons. Forages absorb a lot of nutrients from the soil, making fertility management critical before, during, and after the season. To maximize crop performance, consider using nutrient use efficiency products to prevent loss or leaching of applied fertilizer.
Pest Control & Other Growing Requirements
Forages are susceptible to weeds, disease and pests. Fortunately, disease can be managed with crop rotation and fungicides. Crop rotation is another key element of improving yields and preventing weeds and chemical residue. If herbicides are required for weed control, they should be applied early in the season.
Water & Soil Requirements
Soil preference varies greatly from one forage crop to another. For example, alfalfa does not do well in poorly-drained soils, while other forages may thrive. It’s important to research the best type of forage for your farm’s soil type.
Some forage crops (like alfalfa) regulate their own nitrogen, while others require it to be plentiful in-season.
Needed in very large quantities and commonly applied to the field, potassium is required for crop growth and stand-ability.
Phosphorus increases nutrient efficiency and standability, and is required in large amounts by most forage crops.
Micronutrients are important for growth, but some can damage certain forages when over-applied. It’s important to do a soil test before committing to a micronutrient plan.
Products for Forages
Ferrous (Iron) Sulfate