While generally not used for livestock forage, this short-season annual establishes quickly, provides good cover and scavenges soil nutrients.
Seeding alfalfa after August 1
If you are a livestock producer and have lost alfalfa to winter injury, you may wish to replace some of those acres by establishing alfalfa on prevented plant land after August 1 without penalty. In general, seeding with a companion crop is not recommended, due to potential competition for moisture. If the ground will be fallow until the late summer seeding, a chemical burndown of "natural" (i.e. weed) cover may be required. Fall harvest of a late-summer seeding is not recommended, since the risk of winter injury is high. For more information on establishing alfalfa, see the following articles:
- Establishing alfalfa during late summer - Focus on Forage article (215 K PDF) University of Wisconsin
- Forages chapter in Organic Risk Management
Highly erodible land
On slopes of more than 3 percent, crop residue cover will have to meet the conservation compliance plan requirements for those acres. Check with NRCS for complete information.
For more information
- Forage establishment and look for the cover crops and emergency forages section
- Spring resources for 2014
- Emergency forage options for July planting (PDF)
C.C. Shaeffer, personal communication, 2013.
J.J. Wiersma, personal communication, 2013.