The following crops can provide significant amounts and quality of forage during the summer and into early fall as par of a planned rotation, or in a situation where emergency feed is needed. These species should not be planted until soil temperatures are at least 55 F. Most summer annuals prefer well drained soils. In areas with less than optimal drainage, consider Japanese Millet.
The sorghum & sudangrass products have a risk of prussic acid poisoning. Tips to avoid prussic acid poisoning include:
Do NOT graze until 24" of rowth has accumulated
Stop grazing at 6"
Allow 2 weeks after a killing frost before grazing
Brachytic Dwarf - These hybrids have a gene that "stacks the nodes" so that the plant is more compact and less likely to lodge due to its high leaf to stem ratio. Typically have as many leaves and produce as much as regular versions.
BMR - 6 or BMR -12- This trait has a brown midrib, typically resulting in less lignin and more palatability, which results in improved digestibility.
Forage Sorghum - Typically the tallest and most leafy type of summer forage. Forage sorghum is the most "corn like", meaning that it has wider leaves, and is not adept at producing much regrowth after cut. Forage sorghum is ideally suited for single cut or green chop operations.
Alta 7401 - A brachytic dwarf, BMR forage sorghum with a 110 day maturity. This product is a full season option with a great disease package.
NEW** Alta7232 - A brachytic dwarf, BMR forage sorghum with a 95 day maturity. This mid-season option maximizes production and has a good agronomic package.
Sorghum - Sudangrass - A cross between forage sorghum and sudangrass, this plant can reach heights of 6' or greater, but has smaller stalks and more tillering than forage sorghum. Sorghum Sudangrass has good regrowth potential making them well suited for multi cut operations.
Alta 5201 - a 65 day maturity sorghum-sudangrass with a solid disease package.
Alta 6401 - a BMR, 75 day sorghum-sudangrass with a very good disease package.
Alta 6402 - a BMR, brachytic dwarf, 75 day maturity sorghum-sudangrass with a good disease package.
Sudangrass- has finer stalks and stems and lots of tillers. Sudangrass has lots of leaves, and is ideal for a multi cut system due to its rapid regrowth.
Hayking 2 - a BMR sudangrass with a very good disease package.
Teff Grass - This warm season annual is very flexible and can be used for hay, silage or pasture. It is very high quality, high yielding, and fast growing. Capable of producing 4-6 tons in a multi cut system. Teff does not have a prussic acid risk.
Moxie Teff - A very good disease resistant teff grass. Do NOT plant Teff deeper than 1/8- 1/4".
Pearl Millet - This bush type pearl millet has a high yield potential. Pearl Millet does not carry the risk of prussic acid poisoning, and has fewer pest issues, but it cannot produce at the same levels. It is an economical option with little risk for summer feed. It can be used for hay, silage, or grazing.
Alta Wonderleaf - An early maturing pearl millet with a good disease package.
Japanese Millet - This economical option can tolerate wetter areas than other summer annuals while still producing quality tonnage, with no risk of prussic acid poisoning.