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Temporary Summer Pastures

In summer, cool season forage growth begins to slow down. Fertilizing pastures and hay after the first cutting in early May can boost the growth of grasses to help get more growth for a second cutting in June.

A general recommendation for fertilizing fescue hay after the first cutting is to apply 30 to 60 pounds of Nitrogen after the first cutting. Moisture is critical to get growth after applying nitrogen. Three tons of fescue hay utilizes about 158 lbs of potassium. As hay is removed each year, it is important to apply potash to maintain adequate levels.

If the first cutting of hay is not until after June 1st, growers may want to consider planting temporary summer pastures to get more hay in summer.

Temporary Summer Pastures

Crop Rates/Acre Seeding Dates Suggested Varieties
Sorghum x Sudan Conventional - 25 lbs drilled
No-till - 40 lbs drilled
Broadcast - 40 lbs. broadcast
May 1 - July 1 FFR 212 VNS
Sudan x Sudan Convetional - 18 lbs drilled
No-till - 35 lbs drilled
Broadcast - 35 lbs
May 1 - July 4 FFR 120
Hybrid Pearl Millet Drilled - 15 lbs
Broadcast - 25 lbs
May 1 - July 4 Leafy 22
Tifleaf 3

  • Temporary Summer Pastures can be grazed, used as green chop, silage or hay.
  • Start grazing sorghum x sudan hybrids when 20 inches tall.
  • Remove animals when stubble is 6 inches tall and let grow 18 to 20 inches before grazing again.
  • For early and late summer grazing, make two seedings.
  • Use excess growth for silage or hay.
  • Wilt crop for high quality silage.
  • Use land for double cropping by following with small grain cover during the fall.
  • Seed at least 1/3 acre per cow on moist bottom land and ½ acre per cow on upland.
  • Remove livestock from sorghum x sudan hybrid pastures in case of frost and DO NOT graze for a period of 10 days following a frost.
  • Permanent pastures seeded during the fall generally result in better stands than those seeded during the spring.
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