COUNTY AG NEWS

Grazing Stockpiled Forag

Accumulated or stockpiled forage can be an excellent source of forage for animals. Fall stockpiled forage is brown but is high quality since it is largely leaves, unlike summer accumulated brown forage which is stemmy and low quality. Grazing stockpiled forage is an excellent way to extend the grazing season and reduce costs of harvesting or buying forage.

In trials conducted at Arlington and Lancaster, fall accumulated forage was about 73.4 percent digestible in October and declined to 70 percent digestible in December and 65.5 percent in March. This quality would be more than adequate for sheep, dry cows and for growing animals. This can also be excellent forage for pleasure horses.

Grasses use up all the nitrogen available in the early season growth cycles and, while they will turn green in the fall, they will produce little growth without additional nitrogen. In order to optimize the tonnage of stockpiled forage 40 to 50 lbs nitrogen/acre should be applied in early August. This will result in an additional forage yield of 1 to 2 tons/acre.

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