The wet, unfavorable planning conditions and Prevent Plant deadlines have some producers considering contingency plans for this year’s forage and feed production. Here are some tips and topics that you may want to consider before making planting decisions.
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Gather information from Key Resources
Crop Insurance Agent – Make sure you understand all the rules, restrictions and financial implications of your crop insurance coverage.
USDA -Risk Management Agency - Federal rules do have options for late or alternative planting options. Understanding the allowable planting options and the effects on your crop insurance may still allow you to grow feed and a receive a portion of your prevent plant payments.
Herd Nutritionist – Talk with your herd’s nutritionist to discuss feed needs. You may want to address production goals, herd inventory, and explore alternative feedstuffs.
Balance crop insurance, Prevent Plant payments and feed needs Depending on your feed needs and financial situation, planting the intended crop late may still be a better decision than purchasing feed with prevent plant payments at likely higher costs due to supply related market moves.
Late planted corn for grain or silage, still may yield well. Last year, many people planted corn the second week of June and still had 120 bushels of corn per acre.
Cover Crops Cover crops make sense for conservation and soil health, in addition, USDA does have some allowances to harvest cover crops after November 1, 2019 and still receive full prevent plant payments.
Planting Alternative Crop USDA does have rules that allow you to plant a “second crop” (other than the crop that was insured) and still receive 35% of your prevented planting payment. This second crop can be harvested before November 1, 2019. Verify with your crop insurance agent if your second crop qualifies for this option.
Thoughts from our Nutritionists Mike Foust, MLN Nutritionist, has provided comments and ideas on how to use alternative crops and cover crops to meet forage and feed needs.
Annual Ryegrass In 2014, I had a customer that planted Special Annual Ryegrass, purchased through me, on July 10th and Harvested on November 1st (to stay in compliance with prevent plant rules). This Ryegrass yielded 1.76 Tons of Dry Matter per acre. Some benefits to Ryegrass are no concerns regarding Nitrate and Prussic Acid poisoning and you can haul manure later into the growing season.
Sweet Corn 30 years ago, I had a customer plant Sweet Corn in early July due to delayed planning from to flooding. He chose a tall Sweet Corn variety and also waited until November 1st to harvest. The sweet corn had full ears and a lot of sugar and made beautiful corn silage.
Alternatives crops to consider
There are 85-day corn varieties that can do 150 bushels of corn or good corn silage.
Sorghum or Millet provide good tonage, but we need to worry of Nitrate or Prussic acid.
Triticale and peas for fast tons this summer, plant with Alfalfa for another crop in the fall.
Triticale and Peas for harvest this year, then plant Winter Rye for additional forage in late Spring of 2020. Or Winter Triticale/Winter Wheat for harvesting for the last week of May 2020.
Mixing in the minimal % of Sorghum or Millet with corn to qualify as alternative crop under Prevent Planting rules.
Oats and Peas planting along with Alfalfa or plant the Winter grain varieties after the Oats and Peas are harvested.
Forage soybeans can be planted if the harvesting window opens before the November 1st harvesting restriction.
Annual Teff Grass for harvesting at least 2 cuttings in 2019.
Berseem Clover (annual) for harvesting at least 2 cuttings, does very well.
When Eric and his parents, Scott and Yvonne, formed a partnership in 2006 that created Hoese Dairy, Inc., the farm had already been in the family for over 100 years.When Eric and his parents, Scott and Yvonne, formed a partnership in 2006 that created Hoese Dairy, Inc., the farm had already been in the family for over 100 years.
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