I was recently asked, if I could give one piece of advice regarding winter feeding and forages, what would it be? My response: sample your forages.
Spring is often thought of as the most common time to establish alfalfa and many other perennial species in Montana. However, there are opportunities at other times of the year to achieve high success rates. Recent research, conducted by Extension Forage Specialist Emily Glunk at the Plant Materials Center in Bridger, Mont., found that a late-summer seeding had similar germination rates and production rates compared to a spring seeding under flood irrigation. But what about in water-limited, dryland areas around Montana?
Roundup Ready technology was a tool created several decades ago with the first crop, Roundup Ready soybeans, being released in 1996. The technology had been discussed years in advance, and is in wide-use today. There are many crops that now have Roundup Ready technology, including alfalfa (the primary focus of this article, I'll call it RRA), canola, corn, cotton, sugar beets and potentially even bentgrass.
Many have long recognized the importance of testing for hay or pasture for forage quality analysis, but recently, tissue testing for nutrient management has come further into the spotlight.