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hay

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From: Peggy Sieber
City:
Mansfield, IL
We are changing our field from corn/beans to hay. Could you tell me the best mix for fields in the Piatt county area. The corn came out to late to plant this fall so will have to plant in the spring, does that make a difference on what mix to use?

 
Extension Message
From: Douglas B. Gucker
Extension Educator, Local Food Systems and Small Farms
DeWitt/Macon/Piatt Unit
dgucker@illinois.edu
Peggy: The highest priced hay is alfalfa hay. The old saying is "corn is king and alfalfa is queen". Alfalfa hay is a high quality nearly complete feed for ruminant animals. An alfalfa hay field will last 3 - 5 years before it needs to be torn up and replanted. Grass hay (Bromegrass or orchardgrass) will last indefinitely if properly managed. The preferred time to seed a hay crop is the early fall and from your message, I think you realize this. A spring seeding can be successful, if planting is completed by mid-April. For more information on forage (hay), check out the PastureNet it has tips on seeding, and management of hay crops. On that site, there is an article on spring seeding. (http://www.livestocktrail.uiuc.edu/pasturenet/paperDisplay.cfm?ContentID=8778) If I can be of further help, please contact me.

 
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