Establishing Pastures and Hayfields: Fall Conditions Ideal

Cool temperatures and abundant rainfall create ideal conditions for forage producers to establish or thicken grass pastures and hayfields.
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Cool temperatures and abundant rainfall create ideal conditions for forage producers to establish or thicken grass pastures and hayfields.

“The continuous rainfall this summer was very good for forage growth, and soil moisture levels are ideal across most of the state,” said Ray Smith, MS, PhD, forage extension specialist in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture.

These conditions are welcome news for many forage producers. The droughts of 2007 and 2008 made it difficult to establish new stands of cool-season grasses, such as orchard grass, tall fescue, and Kentucky bluegrass.

Producers who want to establish forages this fall should do so as soon as possible, Smith said. Ideal seeding dates for cool-season grasses are during the month of September, particularly early September, as this gives the new forage stand enough time to get established before the first frost

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