Interseeding to Enhance and Extend Fall Grazing

The greatest cost on grazing livestock enterprises is often stored and harvested feed costs.
Interseeding to Enhance and Extend Fall Grazing - News

Updated: September 7, 2017

Interseeding to Enhance and Extend Fall Grazing

A new interseeding study has been established to evaluate grazing of interseeded corn to enhance soil health and forage production. Extending the grazing season can help to reduce stored feed costs, reduce labor needs, and improve the overall profitability and sustainability of the operation. We began a new project this summer to utilize interseeding as tool to enhance the potential of fall grazing of corn residue and improve soil health and corn yields with the integration of livestock in annual crop production. As part of this, we developed a corn interseeding program using many of the principles established here in previous interseeding research to try to maximize the potential for biomass accumulation in the interseeding. We selected two fields totaling about 25 acres that had moderate yield potential with some soil depth or drainage issues. We planted a 102 d hybrid in mid-May at about 27,000 seeds per acre and interseeded annual ryegrass at V4 to V5 while sidedressing N. We used a short residual herbicide and followed with glyphosate prior to interseeding. Weed control and growth has been good and the interseeding emerged well and has developed decent biomass with the favorable conditions this summer. We have established two complimentary studies to look at the impact of corn plant populations and post-harvest N applications on the ryegrass biomass for grazing. We plan to graze some plots in the fall in the main study and then evaluate the impact on the corn yield, ryegrass stand and soil quality next spring. Our goal is to demonstrate that grazing can be integrated with corn production while enhancing soil health, extending the grazing season, and providing a high quality diet to grazing livestock.

Join us for a field day on Thursday, November 9th from 5-8 pm at the Livestock Evaluation Center where we will be discussing interseeding management and demonstrating grazing of interseeded forages and corn stover. The Livestock Evaluation Center is located at 1494 W Pine Grove Rd, Pennsylvania Furnace, PA. Contact Jessica Williamson at for more event details!

Instructors

Forage Crops Plant-Animal Interaction Pasture/Grazing management Harvested forages Ensiled forages Extending the grazing season

More by Jessica A. Williamson, Ph.D. 

Grain crop management Corn management and hybrid evaluation Corn silage management Soybean management and variety evaluation Winter wheat management and variety evaluation Winter barley management and variety evaluation Interseeding cover crops in corn and soybeans

More by Gregory W. Roth, Ph.D.