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Archive | Build Soil

Learn sustainable practices for building and maintaining healthy soil. High quality soil requires diverse soil life and microbes, soil organic matter, humus and the right balance of minerals and nutrients.

standards for a number of crops

Brix Measurement Standards

Thus, the total advantage of high-quality alfalfa goes beyond that indicated by digestible nutrient content and is compounded by a potential for being consumed at higher levels, a faster rate of digestibility, and perhaps a more efficient conversion of digested energy to produce energy.

Alfalfa blossoms

Forage: When to Harvest

The first cutting of a new stand should be delayed until the plants are strong and vigorous and have a good root system, generally 70 to 90 days after germination for a spring seeding.

Alfalfa sprouts

Planting Density for Forage

Whether you want to use broadcast, drill, or band seeding methods may depend mainly on your situation and available equipment. With good soil conditions, any seeding method can give good results.

sprouts in dirt

Seedbed Preparation for Forage

It is impossible to give definite recommendations regarding fertilizers without knowing what your soil needs, but the soil should have a high level of available calcium and phosphorus. If your soil needs these elements, good sources are calcite lime plus soft rock phosphate. These plus an application of organic matter (6 to 10 tons/acre of […]

table on seeds

Choosing Seeds for Your Forage

The percentage of grass in legume-grass mixtures should generally be less than 25 – 40%, up to 50% in pastures, because too much grass will lower the protein content of the hay and may require more nitrogen than the legume can supply.

Crop Rotation

Self-Sustaining Rotations

You will have no difficulties in establishing a ley from old pasture where a kale crop and an oat and vetch crop have intervened. The decaying turf has released, by means of the organic acids of decay bringing them into solution, the unavailable minerals which are present in every soil if only they can be […]