Photosensitization of Sheep and Goats from Switchgrass Hay

Photosensitization of Sheep and Goats from Switchgrass Hay by Dan Undersander, Extension Forage Agronomist I have had a couple reports of photosensitization of sheep from feeding switchgrass hay. After feeding the hay a week or two, the sheep started exhibiting extreme sensitivity to light and muscle tremors/twitching. The sheep would seek out the darkest locations. Animals may […]

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Fall Seeding Grasses

Fall Seeding Grasses by Dr. Dan Undersander, UW-Extension Forage Agronomist Late-summer/fall establishment of grass is often desired in the Midwest.  Most farmers do not realize how much fall seeding date affects the yield of the grasses the next year.  We seeded six forage grasses at several late summer dates at three sites in Wisconsin (River Falls, […]

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Nitrogen Management for Grass Pastures

Nitrogen Management for Grass Pastures by Greg Cuomo, University of Minnesota/West Central Research and Outreach Center In most grasslands, the two factors that most limit growth are moisture (rain) and N. There is not much we can do about the weather; however, we can manage N to improve productivity on pastures. Nitrogen deficiency in pastures is common. […]

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Establishing and Managing Switchgrass

Establishing and Managing Switchgrass by Mark Renz, Dan Undersander, and Mike Casler Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) is a vigorous warm season, native perennial grass adapted to Wisconsin and planted for many purposes including livestock grazing, wildlife cover, and as a biofuel crop. Switchgrass begins growth in late spring and continues through the summer if moisture is available. It grows […]

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Alfalfa Grass Mixtures in Dairy Rations

Alfalfa Grass Mixtures in Dairy Rations by Dan Undersander Benefits of mixing grass with alfalfa: 30 to 40% grass mixed with alfalfa gives equal or higher yields than pure stands of alfalfa Improved yield in seeding year. Better yield in later years if alfalfa injured by winter, insects, disease. Alfalfa grass mixtures provide stand and yield […]

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Overseeding Ryegrass on Pasture

Overseeding Ryegrass on Pasture by Dan Undersander, Carl Fredericks, and Laura PaineUniversity of Wisconsin and Grassworks Inc. The perennial bluegrass, bromegrass, quackgrass provide a dependable ground cover and source of forage. However, none of these species are as high in forage quality as ryegrass which lacks winterhardiness for long-term stands in Wisconsin. Therefore, trials have been conducted in […]

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Ryegrass Types for Pasture and Hay

Ryegrass Types for Pasture and Hay by Dan Undersander and Michael Casler Increased awareness of ryegrass as a potential forage has occurred in the upper Midwest. Ryegrasses are excellent, high quality forage, establishing rapidly and producing good yield in the seeding year if cool (50 to 75°F) exist and adequate moist is available. Ryegrasses have low tolerance for […]

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Selecting a Good Grass Variety

Selecting a Good Grass Variety by Dan Undersander Select high yielding varieties to get up to 4 t/a additional yield per year Check UW Extension publication A1525 Forage Variety Update for Wisconsin Check website for more detail (https://fyi.uwex.edu/forage/) Traditional species to avoid: Smooth Bromegrass – high yield but 60 to 70% of yield in first cutting with […]

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Relative Forage Quality (RFQ) – Indexing Legumes and Grasses for Forage Quality

Relative Forage Quality (RFQ) Indexing Legumes and Grasses for Forage Quality by Dan Undersander, University of Wisconsin and John E. Moore, University of Florida Relative Feed Value has been of great value in ranking forages for sale or inventorying and assigning forage to animal groups according to their quality needs. With the introduction of the new approaches to determining […]

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Diurnal Cycling in Forage Quality

United States Department of AgricultureAgricultural Research Service Northwest Irrigation & Soils Research Laboratory Revised March 1999   Diurnal Cycling in Forage Quality by H.F. (Hank) Mayland and Glenn E. Shewmaker* Sundown (PM) Versus Sunup (AM) Cutting of Forages On 5th August 1996, Mayland was interpreting soluble-carbohydrate data measured in the ‘Grazing Preference Study’ noted above and reconciling them with […]

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