Is Seeding for New Forages in Your Future?

Are you thinking about seeding for improved summer forages? Are you wondering what to seed, how much to seed and how to prepare the seedbed? Here are some tips to think about from Ed Rayburn, West Virginia University Extension Specialist, and a few good places you can go to get advice that's right for you and your operation. Be sure your seedbed is ready for planting. Ed says that skipping this step and increasing the seeding rate to compensate is usually not justified. "If seeds fall on an area of ground that is not suitable for germination and survival, two seeds will do no better than one," he says. In addition, "If two seedlings emerge close to each other, they will compete with each other and may do no better than one seed." You're better off taking the time to do the math and figure out a proper seeding rate, and then calibrating your drill to make sure it delivers seed evenly across the seed bed. What should your seeding rate be? When deciding what seeding rate to use for establishing a new forage seeding, Ed says you need to consider the percentage seed germination, seedling vigor, and the size of the mature plant. Here's what that means: Germination Percentage "The pure seed and seed germination percentage are listed on the bag's tag for certified and inspected seed." Note that Ed said "certified and inspected seed," which ensures you have the variety and the quality seed you want. Seedling Vigor Vigor depends on the species and age of seed. La

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One thought on “Is Seeding for New Forages in Your Future?

  1. Re: “Some forage species can increase in size by tillering (Kentucky bluegrass, orchardgrass, tall fescue, timothy)”: the orchard grass in our area is a straight bunch grass that doesn’t spread by tillering as does timothy. Is this a local phenomenon?

    If I have enough $, I tend to overseed: if three seeds sprout and two are crowded out and die, I still have the ground covered. I follow Newman Turner’s advice on that score.

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