Does Your Pasture Need a Boost? Fall Seeding Might Work For You

Early August to mid-September is an excellent time to plant cool-season grasses. One of the advantages of seeding this time of the year as compared to a spring seeding is lower competition from weeds and getting enough good growth to guarantee them to survive the coming winter months. Moisture is really not much of an issue in most areas. If you happen to be a little on the dry side, no worries, the seed this time of year will wait on a rain. Later plantings, generally after September 15th, can work some years but are more precarious and may require a longer establishment period prior to grazing. If you are waiting for a row crop to be harvested prior to seeding, then time is not always on your side depending on the harvest date. Tall fescues and timothy probably handle being seeded later than other cool season forages, but may require a nurse crop, such as wheat or oats to survive over winter. I always recommend to shop around and choose high quality seed, preferably named varieties, and from reputable companies. Do the math and seed at pure live seed (PLS) rates. Take the amount of seed needed for example (6 lbs./Ac PLS) and divide it by (percent purity x percent germination). 6 lbs. divided by (.90 x .85) = 7.84 pounds of seed needed per acre. It takes more seed if the germination or purity is low. You can do the same calculation and compare prices by dividing the price of the seed per pound by the PLS percent and see what the true cost is of the seed. $1.50 per poun

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