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11. Annual Grasses for Emergency or Supplemental Use

When winter injury, wet spring planting conditions, or drought result in less forage than anticipated, or when additional livestock increase the demand for forage, emergency or supplemental forage is needed. There are a variety of crops that can be considered, depending on the time of year, and willingness of a producer to invest in the specific management required for each crop.

Cold temperatures, lack of snow cover, and ice sheeting can damage perennial forages, particularly alfalfa. Spring or late summer perennial forage seedings fail about 10% of the time. A very wet spring season may delay or prevent planting of corn for silage, or may cause a planted stand to fail. Shortages of forage crops are most likely to occur in the summer, when hot, dry conditions reduce forage productivity.


Willsboro, NY experiment with corn and SxS at various summer planting dates.