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Unit 9: Forage & Food Legumes Chapter 19. Unit 9: Forage & Food Legumes Unit 9 Objectives: Describe cultural practices of growing forage legumes, peas.

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Presentation on theme: "Unit 9: Forage & Food Legumes Chapter 19. Unit 9: Forage & Food Legumes Unit 9 Objectives: Describe cultural practices of growing forage legumes, peas."— Presentation transcript:

1 Unit 9: Forage & Food Legumes Chapter 19

2 Unit 9: Forage & Food Legumes Unit 9 Objectives: Describe cultural practices of growing forage legumes, peas Identify criteria for selecting forage legumes Understand climate/temp needs Examine the relationship of maturity – stage of blooming – to protein content of a forage

3 Unit 9: Forage & Food Legumes Peas Processing or market may determine variety grown Cool-season, best grown in late-summer or early fall Both bush and vine types available for edible pod and regular shelling peas Vine types produce more for longer periods of time Require climbing trellis Cooler, moist climate

4 Unit 9: Forage & Food Legumes Soil Uniformity in fertility, type, slope, drainage required Preferred soils: silt loams, sandy loams, clay loams Need good supply of available moisture Peas grown in wet soils do not develop adequate root systems  Root rot is often problem  Can dry out as season gets drier 6.5 pH or higher for maximum yields

5 Unit 9: Forage & Food Legumes Soil Temperature at Planting Good germination at 39-57º Ensure firm seedbed Level land makes harvesting more efficient Harvesting & processing determined by heat units and the processor April plantings - ~70d to harvest May plantings - ~60d to harvest June plantings - ~55d to harvest

6 Unit 9: Forage & Food Legumes Seeding 3-6 seeds/ft of row, 6-8” row spacing 1.5 – 2” depth 480,000 plants/ac Adequate, not excessive moisture  Slight rolling is ok Fertilizer Fertilizer response difficult to predict because of various influences N  Rates should be dictated by soil testing  Seeds should be inoculated at planting to ensure adequate supply of N fixing bacteria

7 Unit 9: Forage & Food Legumes P  Should be banded w/ N, K  Required for vigorous early growth K  Apply and incorporate before planting, or band  Don’t drill w/ the seed to prevent injury Weed Control  Cultivate as often as necessary for small weeds  Strive to eliminate chemical applications Insect Control  Observe crop rotation recommendations  Crop may be susceptible to armyworms, cutworms, grasshoppers, loopers

8 Unit 9: Forage & Food Legumes Disease Control  Best management practices will reduce disease risk  Crop rotation, fertility, soil selection, etc.  Nematodes  Use seed from reputable sources  Blights, mildews, stem rot, root rot, etc. Harvesting, Handling, Storage  Timing determined by tenderometer reading, weather, soil conditions  Yields increase w/ maturity, but decreases quality  Harvested w/ machining process similar to a combine

9 Unit 9: Forage & Food Legumes  Storage  Must be promptly cooled to ~32º & 90-95% humidity  May use a hydrocooler to cool quickly, preferred method  Pack w/ ice after precooling to maintain freshness  Don’t keep more than 3 wks under the best storage conditions before canning or sale as fresh

10 Unit 9: Forage & Food Legumes Forage Legumes Environmentally friendly, improve soil tilth, reduce pesticide use, reduce soil erosion, improve profitability for the producer, excellent feed source Species Selection Target use should dictate selection See pg. 479 for legume forage recommendations

11 Unit 9: Forage & Food Legumes Alfalfa Productive, even during summer, unless extreme drought Can last 5+ yrs under proper mgmt Excellent quality forage Best Management considerations Timely cutting Control insects, diseases, weeds Replacement of nutrients removed by the forage

12 Unit 9: Forage & Food Legumes Site Selection & Soil Fertility Prefers: deep, fertile, well-drained soils, pH Mixing w/ orchard grass, etc. may help improve and lengthen the stand Requires high fertility for stand establishment  Especially P  Soil test to determine needs  Incorporate lime before seeding  Resample soil after 2 yrs to check fertility  Help to ensure stand longevity  Topdress limestone

13 Unit 9: Forage & Food Legumes P establishes vigorous stand, stimulates root growth for summer drought resistance, quick spring growth, etc. N, K needed in small amounts  General needs at seeding:  lbs N  lbs K  Incorporate for best effect Variety Selection Consistent high yields Moderate winter hardy Moderate to high disease resistence

14 Unit 9: Forage & Food Legumes Establishment May be frost-seeded, broadcast, no-tilled, or drilled  Frost-seed – Jan or Feb  Allow freeze/thaw to work seed into soil  No-till or drilled tends to produce a better stand Plant no deeper than ¼” for quick emergence  Firm seedbed  Key to establishing a good stand – especially in dry yrs Broadcast seeding  Firm the seedbed w/ a cultipacker or roller before & after planting

15 Unit 9: Forage & Food Legumes Companion Crop Can be fall-seeded w/ wheat, oats, etc. Broadcast during the winter Provides protection for the young, new crop  Also competes for nutrients, light, etc. Usually expect 1 cutting of hay in late August, early Sept when seeded w/ companion crop Seeding Rates & Mixtures Seeding alone  15lbs/ac of certified seed

16 Unit 9: Forage & Food Legumes Mixed seeding w/ grass  10lbs/ac Bromegrass  6lbs/ac Orchard grass  10lbs/ac Tall Fescue  6lbs/ac Reed Canary Grass  Decreases potential for heaving in the winter, reduces weed competition, lessens damage to soil structure from grazing, reduces bloat potential Maintaining Alfalfa Stands Annual fertility program & proper harvest management will increase stand longevity & production

17 Unit 9: Forage & Food Legumes Initial seedings  15+ plants/sq ft As plants die, others increase in size to take up the space Alfalfa-grass mixtures can maintain productivity with only 2 alfalfa plants/sq ft Annual Fertilization May need: P, K, Boron, lime? to maintain a vigorous stand Apply according to soil tests Single application after 1 st cutting, or split applications after 1 st & 3 rd cuttings

18 Unit 9: Forage & Food Legumes Harvest Mgmt Stage of maturity determines hay quality Quality declines rapidly after flowering Should not be grazed/harvested from Sept – Nov 1  Allows plant to store root reserves for overwintering  After Nov 1 – may take another cutting or graze if soil is well drained, or have a grass mixture 3-4 cuttings/yr at bloom stage – stand longevity = 6+ yrs 3-5 cuttings/yr at bud stage – stand longevity = 3- 4 yrs

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20 Unit 9: Forage & Food Legumes Turn animals in at bud stage, graze to remove most top growth in 6-10d  Allow 30-35d for regrowth  Use poloxalene blocks to prevent bloat  Don’t turn hungry animals into the pasture Insects Alfalfa weevil  Usually damages 1 st cutting  Scout for following infestations  Spray when 25% of tips are skeletonized or cut early

21 Unit 9: Forage & Food Legumes Potato Leafhopper  Sucks juices from the plant  Yellowing and decreasing plant nutrient content  Damage may be significant before yellowing is apparent Scout regularly Weed Control Establish a uniform, dense stand Herbicide control depends on alfalfa growth, weed growth, stage of development, etc.

22 Unit 9: Forage & Food Legumes Diseases Phytophthora Root Rot, bacterial wilt, crown rot Choose resistant varieties Use crop rotation High quality seed Red Clover Short-lived perennial legume Hay, pasture, green manure crop Not as productive as alfalfa in the summer Easily established w/ no-till interseeding, or frost-seeding

23 Unit 9: Forage & Food Legumes Harvest 3-4x/yr for medium Red Clover Bird’s-Foot Trefoil Deep-rooted perennial legume Tolerant of lower pH’s, moderate to poor drainage, marginal fertility, withstand flooding, drought Somewhat difficult to establish Should be seeded w/ another crop Characteristics: Excellent quality forage

24 Unit 9: Forage & Food Legumes Fair palatability Stores well Nonbloating Well-suited for grazing White Clover Low-growing, short-lived Well suited for pastures Improves forage quality of grass pastures Reduces need for N fertilizer Same seeding options as red clover

25 Unit 9: Forage & Food Legumes Shallow rooted Doesn’t tolerate drought well Ladino clover More productive variety Annual Lespedeza Spring-sown, warm-season legume Hay, pasture, soil erosion control Relatively low yielding High quality nutritive value Excellent for pasture in the late summer

26 Unit 9: Forage & Food Legumes Can persist well if allowed to reseed Managing Forages Seed Yr Management Establishing good stand critical for production Select proper species Use proper crop rotation to improve productivity, reduce disease risk, insect problems Don’t reseed alfalfa after an alfalfa stand  Produces a toxin that will reduce germination & growth

27 Unit 9: Forage & Food Legumes Fertilization & Liming Essential for economic forage production Soil test before seeding for proper nutrient balance  Test continually to maintain proper nutrient levels  pH above 6.5  Lime when pH is >.2-.3 less than recommended pH Seed Inoculation Inoculate w/ proper N fixing bacteria prior to seeding to ensure good nodulation

28 Unit 9: Forage & Food Legumes Especially important in fields that haven’t had legumes Purchase proper inoculum for the forage seeded Check expiration date on seed bag, reinoculate if necessary Seed Treatment Highly recommended for control of root rots Helps stand establishment Spring Seedings Plant as soon as area can be prepared after Mar 15 Plants will be well-established by summer

29 Unit 9: Forage & Food Legumes Weed pressure may be a struggle Seeding w/out a companion crop may allow for 2- 3 cuttings in the seeding yr Seeding w/ a companion crop will increase tonnage the first yr, forage quality will be decreased  Manage the competition when seeding  Use early-maturing, stiff-strawed varieties  Sow at bu/ac  Remove small grains early as silage or pasture  Don’t apply additional N to the companion crop

30 Unit 9: Forage & Food Legumes Late Summer Seedings Excellent time for stand establishment if moisture is sufficient  Time to establish before winter August is preferred time Don’t use a companion crop Seeding Basics Smooth, firm, weed-free seedbeds Conserve moisture Seeding depth ¼ - ½”


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