Forage: Planting

Profitable forage production depends on having enough plants in the field to produce the full yield potential of the species. If a pasture or hayfield has a poor stand, no amount of fertilizer, rainfall, or other practices will allow the field to produce to its maximum. Having a good stand depends on success at the initial step of planting. Successful stand establishment depends on paying attention to a few simple details. Developing a good seedbed, planting the right amount of seed at the right depth, and planting at the right time are a few of the important details included here with publications, guides, and recommendations.

Information and Resources

Link Pointer Forage and Field Crop Seeding Guide for Tennessee
This is a complete guide to seeding rates, planting dates, seed depth recommendations, and notes about specific species.

Link Pointer Establishing Alfalfa the No-till Way
Establishing alfalfa with no-till practices offers several advantages over conventional establishment. Soil conservation, moisture conservation, reduced weed pressure and a longer planting window are just a few examples.

Link Pointer No-till Establishment of Forage Crops
No-till plantings can be successful, as long as the proper procedures are followed. If a no-till seeding fails, the reason can usually be traced to one of the points listed in this information. Planning ahead for soil testing, drill calibration and weed control are critical steps to follow for No-till establishment.

Link Pointer Fall Cover Crop Selection and Planting Dates in Tennessee
Cover crops are a valuable management tool for conventional and organic vegetable growers alike. Cover crops can improve soil quality by preventing erosion and nitrate leaching, by providing nitrogen and organic matter to the soil for the subsequent growing season, and by reducing weed, disease and insect pressure.

Link Pointer Adjusting and Calibrating a Drill for Planting Switchgrass for Biofuels
Planting the proper amount of switchgrass seed at the appropriate depth can be assured by accurately adjusting and calibrating the drill before each planting. This process is very important in the successful establishment of switchgrass, as proper calibration can mean the difference between successful planting and complete failure.

Link Pointer Establishing Native Warm-season Grasses for Livestock Forage in the Mid-South
Planting native warm-season grasses is different than planting many of the other crops or forage species you may have worked with in the past. Their small seeds, slow germination and small seedlings that are vulnerable to competition present a number of challenges for establishment.