*Choose the new and improved longer lasting varieties of clover. They are higher but produce 5 ton more hay per acre over the life of the stand. * Be sure to use the right kind and plenty of high quality inoculant.
*Plant the seed so that it makes good contact with the soil. One of the best ways for farmers to do this is to use a disk or field cultivator. Disturb 60% of the sod for planting clovers. Broadcast the seed and pack the soil with a cultipacker. Another method is to use a no-till renovation seeder. These do a good job of placing the seed in the soil, just don't get it over Ã?½ inch deep or you will get poor stands. With no-till you must reduce the competition from the grass. Herbicides should be used to kill or suppress the grass and help control competition. In non-sprayed fields you must control grass and weed competition by leaving cattle on the fields. The grass must be kept short until the new clover is 3 inches tall. Grazing and mowing should be stopped then for several weeks to allow the legumes to become well established.
GET YOUR SOIL TESTING DONE- Don't let the spring rush catch you. Bring your soil test to the U.K. Extension Office now. With the higher prices on fertilizer you can't afford to guess how much fertilizer and lime to apply this year. The $5 you spend per sample will make you much, much more. You can get your fertilizer dealer to pay for your samples. Bring your soil to the Extension Office and we will bill your dealer for the sampling cost. If you take your soil to your fertilizer dealer or if they take your samples for you, tell them to test your soil at the U.K. Extension Office. Some of the fertilizer dealers in the area choose either the U.K. soil testing lab or a private company lab to send their soil samples to. Both are reputable labs but I feel you are best to ask for your samples to be tested through the U.K. lab because the folks who make your fertilizer recommendations at U.K. are more familiar with our soil conditions and nutrient need here in this area. I review the samples to further localize the recommendations based on Lincoln County soil needs. Just tell your fertilizer dealer you want to run your soil test through the Lincoln County Extension Office. The local fertilizer dealers currently cooperating with us for free soil sampling include: Warner's (Stanford & Liberty), Greenleaf, Southern States (Stanford & Liberty), Dabney's, Caldwell Stone, and Tri-County Farm Mart. Except for the spring rush in mid April, we are getting results back in 7-10 working days which is fast service in anybody's book. Don't guess- get a soil test.
BEEF MINERALS NEEDED- Be sure your cows and calves have access to a good mineral mix. A complete mineral not just white salt or a "blonde" trace mineral block but rather a complete mineral mixture. Cows and calves can't get enough calcium and phosphorus and trace minerals from grass and the cow's milk to make maximum gains. Bones and muscles are primarily calcium and phosphorus, also let's make sure our beef cattle have enough minerals available to get the best gains on our cattle.
Make sure your mineral has sufficient magnesium to take care of grass tetany as that risk begins now and runs through May.
For more information on these topics or any other agricultural topic, contact us at the Extension Office at 365-2447.