Summer annual hay crop

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kentuckyguy
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Summer annual hay crop

Postby kentuckyguy » Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:17 am

I’m in eastern Ky and I am looking for ideas on what to plant for a summer annual for hay. Generally we plant millet in may and go back with winter wheat in the fall to cut in spring for hay.

Problem is seems like every year the millet gets really close to boot stage and then the rain starts. 2 weeks later we have what looks like corn stalks to try and cut and bale. Very seldom are we able to catch it right with our weather.

I thought about trying sorghum Sudan but have read guys in Texas even have trouble getting it dried down. Seems like in my area at the most you get 4 days without rain and the odds of that coinciding with the crop being at its prime is very slim.

Would I have better luck just sowing Sudan grass without the sorghum? I’m not sure how this would do in my area. And I’m not sure if I could expect multiple cuttings and the tonnage I get from the millet.
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Re: Summer annual hay crop

Postby Silver » Sun Mar 04, 2018 4:45 pm

I think I might be looking at a bale wrapper rather than a different crop.
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kentuckyguy
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Re: Summer annual hay crop

Postby kentuckyguy » Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:10 pm

Problem with that is it would require a whole other set of equipment than I currently own.

My closed throat baler does not like wet hay. My loader tractor will only handle around a 1000lb bale.
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Re: Summer annual hay crop

Postby Stocker Steve » Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:39 pm

I grow some summer annuals for fall/winter grazing.
Any time I tried to bale them - - I had big issues.
You really should look into renting a wrapper, or buying some poly wire, and/or planting perennials.
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Re: Summer annual hay crop

Postby kentuckyguy » Sun Mar 04, 2018 6:59 pm

I’m really just wanting to know if the straight sudangrass is easier to dry than millet. And how well it grows in my part of the country.
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Re: Summer annual hay crop

Postby Stocker Steve » Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:01 pm

Lots of varieties of sudan and millet, and their yields vary greatly. Up here - - the University runs trials at multiple sites across the state, and then reports yield and disease resistance for each variety. Goggle your land grant University.
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Re: Summer annual hay crop

Postby ddd75 » Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:15 am

i've successfully planted dwarf sudan grass in e. ky with multiple cuttings *I think 4 or 5. dried bale with my baler that also doens't like wet.

I would fertilize it.

Yow ill need to flip it at least twice day. it took 4 days for it to dry for me.

The sooner you cut it.. the better.. (knee high)


after baling they still seemed like pretty wet bales.. they even heated up quite a lot. but I checked them in 2 weeks and they were dry and looked wonderful. fed them that winter and they were fine. Cows seemed to like reg. grass better thoug.
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Re: Summer annual hay crop

Postby tom4018 » Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:22 am

I tried some Sudan once. Had trouble getting it to dry, really need a mower conditioner I think. I knew a guy that did a lot of the Teff grass, he seemed to like it but I don't know much about it.
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kentuckyguy
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Re: Summer annual hay crop

Postby kentuckyguy » Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:01 am

Teff is a little too expensive for me to chance on bottom ground that could get flooded.

I have an old mower conditioner than works pretty good.

Do you think the sudangrass is not near as palatable without the sorghum? I do know there are lower lignin variety’s

I may just end up going with millet again. One thing I’ll say about the millet is even when you don’t get a bale good and dry the cows love it.
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Re: Summer annual hay crop

Postby FlyingLSimmentals » Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:44 am

Might be able to plant Kobe or a type of Lespedeza Seed.
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Re: Summer annual hay crop

Postby Bigfoot » Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:57 am

I like sudex. Yes, takes a while to dry, but worth it.
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Re: Summer annual hay crop

Postby ERNIBIGB » Mon Mar 05, 2018 12:22 pm

Sugar cane aphids hit all the "sudex" type grasses and grain sorghum really bad around here last year. Don't know if that is an issue there yet but probably will be eventually. Millet may not be as susceptible to them but I don't know much about them. Between army worms and now the aphids some of these summer annuals are going to be hard to justify planting around here.Most folks here that do plant them are choosing to wrap in plastic which is good for me because I do most of the wrapping in the immediate area. My best advice for trying to bale it dry is to cut it early (36 -40") and leave 4 to 6 inches of stubble for faster regrowth. I have cut millet 3 times in 90 days.
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Re: Summer annual hay crop

Postby Texasmark » Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:33 am

ERNIBIGB wrote:Sugar cane aphids hit all the "sudex" type grasses and grain sorghum really bad around here last year. Don't know if that is an issue there yet but probably will be eventually. Millet may not be as susceptible to them but I don't know much about them. Between army worms and now the aphids some of these summer annuals are going to be hard to justify planting around here.Most folks here that do plant them are choosing to wrap in plastic which is good for me because I do most of the wrapping in the immediate area. My best advice for trying to bale it dry is to cut it early (36 -40") and leave 4 to 6 inches of stubble for faster regrowth. I have cut millet 3 times in 90 days.


How long have you had Aphids? I got then the first time on SS regrowth in July 2014. Ag Extension guys said they came up from the South. You are well NE of me. Confusing.

Had a guy on this forum a day or two ago, mention he grazes SS with Aphids contamination and his cows love it. I do hay and no way am I going to gum up my equipment nor attempt to submit to my customers, something as raunchy as SS contaminated with those suckers.

Have a neighbor that sprays his to get rid of them but spraying is not an option for me for several reasons.
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Re: Summer annual hay crop

Postby callmefence » Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:10 am

kentuckyguy wrote:Teff is a little too expensive for me to chance on bottom ground that could get flooded.

I have an old mower conditioner than works pretty good.

Do you think the sudangrass is not near as palatable without the sorghum? I do know there are lower lignin variety’s

I may just end up going with millet again. One thing I’ll say about the millet is even when you don’t get a bale good and dry the cows love it.


I really haven't been around sudan since I was a kid. It is finer stemed. But I can only say I reckon everyone quit it for some reason. There is a multitude of haygrazer. Early and late maturing. Increasing planting rate will give you a finer stem.
If you have a mowco that works properly you should be able to get it dry.

But when you said you were looking for something to plant in a bottom wasteland. I thought Johnson grass. If you managed it correctly you'll only have to plant once. You can still till and do your winter annual and just let it go come spring. The Johnson grass will take over.
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ERNIBIGB
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Re: Summer annual hay crop

Postby ERNIBIGB » Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:07 pm

Texasmark wrote:
ERNIBIGB wrote:Sugar cane aphids hit all the "sudex" type grasses and grain sorghum really bad around here last year. Don't know if that is an issue there yet but probably will be eventually. Millet may not be as susceptible to them but I don't know much about them. Between army worms and now the aphids some of these summer annuals are going to be hard to justify planting around here.Most folks here that do plant them are choosing to wrap in plastic which is good for me because I do most of the wrapping in the immediate area. My best advice for trying to bale it dry is to cut it early (36 -40") and leave 4 to 6 inches of stubble for faster regrowth. I have cut millet 3 times in 90 days.


How long have you had Aphids? I got then the first time on SS regrowth in July 2014. Ag Extension guys said they came up from the South. You are well NE of me. Confusing.

Had a guy on this forum a day or two ago, mention he grazes SS with Aphids contamination and his cows love it. I do hay and no way am I going to gum up my equipment nor attempt to submit to my customers, something as raunchy as SS contaminated with those suckers.

Have a neighbor that sprays his to get rid of them but spraying is not an option for me for several reasons.


Last year was the first time I knew of them being here and they were bad.
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