The latest HAT Soil Health Podcast discusses considerations for fall and winter grazing.
There are many newcomers to cover crops this year. If you have livestock grazing those covers, Southeast Area NRCS Grazing Specialist Robert Zupancic says there is a species that could be problematic for livestock: sudan grass and sorghum-sudan hybrids.
“When they get stressed from, mainly frost, but also severe drought, they can produce a compound that’s called prussic acid. Most of the time it’s not a big deal, but, like I said, when they get frosted the recommendation is 7 to 14 days after a killing freeze to make sure animals don’t graze on any of the sorghum family.”
Also on the podcast is Jason Tower, Superintendent of the Southern Indiana Purdue Ag Center. He says another consideration this fall and winter is, “If you have a great deal of brassicas in there, your turnips and radishes, you really need to make sure that those animals have enough other dry material to eat.
“If you’ve got a decent stand of oats in there, that can work. But, if it’s heavy on those brassicas, the digestibility on those is so high those animals get extremely loose, and can really, from a weight standpoint, go backwards on you.”
Tower recommends putting out dry hay or some other feed so those animals don’t lose weight or end up with too much protein.