Forbs

Forage Use: Grazing Dairy, Beef, Horses, Sheep, and Dry Hay

Forbs are a high value crop that has some valuable advantages for your livestock. They are known for their exceptionally high energy levels and have high protein levels of 20-23%. Forbs are a very mineral rich grazing herb. Two forbs that are a very good fit for pasture grazing are chicory and plantain. Chicory can be a little harder to manage due to its tendency of going to seed in the summer. Also, to be the most productive, it needs more rest periods. Plantain fits very well into grazing mixes and has excellent regrowth as well as very high digestibility.

Establishment

Establish into a firm seed bed is imperative. The mono-culture seeding rate should be 5 to 8 lbs and 1 to 2 lbs in mixes. Forbs respond well to fertilizers, especially nitrogen.

Management

Forbs need to be managed properly. Chicory is not very persistent if it does not get a 25 day rest period between grazings. It can be used in a wide range of soil types and can be planted mono culture. Plantain is not recommended for use in a mono-culture situation but works very well in use with brassicas for grazing and pasture. It is ready to be grazed when the leaf tears before the plant is pulled out. Yield data shows over 6 tons of dry matter for well managed plantain.

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  • Chicory

    Chicory (4)

    Forage Use: Grazing Dairy, Beef, Horses, Sheep, and Dry Hay

    Chicory is a perennial herb for grazing with protein levels of 18% - 22%. Because of its very high energy, Chicory boosts milk production and is fantastic for fattening lambs and steers. University trials indicate an average daily gain on lambs of 0.66 pounds. It’s an excellent feed as well for goats and wildlife. Chicory can be a very valuable addition to most farms if managed properly.  However, it really boosts first year production in new seedings of dryland pastures. It’s very high in mineral content, very high in digestibility, low in fiber and high in protein. Chicory gets blue flowers at maturity.

    Management

    For best persistance, Chicory needs a 25 day rest period between grazings. Chicory is not very persistent if it does not get a 25 day rest period between grazings.

    Establishment

    Drill 1/2 to 3/4 inch deep at 60-200 lbs/A or broadcast or aerial seed into standing corn at the higher rate from early September to November. Use 50-60 lbs/A in mixes. It can be used in a wide range of soil types and can be planted mono culture.

  • Plantain

    Plantain (1)

    Forage Use: Grazing Dairy, Beef, Horses, Sheep, and Dry Hay

    Plantain is a mineral rich perennial grazing herb that is high in protein, up to 23%. It is fast establishing and will be productive and persistent over a wide range of soils and climatic conditions because it has both a tap and fibrous root system. It adapts well to drier regions, less fertile soils, low pH, and heavy clay soils. It responds well to fertilizer, especially nitrogen. Digestibility, (80%), and energy levels, (12MJME), are high with lamb weight gains of 0.55 pounds. Plantain fits very well into grazing mixes and has excellent regrowth as well as very high digestibility.

    Establishment

    Plantain is not recommended for sowing in monocultures but can be sown with a multiple grazing brassica at 4-6 lb./A; with a permanent pasture mix at 4-8 lb./A; and up to 10 lb./A as a specialist crop with legumes. It can be broadcast over existing pasture, no-tilled, or conventional drilled.

    Management

    It is ready to be grazed when the leaf tears before the plant pulls out. Pre-emergent weed control is important as plantain is susceptible to broadleaf herbicides after emergence. It is ready to be grazed when the leaf tears before the plant is pulled out. Yield data shows over 6 tons of dry matter for well managed plantain.

  • Chiefton Reed Canarygrass

    $4.54 per lb
    Total (50 lbs): $227.00

    Chiefton Reed Canarygrass Seed from Byron Seeds is very wet and drought tolerant once established. Cover Crop seed in stock. Discounts available!


  • Forage Feast Chicory

    $7.20 per lb
    Total (50 lbs): $360.00

    Forage Feast Chicory from Barenbrug Seeds with its deep tap root is drought tolerant and has sturdy summer production along with higher digestibility. Buy yours here!


  • Grouse Chicory

    $7.65 per lb
    Total (50 lbs): $382.50

    Grouse Chicory from PGG is an upright uniformly broad leafed, drought tolerant, deep rooting, and productive, perennial herb, with improved cool season activity. Buy yours here!


  • Six Point Chicory

    $7.88 per lb
    Total (25 lbs): $197.00

    Six Point Chicory with its deep tap root is drought tolerant and high mineral content is excellent for breaking hard pans. Buy yours here!


  • Tonic Plantain

    $5.91 per lb
    Total (55 lbs): $325.05

    Tonic Plantain Seed from PGG provides consistent dry matter production in all seasons this extra feed fills an important gap during the transition periods. Buy yours here!


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