By Joshua Baker, King’s Marketing Manager
When analyzing any summer annual, you need to take a critical look at both your crop rotation as well as your overall management style. Considering the maturity of the crops, as well as your ability to harvest and store them appropriately will help you better understand your expected value from the crops. I’ll outline our recommended options for summer annuals production; organizing them by management.
BMR Gene 6 Forage Sorghum
BMR Gene 6 Forage Sorghum offers a highly digestible silage alternative to the traditional corn silage. With greater drought tolerance than corn, forage sorghum provides you the tonnage and quality you need on the more drought prone acres and in droughty years. We see it as a great fit on shale or clay type soils with low water holding capacity. With more economical seed and management costs than corn silage, forage sorghum is a fantastic summer annual forage.
- AF7401– 110-15 Days to Soft Dough
- AF7102– 85-89 Days to Soft Dough
- AF7202– 90-95 Days to Soft Dough
- AF8301– 100 Days to Soft Dough
One Cut Mow/Wilt Harvest
Forage Sorghum Boot Stage
Sorghum Sudan- 6501
In addition to the Forage Sorghum at boot stage, Photoperiod sensitive 6501 is fantastic for a mow and wilt, one cut system. With light sensitivity, it will stay vegetative and maintain quality longer into the season. As a Gene 6 BMR, it makes fantastic silage or baleage.
MasterGraze (Harvest or Graze)
MasterGraze BMR tillering corn is a 60 day corn that is harvested or grazed in the time period from just before tasseling to just after tasseling. We have seen it make anywhere from 4 to 6 tons dry matter of high sugar, highly digestible feed.
With thin stems and dry stalk characteristics, sudangrass is the most versatile of the summer annuals. With a few good drying days, it can be taken as dry hay. Additionally, sudangrasses recover faster after mowing or grazing than many of the sorghum sudan varieties.
- AS9301– BMR Gene 6, Dry stalk
- AS9302– BMR Gene 6, Dry stalk, Dwarf
- HayKing– BMR Gene 12
We have multiple varieties of SSX that have varying characteristics for specific management situations. All except for one of the ones we offer are BMR Gene 6. These
BMR Gene 6 SSX are great for multiple harvests and we expect to see around 3 tons dry matter per acre total yield.
- AS6201– Fast starter with a short harvest window
- AS6401– Improved disease tolerance, fast regrowth
- AS6402– Leafy dwarf, can be cut/grazed shorter
- AS6501– Photo period sensitive
Brassicas (Grazing Only)
Brassica crops are very heat tolerant. They are great grazing material and maintain soft, palatable texture rather than getting woody in the summer months. These can be mixed with Sudangrass or seeded alone. Below are the ones recommended for summer grazing.
- T-Raptor Hybrid– Superior grazing, no bulb
- Barkant Turnip– Leafy, tankered bulb
- Barsica– Forage rape, fast starting