Early spring typically provides the greatest amount of moisture and the best chance at establishment . In midsummer, more weeds can be left to germinate and killed prior to seeding but moisture is a concern and may or may not be adequate depending on the year. Leaving seeding until late fall is considered the riskiest of options. The plants may establish prior to winter, but the spring run off and freeze/thaw cycles can cause significant seedling damage and a reduction in plant stand.
Seeding Depth & Rates
Horizon Fertilizers along with BrettYoung Seeds have a blend calculator that provides an estimate of seeds/f2 of various species.
· 18-20seeds/f2 in the Brown Soil zone
· 20-25seeds/f2 in the dark brown soil zone
· 25-30 seeds/f2 in the black/grey-wooded zone
· 30-40seeds/f2 under irrigation
Forage Fertility on New Stands
Broadcasting On Established Pastures
Spring has the greatest amount of moisture so is the best time to broadcast nitrogen. The ideal timing is prior to active grass growth. If there is plans to do more than one cut on the field in the year, the total nitrogen amount can be split with the second application happening after the first cut occurs.
With alfalfa/grass stand it is more likely that phosphorous is the limiting factor. A soil test is also encouraged for to determine the current soil nutrient levels. If deficient, the best time to broadcast is early spring when there is sufficient moisture conditions. A yearly application of 20-40lbs/ac P2O5 is recommended to maintain the crop removal rates with a known deficiency.
*Where soil erosion is an issue, cover crops have been found to be beneficial.