I’m Dr. Gary Bates, a forage specialist
here at the University of Tennessee and the Director of the UT Beef and Forage
Center, and if you want to have successful forage production, one of the
key components of that is you’ve got to make sure that you have a good stand, and
so if you get ready to establish tall fescue, orchard grass, some of these cool
season grasses, if you look at the University of Tennessee recommendations,
we actually have two dates listed- one in the spring and one in the fall, but
actually those dates are not equal and so what we wanted to do was a
demonstration to show the difference between spring and fall planting. So we
came in and planted an area of tall fescue and an area of orchard grass in the spring and in the fall. In both cases we sprayed two quarts of glyphosate, just
about two weeks prior to planting to kill all the existing vegetation, and
then we came in and we drilled the first week of September, and then also another
area of the third week of March, so the only difference was in terms of the
seeding date. The same seeding rate, same drill, same herbicide management,
everything was used. And I want to show you what we got here. We have one area
here that is the orchard grass and over on the other side here is the fescue And in both cases we have a pretty good stand of grass. Now the tops are a little bit brown because today is February the 3rd,
so it’s about a year after we planted the spring planting, and you know it’s
they’ve been frosted and everything but we still have a pretty good stand of
grass. If we come over to this other side, what you can see, this is the spring
planting, which was the third week of March, and basically what you see is it’s
mostly Bermuda grass, maybe the remnants of some crabgrass. You just don’t see a
very good stand of orchard grass or tall fescue. What happened in this area is we
got a stand of grass up, but as we moved into you know April and May, the warm
season grasses came on and basically just out-competed the cool season grass,
so we ended up with not a very good stand of grass at all. So the point that
we want to try to make with this demonstration, and what we want to show is that if you get ready to try to establish a stand of tall fescue or
orchard grass in this mid-south area, the best thing to do is to try to
all seed as early in September, as you can with moisture and you will ensure
your chances of getting success. If you have any other questions about beef or
forage topics make sure to check our website which is just UTBEEF.com