Winter is the right time for pasture frost seeding

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By Levi Berg


Have your pastures and hay fields started to look a little thin? If so, now is the time to potentially remedy that problem.
Grasses and legumes start to thin throughout the years, causing decreases in forage production. A technique called “frost seeding” is a great way to increase your pasture/hay field production without completely renovating your pastures and hay fields.
Frost seeding is when seed is broadcast onto the ground between Feb. 10 and March 1, and as the ground freezes and thaws, the seeds are worked into the ground and germinate in the spring.
However, the seed must be in contact with the soil for frost seeding to work, so pastures/hay fields must be grazed or clipped short prior to frost seeding.
Seeding nitrogen-fixing legumes into existing grass stands will increase nutritional value of the field, and frost seeding legumes can be very successful when performed correctly using the best suited species.
Red and white clover are most commonly used frost seeding legumes, but other legumes like birdsfoot trefoil and annual lespedeza establish well with frost seeding.
It is not recommended frost seeding alfalfa because of highly inconsistent results, and, also, you cannot seed alfalfa into existing alfalfa fields because of auto toxicity issues.
As for grasses, perennial ryegrass and annual ryegrass are the only grasses which establish well enough to be a reasonable option when using frost seeding.
Frost seeding is a great option for the previously mentioned legumes and grasses.
For frost seeding to work, ensure you follow proper seeding rates and use seed from a reputable seed dealer. Also, you will have a poor stand if there is not good soil to seed contact during the winter months.
Information was obtained from the UKAg Master Grazer Handbook.

Hemp Production Meeting

Are you interested in potentially growing hemp? Here is your chance to learn about raising hemp and meet companies working with hemp.
On Tuesday, Feb. 2, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., the Henry County Cooperative Extension Service and the Oldham County Cooperative Extension service will  host a hemp production meeting at the Henry County Cooperative Extension Office, located at 2151 Campbellsburg Road, New Castle.
At the meeting, Dr. D.W. Williams, University of Kentucky agronomist, will teach about growing conditions and requirements for raising hemp in Kentucky.
Also, a panel of Kentucky hemp companies will discuss their businesses and hopes for expanding hemp production in Kentucky.
Companies that have agreed to attend are Hemp Foods America, Atalo Holdings and Kentucky Cannabis Company.
More hemp companies may attend.
Lunch will be provided, and there is a registration fee of $5.
Space is limited and an RSVP is required in order to attend this meeting.
Please contact, Levi Berg at the Henry County Extension office at (502) 845-2811 or Traci Missun at the Oldham County Extension Office at (502) 222-9453 if you would like to attend.
All RSVPs must be received by Jan. 29 to either the Henry County Extension Office or the Oldham County Extension Office.

2016 Tobacco Gap Training

On Jan. 29 at 1 p.m., Henry County Cooperative Extension Service will host a tobacco GAP training for the 2016 tobacco growing season.
As most know, all tobacco producers must have a tobacco GAP certification in order to sell their tobacco.
Dr. Bob Pearce, UK Extension tobacco specialist, will provide a production update including new variety and management information.
Please be sure to bring your GAPConnections grower ID card to the Tobacco GAP training to receive certification, and if you do not have a GAPConnections grower ID card, please visit www.gapconnections.com prior to the meeting to register for your Grower ID.
Please call (502) 845-2811 to RSVP for the training.
Shelby County will also host a tobacco training on Jan. 29 starting at 9 a.m. Please call the Shelby County Cooperative Extension Service at (502) 633-4593 to register for their training.