Cover Crops as Forage: What to Consider
February 17, 2021
to Grow with Virtual Conference. Please note this session is being recorded. Should you choose to leave your video, be aware that it may appear in the recording. Recordings for all sessions will posted a few weeks after the conference. We ask that you remain muted throughout the presentation. My name is Dean Bass. I'm sustainable ag educator. I work statewide and I'm located in St. Joseph County. It's my pleasure to welcome you to this session on cover crops as foragers, what to consider. Today we are going to be hearing from Phil Cates. This session is eligible for RUP and or CCA credits. Very interested in receiving credit, please ensure your name in Zoom includes your first and last name. You can rename yourself by clicking on the participant list, hovering over your name, clicking the more button and hitting rename. This is how we will verify who is attending the sessions. Please note that participants must be on the entire session in order to receive their credits. At the conclusion of this session, I will share additional information on how to get the credits. Before we get started, we'd like to take a quick moment to thank our sponsors who are shown on the screen. With their generous support. We've been able to offer this event free of charge to all of you. Were also able to offer a college scholarship opportunity. So please check that out the website for more information. We also have a short video that we'd like to share with you. Caring for crops and animals creates a unique stress and pressure that can be hard on farmers and agribusiness professionals. Caring for one's own health and wellness in this high stress profession is often overlooked, but is just as critical as caring for the farm business. Whether these stresses come from financial issues or the stresses of everyday life, MSU Extension can help. So at this time, we'd like to show you a farm stress minute video. Hi, my name's Eric Carvowski and I'm a behavioral health educator with MSU Extension that focuses on farm stress with a farm stress tip. We know that farming is a physically demanding occupation. And oftentimes in rural communities, health care is not always readily available. I'm going to introduce a term that might be new to you, which is psychosomatic pain. The term psychosomatic refers to physical symptoms that arise from or influenced by the mind and emotions rather than a specific organic cause in the body, such as an injury or an infection. A psychosomatic illness originates from or is aggravated by emotional stress and manifests in the body as physical pain or other symptoms. Depression can also contribute to psychosomatic illness, especially when the body's immune system has been weekends as a result of chronic stress. A common misconception is that psychosomatic conditions are imaginary or are all in your head. In reality, physical symptoms of psychosomatic conditions are real and require treatment just like any other illness would. There are also social stigmas attached to psychosomatic illnesses which might prevent farmers or the farming community from seeking treatment. Now that you have a better understanding of psychosomatic illness, I think it's important to note that this is not intended to suggest that your pain is not real or they shouldn't access proper treatment. However, if you are experiencing some of these symptoms and concerns, it might be a good opportunity for you to do some self-reflection and see if stress is playing a role with some of your concerns. I'd also encourage you to access the MSU Extension Farm Stress resource website for additional resources and supports that might be available to help you. And know that there are a number of people that are working very hard behind the scenes to support you as you support us. Thank you and have a great day. Okay. If you'd like to learn more about the topic of farm stress, please join us on Friday, February 19th, that 11 AM for this session, Bending the Stress. You can find the Zoom link and passcode on the final schedule that was emailed to you. I haven't done this much talking in a long time, so I apologize. Now let's jump into today's presentation. If you have any questions during the presentation, please type them into the chat box and we will get to them at the end of the presentation. Let's begin. Phil the floor is yours. Thank you, Dean. Thank you, everyone for the opportunity to be here today. It's really, it's an honor to be part of the Southwest Michigan, Michigan AG Ideas to Grow With. My name is Phil Cates and I'm actually located in Lapeer County, which is on the other side of the state. And I work in forages with a statewide appointment. Then I also work throughout the thumb with field crops, working with many of the growers that have livestock. It's a huge dairy area. There's a lot of cattle and lots in this area, so we are fortunate to have that much livestock. And so let's go ahead and get started. My topic today talking about cover crops as forages. And I do want to say that as part of MSU, we really are open to all without regard to race, color, origin, sex, gender, identity, religion, age, height, all of the different things that are listed on your screen. So we don't take this lightly and we want to emphasize this during our presentations. Well, I'm going to start with something that may seem a little bit odd, but Dean referenced this in his presentation that he had just a few minutes ago. But I'm going to come in and out of this talking about freezing temperatures. Now when I drove into the office this morning, it was nine below 0. And I heard on the radio this morning that it was 20 below 0. Well, I don't care where you're at. It was stinking cold last night. And we got a long time before we get to these first freeze date things that you see on the screen here. This is actually 30-year averages of where you can expect to have your frost. To have your frost as a challenge for your operation. And you can see when you look at 2021 versus what we had from 30 year average, last year was a little bit different. We had a lot of the state that didn't see frost the latter part of October. And along the shorelines of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, We actually had places that it was well past November 15th. So these dates will significantly impact how you will be affected on your cover crops as foragers. So can we use cover crops is forages? Well, I'm going to say absolutely because all forages is our cover crops. As part of the cover crop team as well as the forage team and a field crops team. I just kind of lumped them all together. They are cover crops and forages all in one. So I want to ask or try and give you a little bit of an idea. Some of the differences that are out there as far as a biological difference between cover crop and an alternative forage is are you going to harvest it above the ground or below the ground. Underground. We've got those microbes, bacteria and mycorrhizae, all those things that are harvesting and transforming nutrients. Above crop or above the floor of the field. We've got animals and livestock that do the job for us. Forages are defined as an edible plant, parts of plant other than a separated grain for feed, for animals, are harvested for feeding. And really they're separated into three distinct categories. When we look at the grasses are cool and warm season grasses, which includes our cereals. When you think about the cool season grasses, rye grasses predominantly are used as forages. And I'm not going to talk about every single forage that's out there because not everything is going to be appropriate. Because even in the last session, we talked a little bit about using things like a white clover versus another type of clover, the Dutch white clover. And you want to think about your system. Is it a perennial or is that an annual system? And cover crops really are an annual system. So when you think about the grasses, those rye grasses are annuals. There is a perennial rye grass that's about it two years. But it provides great nutrition and Italian rye grass. And of course, Dean did a great job talking about the cereal grains and the cereal cover crops and sorghum, of some people call that sudan grass. And even teff can be used as a cover crop and a good feed. I'm not going to spend a lot of time on the legumes. We've got the clovers, the red, white, crimson, aislike, berseem, sweet clover even can be used. But predominantly, what I see as far as forages are reds, crimson, and berseem do a great job. And then we also have peas, lupins and cow peas that are used as forages as well. And then we have our Forbes, which is really any broadleaf plan that's non woody. It's not a grass. So our brassicas are part of this. Radishes, kale, turnips, cabbage, chicory, all of those things. So this is a great example of a field that was planted to turnips. And my friend Ray Moses, he says I never got a better turnip crop than when I had that year. And he's moving the fences to allow them to actually harvest that. And at the same time then deposit manure at the same time. And so what's the primary goal? And when I say primary, is it good grazing? Use the resources available. Dean did a nice job going over the cover crop selector tool and what's involved with that. But I have some additional questions I'd like to ask, what quality do you need for your animals? And I also want to say, when you think about the quality of a cover crop, every cover crop has a trade-off when it comes to quality versus yield. And as yield goes up, usually quality goes down. So there's always a trade-off between those two. How much feed do you really need? How much feed are you going to generate on your cover crop. And are you going to have enough supplemental feed where you can extend that season as long as possible and reduce the amount of fed nutrients later on. And then the other thing is, how much can you really afford to spend on seed? One of the things that I've told producers many times when I talk about strictly cover crops, is how much is it legitimate to spend on, seed for that cover crop. And, I like to say, let's stay under $30. But I'm also going to say that if you have forages as one of your primary goals and grazing, you can afford to spend a little bit more because one ton of dry matter if you're going to purchase hay right now, there is going to be a shortage of hay probably by the end of the season. And I expect that you will see prices go up. And for high-quality forages right now you're well over $200 of per ton on dry matter. So if you can get a extra ton of dry matter from cover crops, is $30 a good opportunity cost? Absolutely. I like to show this slide because it gives us a nice visual of where animals need to be as far as relative feed quality in order to do well. And I try to have as many of the different types of of livestock, whether it's cattle, lambs, horses, sheep, steers, dairy operations, whatever you have. Every one of these will require a little different type of nutrition. And so it's important to think about that as you talk about the quality that's generated. So good cover crops in Michigan. These include brassicas, our sorghums and millets our small grains. And then our grasses, these are very good forages in Michigan. Dean referenced the third edition of the matching cover crops profitably, the Bible and cover crops. And when you consider how they determine if it's good, very good, or excellent. You can see on the grasses, annual rye, barley, wheat, oats, rye and sorghums today and grass are all good. Very good. But when you get to the lagoons, we've got some excellents as well as very good and goods. And why are cow peas only good? Well, one of the things that I've seen the last several years, I'm going to say the last five years is that cow peas rarely, and I say rarely, not always, but rarely have enough heat to be able to generate a large enough factory to produce the kind of forage that you want. Not that it's not a good forage. When you think about the quality, and now this all ties together towards a livestock side. And now the forage side, which species fits for which livestock operation that you have. a combination of cover crops that are planted. And I like to say that if I'm planting cover crops, I'm going to plant something from the legumes, something from the grasses, and something from the forbes to try and give a nice mix. Not that I have to have five or six from each group, but one from each group will do a nice job and provide very good quality. And you can see that the oat-peas combination on the very left had the very highest quality when it came to relative forage quality compared to relative feed value. And there are differences between the two. What the relative feed quality does, it provides, what is digestible, forage quality versus just what is lignin and your fiber levels that you have. And all of these will vary. And you can see from 80, which is, I'm going to say the minimum, that's going to be closer towards those dry cows and just animals getting by up to very high quality that can be good enough for dairy feed. You can see there's quite a gamut between those combinations and these different types of foragers. When you look at the carbohydrate side of things, you've got the lignin, which is the yellow. You've got your indigestible uNDF, which is another component. And then you have the digestible fiber levels. And you can see the red clover isn't quite as good, but it's still an excellent forage. And I certainly would never say, Don't feed red clover because it's a very, very good cover crop and a very good forage. And in fact, I've seen red clover produce on a dry matter basis as much milk per cow as alfalfa. So don't let this fool you. There are some very good things that come with some of these, even though it may not show up from the lab as being quite as good, but they're all, I'm going to say good in their own right. And when you look at crude protein, obviously, clover is very high alfalfa at 16%. Normally, I excuse me. There's a wide swing in proteins with a lot of these crops. And I'm going to say that again, you get back to that trade-off. If you have high forage quality, you're going to have lower yield because you're cutting it before it goes into that reproductive stage. Lower quality forages that are in the reproductive stage will have higher yields. So there's always that trade-off. And when you look at dry matter yield, this was two years of research that Dr. Kim Casta provided for us. Red clover. Even though it may have some challenges, it still produced some excellent results and provided well over close to two tons of dry matter annually, which is substantial. So again, when you think about how much forage you need and how much can these actually produce, that's where you start to see everything tie together. Here's a good example of cover crops for haylage after wheat, something that you could chop. It probably isn't going to dry down the way you want it. But if it's wet forage, you can still have it at 50 to 60 percent dry matter and it will still produce a very good, high-quality feed that will store very well. When you look at rules of thumb on quality of dairy relative to cover crops, ADF, 30%, NDF, 40%. These are the rules of thumb that we've used in dairy rations for years. But I want you to think about the water content that can be part of this and whether it's a pasture versus a silage situation. More water now presents more challenges. Excuse me. I'll try and mute myself when I cough. When I talk about grasses, I want to talk a little bit about the timing of grasses. And Dean did a nice job talking about this. But you can see teff as a warm season grass planted July 15th on the right versus August 15 on the left. There's well over a foot and a half difference of growth between those two, even though it's only one month difference in planting date. And on the cool season side, look at just the opposite. Warm season grass versus a cool season grass. We had an utter failure on ryegrass planted July 15th, just too hot, too dry versus planted August 15th. Beautiful catch and will provide great feed. And part of that is due to the way that the seasonal patterns of growth are associated with our growing season. You've got in the spring, we have lots of water and things really take off on our cool season grasses with our summer slump when it gets hot and dry. And then they come back in and will start to grow again in the fall. When you look at our legumes, they follow a similar pattern to the grasses. And again, think about these as cool season products versus a warm season. And look at a warm season crop like bluegrass, which is a perennial. And you have a huge growth spurt in a centered when it's hot. And so summer annuals, again, we'll follow that same type of approach where they will grow excellent during the hot weather of June, July, and August. But when you get to the fall, I've had disasters planting some of these summer annuals after the 1st of September. So when you think about planting and more of the the how now versus the why. Small greens, again, depending on how they're planted from April to October, seeding rates from 80 to 120 pounds per acre. You can really expect to be able to harvest 60 to 90 days after these have been planted. And again, early in the spring, you will have higher yields with a longer growing season versus planted later in the season. Dry matter potential 1.5 to 3.5 tons. You may get more than one cut for some of these products. And again, the forage quality is greater when it's grown in cool versus warm weather. Thinking about that trade-off again, cool weather will delay the maturity. Warm weather will speed up their maturity. And water soluble carbohydrates when you think about Oats, can increase because it is a very cool season crop. Something that has been done in New York and done very well is using triticale after corn silage. This is a product that can be planted and have very good growth in the fall and it can provide excellent forage in the spring. I have seen trials where this has been planted, say, the 15th of September and harvested actually about the 20th of May and provide excellent yield, an excellent forage quality for dairy producers, offsetting anything that might happen. If they were to try and seed another crop. And right after triticale is taken off, you can go right to a perennial crop if you'd like to plant something like alfalfa or even an annual crop like soybeans. But I'm getting off track just a little bit with that. Here's one of our host, Paul Gross. He's standing on a ladder, sorghum, sudan grass after wheat, just tremendous growth. And like I say, some years you'll get this, some years you won't. But normally Sudan, sorghum Sudan grass is a warm season grass, you're not going to get tremendous growth year in and year out. It's just not warm enough. Oats and oil seed radish can provide lots of high-quality forage and very good growth as well. So when you think about these small grains, the crops like oats, wheat, triticale, rye, and barley. It tends to be very high and crude protein and moisture lower in energy because you don't have that seed head. And you can harvest it either as haylage. And we do recommend taking that in the boot stage. If you're going to harvest it as haylage. You optimize both crude protein and that digestible fiber that's available at the soft dough stage gives you a little bit more energy that you can use. And again, if you wanted to graze these 45 to 60 days after planting, you can have very good grazing potential. One of the cautions I'll just bring up is that vegetative wheat pasture can cause pasture bloat. So follow those precautions that are stated on many of these products as you go forward. Cover crop for haylage after wheat Here's a sequence that you can use. Maybe the first year you have wheat following. Taking that off in July, you want to plant by August 1st for your cover crop. You can take half of it for silage eight weeks after planting. And the left the rest of what is left for winter kill. And still you get, like Dean said earlier, very nice wheat suppression by doing that year two - Corn as grain and stover. Let's talk a little bit about brassicas. These are great and high-quality forage. You can harvest 60 to 90 days. They will store very well in the field after frost and livestock will go after these. I've seen sheep, I've seen cattle, I've seen dairy heifers go after turnips in frozen ground and have actually been able to harvest them while in January if there's not too much snow, like what we got this past week. Seeding rates from three to four pounds per acre, up to ten tons of dry matter yield. Ten tons of dry matter yield for rape and kale hybrids. That's huge. When you think about trying to get something out of your forages, that is a great opportunity. Pasture is excellent. But one of the things I'll caution you on, if you are feeding these brassicas, they are wet. Normally you don't need much water when they're grazing on these brassicas. And you can imagine manure gets to be a little loose. So when you are behind these livestock look out just a little bit. We're thinking about haylage. They're really not very good for haylage. And so excuse me. They're not good for hay or haylage. I am sorry for hay and haylage because they're just too much water. Thick stems, waxy leaves, and leaf shatter. When you look at the quality compared to things like corn silage and corn grain, they are very good when it comes to being able to provide what these animals need. Okay. And I'm a little bit, when you look at the NDF levels, which are on our turnips is quite low. So like I said before, they're very low in fiber. Corn silage is higher in fiber. There's a lot more carbohydrates in our eye, corn grain and corn silage. But look at, we have crude proteins that are similar to corn silage. So it can be a very good trade off. One of the things that I want to caution everybody on is don't harvest too early. These two graphs provide an opportunity to see what happens when you go from 33 to 41 days after planting. Again, this was some research that Dr. Casada had done looking at the biomass. And you can see we went from approximately 1500 pounds, less than one ton, to nearly a ton and a quarter average in just nine days or eight days. So you can get a lot of growth once they get established. And it's porphyry rapes, but oats filled in the gaps. And those are things you want to think about. Don't harvest too early. Sorghum Sudan grasses. I actually think that these are better planted during the summertime, maybe around the 1st of June, the last week of May. For Southwest Michigan. Make sure that your soil temperatures are well over 60 degrees. And then you can go ahead and plant. Seeding rates will vary depending on what you're planting. And again, the dry matter yield depends on when it's planted and how much you can actually see during that hot dry weather or during the summertime when it's hot. These different hybrids that are the sorghum Sudan grass, that is actually a hybrid, versus the single sedan grass or the single sorghum. They all want that heat. Some things I'll caution you on is nitrate toxicity. And one of the things I bring that up is that these are both tied to fall and harvesting in the fall. I've seen more problems with nitrates that I have with prussic acid after a frost. And primarily we can get the cool weather during the fall. And what happens is if we have drought or cloudy weather, some of these plants can actually accumulate those nitrates in the stocks and the lower levels of those plants. And then if it's harvested quickly following a rain, we can have nitrates that are actually at a toxic level, so be careful in abnormal weather is the way I'll approach that. And prussic acid can be a problem. It actually forms a cyanide compound after it releases from the cells following a frost. So be careful. Something that you need to be on the lookout for, for some years. There are some newer things out there. There's a forage sorghum. We have dwarf varieties with BMR genetics, brown midrib. And brown midrib is actually a highly digestible type of forage. It's in corn silage, it's in Sudan grass, it's in forage sorghums. And all of these provide higher quality forage that is very digestible by livestock. It may not yield is high, but it does have excellent digestibility, higher in sugars and again, better nutrient profiles than conventional products that are out there. Reduce lodging. Some of the things when you think about a dwarf variety, it doesn't quite get as tall. And you can plant these a greater densities, narrow rows to provide a lot more product and dry matter. I wasn't going to talk too much about frost seeding because I think Dean did a nice job with that. But I would say that I like to see the next several weeks as probably the prime time for frost seeding. And when you think about how it works, you actually form those honeycombs and crystals at the ice, of ice crystals at the surface of the soil. Someone asked in the previous session about trying to frost seed in snow. And I'm going to say, preferably, I would like to see less than an inch of snow if I'm going to frost. Because if snow melts, water moves and I have seen water move some of the seed that was thrown out there along with it and end up in one spot where you have a great crop of seeds that sprouted, whereas it didn't land where you wanted it to. So just be careful, is what I'll say. As sandy soils are really not suitable for frost seeding because you don't get that freezing and thawing action nearly as fast in there. And it's less risky and pastures compared to hay fields. This is a great picture of appropriate species to use for frost seeding. And the best really are the small to medium-sized flicked seeds, things like the clovers. I'll throw in birds for tree foil, which is not really an annual, it's a perennial that's slow to establish but can be used very well in a pasture system. White clover, Yes. But again, if you're looking at it strictly as an animal product, it's not as good. And then Brahms and small grains are not as effective. Ryegrass is an orchard grass that can be used. One thing I want to say is that you want to make sure that these seeds get to the soil. If it lands on thatch or something that is covering the ground, they will not reach the soil surface and you don't have that ability to be drawn into the soil. I did want to bring this up. And again, what can go wrong with cover crops being used as forages? One of the things that are weed scientists will talk about, especially with annual ryegrass, is that it contains, it can become a very difficult resistant weed in many operations. So I say be cautious when you're using those annual ryegrasses. Perennial ryegrass, not as much a problem. Cereal rye, I think it's just a great opportunity to use cereal rye with manure like Dean talked about a little bit ago. Hairy vetch can cause problems. It can become a weed, and buckwheat can become a weed as well. All of these, if less, to go to seed and then you have a tremendous weed seed bank that can be in the field for years to come. We talked about the nitrate toxicity. One of the things that can happen with things like buckwheat, there is photosensitization that occurs especially in light-skinned animals. And so that's something to be concerned about. And of course anytime you're pasturing bloat, especially with these legumes like clovers, medics. Wheat actually, even Brassica, can cause bloat. So be careful, and that's one of the reasons why a mixture is always a nice idea. We talked about the photosensitivity and we can have some dermatitis problems with hairy vetch. And I've seen problems with vetch being used for cattle and in the prussic acid poisoning as well. So I have a take-home message that I'll use today. And and we talk about frost seeded red clover and post wheat, oat pea, or sudangrass. They can produce one half to one ton of harvestable forage after wheat harvest, which is good. And it also provides an opportunity to have additional nitrogen building up in the soil because these legumes are just that. They are nitrate builders. They're not nitrate or nitrogen takers. They will provide more nitrogen. And again, it's too cold for one season crops. We talked about that quite a bit. And one of the things that people ask is, will it affect my crops later on? In research by Dr. Casada has shown that corn crops following cover crops are actually not affected and will produce year in and year out. Dean, how much time do we have? Do I have a few minutes or should I wrap it up? I'm sorry, you have a couple minutes. Okay. I'll wrap it up. Alright, so I do have a few more slides and these are optional. So why do people think cover crops can't be grazed or can't be used as forage? One of the things is soil compaction and can hoof traffic cancel out structural benefits of cover crops? But I'm going to say with roots in the soil have great resiliency to be able to offset that compaction that may occur. You may have surface compaction, but it's really the deep compaction that is hard to really eliminate, where you have to be careful. When you think about freeze-thaw cycles to correct soil compaction. When you go deep and you have very cold temperatures, it thaws once and that's at the end of the season. So you don't have those cycles as you get deeper in the soil where you do have that freezing and thawing is at the shallower levels of the soil. And so compaction can be alleviated better at those surface levels. I always say stay off wet ground because that will compound compaction and graze while ground is frozen, that is still a very good option. If it's not wet out there and it's not muddy, not only will animals perform better because they're not mud, but they will be able to get that forage and get it off of there and harvest it for you. And one of the things that we haven't talked about is managed grazing. One of those things, and I showed a picture of it earlier on. Looking at turnips and cattle grazing is to move those cattle a little bit each day or a little bit every other day so that they have just enough so they maintain complete use of the forage that's there. And also by doing that, you have a better nutrient recycling with manure in the same area. So it tends to concentrate it if they're there during the course of a day, which is good long-term because the entire field gets that manure. Some people think it takes too much fertilizer. Well, when you think about biomass production, you need fertility. And I always say, do a very good soil test. Don't guess. Soil test. Phosphorus and potassium are critical. You need good soil pHs. 6.0 for Brassica, some grasses 6.5 and above for legumes. Nitrogen at planting for some of our grasses break brassicas is one of the things that I'll say that it is a cost, but it's an opportunity cost for what you put in. You will get more than a two to one return for that nitrogen. And especially on the sandy or low organic matter soils. Boron and sulfur are something that you should consider each and every year. On poor ground, follow the soil test, try and get into that maintenance area. And we do have some new tri-state fertilizer recommendations that have just been updated in 2020. Available now we're just seeing them roll out. Those are available for anyone that needs it. How about pesticides? Can it be a problem? Absolutely. Some of these pesticides, they have restrictions on how long they can be on a plant before it's harvested or grazed. So be careful with that. Follow all label recommendations and follow those labels because they are the law. Those residues, some of the things that come into the weed guide are these herbicides, crop rotation restrictions. The last thing you want to do is to try and plant a cover crop and have the herbicide take the cover crop out if you're planting that for forage. So think ahead. Think about these things, not at the last minute, but six months to a year in advance. And I'll just say that there are some great resources. The MSU forage website, the forage connection is available at forages.MSU.edu. And then a brand new bulletin that was developed by Kim and myself recommended hay and pasture forages for Michigan provide an excellent resource that has things like planting dates, sitting rates, soil, soils where these different types of, of forages can be planted, do well. Just a great resource. And we have some upcoming forage programs. There is going to be a webinar series, Hay Production 101 starting in March. And it's going to be Tuesdays and Thursdays. If you are a new hay producer or you wanna learn some tips, I think this would be a great program for you. And we also have the Great Lakes Forage and Grazing Conference coming up on March 11th. This is a free webinar and we have Dr. Dennis Hancock, the Director of the US Dairy Forage Research Center, he will be our keynote speaker. And we will have many topics for people to enjoy during that three hour webinar on the 11th. And some more resources. And with that, I'd like to say thanks to, to Kim Cassida and Paul Gross for some of the slides that I used today. But, I think I do have a little bit of time for questions. So do we have any questions? Well, we're kind of a little short on time if people want to leave. So what I'd like to suggest is let's talk about, let's do the wrap up about the credits and that type of thing. If anybody wants to stay on for questions just stay on for questions. So I want to remind you that if you're getting the RUP or CCA credits or even if you're not to please take the session survey. I put the link into the chat box. If you're having problems with that, some people seem to be having some problems. You can email myself or Paul or Christina. Christina, maybe you can put some of our e-mails into the chat box. We will make sure you get those CCA credits and and RUP credits. But even if you don't need credits, please take the survey that helps us do a better job. So if you need to leave, please go to the survey lake and but if you'd like to stay on, we can we have a little bit of time here. We can answer some questions. I'll start with Kendall, who basically is confirming some of your stuff, Phil, you said leaving red clover that was chopped in the fall in December of 2019 for spring 2020. He then cut and chopped and chisel, planted silage corn, and it worked out quite well for the dairy. And it sounds like a good way to use a cover crop. Melody has a few questions here. Equipment is a problem for them. Because of their slopes, they don't have a drill or can't use a drill. Anything other than clover to intercede into standing fescue? Well, one of the things that you have to realize that fescue is something that is a very good forage and it will provide a lot of thatch that's on that soil and on the soil surface. So you need to make sure that you're getting that seed to the soil. Is there a lot of other options besides clover? Probably not so much because you want to try and get that seed to the soil and I recommend if you're going to try and have something that is frost seeded, Take a late, late cutting and scalp that fescue off at the soil as low as you can go and provide an opportunity for the seed later on in the spring time to be frost seeded and get to the soil. And it will help you. But it's not a sure fire thing. If it never reaches the soil surface, you're going to have some challenges. Okay. She also asked what to intercede on pasture to regenerate ultra low phosphorus levels. And how long does this take and is there any data on this? So I'm not sure I understand the question. They want to regenerate. They have low phosphorus levels in I guess I can jump into this. I mean, there are no cover crops that actually produce phosphorus like they can be used to produce nitrogen. That's right. If you have low phosphorus levels, there has been some discussion about things like buckwheat with really long roots that have brought lower level phosphorous back to the top. But there is no way to generate phosphorus through cover crops or plants. If it's not there to start with, it's not going to be manufactured. You're going to have to get some manure I'm there. So synthetic phosphorus. What's the longevity as seeds like clover, I bought too much, want to use it next year. Seed can be stored in a cool, dry place. As long as it's been stored in a cool, dry place, it is something that can last more than one year. But I always say that if you do that, remember that anything that is a legume needs to have that bacteria on the seed in order to produce those nitrogen forming nodules. And so you want to re-enaculate those forages seeds like clover. Following that. Because that is a live bacteria that's on those seeds, unless you're in a field that's had clover year in and year out, then I would say it's probably not going to be a challenge for you. But that's one thing to remember. The longevity on the seed, some of the hard seeds that are in Clover can last several years. But again, you may want to do a quick test by putting seed on a tray. Wet that seed with a paper towel, put it in a warm window, keep it warm, and see what kind of germination rates you actually have before you plant it. That'll give you a great idea is to know whether or not that seed is fertile and will generate, or germinate, I should say. But I think you're probably going to be fine if it's just one-year-old and it's been in a cool, dry place. Yeah. Is there any combination of forages that would be good for leaving in the ground and come back year after year for grazing in the summer. Oh sure. Now you're talking about an annual forage system versus a perennial forage system. And a perennial forage system is a little different approach because now I would consider having grass and legume combination. And you wouldn't want to look at something like a white clover that is a long-term source of nitrogen. To actually help the grasses. And a combination of grasses, I would say would be a nice mix. As far as some of the other animals that are out there. They're annuals for a reason. They just only last one year, so you have to look at it from a different standpoint, perennial versus annual. And I see there is a question about clovers. Red clover normally will last two years. You make it three out of some of the plants, but normally it's about a two-year plant. Whereas white clover is a perennial long-term approach. That's one of the reasons why I say, in a long-term pasture system, white clover does a good job. Improved varieties are important though. Okay? I think we've had a run over here and I know people who are wanting credits need to stay until the end. I forgot about that, so I apologize for that. I want to thank Phil. He did an awesome job. A lot of good information there. Then we'll go to the surveys. Dean, I can stay on for a few minutes afterwards. I don't have to get right off, so I'd be glad to answer any questions afterwards too. Yeah, I think they need to that they were at the whole session for the credit, so I think we need to wrap this up. People probably want to get the lunch. Thanks everybody for attending. Look forward to see you in another session. And you all have a good day. Thanks. Nice job guys. Very nicely. That's my wrong email address, Christina, No p after kates.msu.edu. Okay. Oh well. Let's try at least take up the type your name and you had the other ones in their right, you had mine and all the rest of ours are all there. I think I've got everybody taking care of the problems earlier. There's several of them and I think it goes back to what program they're using for their Internet. Yes, I think we're good. I need the recording of this one. I didn't get started on time, Christina. And I don't know if I did either. Did you? Because my computer's going off and on.