Monday, August 29, 2016

Our Hay Fields are Under Attack

 Millet and Cowpeas the way they should look.
(pics. from the undamaged sections)
Sometimes you can do everything right and still end up with everything going haywire. This summer we planted millet and cowpeas to make some really high quality hay for the dairy cows to eat this winter. We prepared the ground, achieved the correct fertility, and planted the seed properly. They you all know that the later part of this summer brought with is several afternoon showers. We were blessed to receive many of those showers and the millet/peas were doing wonderfully. A few days ago we were scouting these hayfields getting ready to harvest, when we noticed that we were being invaded by Fall 
Millet and Cowpeas after being attacked by Fall Armyworms
Armyworms. These little critters can
 eat a lot of forage. They will eat the 
leaf of the grass from top to bottom, 
leaving only the stem. The problem 
is, they can do all of this damage 
within just a couple of days. We 
were able to fire up the tractor and 
start cutting the hay to limit the 
damage. In the end we had one field 
that had a significant loss, and two 
other small fields that had only minor 
damage. Just another curveball from 
mother nature to keep us on our toes.