Beef Systems


Nebraska is nationally known as the Beef State. Our team provides research-based information and resources to beef producers to help them provide an economical, safe, quality product to consumers while protecting and preserving Nebraska's vast natural resources.

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Beef Systems

               Did weeds take over your alfalfa this summer?  Well, join the crowd.  So, why were the weeds so vigorous and what might happen to your alfalfa?

               Weeds seemed to show up everywhere in alfalfa fields during August.  And I'm not exactly sure why.  One thing is for sure, though.  The weeds were worst in older fields, thinner stands, and in areas where rainfall was higher than normal.

               When should you cut prairie hay?  Let’s look at some things to consider.

               When is the best time to cut prairie hay?  While it’s still leafy?  When it heads out?  After it’s done growing for the year?

               Does rain often damage your high quality hay just before it’s ready to bale? There is a baling method that may help solve that problem.

                Rain plays havoc with hay quality.  Even when you study weather reports and do your best to cut when good drying weather is expected, just before your hay is ready to bale, it gets damaged by rain.

               Pretty soon you are going to be ready to plant grass or alfalfa.  You will hook up your seeder, fill it with seed, and start to plant.  But first, let's check that seedbed.

               The open winter left many of you with more hay left over than expected.  Save some of that hay in case of drought, but any extra hay might provide extra value if it is used strategically.

               Fall-planted rye, triticale, and wheat as well as spring pastures soon should be ready to graze.  These fields can give great grazing, but be sure you take steps to avoid problems with grass tetany.

                Grass tetany is caused by low blood magnesium. Low blood magnesium can be due to low levels of magnesium in lush spring grass, but it also is caused by mineral imbalances like high potassium and nitrogen or low calcium in the diet.