Posted 13 October 2008 - 07:56 AM
Our 6-acre experiment with it was extremely disappointing. Rain prevented getting it planted early enough to get 3 cuttings--we only got 2.
Then frequent rains and high humidity/low temp's made both cuttings *very* difficult to dry. I'm certain the 1st cutting was as dry as any other grass hay we made, but the bales are "dusty" with a little bit of mold. The second cutting just wouldn't dry as temps cooled, and since we needed to leave on our two-day vacation (two days--yes, we really live large here) I finally had to put it up as baleage, not small squares for the horse hay market (I knew it was still a bit damp but tried to bale it...moisture tester said it was 45%!!)
By the way, first cutting was tedded 2x, second cutting was much lighter and thinner and tedded 1x.
Anyway, seems to me that teff's problem here in humid Missouri is that you need 95-degree days and low humidity to get it dried.
What are your experiences?
Posted 13 October 2008 - 08:56 AM
Hay came back around 13% protein, but not much color. We plowed under the second cutting as the ground needed the fertilizer and organic matter more than we needed the agravation of drying the hay. Might try it again, but don't know.
Posted 13 October 2008 - 12:54 PM
Posted 13 October 2008 - 08:51 PM
Last year, it grew OK, 1st cutting dried pretty slowly, and if you ted it and let it lay out till it gets dry, it'll be white as a ghost. We had to irrigate the 2nd cut to get any cop - we let that growth fully head out, and it dried much faster, and kept it's color better.
This year, the 1st crop did not quite as OK...... We had one field where the foxtails took over, and there was more foxtail then teff. But we did have one field that was nice and green when baled, and dry. We let it get pretty mature (after last years lesson) but it may have been too mature - 2nd cutting seemed to be growing all over the field, and not in rows - it must have had seeds and re-seeded...... We had to irrigate for 2nd cutting again, and where there was no water, there was no teff.
Over all, the yield was dissapointing, the drydown was slow (unless it was mature), and the color isn't the greatest. If you let it get mature and can then get it baled in 3 days, it's green, the 4th day it looks like white paper.....
And then to try and sell the stuff...... Nobody seems to want it? It naturally gets baled after the timothy and orchardgrass, so it has to get stacked partially in front of them (here, anyway), but nobody will buy it till they can't get anything else..... And the stacks..... they come in looking nice, and the next morning...... Picking bales once is OK, the second time is no fun at all...
Posted 14 October 2008 - 07:56 AM
Besides the slow drying and other problems mentioned, compared to anything else we could plant in the same time frame (May/June) it's slow to establish, which means after 1st cutting comes off we're growing the 2nd cutting when moisture is usually in short supply here. Agronomically, not a very good plan!
If teff isn't reliable for producing horse-quality hay, there's no advantage in it for me...I'd rather plant sorghum sudan or something similar if I need a summer annual.
Posted 14 October 2008 - 12:15 PM
1. It can be sown as a summer annual!
2. When it is good, I have had reports of protein levels as high as 19%.
3. When it is good, you can sell it for horse hay or cow hay.
4. When it is bad, you can still sell it for cow hay for almost exactly what you would get for sorgohm sudan. But good sudangrass or ryegrass will almost never fetch what a really good teff will. probably like $100/ton verses $200/ton depending on where you are.
5. Is it any worse to dry than sorgorhm/sudan?
Posted 15 October 2008 - 06:08 AM
A friend of mine who also experimented with some teff this year was most impressed by it for grazing--quick regrowth even when grazed to the ground by horses, and his horses (young nursing mares as well as some very old mares) maintained condition better than expected.
> 5. Is it any worse to dry than sorgorhm/sudan?
We never try to dry sorghum sudan any more...we always put it up as baleage.
Edited by TooFast4U, 15 October 2008 - 06:11 AM.
Posted 15 October 2008 - 06:21 AM
Posted 16 October 2008 - 11:53 AM
I no-tilled Orchard grass into one plot and Timothy into the second plot.
I'm not sure if I want to try it again at this time.
Posted 17 October 2008 - 08:51 AM
We are planning to try the teff again next year, but to keep the color we are investing in a preservative applicator for our baler.
Posted 17 October 2008 - 01:57 PM
Posted 23 October 2008 - 09:54 PM
Posted 24 November 2008 - 03:52 PM
Teffgrass is not a "silver bullet" but it can be a useful tool. While not a perfect grass, I am convinced that it is a viable tool.
Posted 26 November 2008 - 08:46 PM
I am located in NE Nebraska, and sold teff seed over a wide area, ranging from Wyoming in the west, east into Indiana, north into North Dakota, and south into Oklahoma.
2006 just a few widely scattered customers who were all well pleased.
2007 was a roaring success in almost every case. Yield and quality were excellent..
2008 varied greatly. Most irrigated cases ranged from OK to outstanding. Dryland situations ranged from almost total failures to well satisfied.
After three years of observations over a wide area, I would say Teff is proving to be a very viable option.
Seems to work best seeded after small grain hay/silage harvest or graze out.
Interseeding into thin alfalfa has been very erratic, the thinner the alfalfa stand the better. As a general rule, if the alfalfa stand was thin enough to get a good stand of Teff, it shpuld have probably been destoyed .
Grazing has worked fairly well. Pulling of plants was somewhat of an issue in sandier soil types. Harvesting the first cutting as hay and grazing any subsequent cuttings worked well.
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