Prairie Grass

The picture of the Florida beach is where I call calm sometimes and right about now is when I would like to head south.  When winter is creeping up on me I feel sometimes smothered by the darkness that follows and daylight savings time ending.  For some reason sunlight they say is the best for all of us and when the sun goes down at 5:30 pm I feel like a plant and just wilt.  I relish the days of warm sunny days in the hayfields, all the bugs, dust and the smell of freshly cut hay.  As a kid we mowed clover and fescue hay and also had a farm with forty acres of prairie in Lawrence county in SW Missouri.  That prairie hay was the most beautiful hay I had ever seen.  It would cure out a golden yellow or red and the cattle loved it.  When prairie grass is most mature and at it’s height is July or August and usually you can get dry hay put up in the barn those months unlike fescue when cut, is usually in May and almost always gets rained on.  My whole notion of planting some native forages for your cattle is value added on all sides.  Switch grass is a high yielding grass and Gamma Grass is a native grass that has a high quality of protein in it.  So why don’t more farmers plant grasses of this nature?  The USDA office under the direction of the Natural Resources Conservation Service has promoted these plants and many more.  I used to work for this agency as a Soil Technician and we rented out the no till drill to promote just these grasses.  I hope someday to go back to these farms just to see if the plants have survived or outlived all those cool season grasses…..

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