A Thought About Legumes


   Have you applied legumes to your pastures yet in 2019? As you know, it’s one of the best ways to counteract the negative problems of toxic fescue. With all the moisture we’ve had this year I predict we’ll have a banner year for clovers and lespedeza. Of course, a lot can change, weather-wise, in a couple of months. It’s really getting a little late to overseen or no-till legumes but if you get after it soon there’s a good chance it will be successful for your thinning fescue stands.
   The choice of which legume to go with depends on whether it’s for hay, probably red clover, or pasture, ladino or white clover. Each of these legumes require a higher soil pH. If your recent soil test was much below a 6, then this year you might want to go with lespedeza. Speaking of soil tests, we’ve noticed in our office fewer soil samples coming in. It’s still the most effective way to economically approach the need for fertilizer. You can’t afford to guess. ∆
   ELDON COLE: Extension Livestock Specialist, University of Missouri
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