March is here and spring is in the air. Soon summer grasses will be greening up for a new grazing season. If your pasture rotation usually includes summer annuals such as Pearl Millet, you may be out of luck or out of cash.
Remember that drought we had last summer? With the mild winter that’s brought several inches of rain, last year’s drought may have slipped your mind. However, if you go to purchase seed this year, a sore reminder will be applied to your wallet. Seed prices for summer annuals have skyrocketed, due to the severe drought in Texas causing a shortage in seed production and supply. Current prices for Pearl Millet seed range from $78 for a 50 pound bag of seed to a whopping $100 online. It’s only March and Red River Crabgrass is sold out most places until fall. Some places are offering it for an astronomical $325 for a 50 pound bag.
With seed prices skyrocketing due to shortage, if you plan on having summer annuals for grazing, this livestock agent suggests you stock up now because prices are only going to climb. If you cannot afford to spend $78 - $100 a bag for Millet or other seed, you may need to better manage your perennial pasture. Invest in poly wire and do intensive rotational grazing to get the most out of your pastures this spring and summer.
No one wants to have to feed their winter hay supply in July.
For more information on pastures or rotational grazing contact the Cooperative Extension Office 910-592-7161.