Plant cool season annuals as soon as the field is fit in the spring. Plant warm season annuals once the soil temp gets to 60 degrees. Plant winter annuals in the fall with August 15th as a start date.
Use plant maturity as your harvest indicator. As forages mature, yield will increase and quality will decline. Harvest forages at boot stage for highest quality, and let them mature beyond that for higher roughage yields.
Allow 50-60 days of growth before turning out. If grazing sorghum or sudangrass hybrids, allow the plants to reach 20” growth before grazing, and remove livestock for 7-10 days following a frost event before you return to grazing.
Plants that are not stressed are safe to harvest at any time. Warm season annuals can accumulate nitrates under drought stress, which should be monitored if making dry hay. If making silage, the fermentation process will break down nitrates to safe levels.