- Author: Dustin Flavell
Peak standing crop at SFREC for the 2013-2014 forage production year occurred on May 20, 2014 and yielded 2300 pounds per acre for the season. This is 77% of the historic average of 2971 pounds per acre. Ending the forage production season at 77% of average is better than originally predicted, considering the cold, dry fall and early winter , along with the historic low forage production through January.
Precipitation totals for the season came to 16.63 inches which is 56% of the historic average of 29.5 inches annually. Considering we received 12.5 inches of rain from February to May further shows that rain during the rapid forage growth season means more to overall forage growth than total precipitation. In fact, had we not had the very cold early December temperatures that immediately followed the 2.26 inches of precipitation at the end of November this forage season would have looked altogether different. Starting the rapid forage growth season at 98 lbs per acre instead of closer to our average of 515 pounds per acre is what most likely kept this from being closer to or better than an average forage season.