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Sunday, July 31, 2011

More people should grow Meadow Foxtail for hay and pasture

We grow Meadow Foxtail for seed. We had a bit of a crop failure this year as one of the strips of cardboard we used to block of air to the combine fan came off and a lot of the light fluffy seed went out the back of the combine. Pretty stupid mistake as the stuff is worth like $4/lb.
I think we have the last remaining field in the USA.
The OSU fact sheet kind of puts it down as a good quality forage crop but I disagree. It does very well in wet fields and it ripens sooner than any other grass. I've seen a lot of hay labeled "German Timothy" that was actually Meadow Foxtail.
If you have a little irrigation you can get your first cutting at the end of May, hit it with a little water and in July get a beautiful field of hay that is mostly green leaves. The horse ladies go nuts over this sort of hay.
I should arm myself with good propaganda on the subject and start frequenting horse forums promoting the crop. I wonder if I could get an article in a hay magazine. I could just make a bunch of crap up and if I wrote a good cover letter I could probably get it published.
I should start talking about how good it is on NAT.

5 comments:

  1. Is it anything like the native fox-tail? We have a fox-tail that grows around here that seems to like field edges. The seeds were supposedly used for flour by the Indians.

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  2. Sounds way too much like the wild foxtail (foxtail barley) that we have here. Its a bad weed and a patch of foxtail will bring a swather or combine knife to a thundering halt if we don't notice it in time to slow down. Yes, it does very well in wet muddy soil but cattle won't touch it. I guess I'd grow it if I could get $4 a pound for the seed though.

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  3. Gorges and Ralph, Meadow Foxtail is a grass with a long seed head. Seeds are light and fluffy. It looks very similar to Timothy but matures sooner and the leaves are darker in color. Foxtail barley is different. I want the $4/pound so that you can have good hay! Because I care. It is for the children!

    Muddy, you already have it. But you would need pontoons to harvest it.

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  4. Bedde shepard, I am interested in Meadow fox seed need info R Turner

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