Forage Suggestion for Flood Prone Farmland

Agronomy question asked by Travis in Ballard County 5 months ago.


We were looking at a decent area of land to expand into alfalfa, but after driving the field and looking at flood hazard maps, it was noted that most of it is in a low area and flood zone.

Although it was dry today (May 4th), it likely wouldn't be in the winter and early spring.

The current owner mentioned that they've never failed to get a good soybean or corn crop in and harvested.  He also mentioned that it does hold water during flood season, but usually drains off pretty quick within a few days.

It definitely seems like the lower areas of the field (which is the vast majority) would not be suited for alfalfa due to the flooding,  but I'm wondering if it is still worth entertaining purchasing this land and finding some summer forage that could be maintained and seeded each spring, or if it would be best to just pass on the opportunity.

Agronomy in Ballard County
posted 5 months ago
Travis H.
Ballard County

1 Answer Posted

This post is marked as an accepted answer for the question.

A annual forage like sudangrass would be a good option here, but it's not a forage that has a very high value market for hay. So if you were going to feed your own livestock and the land was a great price, then the purchase may make sense. On the other hand, if you are looking for a summer annual for cash hay sales then there are not really any good options. The only real option would be teff, but the yields can be quite variable.

answered 5 months ago
Ray Smith
Jessamine County
Official Public Agronomist (Extension Agent)

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