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Tractor Talk Discussion Forum

Planting Tifton 9 Bahia grass

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James Howell

03-29-2012 13:14:37
75.227.15.89



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Planted a small area down in the bottom with Tifton 9 Bahia grass.

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Did most of the disc harrow work several weeks ago, but overnight temperature was still too cool to plant.

We've also had a lot of rain in the last few weeks and this area was too wet to work.

Started on Monday with "52" our 1952 Model A and the JD 14ft rotary hoe.

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The rotary hoe uncovered a lot of roots from briars and dead roots from small sweetgum trees cut several years ago.

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Spent about an hour on Tuesday picking up sticks and roots to get the area clean.

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Came back on Wednesday with "Sam" one of our 1951 MTs and the Brillion 8ft Sure-Stand Seeder to cultipack and prepare the seed bed.

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After using the cultipacker, the seed bed was ready.

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This morning "1011" one of our 1953 Model 70s was used to power the Howse spreader.

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Added one 40 pound bag of Tifton 9 Bahia grass seed plus a left over 25 pound bag of Cheyenne Bermuda grass seed.

After spreading all the seed, came back with "Sam" and the cultipacker.

Using the cultpacker after seeding creates better seed-to-soil contact.

Now we pray for rain.

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Texasmark1

03-30-2012 04:05:13
67.142.175.20



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 Re: Planting Tifton 9 Bahia grass in reply to James Howell, 03-29-2012 13:14:37  
Very nice sir. Thanks for sharing with us. I have a small patch that I decided to put into hay this year and had a hard time deciding on seed. Bahia was one of the options but I would up with Pearl Millet as it was locally available.

I have seen Bahia out west and as said, it seems to have taken over. Have a friend that bales it for sale but it looks like a sparse grass with low yield and seems mostly to be stems. Am I missing the point? You mentioned several varieties. Which do you prefer and why? I am in heavy clay. What is your soil type?

I have seen rotary hoes at equipment auctions and never used one nor saw one used. Would you share with me what they do and is there any particular soil that they work best in? My heavy clay isn't all that bad where my hay patch is going as it gets plowed regularly. If I were to use in in my pasture the top inch or so is soft due to recent rains, but below that it gets pretty firm.

Last, where do you purchase your Bahia seed?

Thanks for your time,
Mark

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James Howell

03-30-2012 07:46:00
75.199.238.156



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 Re: Planting Tifton 9 Bahia grass in reply to Texasmark1, 03-30-2012 04:05:13  
Thanks for the compliment; we enjoy sharing our photos and videos with folks on the YT forums.

You have several questions which will be displayed in italics.

The answers to your questions will be in bold font.

I have seen Bahia out west and as said, it seems to have taken over. Have a friend that bales it for sale but it looks like a sparse grass with low yield and seems mostly to be stems. Am I missing the point?

Our farm was primarily used for grazing cattle by both my grandfather and father since the late 1920s.

One Coastal Bermuda hayfield was sprigged by my grandfather during the early 1950s for hay production to feed his cattle.

Within the last year Nancy's horses have used two of the Bahia grass fields for grazing.

All of my surrounding neighbors have Bahia grass fields for grazing cattle.

Since our Bahia fields need to be maintained by cutting, we decided to bale it rather than shred and waste it.

My community neighbors buy all we can bale because it is close and less than half the price at the feed stores.

Our goal is to maintain good grazing fields for either horses or cattle and not waste any potential hay forage for cattle.

You mentioned several varieties. Which do you prefer and why?

We work very close with the Titus County Agriculture Agent on managing our fields.

When we discussed our plans to rework the bottom, he recommended Tifton 9 Bahia grass.

This link will provide information and give the details of our choice of Tifton 9 Bahia grass seed.

Bought 40 pound bags at about $108 per bag last year; this year price was over $250 per bag.

Way too rich for my blood, so bought 50 pound bags of Pensacola Bahia at about $72 per bag.

Since Tifton 9 is an improved Pensacola Bahia grass variety, had to go with the comparable Pensacola Bahia grass seed that was more affordable.

I am in heavy clay. What is your soil type?

We have sandy loam top soil above red clay.

I have seen rotary hoes at equipment auctions and never used one nor saw one used. Would you share with me what they do and is there any particular soil that they work best in?

This link will provide information and give the details of using a rotary hoe for soil crusting.

Initially a disk harrow was used to turn the soil and the soil had settled for a few weeks from rain showers.

The rotary hoe uprooted the dead briar bulbs, dead tree roots, aluminum cans, and some rye grass.

The rotary hoe worked great in the top two inches of moist sandy soil.

Last, where do you purchase your Bahia seed?

We buy all our seed at Northeast Texas Farmers Co-op in Sulphur Springs, TX.

Hope helps and answers your questions.

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Texasmark1

03-31-2012 05:13:53
67.142.175.23



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 Re: Planting Tifton 9 Bahia grass in reply to James Howell, 03-30-2012 07:46:00  
Bro, we are neighbors. What a small world. Today I went to the Greenville store (NE Tx. Coop) and bought a bunch of fire ant granules and bought my Pearl Millet seed from them earlier in the year. Some of my fertilizer comes from there. Been using them for years.

While there today, I inquired about Bahia as I had considered it for a few years now and your comments about it in this thread just "wet my whistle". They stock the Pensacola which is now up to $120.90 per 50# and the Tifquik which is $240 for 40#.

I came in from working my spring things to get the right kind because I decided to order some and you nailed it. I am going to get 100# and mix with my Pearl Millet seed for my hay crop/pasture this year and I think I will like the results.

Off topic, I need a 4x6 baler. Got anyone around you that is tired of theirs and is reasonably priced and not worn completely out? If this forum had a private message channel like some do, I would give you my password so that we could talk off line. No way am I going to give out information on the www.

Thanks again, and HOWDY neighbor.

Mark

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James Howell

03-31-2012 16:46:05
75.227.117.159



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 Re: Planting Tifton 9 Bahia grass in reply to Texasmark1, 03-31-2012 05:13:53  
My YT eMail is open; we can "swap" contact information.



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Nancy Howell

03-30-2012 07:39:02
144.162.48.49



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 Re: Planting Tifton 9 Bahia grass in reply to Texasmark1, 03-30-2012 04:05:13  
James has posted some pictures below of the bahia. Thickness or sparsity is generally a function of the type of soil and the nutrient level in the soil. Low nutrients = sparse grass.

After doing some research on the internet, we chose the Tifton 9 because of its hybrid qualities.

We were able to plant only a small area with Tifton 9 this year because be had a bag left over from the planting last year. We wanted to plant some other areas this year with T9, but because the cost more than tripled, $250 to $300 per 50 lb bag, we will be planting pensacola bahia.

Our soil is sandy loam. I don't know if bahia would do well in heavy clay. I would suggest you google it and read the info on soil types. You could also contact your county's agricultural extension agent. They are a good source of info.

Rotary hoes were originally used to control weeds in crops. They were to be pulled as quickly as possible. They worked best when the weeds were small and they would literally uproot them and flip them up in the air. That's why they were to be pulled quickly so the tines would flip the weeds up.

We used it not only to uproot the small weeds that were coming up, but to loosen the top layer of soil before planting. Rotary hoes were not intended to go very deep in the soil, a couple of inches at best. I don't know how well they would work in heavy clay. Since they were designed as a weeding device, I don't think you would want to use it in an established pasture as it would probably damage the forage grasses already there.

We purchased our seed from the Co-op in Sulphur Springs, Tx. We can give you the phone number if you want it.

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Texasmark1

03-31-2012 06:21:51
67.142.175.23



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 Re: Planting Tifton 9 Bahia grass in reply to Nancy Howell, 03-30-2012 07:39:02  
Thank you Nancy for your reply. I think I agree that the clay would not work that well with it. I usually broadcast the fertilizer and then immediately run over the patch several times starting with a disc harrow to flip the upper layer of dry matter and fertilizer into the soil with a spring finger harrow attached, then over it a couple of times with a field cultivator which consists of numerous shanks of 10" sweeps and on the rear of the implement are 3 rows of spring fingers to smooth everything out nice and smooth. I like to let the new weeds germinate and get a little growth...couple of inches, then do them in.

On planting I have a JD drill that allows me to put down really fine seeds like millet and I'm sure Bahia and have rigged a roller/packer behind the drill making it a one pass and no tractor tire marks left.

Then I'm off the field till harvest time. Idea is to get the crop thick enough and up first to crowd out the troublesome weeds.

Thanks again for your help.

Mark

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Nancy Howell

03-31-2012 19:05:05
75.227.117.159



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 Re: Planting Tifton 9 Bahia grass in reply to Texasmark1, 03-31-2012 06:21:51  
Sounds like a well thought out plan.

You probably already know this, but if you"re planting seeds, you don"t want to use a pre-emergent chemical.

Optimum spraying time for weeds is when they are two to four inches tall. But, new grass should be at least 10 inches tall before you can spray it with a herbicide. We usually don"t take the chance and hold of spraying a newly planted field until the second year.

Good luck with your field.

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James Howell

03-30-2012 07:18:25
75.199.238.156



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 Re: Planting Tifton 9 Bahia grass in reply to Texasmark1, 03-30-2012 04:05:13  
Thanks for the compliment; we enjoy sharing our photos and videos with folks on the YT forums.

You have several questions which will be displayed in italics.

The answers to your questions will be in bold font.

I have seen Bahia out west and as said, it seems to have taken over. Have a friend that bales it for sale but it looks like a sparse grass with low yield and seems mostly to be stems. Am I missing the point?

Our farm was primarily used for grazing cattle by both my grandfather and father since the late 1920s.

One Coastal Bermuda hayfield was sprigged by my grandfather during the early 1950s for hay production to feed his cattle.

Within the last year Nancys horses have used two of the Bahia grass fields for grazing.

All of my surrounding neighbors have Bahia grass fields for grazing cattle.

Since our Bahia fields need to be maintained by cutting, we decided to bale it rather than shred and waste it.

My community neighbors buy all we can bale because it is close and less than half the price at the feed stores.

Our goal is to maintain good grazing fields for either horses or cattle and not waste any potential hay forage for cattle.

You mentioned several varieties. Which do you prefer and why?

We work very close with the Titus County Agriculture Agent on managing our fields.
When we discussed our plans to reclaim the bottom, he recommended Tifton 9 Bahia grass.
This link will provide information and give the details of our choice.
Bought 40 pound bags at about $108 per bag last year; this year price was over $250 per bag.

Way too rich for my blood, so bought 50 pound bags of Pensacola Bahia at about $72 per bag.
Since Tifton 9 is an improved Pensacola Bahia grass variety, had to go with the comparable Pensacola Bahia grass seed that was more affordable.

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VADAVE

03-29-2012 15:05:55
68.100.99.219



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 Re: Planting Tifton 9 Bahia grass in reply to James Howell, 03-29-2012 13:14:37  
Looks good James. Are you getting enough rain to get the grass to come up?



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James Howell

03-29-2012 16:25:48
75.227.15.89



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 Re: Planting Tifton 9 Bahia grass in reply to VADAVE, 03-29-2012 15:05:55  
We've had quite a bit of rain over the last several weeks.

More than enough to keep grass growing all over the farm.

Took these photos this evening down in the bottom.

Winter rye grass measures up to 36 inches in some spots.

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Tifton 9 Bahia that was planted early April 2011 and survived the drought looks good.

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Average height is about 10 inches.

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We've got some "unidentified" grass that grows all year round with all the moisture.

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Got nine 4x5 round bales last summer in this small patch.

Average height is about 18 inches.

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Hopefully ground will be dry enough in mid-July or August to bale.

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JMOR

03-29-2012 14:08:39
72.190.9.193



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 Re: Planting Tifton 9 Bahia grass in reply to in-too-deep, 03-29-2012 13:14:37  
your hoe a bit wider than mine!



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James Howell

03-29-2012 14:46:29
75.227.15.89



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 Re: Planting Tifton 9 Bahia grass in reply to JMOR, 03-29-2012 14:08:39  
You've got a nice looking rotary hoe even though its red.

You did a lot of good work on that one.

We're kind of partial to green.

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This one doesn't get used too much.

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JMOR

03-29-2012 13:51:24
72.190.9.193



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 Re: Planting Tifton 9 Bahia grass in reply to donjr, 03-29-2012 13:14:37  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

"We have one tractor and baler for the Coastal field and another tractor and baler for the Bahia fields.

Equipment gets cleaned and washed before it goes into the Coastal field. "

Smart move! Run my equipment all over the place and cows too, so it is not difficult to see how mine spread so much.

It first, I tried to control it in my better coastal fields with Ally (DuPont), but when it killed the spots of bahia, the common took over those spots too quick for the coastal......just couldn't win!

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James Howell

03-29-2012 14:37:21
75.227.15.89



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 Re: Planting Tifton 9 Bahia grass in reply to JMOR, 03-29-2012 13:51:24  
If I remember right, Nancy did spot spraying with RoundUp to kill the Bahia.

Came back and planted Cheyenne Coastal using same preparation method as described.

Went over to the hay meadow and took a photo of the area that was Bahia grass.

Here's how it looks today.

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Hoping to get our first cutting at the end of April.

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Nancy Howell

03-30-2012 10:31:25
144.162.48.49



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 Re: Planting Tifton 9 Bahia grass in reply to James Howell, 03-29-2012 14:37:21  
BTW - I do not recommend Cheyenne II bermuda. It does great the first growing season and then starts dieing out. After about 3 years its gone.

We wasted lots of money, effort and time on it.



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Nancy Howell

03-30-2012 07:45:49
144.162.48.49



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 Re: Planting Tifton 9 Bahia grass in reply to James Howell, 03-29-2012 14:37:21  
In the areas that had heavy concentrations of bahia, I spot sprayed with glyphosate (round up). Then mixed "Cimarron" (metsulfuron) in my next spraying for weeds to take out any small areas. All the bahia is now gone from the coastal field.

One good thing from the drought - the common that was getting in the coastal field, didn't fair well and looks like a lot of it died out.



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bill in colo

03-29-2012 21:25:21
75.104.96.54



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 Re: Planting Tifton 9 Bahia grass in reply to James Howell, 03-29-2012 14:37:21  
You grass is comming along nicely. Grass here is just getting a green tinge to it,nite time temps still in the low 20's with days in the low sixty's. and I'm half done calving.
Later, Bill



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James Howell

03-30-2012 07:58:34
75.199.238.156



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 Re: Planting Tifton 9 Bahia grass in reply to bill in colo, 03-29-2012 21:25:21  
Thanks Bill.

Its a lot greener than when you were here in February.



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Mike (WA)

03-29-2012 13:31:09
69.10.196.49



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 Re: Planting Tifton 9 Bahia grass in reply to James Howell, 03-29-2012 13:14:37  
Just curious why you didn't just use the Brillion to do the seeding- around here, Brillion seeder is considered the best method, and you only use a spinner if you don't have one.

Did seed a couple acres with a spin spreader once, then turned a pasture harrow over so the short spikes were down, and dragged it around. Ended up working pretty well.



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James Howell

03-29-2012 13:53:46
75.227.15.89



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 Re: Planting Tifton 9 Bahia grass in reply to Mike (WA), 03-29-2012 13:31:09  
The planter boxes are not in the best shape.

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All the parts are there, but one planter box is rusted out pretty bad.

Operator's manual states the Series 14 rotarty hoe can be operated with tines backward as a packer.

The tongue and cables can be easily disconnected and moved to the other side of the rotary hoe for transport.

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Mike (WA)

03-29-2012 14:12:47
69.10.196.49



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 Re: Planting Tifton 9 Bahia grass in reply to James Howell, 03-29-2012 13:53:46  
Yeah, I guess those boxes would make the "seeding rate" a little on the heavy side! ;>)
I hadn't even notice that you were pulling it backwards until you mentioned it.



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Nancy Howell

03-29-2012 13:46:25
144.162.48.49



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 Re: Planting Tifton 9 Bahia grass in reply to Mike (WA), 03-29-2012 13:31:09  
The cultipacker/seeder is so old, Brillion doesn't even have a record of the serial number. So no manual for setting the seeder to the correct planting rate.



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JMOR

03-29-2012 13:23:24
72.190.9.193



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 Re: Planting Tifton 9 Bahia grass in reply to old, 03-29-2012 13:14:37  
I like your pictures & prep methods. I sure hope you eventually want bahia ALL over your place, because it is prolific and spreads acres and acres away from where it was planted. I have over 100 acres of it now & only planted one 14 acre plot about 1982. It will beat out common AND coastal bermuda!



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James Howell

03-29-2012 13:36:54
75.227.15.89



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 Re: Planting Tifton 9 Bahia grass in reply to JMOR, 03-29-2012 13:23:24  
Yes, the majority of our farm is already Bahia grass.

We had a couple of small patches of Bahia in our Coastal Bermuda field, but its all gone.

We have one tractor and baler for the Coastal field and another tractor and baler for the Bahia fields.

Equipment gets cleaned and washed before it goes into the Coastal field.

Another larger area of the bottom area was planted last year with Tifton 9 Bahia grass.

Even with last year's drought, the majority of it is coming back.

Also have some Pensacola Bahia grass seed to plant in another large area in the bottom once the standing water dries out.

Our community neighbors buy all the Bahia bales we can make every year for their cows and some for their horses.

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chrisgrains

03-30-2012 12:18:26
146.115.162.88



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 Re: Planting Tifton 9 Bahia grass in reply to James Howell, 03-29-2012 13:36:54  
Hi James,

I would like to ask is I can use your image of your beautiful John Deere 70 in a blog post.

Please let me know if that would be acceptable. Love your pictures!

Thank you!

Chris



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James Howell

03-30-2012 13:33:57
75.254.33.76



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 Re: Planting Tifton 9 Bahia grass in reply to chrisgrains, 03-30-2012 12:18:26  
Don't know about being a beautiful Model 70 tractor, but "Vernon" our 1956 Model 70 cleaned up pretty good.

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Its far from perfect, but looks a lot better than when we bought it.

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