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Tractor Talk Discussion Forum

new ground

Author  [Modern View]

07-06-2014 19:40:31

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I have just closed on a purchase of 20 acres that I bought. This ground is a bit lower, but not all that bad. about 12 acres has been pastured for at least 30 years, the remainder is hayfield. I would like to clear the 12 pasture acres and make it a nice 20 acre hayfield. The 12 acres is currently grass and weeds, a few small tress, about 4 inches across and some willow brush in the low corner. I am thinking about spraying the entire 12 acres with roundup, then pulling out the trees, moldboard plowing it up, then discing the everliving heck out of it. Picking the rocks then fall planting into hay. Is this the way you would do it? Is there a better way you would recommend?

Is there something I can spray the willow brush with to kill it too?

This is in Central MN.

Thanks for any ideas to consider

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07-07-2014 06:36:05

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 Re: new ground in reply to picassomcp, 07-06-2014 19:40:31  
Central MN? This is the time to go walk it. As wet as we have been you should be able to tell if in wet years you are going to be able to operate equipment in there.

I'd root the bigger stuff out, and with the way the grasses grow here I'd say going the roundup route wouldn't be a bad idea. Everyone I know who plants hay late says alfalfa has to be planted in late July early Aug for best results. That's without a cover crop. I know one guy who carefully plans his hay. Hits the field with a lot of cow poop then puts in millet, after that is cut he runs a disk through and plats his alfalfa.


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John Fulton

07-07-2014 05:31:39

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 Re: new ground in reply to picassomcp, 07-06-2014 19:40:31  
Rocky hayland will cost you a bundle in repairs of a haybine.You may pick rocks on surface, but frost will heave many more up next year. Willows are there because the ground is too wet for anything else. You may be getting stuck and rutting it up when clipping hay in spring. Previous owners likely knew the limitations of the land, thus explaining the appearance of it now. Not to say it won"t make good hayland, but just prepared for these possibilities!!

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Allan In NE

07-07-2014 04:50:49

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 Re: new ground in reply to picassomcp, 07-06-2014 19:40:31  
Take a hard look at the rock situation. Maybe there's a reason it's in pasture.


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Mike (WA)

07-06-2014 20:56:59

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 Re: new ground in reply to picassomcp, 07-06-2014 19:40:31  
No point in spraying the brush- you have to grub it out anyway, and there's no advantage to killing it first. Rent an excavator with a thumb, you'll be surprised at how fast you can get the stuff out, once you get the hang of it. Pile it and burn it. Then plow and disc, as per your plan.

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07-06-2014 20:19:52

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 Re: new ground in reply to picassomcp, 07-06-2014 19:40:31  
I cleared some land a few summers ago using a skidsteer with grapple fork/tine bucket, and a backhoe. Surprising how much you can destroy with just mechanical means, no herbicides. Still gotta root that stuff out anyway. Pile the brush and have a few bonfires. Grass was old hay ground and four foot high reed canary. Didn"t spray a thing. Offset disk did the tillage. Been in soybeans since.

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07-06-2014 20:12:58

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 Re: new ground in reply to picassomcp, 07-06-2014 19:40:31  
Roundup will kill willows.


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