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Using Your Tractor & Crop Talk

Discussion Board - seeding over old grass hay

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mnbob

08-13-2014 08:08:49
96.2.168.113



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My son recently bought a small farm with about 20 acres of grass hay. It has been cut and baled but no fertilizing etc for many years. I has very few weeds now. He would like to put in a timothy-orchard grass mix. I have never done this with plowing. What would be the best way and time to seed? We do not have any no till equipment.




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GordoSD

08-18-2014 21:16:54
216.106.242.219



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 Re: seeding over old grass hay in reply to mnbob, 08-13-2014 08:08:49  
What is the "grass hay"? Is it native? or a mix of brome and intermediate? Determine what you market is before you produce anything.



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willie in mn

08-17-2014 00:15:57
64.12.112.36



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 Re: seeding over old grass hay in reply to mnbob, 08-13-2014 08:08:49  
Hay crops have changed a lot over the years. Grew up in southern Mn, next to the Corn Patch border. I have been away from the farm since 58. Dad died of cancer winter of 58-59, my brother was in Army, I was to young at the time to take over, & between me & Mom, we didn't know enough about the operation to make a success out of it.

In those days, grass hay was considered junk, suitable only for horses. Alfalfa or clover hay was considered too rich for horses, made them fat & lazy. Since Dad was the only one in neighborhood that still had horses, we harvested road ditch grass for them. Grass hay was free. Beef & dairy cattle got alfalfa or red clover hay. No one expected to get a hay crop the year it was seeded. It was worked into the corn, soybean, oats rotation. Hay ground was plowed down as "green manure" after being harvested 3 or 4 years. It was seeded with oats, or flax, as a "nurse crop". Harvest the oats/flax, & if a late fall season, get a cutting of hay off it the same year.

The thinking at the time was that alfalfa/clover was more efficient use of the land for beef weight gain or milk production. Just rambling.
Willie

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farmeroz

08-17-2014 08:59:46
71.175.179.214



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 Re: seeding over old grass hay in reply to willie in mn, 08-17-2014 00:15:57  
Most of that still applies today, But around here you can get more from horse owners than cattle guys. My best prices so far this yr have come from second yr alfalfa/orchard grass. Made some of my best hay from that ground this year. It all went to horses at a premium price. All local delivery to boot.



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Formenwhogrow

08-15-2014 05:35:12
72.23.240.77



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 Re: seeding over old grass hay in reply to mnbob, 08-13-2014 08:08:49  
I wouldn"t do any seeding just yet especially if the field already produces a crop. Put some lime on this fall and some fertilizer. Bet you will see a much more productive hay field next year.



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mss3020

08-14-2014 14:21:16
209.50.30.76



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 Re: seeding over old grass hay in reply to mnbob, 08-13-2014 08:08:49  
I planted 15 acres of what the seed company here calles pasture mix.. Orchard, timothy, along with 4 others that I cant remember but the Orch and Tim had the most % on the bag. I wait till the timothy heads out and cut mine. Nicest field I put up if I do say so myself..get about 1300 bales, off that a year.. thick as snot..Question that comes to mind is why mess with the field if its virtually weed free and produces hay?? I should note that I use goat doo doo on mine every three years..

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Bill VA

08-13-2014 17:37:50
216.24.70.204



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 Re: seeding over old grass hay in reply to mnbob, 08-13-2014 08:08:49  
We are in the same boat - only our pasture has a lot of weeds, in addition to native grasses, orchard grass, some timothy, fescue and clover.

Our plan is to mow and bale the field to clear it off and then spray to kill everything and reseed. We have a sprayer, but our local ag store (Southern States) will spray it too - if you don't have the equipment. They also offer a seed drill for rent - which we plan on renting.

At the end of the day, the plan is to have two separate fields. One being 100% orchard grass and the other 100% timothy.

Several reasons for this. First one is - they both come-in at different times. Orchard grass and a few weeks later, the timothy. This gives us a chance to focus on one field and then the other without having everything down at the same time. All of our eggs aren't in one basket so to speak.

The second reason is hay quality (as I understand it). If we have a mix of orchard grass and timothy - if we cut when the orchard grass is ready, the timothy hasn't had a chance to maximize it's yield. If we wait on the timothy, the orchard grass will have gone past it's prime cutting point, would likely have gone to seed, be stems and not as desirable hay.

I guess if we ultimately like one grass over the other, we would make both fields the same.

Take what I say with a grain of salt - talk is cheap, we'll see how our fields turn out, but we have a path we are holding to.

Good luck,
Bill

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farmeroz

08-13-2014 17:28:23
71.175.193.169



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 Re: seeding over old grass hay in reply to mnbob, 08-13-2014 08:08:49  
If the field is smooth now I agree with the frost seeding in late winter, early spring. Orchard grass and Timothy will take hold of that.



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farmerwithmutt

08-13-2014 15:20:53
166.181.3.181



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 Re: seeding over old grass hay in reply to mnbob, 08-13-2014 08:08:49  
We have some around here that graze bare in fall then in nov spread alfalfa or clover seed on the bare ground it wont germinate till spring.you can spread with a hand spreader but check on soil fertility there is a lot of good info on grazer sights



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mnbob

08-13-2014 12:14:52
96.2.168.113



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 Re: seeding over old grass hay in reply to mnbob, 08-13-2014 08:08:49  
Colder climate?? we aree all globally warmer!!! ha

Not far from Bemidji MN, 20 to30 below is common in winter but no constant. I guess its now in "field" grass. Son says someone told him pulling a straight disk and seeding was good. never heard of it but I am a plower. Late winter, like in late Feb or March? Thanks guys[/quote][/list]



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Charlie M

08-13-2014 11:25:00
24.39.229.234



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 Re: seeding over old grass hay in reply to mnbob, 08-13-2014 08:08:49  
What kind of hay does it have now and does it yield well. Maybe there is enough timothy and orchard grass there already.



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Larry NEIL

08-13-2014 09:10:24
108.74.210.29



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 Re: seeding over old grass hay in reply to mnbob, 08-13-2014 08:08:49  
If yu live in a colder climate, frost seeding has worke well for me. Especially with orchard grass as it is naturally invasive. Just seed in late winter, preferably right before a snow fall and fertilize in the spring.



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