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Discussion Board - hay fields for next year

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Eric Allen

01-19-2013 00:38:56

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I want to get into the hay baling buisness and I'm wondering how to reclaim fallow fields. I have equipment now and access to fields that haven't been hayed in years and are grown into goldenrod and brush. I'm going to use a flail chopper in the spring and am wondering will mowing bring hay back or is some kind of tilling and planting in order and if so what equipment is needed and what is good to plant to sell? I'm in central NY and love old tractors and baling hay, I grew up on a farm and miss the sounds and smells of the old tractors. Thanks for your help

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01-21-2013 19:00:19

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 Re: hay fields for next year in reply to Eric Allen, 01-19-2013 00:38:56  
You already said your grassey hay didn't sell well. But I acquired a farm in 2008 or so. Half of it was tillable the rest had grown up in Russian Olives and other brush! Plus a lot of junk! The previous owner had parked junk cars and trucks all over it and other junk. He had removed the big stuff but left the smaller stuff, like a hundred computers. and old tire rims etc. Took out the biggest trees with the backhoe. Bush-hogged the rest. Tried to disk it not muck luck. Bottom line the fescue came from somewhere and grows rank. Had no trouble selling the hay. But sure is rough. Need to spray it with paraquat and disk it about 6 times to level it. bet the fescue will come back even better. Vic

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01-19-2013 08:30:53

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 Re: hay fields for next year in reply to Eric Allen, 01-19-2013 00:38:56  
First thing is to decide what type of hay you want, if you are in central New York I'm sure you could grow straight Alfalfa or any mix of orchard grass and Alfalfa, timothy, clovers etc. for a permanent hay meadow, after you decide what you want, then get your soil samples and find out what the soil needs in the way of lime and fertilizer. I would plow fallowed ground, spread lime and P & K, disc, culti pack and plant with a drill applying the remainder of the starter fertilizer with the seed. As far as information to read up on preparing hay meadows Cornell University has a web-site with specific information on how to prepare the soil, plant and fertilize just about any crop, grass or legume grown in New York state.

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01-19-2013 07:37:36

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 Re: hay fields for next year in reply to Eric Allen, 01-19-2013 00:38:56  
Find your local extension agent. He will have a better idea of what grows well in your area and how best to plant it in your conditions.

In my area, I would plow and disc a couple of times to make a nice level seedbed then would either drill in my hay type seeds with a nurse crop of oats or maybe just the hay seeds. I would plant either straight alfalfa or I would plant a mix of clover and some sort of grass like timothy.

I would have a cultipacker behind the drill to press the seeds into the earth and to help smooth the field.

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01-19-2013 03:56:29

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 Re: hay fields for next year in reply to Eric Allen, 01-19-2013 00:38:56  
If you want decent hay that is worth something you should be prepared to work the dirt a bit and plant something.

If you want to just play around and make old grassy hay go ahead and flail it off and start baling.

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Eric Allen

01-19-2013 05:56:14

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 Re: hay fields for next year in reply to sammydwm, 01-19-2013 03:56:29  
So that would be a disk and broadcast spreader? I sold some of that grassy hay last year and it didn't sell that well, so I would like to make good hay. I wish there were more books or something on how to plant and fertilize. Thanks

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01-19-2013 09:44:23

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 Re: hay fields for next year in reply to Eric Allen, 01-19-2013 05:56:14  
Here you go.


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