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Starting Hay in new acquired field that's been weeds for 2 yrs


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14 replies to this topic

#1 whitmerlegacyfarm

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 10:46 PM

I'm acquiring roughly about a 3ac field that the big local dairy farm doesn't want to bother with cause to narrow and hard to get to w/ there big equipment. It's land of a family members to its not costing me anything to lease it just keeping after the field and whatever i want to do with it. The past 2 yrs it's just been overgrown w/ weeds. I'm thinking of brush hogging it letting it grow back a little and then round up it all. Then i would like to no till in Orchard grass this fall? I'm running out of time though so i need to get on it i guess. Do you all think i would do ok with this. This was kind of the suggestion that the dairy farmer gave me, there was corn and beans rotated in this years before always no tilled. Hoping i can get a decent stand for next year, i have access to free liquied manure to from the dairy farm to boost it this fall and next spring.

Thanks guys

#2 somedevildawg

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 11:09 PM

I know absolutely nothing about your area, except that a) night crawlers are fun to catch, B) fishing for trout with m80 firecrackers was really fun (although I'm sure not legal) and c) a liitle place called Dan Smiths ice cream had the best ice cream in the world, I was a pig there. But all kidding aside, you may want to mix some 24d or equivalent to get a total kill on weeds and grasses, double dose is sure to get it all. But then again roundup in your area may kill it all. Good luck.

#3 mlappin

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 11:17 PM

Well the problem is your going to have quite a large seed bank if nothing has been done to it the last two years. Maybe by planting a pure OG stand 2-4d will keep any noxious weeds out. But you might also have to deal with any undesireable grasses as well.

If it was me, I'd do what you can to get the weeds under control this year, then see what you have left early next spring before planting.
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#4 whitmerlegacyfarm

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 06:32 AM

I'm not overly concerned as long as it's a grass, just don't want the weeds in it. If i do use Round-up how quick can i get on it to No-Till in the o grass then?

#5 JD3430

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 08:31 AM

Why go through all the trouble when some mowings and 24D might just do the trick with less trouble and expense? I have been "renovating" some of my fields on a budget around here that way. You'd be surprised what mowing alone will do for the health of grass. When you cut them at about 3-4", the leafy weeds lose their leaves and the grass will begin to out-compete them for sunlight. The grass will eventually win out if you spray the weeds when they're small. I did this with pretty decent success. I just cut a field that was let go for years for mushroom hay and it looked like a lawn when I was done! I'm going to spray it and get a light 3rd cut of it. What was interesting to see is that the grasses were still growing down low under the weeds.
I guess all this is easy for me to say since i don't have access to a no-till seed drill. It's the only option I have!!! lol

#6 mlappin

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 08:31 AM

Round up has no residual action so that's not a concern, however it make take a very good drill to keep a consistent depth in the amount of dead material you may have left standing and on the ground. Not sure about your area, but I would consider bushhogging it, spraying whats left, then maybe consider burning it off before planting.

#7 whitmerlegacyfarm

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 04:52 PM

I just brushed hogged it today it does not appear to be barely any grasses in, everything was just very stemmy weeds. Should i let this go for a few days before i spray? Maybe just spray now in a few days w/ Round Up and mix in a little 2,4D, see how it looks in a week and maybe hit it again w/ round up to get it good. This field was always no tilled and sprayed before so the ground did not have any desirable grassed to do all no tilling for a few years. It use to get plowed when my uncle use to be around and farmed it. Already just from brush hogging just a lot of weed stubble in most places, weeds were 4 to 5 ft tall so i think it chocked any growth out below it. I just need the rows from the bushhog to decompose or something.

Any suggestions on what to do w/ the little windrows the 5ft bushhog made? Should i rake it up or should it dry up and being it's all so stemmy the 6ft no till drill should go threw it in a few weeks?

I'm running out of time cause i was told fall seeding here should be done around mid august. If i push into early september here in Central PA, you think i will be ok?

#8 urednecku

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 05:32 PM

My first thoughts are to give it just a couple days for the cut stuff to dry, then burn. Then give it enough time for the weeds to start growing again to spray. Thinking if you spray now, the windrow will protect a lot of weeds from the spray, then grow back real pretty as they get back on top of that heavy 'thatch'. If you just must, I guess you could rake/round bale it to get it off the field...but what to do with those nasty 'bales'?

#9 whitmerlegacyfarm

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 08:23 PM

That was my thought to about raking and balin. When you guys say burn do you all literally mean light the field on fire lol? Never heard of anyone doing that in this area. I think i will give it few days like you suggested see what happend we have been get a little rain so will see. Thanks guys, i really wanna get some hay off this field next year hopefully i can spray it and get it to take this fall if not try again in the spring i guess it's only 2 ac, and the drill only cost 9 bucks an acre to rent and seed shouldn't be to bad for that amount. I'm learning as i go will see.

#10 urednecku

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 10:08 PM

You are right, general terminology here for 'burn' is to kill with chemicals.
In this case, yes I was talking about fire. I don't know the laws in your area, so make sure before you set it. And be careful, and make sure you have help & equipment to keep it under control.
Here, I like to burn my hayfield off with fire during the winter (IF we get a 'killing frost'). It cleans out the 'thatch'? -any hay that didn't get picked up with the baler. Also helps keep the bugs down. And seems to help the grass a better start soon as the weather warms up.

#11 whitmerlegacyfarm

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 03:56 PM

I ended up raking the weeds off the field, which i'm glad i did because the brush hog did not cut underneath the windrow it made so i had to go back threw and bushhog it again. Letting it get another week of regrowth on it before i Round Up it and then in 2 weeks i will i'm scheduled for the not till drill.

Should i put on some fertilizer before i plant to help the new seed take off?

#12 urednecku

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 08:27 PM

Should i put on some fertilizer before i plant to help the new seed take off?

I'm thinking I'd wait until the seeds get some roots to use it. Put fertilizer on before ya seed will help what is already growing to grow faster.
JMO

#13 whitmerlegacyfarm

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 08:47 PM

So probably just wait till spring then i'm guessing? The fertilizer would be a waste cause till i get it in the ground and another 6 weeks out will get our first frost more then likely.

#14 mlappin

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 08:52 PM

Our first killing frost is in October around the 15th and Purdue says to plant Alfalfa absolutely no later than the end of August and I like to have it done the 2nd or third week of August. So if you have 6 weeks until your first killing frost, I'd say your pushing your luck. But their is a difference between a frost and a killing frost, alfalfa is pretty hardy but given the rest of the stuff your dealing with on this field I think I'd wait till spring.
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#15 whitmerlegacyfarm

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 08:42 AM

But if i wait till spring don't you think there will be more competition with the weeds? It's only 2-3 ac field aint got that much to loose right lol. I'm trying both ways, i'm no tillin on this 2-3 ac. field i acquired and then i plowed about an ac in my fields to try broadcasting. I'm 2 for 2 goin on bear ground and 0-1 w/ the no till this past spring. It did take well in pasture i no till but known of my hayfields.

Although i just checked out some of the fields this morning i believe at a few of the field ends i've noticed what i think it Timothy about 4-5" starting so maybe so if just did not germinate in the spring.




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