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Howdy from Texas Bird...Complete with Coastal Question


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#1 Texas Bird

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 05:53 PM

Hello to all. I was raised in an orange grove in East Central Florida. Currently reside in Texas. Been wanting to get back to the country for a long time. Just bought a place that has about 70 acres of Coastal Bermuda. This is slated as the retirement property and I currently live 6 hours from it. It is in Brown County Texas which is a little SE of Abilene.

The Coastal fields are more like weed fields as they have had no care in years. The Coastal is there, but there's a lot of other too. I know I need to get soil samples pulled. The locals won't even cut it for cow hay if that tells you anything. There was almost no rain there last year and there's been little this year.

My question is that I've had two pieces of advice on improving the hay. One faction says to mow it and the other says to lightly disc it

Which way do I go and when? Or do you recommend something else? I've spent several hours looking for information on an ailed Coastal field, but have found none.

Trying to get viable production under way.

Appreciate all recommendations and comments.

Thanks in advance...Bird

#2 ForemanTX

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 09:43 PM

I would think you would have to shred it anyways before you lightly disced it. But my opinion if nobody will take it for cow hay,would be to shred it now,then shred it again before hay season then come in with a herbicide with what your soil sample calls for on fetilizer.I use 2 pints per acre Grazon p+d and 400lbs per acre 18-8-8 dry fert, on my 30acre coastal pasture.The smaller meadows since I have my own 300gal.sprayer I spray the herbicide and grasshopper 30-8-10 together,this was my first year with the grasshopper it has done good but not going to change over 100% just yet....

#3 somedevildawg

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 11:05 PM

I agree with above....get your pocketbook ready, it ain't exactly free to get a hayfield back up in production, $ and time, the latter, farmers for some reason chose not to charge for.....prolly need to find someone close making hay and sub as much as possible. Looks like you have a problem with logistics. Good luck...

#4 dubltrubl

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 06:08 AM

I'd second what somedevildawg says. Gonna cost $ whichever way you go. I'm also not convinced that it's more economical to keep what you have and revive it, or simply start over possibly with a more productive variety of grass. Seems to be a wash to me but slightly favors replanting in order to take advantage of the better yields another version can provide in the future. Whichever way you go, absolutely do a soil test and renovate/replant accordingly. If PH is off, get your lime in as early as possible. Incorporate it in the soil if possible. At this point in your venture, if I wasn't going to re-plant, I think I'd be inclined to mow it and disc it lightly then smooth it. Would have the effect of re-sprigging. Hit it with some 24-d in the spring and fertilize the heck out of it. Just my $.02. Best of luck!
Steve

#5 ForemanTX

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 07:21 AM

dubltrubl may be right,once you shred it,you may realize its so rough nobody going to be out here baling. I have dang hogs come in every once in awhile and make a mess but found that if I use my 74in.tiller and run it over them pretty fast and roll it ,does great. But your going to need to spend $$$ to get it back right. Fertilizer at $500 a ton,lime cost,herbicide for 70acres (around 2grand),your shredding cost,etc,etc.

#6 Texas Bird

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 05:10 PM

Foreman, Dawg & Dubi...A heart felt Thank You for your time.

There's NO BETTER resource than the people that do it. Appears that the best course would be to plow and re-sprig. It's only money.

The large field is 57 acres. Starting at the South fence line of this field is wild plums and about 200 feet back towards the North from there are Texas Wild Tomatoes. As this property will serve for many services the tomatoes will stay. Takes me back to childhood when vine tomatoes would grow up in some of the orange trees, via birds. We'll just back up the line a little for hay production.

Thank you for your time.

Bird

In appreciation...Texas Bird

#7 Mike120

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 07:50 AM

Check with the local NRCS rep. If you're going to sprig you may be able to get some money to reduce the costs a bit.

#8 gradyjohn

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 09:15 AM

Ok, being an absentee landowner is going to be a problem. You can't just run down there. Depending when you retire and move down there I would canvas the area (equipment dealers) and find a good long term leasee. You might have to help with cost share. The key is to find someone good. NCRC might have some money ... Grayson County has not had any and I have about 25 I want to do. At least have them come out and look at it. Also, contacy your county extension agent. I might be wrong but you have been out of farming for a long time. Equipment cost + material cost + land cost = deep pockets. Good luck!

#9 Texas Bird

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 01:19 PM

Mike...Appreciate the head up about the NRCS. Need all the financial help I can get too.

Grady...Thanks for the reply. You make a strong point about not being there most of the time. A good leasor might be a move in the right direction. You aint fibbin about that money thing. I just put out 3k to get the one water well on the place workin and it aint no gusher. And it appears that'll be a drop in the bucket.

I did write the extension agent for Brown county a couple of days ago.

You're not real far from that area. Hope you got more rain the last 2 years than Brown county did. Got a little recently, but nothing to really speak of.

It's dry, dry, dry.

Thanks...Bird




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