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New seeding questions

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#1 Aaroncboo


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Posted 23 September 2020 - 09:42 AM

I have about 10 acres in 3 small patches I need to be seeded into hay. Two are old bean fields and one was a hay field that got tore up for a sewer route. I've never planted hay before so I'm looking for the basics on how to get it done. I know it has to be really smooth. How would you go about doing that? I have a disc and an old Vibra Shank. I use a telephone pole for a drag.

The eight acres are old Bean field that weren't planted this year and the two are just bare dirt right now. When and how would you recommend doing it?

#2 Hayman1


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Posted 23 September 2020 - 11:44 AM

Did the bean field grow up into weeds?  If so, you probably have a wonderful weed seed bank waiting to germinate.  If not, you probably have a herbicide residual.  Either way is not much fun.  I am thinking tillage possibly to germinate the weeds now then have frost kill them.  Probably have to work lime in where the pipeline construction was anyway.  Probably best to get soil tests right now to see where you stand both with fertility and pH.  If the fertility is low I like to work it in with tillage, same with any significant amount of lime.

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#3 Edd in KY

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Posted 23 September 2020 - 11:54 AM

It sounds like you are a bit short on equipment. First thing I would do is have the local ag store spray roundup to kill all the old vegetation (weeds and grass). Next disc the field to prepare a seed bed. 
Then rent a no till seeder from the local feed store (for a day and plant fast). Then, I have had good luck dragging a very light drag (like a big piece of chain link fence) to very lightly cover the seed, just 1/4 inch deep.


BUT, if you are very far north in Illinois it is probably too late this year to get a good stand before winter kill.

#4 Aaroncboo


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Posted 23 September 2020 - 12:27 PM

Yeah I'm only 30 Something miles southwest of Chicago so I would imagine it's too late to seed this year but I was trying to think of what I could do this fall to prepare for it. Soil test is the obvious step there. Just didn't know if there was something I could be doing in addition to that.

The bean field did grow quite a few weeds this year but would spraying it in the spring hurt the hay crop? Or would I'd be better off discing it this year and leave it sit for the winter? The one field that was beans has a washout large enough to swallow a lawn mower which is one of the reasons I'm taking it out of beans. I figured that hay would hold the soil down better.

I also have access to a cultipacker

#5 ttazzman



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Posted 23 September 2020 - 12:58 PM

you only get one chance to get it smooth and de-rocked


i try to do one small field a property has small flat fields next to a creek


starting with a grass field ...i usually plan on planting the first of september in my area


i will start in the spring spraying the field with roundup


then late spring i will disc the field up how ever many passes it takes to get a good 8-10" of tilled the later passes with the disc i drag a steel beam behind the disc at a angle to keep humps down


then i let the field sit fallow and the sod rot and go away over the late spring and summer ....if it germinates weeds etc i will typically spray it with roundup once or twice more...


late july and august i will us a large box blade land leveler with rippers full down i pull that around the field to smooth things out and fill any low spots


pick any rocks larger than golf ball


just prior to seeding i will again pull the box blade around no rippers with a chain harrow pasture drag behind it


pick any more rocks


this gives me a perfect 1-1/2 thick soft seed bed to work with fully pulverized


then i wait for a predicted heavy rain and then seed with a brillion seeder with front and rear cultipacker wheels


obviously you need to work in your lime and fertilizer at appropriate times .....if for some reason the fall seeding fails then i can easily re-seed in spring


this is obviously not a large field program


pic is 4 days after rain this years field

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#6 r82230


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Posted 23 September 2020 - 05:35 PM

If you are or are not too late to plant this year IDK your area, plus you didn't mention what type/kind of hay you are trying to establish (maybe I missed it  :rolleyes:).  But this I'm pretty sure of, where they put the sewer line in I'd wait until next year and let the ground settle (at least over winter).  Otherwise, you might have a dip where you don't want a dip. ;)   I'm a fan of late summer establishing hay (alfalfa) fields, BTW.  And by waiting until late next summer, any left over herbicides could be less impactful. IMHO 


Do you know what herbicides where used with the last soybean crop by chance?



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#7 Aaroncboo


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Posted 23 September 2020 - 10:32 PM

Just a grass alfalfa mix. I'll see about getting a tag from work with what mix is in it. It was libertylink beans.

I was thinking of letting it settle for the winter to see what it does as well.

#8 Edd in KY

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 08:18 PM

If it has any slope and you rip it up this fall, you will have giant washed out ruts in the spring. Let the weed roots hold the soil until you ae ready to plant in the spring...

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