Grass for baled hay - Alfalfa/Hay - HayTalk - Hay & Forage Community

Jump to content

- - - - -

Grass for baled hay

  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 covenanthay



  • Members
  • 149 posts
  • LocationNWOH

Posted 07 January 2021 - 05:32 PM

What non bunch grass works well for baled hay in a northern climate? I have used orchard for years but getting tired of driving over the clumps plus when you take it out of production it is difficult to get the clumps broken up for a good seed bed for the next crop.  This would be baled for horse hay, both as straight grass and as a alfalfa grass mix.

#2 r82230


    Hay Master

  • Members
  • 3981 posts
  • LocationThumb of Michigan

Posted 07 January 2021 - 05:43 PM

Timothy, Brome perhaps.  I'll go out on the limb and ask why not no-till, leaving the 'clumps' in the ground?  Otherwise, row crop for a year or two if you need to do tillage, which in my area allows enough time for those volley-ball clumps to breakup.  Most of the folks in my area doing tillage, go corn/soy/back to hay or corn/wheat/back to hay, as an FYI.



  • 8350HiTech and Tx Jim like this

#3 covenanthay



  • Members
  • 149 posts
  • LocationNWOH

Posted 07 January 2021 - 05:45 PM

We have heavy, poorly drained clay soil and after several years of hay it needs to be deep tilled to break up the hard pan.  

#4 IH 1586

IH 1586

    Hay Master

  • Members
  • 1974 posts
  • LocationNorthwest PA. Warren County.

Posted 07 January 2021 - 06:26 PM

I believe most orchard grasses now are less bunching than the older varieties. We use a Timothy, Orchard, and smooth brome mix for our hayfields. Some are 5 years old and no noticeable bunching.


We have used OLD fields in the past and know exactly what your talking about.

  • 8350HiTech, Tx Jim and gosh like this

#5 stack em up

stack em up

    They say you’re a man of vision....

  • Members
  • 3053 posts
  • LocationWatonwan County MN

Posted 07 January 2021 - 09:54 PM

I’ve always liked Meadow (not Smooth) Brome. It can and will choke out a field of alfalfa after a couple of years but by year 5 mine gets rotated back to corn anyway.

#6 Edd in KY

Edd in KY

    Junior Member

  • Members
  • 171 posts
  • LocationKentucky Bluegrass horse capitol.

Posted 08 January 2021 - 09:25 PM

Stating over is not free. Has any Univ. done a cost analysis of the cost to start over versus, reseed and rejuvenate?

#7 swmnhay


    Hay Master and Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 8662 posts
  • LocationReading,Mn

Posted 09 January 2021 - 06:26 AM

Newer varieties of Orchardgrass are less bunching.


id plant Meadow Brome before smooth brome,yields more and a finer stem.Also has more growth in 2nd and 3 rd cuttings.


Fescue is another option.


Ive got my highest tonnage adding meadow brome and Orchardgrass to my alfalfa.


Will be interseeding some alfalfa this spring.Debating 50-50 MB and OG or 33% each MB,OG and Fescue.


Quite a difference in seed size so have to do the math to get right ratios.


OG gives best bang for the buck when figuring seed size

  • gosh and Uphayman like this

#8 Gearclash


    Hay Master (Supposedly)

  • Members
  • 3449 posts
  • LocationSioux County, NWIA

Posted 09 January 2021 - 10:05 AM

Since you want horse hay I would also suggest brome.  My personal preference for grass is fescue for its tonnage and stand persistence, but then there are the endophyte concerns that can accompany fescue.  As you found, orchard grass is so clumpy, and I have had some grief trying to get later cuttings of orchard grass dry.  Timothy makes nice hay but doesn’t have the stand persistency of other grasses.

#9 CowboyRam


    An ounce of doing is worth a pound of talk

  • Members
  • 1101 posts
  • LocationRiverton, WY

Posted 09 January 2021 - 12:10 PM

I have been thinking of seeding in some Italian rye grass into my old stand of alfalfa just to get me by for another year or two.  It is looking like we are going to have a dry year.  I am afraid if I plow up the ground I am going to lose the moisture that is there, and we don't have hardly any snow on the ground to speak of.  Last year we had a foot of snow, now what we do have just barely covers the ground.  

  • gosh likes this

#10 Hay diddle diddle

Hay diddle diddle

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • 328 posts
  • LocationAus

Posted 09 January 2021 - 11:35 PM

All tetraploid or diploid ryegrass in Southern Australia.  Both will give at least 2 good cuts drilled into a stand of lucerne. An annual wont persist past its season.

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

× Sponsors