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.
Grass for baled hay
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.
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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.
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.
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Posted 07 January 2021 - 09:54 PM
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?
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
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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.
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.
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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.
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