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Hey y’all! Happy New year! My husband is active duty and we are pcsing back to the states from Okinawa to beautiful Maryland! We have found a property on the Eastern shore that we really love! I have a horse and we do plan on getting a one or two more along with chickens and a couple cows. The property is 17.7 acres. 6 acres pastured. The land was previously leased by a farmer in the past. No idea what they harvested. But, seeing we will have horses we are hoping to grow hay!
I know we should get soil samplings and stuff. But, I am not familiar with what hay grows best in Maryland! I’m from coastal NC and coastal is everywhere. I am hoping to connect with someone in the area for mentorship.
I hope everyone is having a safe and wonderful New Year!
JSF
 

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Welcome to HayTalk and thanks to your husband for his service and the sacrifices you make as well.

I can't recommend what hay works best in your area but you are on target to connect with someone in your area. Establishing hay fields requires a sizeable financial investment for fertilize and seed along with equipment costs, either your own or hired. You will also need equipment for mowing, raking, baling, hauling out of field. Making good hay is weather dependent so that is part of the learning curve. You probably already knew all of that but possibly learning by helping an experienced farmer would have advantages.

You're in the right place to ask questions with whatever part of the process you are in.

All the best in the New Year!

Shelia
 

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Be sure to find your local Cooperative Extension agent for your county. Lots of good technical advice come from those guys plus lots of practical advice on things like local sources for supplies and materials. The local agent would definitely know what grows well in your area and can help you set up a plan for getting your pastures established/refurbished depending on what the ground is being used for now.

Good luck and welcome back to the States. Thanks to both of you for your service!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Welcome to HayTalk and thanks to your husband for his service and the sacrifices you make as well.

I can't recommend what hay works best in your area but you are on target to connect with someone in your area. Establishing hay fields requires a sizeable financial investment for fertilize and seed along with equipment costs, either your own or hired. You will also need equipment for mowing, raking, baling, hauling out of field. Making good hay is weather dependent so that is part of the learning curve. You probably already knew all of that but possibly learning by helping an experienced farmer would have advantages.

You're in the right place to ask questions with whatever part of the process you are in.

All the best in the New Year!

Shelia
Thank you! I just have no idea what to do with the remaining acreage, that we won’t be using. I don’t know if I could find someone to just lease the property and grow whatever. So much to learn and think about!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Be sure to find your local Cooperative Extension agent for your county. Lots of good technical advice come from those guys plus lots of practical advice on things like local sources for supplies and materials. The local agent would definitely know what grows well in your area and can help you set up a plan for getting your pastures established/refurbished depending on what the ground is being used for now.

Good luck and welcome back to the States. Thanks to both of you for your service!
That is a wonderful idea! I plan on reaching out to get involved in 4-H while I’m there as well! Thank you!
 

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Moved this thread to a more appropriate forum; hopefully it will get better exposure.

-Neil
 

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Might as well get a cutting of all the hay ground then setup electric fence paddocks and graze it all.
 

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Hey y’all! Happy New year! My husband is active duty and we are pcsing back to the states from Okinawa to beautiful Maryland! We have found a property on the Eastern shore that we really love! I have a horse and we do plan on getting a one or two more along with chickens and a couple cows. The property is 17.7 acres. 6 acres pastured. The land was previously leased by a farmer in the past. No idea what they harvested. But, seeing we will have horses we are hoping to grow hay!
I know we should get soil samplings and stuff. But, I am not familiar with what hay grows best in Maryland! I’m from coastal NC and coastal is everywhere. I am hoping to connect with someone in the area for mentorship.
I hope everyone is having a safe and wonderful New Year!
JSF
So welcome back to the east coast. It wasn’t clear if you only have 6 ac open or if you have another ten ac or so of hay/crop land in addition to the homestead and 6 ac of pasture. One of the fescues is your best option but if things keep going the way of the last several years, you’ll probably be sprigging coastal in less than twenty years.

if you are not planning on breeding horses, I would stay with Ky 31 fescue, and overseed a little orchard grass . Fescue is so easy and hardy plus you can keep it thick enough that weed control is much chea than with orchard grass. Other than growing up on the family farm, my first experience (where I was paying the bills) was on a 10 ac lot with two horses. Split your 6 ac into three parts with electric fence so you can rot them for pasture management. Figure 100 bales a horse per year and make a deal with someone to give you that much and take the rest even if you help pay for inputs like fertilizer and lime and seed. This comment assumes that there is open land other than paddocks.

you’ll need a tractor, clipper, and chain drag for your paddocks and a riding ring if you plan one. I used a manure spreader for years, but now have a cart with a rtv and compost the manure, then use it for gardens and land. Far cheaper. HTH
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So welcome back to the east coast. It wasn’t clear if you only have 6 ac open or if you have another ten ac or so of hay/crop land in addition to the homestead and 6 ac of pasture. One of the fescues is your best option but if things keep going the way of the last several years, you’ll probably be sprigging coastal in less than twenty years.

if you are not planning on breeding horses, I would stay with Ky 31 fescue, and overseed a little orchard grass . Fescue is so easy and hardy plus you can keep it thick enough that weed control is much chea than with orchard grass. Other than growing up on the family farm, my first experience (where I was paying the bills) was on a 10 ac lot with two horses. Split your 6 ac into three parts with electric fence so you can rot them for pasture management. Figure 100 bales a horse per year and make a deal with someone to give you that much and take the rest even if you help pay for inputs like fertilizer and lime and seed. This comment assumes that there is open land other than paddocks.

you’ll need a tractor, clipper, and chain drag for your paddocks and a riding ring if you plan one. I used a manure spreader for years, but now have a cart with a rtv and compost the manure, then use it for gardens and land. Far cheaper. HTH
Thank you! We are so excited to be going back. There is 6 acres of pasture then the home and a large open barn which we do plan on enclosing.
So about 10 acres of land. I know previously before the current sellers bought the property is was leased out.
No plans for breeding. But an arena is super important and I have already been pricing out fencing. I do plan on rotating the pasture we more than likely won’t have more than 2-3 horses. I have one currently and he can’t live alone lol he likes having a buddy.

I do plan on composting and having a small garden. We would like to have the ability to have a couple cows, and getting involved in 4-H. Just really excited to be out in a rural area.

thank you for the recommendations. I will definitely have to look into fescue as well seeing about having someone harvest and splitting hay.

hoping to find out this week what the remainder of the property is used to growing to make further plans.

y’all have been so kind!
 

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