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What would you do??

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have about 15 acres that was in summer vegetables the last two years. Its right next to my current hay fields and since the summer vegetable season is coming to a close I have the time to turn the field around into hay. We went into the year expecting to plant hay in this spot, but I'm a little hesitate with the amount of weed pressure its had the last 2 years. My main concern is the amount of foxtail that seems to be everywhere. I want a mixed field, we have turned down alot of sales for alf/orchard grass mix the last few years because our current small field just can't possibly make enough. We could just plant the field and say we'll deal with weeds when they show up, I just don't know if going into a field with known weed pressure, especially foxtail, is a great idea with a mixed stand that can't be controlled with much more than Prowl H20 (although i did have great results in my limited experience with prowl). My current mixed field which is the adjoining field has cleaned up real nice over the years.

Straight alfalfa is what I what I raise the most of and don't really need anymore at this time. If I had an older stand of alfalfa id interseed grass no question but thats a few years away. We could just go at this new field with planting RR Alf first and interseeding a year later to give me a year to clean up some weeds. I would rather have more grass in the mix than alfalfa so planting a light stand of alfalfa first prolly isn't ideal. We could plant the grass first, clean up broadleaves and go back with alfalfa, just doesn't solve the foxtail. Last option is skip the idea altogether, I just hate turning down sales.

If anyone has another idea I'm all ears. Thanks for your input.
 

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Here we don't have much problem with foxtail, it doesn't come on until mid-summer, and by then the hay should crowd it out, the second year for sure. Usually, we have mixed results first year hay anyway.
 

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how about seeding this new field to straight alfalfa so you can use herbicide if needed? Then inter-seed an existing stand of straight alfalfa with grass. this way so you still have both straight and mixed hay. I tried seeding a mixed stand this spring following beans last year (1/2 bu oats broadcast and mulched, then 12lb alfalfa, 8lb grass with brillion). it's a good stand and we had plenty of spring moisture, but there were still enough weeds that i rolled it instead of selling small squares. i'm starting to understand why the old timers put hay down under an oat crop and let oats be the primary crop of first year.
 

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Cutting on an alfalfa schedule (assuming you cut your mix on a schedule similar to straight alf) should leave you with at worst foxtail without heads I would think. In that case it’s just more grass in the bale.
 
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