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When you're hay field is in need of a kill and replant, what do you do? You have OG or some other variety of grass, but between weeds, etc, its just time to start over.

Often I see farmers take grass hay out and plant row crops like corn or beans a few years and then back into hay. We don't have those options.

Do you just spray/kill down your timothy or orchard grass or fescue and replant the same? Do you rotate timothy in place of OG or fescue - if so, what is the benefit?

The nearest thing we can do to "rotate" our hay is plant an annual like teff for a year or two and then back into OG, timothy or fescue.

Out with the old grass hay and in with the new - how do you do it?

Thanks!
Bill
 

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I've done:
Spray rup wait 2-3 weeks, spray rup, seed Timothy. Worked ok. Did not break the milkweed and some other weeds.

Plow, disc, and keep harrowed 2-3 times over the summer every time a flush of germination happens. Seed in late summer. This seems to worked better, but again some thistle and milkweed problems in one of the 3 fields I did this way.

I'm partway into:
Offset disc 3x, keep discing 2 more times over summer. Plant winter rye with timothy under seeded. Hoping this works ok. Its on land I'm not allowed to spray.
 

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I had good luck spraying rup twice, set fire, then plowed all summer, I plant fescue only, and use grazon so I don't have too many weeds, it will be time for me to start the process over in a couple years again, it gives me a chance to plow a heavy spread of lime in as well...
 

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Well, maybe I did not understand this is as difficult as some of the replies suggest. I am looking for good hay (not perfect hay). I just killed it with roundup, drilled in OG/timothy mix and prayed for rain. Do I have some weeds? Yes, but fewer than before (the seed in the ground will last a long time). After a year or 2 you will be back to annual spraying. But, the fescue and bluegrass, and misc grasses are mostly gone, but some grass seed is in the ground. My property is too hilly to rotate thru row crops.
 

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Bill-I am in a similar situation as you are. Row crops are not an option for me and I sold my tillage equipment because I am too old to pick up rocks for weeks on end. I was trying both teff and Timothy but the weather makes teff too hard here since I don’t have the option of wrapping hay in a pinch. I stopped doing pure Timothy due to speedwell issues. So I am proceeding with dominantly orchard grass with endophyte friendly fescues and Brie overseeding. Due to august spraying with Quinn’s tar and 24d most of my weed issues are largely a thing of the past. Just cut a piece of second cutting with virtually no horse nettle in mid July.👍
 

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Slightly off thread, but I have often wondered why hay folks, including myself, are so anal about planting cool season grasses in a tight window, from late august through the first week of october. Naturally seeded timothy, orchard grass, fescue and brome occurs right now, in later july and somehow, a lot of those naturally cast seeds germinate. I seeded a bunch of timothy last fall early, did not see any real evidence until cutting second this week when it was thick as hair on a dog's back. When I was a kid, we seeded timothy with wheat early november, cut the wheat on or about the 4th of july, never saw any real timothy in the stubble, baled ragweed hay in october and had a beautiful stand of timothy the next June. If you let smooth brome go to seed (instead of cutting it for hay) it can get sodbound fairly quickly here according to what I read and hear. Just curious
 
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Just cut a piece of second cutting with virtually no horse nettle in mid July.👍
That horsenettle is a persistent little bugger. Kudos to you. I've got it bad in pastures but have a great amount of clovers and other forbs. Mowing does nada. May have to bite that bullet.

Any trick in timing to not kill out the clovers? Or just reseed after spraying?

We have some hayground that had been overrun with chicory this year. Drought induced maybe? Going to have to do some spraying for next year. When is the ideal time and what to spray?
 

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That horsenettle is a persistent little bugger. Kudos to you. I've got it bad in pastures but have a great amount of clovers and other forbs. Mowing does nada. May have to bite that bullet.

Any trick in timing to not kill out the clovers? Or just reseed after spraying?

We have some hayground that had been overrun with chicory this year. Drought induced maybe? Going to have to do some spraying for next year. When is the ideal time and what to spray?
Drought does seem to bring on the chicory at least in my horse paddocks, overgrazing also helps.

I don't know anyway to get rid of horse nettle without killing the clover but a frost seed with 6# clover the winter after getting rid of the nettle should solve that as long as you get some rain in the spring.

Grazon is the go to for horse nettle but then you have the "hay can't leave the farm" for 18 mons after application so a bummer if you are in hay sales. I accidently discovered that quinstar and 24d does a bang up job on it. I was spraying it for crabgrass and foxtail after first cutting and added the 24d for kicks. did not seem to control the grasses but I got rid of all the plantains and speedwell as well. Then noticed this spring that there was no winter annuals in what I sprayed last august with quin but plenty in what I did not spray. Speedwell is really hard to get rid of-Chaparral will hurt it but it also has the can't travel syndrome. The quin and 24d mix in aug was much more effective than 24d and dicamba in April but that doesn't hurt as a final cleanup.
 
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I tilled several times and finished to get the field as level as possible, then seeded with an orchard/fescue/perennial rye/timothy mix. I should have seeded heavier. I don't have a no till drill otherwise I would try to drill in more seed after second cutting which should be coming off next week. Biggest problem I have now is foxtail barley, I just put down fertilizer and bumped up the potash because I'd read somewhere that foxtail barley doesn't like potassium and the grasses I do want in there love it. Time will tell.
 
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