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Hay Master
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273 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Having a tremendous problem this year with foxtail millet, browntop millet, and crabgrass in my orchardgrass and alfalfa/orchardgrass fields. How do you get rid of it? salesman yesterday suggested spraying prowl in march on field and would prevent it - any experience out there?
 

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Hay Master
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490 Posts
I have allways been told if you spray to kill weeds you will kill your orchardgrass, then have to resow your grass
 
G

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If they are first year stands they should improve next year as your orchard grass and alfalfa will have a jump on the annuals. I am seeing alot of crabgrass in a new stand of alfalfa that I was going to interseed some orchard grass. I do have alfalfa coming up through it though.
I still have a spring window to thicken up the stand and we should have a jump on summer annuals next year.

Our local crop specialist suggested to wait it out to see if the stand gets a jump on them next year. He didn't seem concerned with the crabgrass causing us to tear it and reseed.

I had another stand last year that had quite a few annual weeds in it when I cut on Labor day and they were pretty much all gone this year. Night and day.

Good Luck,
HHH
 

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Hay Master
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
my worst fields are some 08' spring planted fields, although we are having a big problem in older fields and especially older stands of pure orchardgrass. I was told I could spray 2 pints/acre around March 7 on fall sown or older stands of grass or grass alfalfa and the Prowl would prevent grasses not yet germinated from germinating that season, and would do minimal damage to the a/o as it was past the seedling stage.
 

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Hay Master
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I have been told the same thing for downey brome control in alfalfa, timothy, or whatever. Problem is that the downey brome is up by the time I can spray. From what I understand, you can spray prowl on alfalfa @ the 3rd trifoliate. I'm not up on how it works, but I've been told it really only keeps seeds from germinating. I don't know how long the control period is. I think I'd give it a shot on the worst field that you have - not much to lose except the weeds????

Rodney
 

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For alfalfa and orchard grass mixed fields you can spray moxy on it and it will kill everything except the orchard grass and alfalfa. I wouldn't spray it this year unless you have alot of thistle. Foxtail is an annual and will just come back next year. Wait and see what 1st cut looks like next year. If weedy cut early and then get it sprayed.
 

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Just a side note...

I don't consider crabgrass a "weed" in A/O hay field. During July/August/September it can be more productive/more nutritious/lower fiber than the orchardgrass component. Besides that, having crabgrass in hay gives it a great odor. Farther south and west of here there is a lot of crabgrass planted because of its summer forage quality & production. (The Noble Foundation in OK has a number of publications on it--but those are about crabgrass for grazing, not hay.)

So long as we're cutting hay on time, it adds quality to 3rd & 4th cutting hay and isn't a bother in 1st & 2nd.
 

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Hay Master
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
yes, crabgrass is not noxious and not really troublesome, foxtail is! A lot of horse owners refuse to buy any hay with foxtail in it and claim it embeds itself in the upper lip of the horse.
Sales rep yesterday suggested using 8 oz gramoxone per acre immediatly after each cutting to keep out foxtail. Said it would burn the orchardgrass slightly but would not kill it.
Problem is you don't want to "experiment" with couple thousand acres, you need to Know.
 

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Hay Master
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If you look at foxtail under a microscope, it looks like tiny razor blades..... or so the horse folks tell me. Either way, if fed a healthy diet of foxtail, a horse will get a severely sore mouth. Foxtail is a grass, but not one that is anything that we can sell.....

Gramoxone would really only affect anything that's growing. If the alfalfa is getting green when you spray it, you WILL lose all of that growth - it will start over. It normally will stunt O-grass, in some cases it will thin the stand for a year or two. I think you'd be better off with the prowl. You'll for sure lose about a week or tow of growth to the gramoxone. Of course, this comes from aguy who has never used prowl..... But, the prowl will only work on seeds that are in the ground and are going to germinate. If the foxtail is up, then the only choice would be to use something like gramoxone..... It won't kill the alfalfa, and many times it won't kill the O-grass...... but it will hurt both of them, but they will recover. But I suppose that 1 clean cutting would be better than 2 weedy ones?

Rodney
 
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