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  1. #1
    Bronze Member MIKE_D's Avatar
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    Default What is the best way to smooth out a rough field?

    We have a field that was pasture for 15 years and we have been cutting hay off of it for about 10 years. It has ruts and holes from when stumps were removed 20+ years ago. What are your recommendations to smooth it out? I was thinking plow, disc and drag then reseeding the field. I have a older 2 bottom plow but I think it would be to small for the job. (time wise)
    I have a line on a nearly new International 710 4 bottom plow for sale very cheap. What should I do? Here is a pic of the plow.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -ih-710-jpg  

  2. #2
    Elite Member JasG's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the best way to smooth out a rough field?

    Does the field have very many rocks? If yes, that is not the style of plow you would want due to they will constantly trip and need to be reset. If it is rock, I would look for a spring reset model.
    Other than that your idea is sound to plow it, disk and drag.

  3. #3
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the best way to smooth out a rough field?

    You could also consider a chisel plow or a heavy disk if the tractor can pull it.
    Egon
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  4. #4
    Elite Member JasG's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the best way to smooth out a rough field?

    Quote Originally Posted by Egon View Post
    You could also consider a chisel plow or a heavy disk if the tractor can pull it.
    I would not recommend a chisel plow for 2 reasons. It will level the ruts, but it won't fill in the holes. He also wants to reseed the field, it would be better to flip the sod over. I would say the same thing for a heavy disk. What you recommend is very common when going from sod to corn, corn to corn, or corn that has been chopped back to hay, etc. I just don't think it will work in this application very well.

  5. #5
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the best way to smooth out a rough field?

    I would not recommend a chisel plow for 2 reasons. It will level the ruts, but it won't fill in the holes. He also wants to reseed the field, it would be better to flip the sod over. I would say the same thing for a heavy disk. What you recommend is very common when going from sod to corn, corn to corn, or corn that has been chopped back to hay, etc. I just don't think it will work in this application very well.
    Chisel plough or heavy disk is now commonly used to convert pastureland back to cultivated land in the area I am familiar with. It does require large equipment though.
    Egon
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  6. #6
    Elite Member JasG's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the best way to smooth out a rough field?

    Quote Originally Posted by Egon View Post
    Chisel plough or heavy disk is now commonly used to convert pastureland back to cultivated land in the area I am familiar with. It does require large equipment though.
    I didn't say it wasn't, if you look at my post you would see where I have done and seen it done. What I am saying is in this situation it is not the best choice. The problem with sod, and old pastures and reseeding is the hard pan and trash, unless you bury the grass and roots, and really break up the soil good you won't have the best results. I only know of 1 person who tried this about 20 years ago, he applied round up then chisel plowed the field twice, the 2nd pass at 90 degree's to the 1st. Disked and dragged the field. He wound up with "sod clumps" all over the place and very poor quality results. This was a person who ussully had excellent fields and stand, he just wanted to see if he could ditch his mould board plow. I do know a lot of people who chisel or disk, but they always have a crop like corn or soybeans for at least 1 year between. It also helps in my opinon bury the weed seed down and you have a longer lasting stand of grass than if you just chisel even after corn.
    I also have been able to "shape" the land and fill in areas with a plow a lot better than a chisel plow by placement of dead forrows and depth of the plow etc. Obvously not like a land plane or dozer, but enough to fill in hollows and ruts.

    The link below is another farmers experience with Chisel vs mold board. He also has some information copied form the 2nd link on his.

    http://www.moorgatefarms.com/index.p...d=27&Itemid=63

    http://agguide.agronomy.psu.edu/cm/sec1/sec11g.cfm

    Mike:

    Another idea is go to your department of soil conservation. They can recommend a good way for you area to get the best results for what you are trying to do. Also what soil test etc, if the soil is in need of somethingfor your crop you won't get the most for your money.
    Last edited by JasG; 11-24-2009 at 09:41 AM. Reason: added information.

  7. #7
    Bronze Member MIKE_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the best way to smooth out a rough field?

    With the kubota M9540 I think I will have plenty of tractor to pull the 710 as deep as I want to, it is a 4/18-5/16 plow tractor. The plow is a 4/16, I have a 10ft International wheel disc with a 12ft well casing for a drag that is VERY heavy, I think that this will work out for me. There aren't that many rocks here. Also a spring reset model adds about $500-$800 to price. I just wanted other opinions. What time of year is the best to do this? I am thinking now...we just finished our third cutting of hay. Thanks for the response.

  8. #8
    Gold Member
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    Default Re: What is the best way to smooth out a rough field?

    one thing to mention if your in a rocky area you will be picking rocks til the cows come home, if you decide to plow. thats both good and bad. the good being that you will clear the field of rocks, the bad is you will have lots of extra work picking the rocks. depending on the size of the lot you may consider doing a bit at a time. good luck on what ever you choose.

  9. #9
    Gold Member Jimmy Joe's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the best way to smooth out a rough field?

    Spraying with roundup is a good Idea. When the sod is killed plow it under, leave till spring and then disk and drag the heck out of it. I also used a steel I beam to level, dragged it with a cable and clevis it worked very well. The sod pretty much disintegrated, I only had small rocks, if you have a lot of big ones they would have to be picked. A rock rake also works pretty well for leveling.

  10. #10
    Super Member
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    Default Re: What is the best way to smooth out a rough field?

    I have done this over the years and find the least amount of disturbance the better. I don't know your soil type but mine had old stumps underneath and was rocky. I tried it all but got the best results with spraying with Roundup and a few weeks later rototilling the whole thing and then levelling with a rockrake.
    The plow for me was just exacerbating the problem. Good luck
    ******

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