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  1. #1
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    Default Is bermuda a good choice for hay?

    got two two acre plots I planted with alfalfa too late last fall and the ground spit the smaller plants out.I've decided to spray and put something out since the ground is worked but everthing is passed the seeding date here except burmuda.The seed i'm looking at is about $6 a pound at a rate of 15lb per acre.Timothy and alfalfa is the big sellers around here so dont really know where this grass falls as far as demand and price.I really would like to get something out on these small plots for experiance.Any advise or suggestions on this?

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
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    Kansas
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    2003 BX2200

    Default Re: Is bermuda a good choice for hay?

    I've never heard of anyone planting burmuda for hay... Not to say it isn't done though.

    ron

  3. #3
    Elite Member
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    Grayson County, TX
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    Kubota B2710

    Default Re: Is bermuda a good choice for hay?

    Don't know about Kansas, but Bermuda is pretty much the number one hay product here in Texas, especially for horses. Various hybrids produce better, but they have to be sprigged. Common bermuda and some of the other seed varieties are just as desirable for the horses, although they don't produce as much.

    It needs to warm up before planting it, especially if you are planting seed, because it won't germinate until the ground is 65-70 degrees. Usually thats about now down here, but it is unseasonably cool as we are supposed to get into the 30s tonight and need nights in the 60s for a while before its time to plant the bermuda.

    The only reason I know anything about this is I have been planting bermuda hay on 3 or 4 acre patches on my property the last few years. I have a plot tilled up right now waiting for warmer weather. Of course the longer you wait, the better the chance the crop won't get enough rain.

    I have been told by real farmers that they will plant both hulled and unhulled seed. The hulled seed will germinate quicker, but if conditions are too cold or dry for an extended period they might never germinate, whereas the unhulled seed will hang around and wait for the right conditions, so you can more safely plant it earlier, they say.

    For sprigging you must have some damp soil or rain soon after planting or it won't take, because the little roots dry out. I went with seed for that reason, but the big producers use coastal and other varieties that have to be sprigged.

  4. #4
    Gold Member redlevel's Avatar
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    100 miles south of Atlanta
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    Default Re: Is bermuda a good choice for hay?

    I would check with my state extension before I planted common bermuda in Kentucky. It could be that it's just too cold that far north for you to get a sustainable stand. Bermuda (common or hybrid) needs warm nights, rain, and lots of fertilizer. All that said, common bermuda (which is what you are planting if you plant from seed; the hybrids have to be sprigged) makes good forage and good hay. I have several hay fields that are mostly common bermuda, and they make lots of hay if you start with 80 units of N, 20 units of P, and 60 units of K. Then, between cuttings, add another 60 to 80 units of N, and possibly more K. Of course, soil samples for specific fields might differ a little, but bermuda hay requires a lot of fertilizer. Our soil is sandy loam, and I am 100 miles south of Atlanta, so the warm weather isn't an issue.

  5. #5
    Veteran Member
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    HayDR's Avatar
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    Johnson City, TN
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    JD 2040,2240, 2355, 2755, 4055

    Default Re: Is bermuda a good choice for hay?

    plumboy,
    After the first cutting you can harvest the hybrid bermuda grass every 28 days. Because of your location you will not be able to pasture this grass from Oct-June. Your growing season for bermuda will be shorter and your yields may not be up to the normal grasses grown in KY. Some farmers that I know that are growing the hybrid bermuda, no-till a grazer rye into these fields for winter & spring pasture.
    It will work but you will have to manage differently than if you were growing timothy hay.

  6. #6
    Advertiser sweettractors's Avatar
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    Central Kentucky
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    JD 6403 CHA-JD 3130 CHA

    Default Re: Is bermuda a good choice for hay?

    <font color="blue">I would check with my state extension before I planted common bermuda in Kentucky. It could be that it's just too cold that far north for you to get a sustainable stand. </font>

    As a Ky farmer and equipment dealer, I would not try bermuda here--Ken Sweet

  7. #7
    Silver Member
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    Default Re: Is bermuda a good choice for hay?

    Thanks everybody.Two more questions.
    Ken why would you not go with the bermuda?
    Any ideal what this hay goes for per ton in our area?

    Here is a link to the brand I'm thinking of planting. Laredo.

  8. #8
    Advertiser sweettractors's Avatar
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    Central Kentucky
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    Default Re: Is bermuda a good choice for hay?

    From the link: Laredo is widely adapted throughout the transition zone and the southern United States.

    Ky does not seem to be dependable in this transition zone temp range, Check with UK Dept of Ag. or call your UK county agent for specific suggestions for your county.
    I am sure someone that grows it, will know the value per ton/bale etc--Ken Sweet


    Sweet Farm Equipment LLC *New First Choice Disc Mowers and Hay Tedders in Stock Today*

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