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  1. #1
    New Member
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    JDeere 3120

    Default Need advice on pasture rennovation harrow

    I recently purchased a place with several acres of fescue pasture that is thin and needs rennovation (in N. Georgia). This is rolling land with thin topsoil, some rocks and some embedded boulders. I need to rennovate and re-seed the pasture by lightly breaking up the surface without going too deep and stirring up all the rocks or loosing the topsoil to a heavy rain, or ripping out the existing grass. I have a 30 HP tractor w/3 pt hitch and a 27 HP zero turn mower to pull attachments. I need to hear from folks with advice on what type of implements would be best to prepare the soil for seeding. Have considered: core aerator, spiked drag harrow, disc harrow, and chisel tooth harrow, etc., but would like to hear from those who have experience and advice. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Gold Member
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    Kioti DK45SE HST

    Default Re: Need advice on pasture rennovation harrow

    I have seen this done when overseeding hay pastures with another grass for winter.
    It was done with a disc harrow. The wheels were set pretty straight as I recollect so as not to dig in very much. It left the dirt and existing grass lightly shredded.

    Warhammer

  3. #3
    Veteran Member AchingBack's Avatar
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    Southern Oregon
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    Mahindra 2615HST

    Default Re: Need advice on pasture rennovation harrow

    Without a good deep root zone, you will have to build one. Otherwise, your land will never reach full potential. It sounds like you need to add a lot of organic matter worked into the soil; easier said, than done. You are definitely on the right track with your approach to lightly breaking the surface. I've recently done some of the same work, on a smaller scale. I found the Bush Hog landscape rake to be an ideal tool for creating a seed bed.

    In your case, with several acres, I'd want something along the lines of a seed drill with discs, that has the capability to scarify the soil, and plant the seed in one operation. Planting some deep diving legumes with the fescue will help build the soil.
    I thank God for these gifts: 2005 Mahindra 2615 HST w/loader, (485 hours), and 3710 backhoe. Markham tooth bar, Bush Hog SQ60 rotary cutter, Bush Hog 3507 angle blade, Bush Hog LLR84 landscape rake w/gauge wheels, Rankin loader mounted forks, Paumco Quick Spade, Agri-Ease 3 point log splitter.

  4. #4
    Elite Member AKfish's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need advice on pasture rennovation harrow

    Our local Soil Conservation Office has a no-till seed drill that they make available for a small fee. You might check around for an area NRSC office and ask about that possibility. As well, those folk's can also provide added info regarding planting rates, best varieties, fert rates, etc. etc.

    Buffalo, LandPride both manufacture seed drills of this type. The planter has disc coulters that open the ground and drop the seed and roller packs the furrows in one pass. This eliminates the need to disrupt the existing vegetation and preserves the integrity of the soil.

    If this approach isn't likely gonna be an option for you - the disc harrow would be the next best approach - IMO. Set the gangs to the least aggressive angle and maintain a shallow draft on the 3pt hitch so as to lessen the overall damage to the existing grasses, etc. as well as better protecting the existing topsoil from possible erosion.

    Of course, you would then need to broadcast seed and then pack the seedbed. Either by hand or drop seeder and then roll the seedbed.

    Good luck.

    AKfish
    "Most people want to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it."

  5. #5

    Default Re: Need advice on pasture rennovation harrow

    Anything you do should not go deep. I live in an area with 3-4 " of topsoil then a beautiful mix of clay and rock. No till or using a drag will be best.

    What is there now, if you have a lot of noxious weeds you may need to spray with a herbicide. Then drag, overseed and drag again.

    Get a soil test and add the right amounts of nutrients, and adjust pH as necessary.

    wftree

  6. #6
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need advice on pasture rennovation harrow

    a drag harrow, or disc set straight and shallow...

    soundguy

  7. #7
    Gold Member Mike_Kanzer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need advice on pasture rennovation harrow

    I have had some luck overseeding my pasture with a spike tooth harrow. I drag it with the teeth forward in the more aggressive postion and go over the pasture to scarify the soil. Than I broadcast the seed, followed by a second drag with the harrow to try and incorporate the seed into the top layer of the soil. This also helps me break up the old manure from the horses still in the field from the winter. I agree with the other guys that a no-till seeder would work well if you can lease one or hire out the seeding. My method requires more seed as some does not germinate because it doesn't get buried by the drag. We use a mix of orchard grass, timothy and fescue up here. Some folks include 5% clover, but I already have trouble with the clover that is there taking over my fields so I leave it out.

  8. #8
    Super Member Farmwithjunk's Avatar
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    Where do I begin.....

    Default Re: Need advice on pasture rennovation harrow

    If you were closer, I'd let you try out my newest toy! Going saturday to pick up a Farnahm pasture renovator. Shallow running ripper shanks with a drop seeder/spreader attachment.

    I just can't pass up a bargain!!!!!!
    There are three kinds of men;
    1.) The ones that learn by reading
    2.) The few who learn by observation
    3.) The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.

  9. #9
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need advice on pasture rennovation harrow

    Quote Originally Posted by Farmwithjunk View Post
    If you were closer, I'd let you try out my newest toy! Going saturday to pick up a Farnahm pasture renovator. Shallow running ripper shanks with a drop seeder/spreader attachment.

    I just can't pass up a bargain!!!!!!
    I've used a small version of one of those back a few years when i was rehabbing a horse pasture. not too shabby either..

    soundguy

  10. #10
    Super Member flusher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need advice on pasture rennovation harrow

    Quote Originally Posted by ronlhar View Post
    I recently purchased a place with several acres of fescue pasture that is thin and needs rennovation (in N. Georgia). This is rolling land with thin topsoil, some rocks and some embedded boulders. I need to rennovate and re-seed the pasture by lightly breaking up the surface without going too deep and stirring up all the rocks or loosing the topsoil to a heavy rain, or ripping out the existing grass. I have a 30 HP tractor w/3 pt hitch and a 27 HP zero turn mower to pull attachments. I need to hear from folks with advice on what type of implements would be best to prepare the soil for seeding. Have considered: core aerator, spiked drag harrow, disc harrow, and chisel tooth harrow, etc., but would like to hear from those who have experience and advice. Thanks in advance.
    I have the same situation on my 10 acres of pasture. I plan to use my 10-ft tandem disc set for really light tilling.

    Also have been looking into using forage radish as a way to de-compact the soil without deep tillage and or ripping with a subsoiler.

    Reduced Tillage Template

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