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  1. #1
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Default Pasture renovation.

    Not exactly a "food plot" topic, but given the expertise here it is probably the best place for answers.

    A friend has asked me to "renovate" a pasture.
    So far I have only mumbled generally about scratching it up with a chain harrow and over seeding, or if she wants me to go deeper a roto-tiller.
    I am trying to get an idea of the number of HOURS this would take, hours per acre would be a good starting point.

    I can only get my small(est) tractor there due to trailer limitations, so here is the (current) limit of equipment for that;
    8 ft wide chain harrow, 7 ft landscape "York" rake, 6 ft roto-tiller, 6 ft disc harrow, 6 ft Harley rake, 6 ft loader bucket with tooth bar.
    I can get the tractor on the trailer with ONE of these mounted and a second one on the truck's flat bed.
    I could probably get the chain harrow rolled up and tied into the bucket, or maybe between the bucket and front wheels.
    So I guess it is two attachments PLUS the chain harrow.

    I would like to AVOID coming back for two more, but could do that if I had to.
    A Caroni flail mower too, forgot that but it is kinda irrelevant to this project.
    No plough, no spreader.
    Not sure I want to turn it over and then turn it back to re-level it anyway.
    I can probably rent a broadcast spreader.

    Lets not get too distracted with the plough & disc vs roto-til issue.
    I don't have a plough for this tractor, so lets just not go there ?
    {Not to mention that I'm not too hot at ploughing with the plough that I have.}

    I guess I want some idea of how many passes this is likely to take.
    I am guessing that I first need to at least mow it, or things will get tangled.
    Spring is here, I think she wants this started before summer really gets underway.
    BTW, she will eventually put the horses back there, but knows enough to keep them OFF it until the root system is well established.
    (for their sakes more than that of the grass).

    Farmwithjunk's rule of thumb has worked for me in the past; working width in inches times speed in MPH divided by 100 equals acres per hour.
    Rototilling is probably a 1 mph task, so maybe 1/2 acre per hour with some reasonable overlap, turns, rock stops, etc.

    Thanks in advance.

    BTW, this is in rocky New England. I don't know the full history but it has been farmed, witness the stone walls (-:
    I am aware that lime may be needed (acid rain) in quantities that I don't want to deal with.
    They can contract that out separately.
    They will also be buying the seed, I will NOT be responsible for selecting that.
    Last edited by Reg; 03-30-2013 at 04:34 PM. Reason: afterthoughts

  2. #2
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Germanton, NC
    Kubota MX5100F IH McCormick Farmall 140, Massey Ferguson 135

    Default Re: Pasture renovation.

    The ideal solution would be to rent a no till drill to plant the grass. Some soil conservation offices or Ag extension service offices have them for rent. We have a couple of farm supply dealers with them for rent as well.

    If that isn't an option. I would use the disc harrow to rough the surface may be two passes at angles. Then over seed and cultipack (see if a cultipacker can be borrowed nearby). Packing is important o get good seed to soil contact. A pass with the chain harrow would be a reasonable alternative to packing.

    Of course lime and fertilizer according to a soil test is the best approach.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Default Re: Pasture renovation.

    Thanks Ted,
    The no til drill WOULD be ideal if I could get a bigger tractor there, or find a smaller unit.
    The ones I've seen advertized are probably too big (width and HP requirement)

    I think it is going to be the chain harrow to get the seed "coated", though the soil won't get packed.

  4. #4
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Northeast Texas
    New Holland 1510 fwa with FEL

    Default Re: Pasture renovation.

    I would think with what you have available, I would disk harrow the pasture 2 to 3 times, then chain harrow to level out the pasture, spread the seed, and chain harrow again to cover the seed.

  5. #5
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Default Re: Pasture renovation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bartcephus View Post
    I would think with what you have available, I would disk harrow the pasture 2 to 3 times, then chain harrow to level out the pasture, spread the seed, and chain harrow again to cover the seed.
    So, I'm guesstimating ...aww, 6 passes ?
    3 MPH at lets say 65 inches effective width for disc'ing with a bit of overlap, turns, etc. =~ 1/2 hour per acre.
    Chain harrow passes a bit wider, seeding passes WAY wider (if a broadcaster) therefore faster per acre.
    From mowing there I think 3 MPH is about as fast as I want to go - and stay ON he tractor.
    I know "fast as possible" is good for disc harrow, but there are comfort limits to this.
    I can add weight on the disc harrow for penetration if I need to, I probably need to.
    I will multiply it out for her, add a bit for contingency, etc.

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