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  1. #1
    Platinum Member JDeerekid's Avatar
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    Default How to prepare large area for hay seeding?

    I have been approached by a buddies father of mine to see if I would prepare approx. 25 acres of his property to put into horse hay. I haven't seen it yet but will this weekend.

    My questions are:

    Am I biting off more than I can chew?

    I will be doing it all with my Montana 4340C with 2 bottom plow or maybe a 3 bottom depending on soil. I think it is rock free for the most part.

    How long would you estimate it to take? To Plow? To Disc?

    I dont want to use my tiller to do 25 acres and don't have my disc anymore but I think he has an older pull behind set that I can use(not sure what they are).

    I haven't done alot of plowing other than 1-3 acre plots that usually takes me about 1 acre every 45 minutes or so depending on soil conditions.


    I was thinking if he was up to it maybe having a plow days with some of the local tractor owners helping out and get it done in a day or a weekend. I think it will be cool to get a bunch of newer compact tractors to do some good old farm work.

    What are your thoughts? Any helpful comments would be appreciated.
    Montana 4340C w/loader, AgroTrend FU78 rear snowblower with hydraulic shute rotation, Horst 48" pallet forks, 3pt. 2-bottom plow, 6ft. bush hog rotarty cutter, 3pt. Woods 7ft back blade, 3pt. cultivator, 5ft 3pt. york rake, 6' KKII tiller, JD494 4-row planter. Future attachments: backhoe, grapple

  2. #2
    Super Member scott_vt's Avatar
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    east wells,vt
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    1986 MF 1040, 1942 Farmall A, 1949 Farmall Super A

    Default Re: How to prepare large area for hay seeding?

    Quote Originally Posted by JDeerekid View Post

    I have been approached by a buddies father of mine to see if I would prepare approx. 25 acres of his property to put into horse hay. I haven't seen it yet but will this weekend.

    .
    Good Afternoon Eric,
    I think you will know alot more after you have taken a close look at the property !

    If the property is open field and just has some different grasses growing in it, you might start by mowing it this year. Then possibly spraying it to kill all the unwanted stuff. Then next spring disc it up and than sow new seed. To plow that all up is going to be a huge amount of work, and if its nots necessary why bother with all of that !

    Take some pics of it when you go to look at it and post them. There are alot of guys on here much more knowledgable than i when it comes to this type of thing !
    scotty

    ,,,course,,it is gas,and gas is,,well,gas,,so,,but it kills the @#$$ oughta them yellow jackets,,,thingy

    http://www.tractorbynet.com/content/...onth-scott_vt/

  3. #3
    Member
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    Eastern Shore Md.
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    John Deere 5205

    Default Re: How to prepare large area for hay seeding?

    We are also in the process of converting about 30 acres of previously row cropped fields over to hay. We decided to go with the no-till approach after we had really good luck with it planting our CREP buffers. Just finished up spraying roundup/glyphosate over all of our fields and then will do follow up spray to ensure good coverage in a few weeks. We will then use a no til drill (Truax) to do our seeding through the residue. Gonna plant orchard grass/alfalfa mix at about 15-20 lbs per ac. Takes alot less time/fuel going over the field plowing/discing/etc, and maintains a good firm seedbed.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member JDeerekid's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to prepare large area for hay seeding?

    Quote Originally Posted by scott_vt View Post
    Good Afternoon Eric,
    I think you will know alot more after you have taken a close look at the property !

    If the property is open field and just has some different grasses growing in it, you might start by mowing it this year. Then possibly spraying it to kill all the unwanted stuff. Then next spring disc it up and than sow new seed. To plow that all up is going to be a huge amount of work, and if its nots necessary why bother with all of that !

    Take some pics of it when you go to look at it and post them. There are alot of guys on here much more knowledgable than i when it comes to this type of thing !
    Thanks for your input Scott.

    I will definately take some pictures.

    I am not sure what condition the area is in, but I assume it is some sort of pasture land and also assume it needs to be mowed before I even think about plowing.

    I think he wants everything done within the next couple weeks. Put the seed in now and hope to have a good spring or summer crop to cut next year.

    I do hope many more knowledgable people than me chime in here as this will be the first time I ever put in a grass seeding.
    Montana 4340C w/loader, AgroTrend FU78 rear snowblower with hydraulic shute rotation, Horst 48" pallet forks, 3pt. 2-bottom plow, 6ft. bush hog rotarty cutter, 3pt. Woods 7ft back blade, 3pt. cultivator, 5ft 3pt. york rake, 6' KKII tiller, JD494 4-row planter. Future attachments: backhoe, grapple

  5. #5
    Platinum Member JDeerekid's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to prepare large area for hay seeding?

    Quote Originally Posted by Creekside Quarters View Post
    We are also in the process of converting about 30 acres of previously row cropped fields over to hay. We decided to go with the no-till approach after we had really good luck with it planting our CREP buffers. Just finished up spraying roundup/glyphosate over all of our fields and then will do follow up spray to ensure good coverage in a few weeks. We will then use a no til drill (Truax) to do our seeding through the residue. Gonna plant orchard grass/alfalfa mix at about 15-20 lbs per ac. Takes alot less time/fuel going over the field plowing/discing/etc, and maintains a good firm seedbed.
    Hi Creekside,

    I also thought about doing the no till approach. If the fields are smooth and just grass now I think that would be the best bet.
    I know a county north of me that the Cooperative Extention or DEC rents out a no till planter that would work perfect.

    I would mow the area so the grass won't be to tall. Let it grow a little and spray it with a gylphosate and then no till plant.

    It would definately save me alot of work plowing and discing and be alot easier on the tractor.
    Montana 4340C w/loader, AgroTrend FU78 rear snowblower with hydraulic shute rotation, Horst 48" pallet forks, 3pt. 2-bottom plow, 6ft. bush hog rotarty cutter, 3pt. Woods 7ft back blade, 3pt. cultivator, 5ft 3pt. york rake, 6' KKII tiller, JD494 4-row planter. Future attachments: backhoe, grapple

  6. #6
    Super Member Farmwithjunk's Avatar
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    Where do I begin.....

    Default Re: How to prepare large area for hay seeding?

    Quote Originally Posted by JDeerekid View Post
    I have been approached by a buddies father of mine to see if I would prepare approx. 25 acres of his property to put into horse hay. I haven't seen it yet but will this weekend.

    My questions are:

    Am I biting off more than I can chew?

    I will be doing it all with my Montana 4340C with 2 bottom plow or maybe a 3 bottom depending on soil. I think it is rock free for the most part.

    How long would you estimate it to take? To Plow? To Disc?

    I dont want to use my tiller to do 25 acres and don't have my disc anymore but I think he has an older pull behind set that I can use(not sure what they are).

    I haven't done alot of plowing other than 1-3 acre plots that usually takes me about 1 acre every 45 minutes or so depending on soil conditions.


    I was thinking if he was up to it maybe having a plow days with some of the local tractor owners helping out and get it done in a day or a weekend. I think it will be cool to get a bunch of newer compact tractors to do some good old farm work.

    What are your thoughts? Any helpful comments would be appreciated.
    To get what you want in the end, you have to evaluate what you have to start with. Sounds simple, huh? First step would be to look at what's growing now and the condition of the soil (and soil structure) Is it compacted? Does the ground need heavy fertilization? How about incorporating lime? Is it full of noxious weeds? Or is it just grass? Is there alfalfa in the present mix, and is there intent to grow alfalfa in the final mix? (You won't have any success planting alfalfa directly behind alfalfa, no matter what.)

    Get the local soil & water district/county extention office involved. They'll do soil testing, give advice on local techniques, and even help you determine if the soil structure is severely compacted and at what depth the compaction layer is at.

    THEN determine what you need to do.

    No till is fabulous if the conditions permit. Burn down the present crop, wait a sufficient period of time, fertilize (if needed) and plant. Stand back and admire your work in a few weeks. Cheaper, simpler, and faster than any other method.

    If you need/want to plow, a decent 2-bottom plow behind an adaquate tractor will plow that acreage in 18 to 22 hours, depending on shape of field. I'd guess 8 to 10 hours (+ or -) for each pass with a disc. In most soils I'm familiar with, you'd need a MINIMUM of 2 passes, 2nd (or 3rd?) with some sort of drag behind the disc. I'd fertilize after plowing, before discing to incorporate well. Then drill/broadcast/ect your seed. A final touch that is HIGHLY recomended would be to run over the seeded field with a cultipacker.

    In just about all conditions, grass doesn't do as well when seeded into a deep, loose, fluffy seedbed. (Likewise, it doesn't like compacted soil) If conditions will allow, no till or reduced tillage is the best solution these days. There's a lot of fine equipment out there to do the job.

    I can't over-emphasize the part about getting the county extention office involved. You can (and will) get all the free advice you will ever want on here, but MOST will be passing on what works somewhere else. It may or may NOT be what works where you're at. That's what those boys get paid for. Use 'em! And one final note on the county extention office. Many will own no-till drills that can be rented (usually on a per acre basis) to residents of the district.
    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.

  7. #7
    Super Member flusher's Avatar
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    Sold the farm, sold the tractors, moved back to the city

    Default Re: How to prepare large area for hay seeding?

    Quote Originally Posted by JDeerekid View Post
    I have been approached by a buddies father of mine to see if I would prepare approx. 25 acres of his property to put into horse hay. I haven't seen it yet but will this weekend.

    My questions are:

    Am I biting off more than I can chew?

    I will be doing it all with my Montana 4340C with 2 bottom plow or maybe a 3 bottom depending on soil. I think it is rock free for the most part.

    How long would you estimate it to take? To Plow? To Disc?

    I dont want to use my tiller to do 25 acres and don't have my disc anymore but I think he has an older pull behind set that I can use(not sure what they are).

    I haven't done alot of plowing other than 1-3 acre plots that usually takes me about 1 acre every 45 minutes or so depending on soil conditions.


    I was thinking if he was up to it maybe having a plow days with some of the local tractor owners helping out and get it done in a day or a weekend. I think it will be cool to get a bunch of newer compact tractors to do some good old farm work.

    What are your thoughts? Any helpful comments would be appreciated.

    I'd try to avoid plowing if at all possible. But sometimes it unavoidable.

    I'll plant 6 acres of winter oat hay starting in Sep. First, I'll mow the weeds as short as possible and spray with Roundup to kill everything. Then I'll use my 2-14 plow and the Mahindra 5525 (54 hp engine, 45 hp pto, 2WD) to plow about 3 of the 10 acres in preparation for planting winter oat hay.



    Those 3 acres are covered with thick sod so I figure plowing will be quicker than trying to do the job with my 6-ft offset disc. I'll use my 13-ft tandem wheel disc to bust up the clods left by the plow.



    I removed some of the outside pans to cut the width of that disc to about 10 ft so the 5525 can pull it. I have a 10-ft cultipacker to smooth out the plowed area.



    The other 3 acres I'll plant has pretty thin soil and is covered now with strawberry clover. I'll plow this with my 6-ft offset disc followed by the cultipacker.





    For planting I have an old Minneapolis Moline P3-6 grain drill (10-ft wide) that I restored last year. It has grass seed boxes as well as a big fertilizer box.



    I'll run the cultipacker over the hayfield after planting is done.

    Final step--pray for rain (we're in the 3rd year of drought).

  8. #8
    Super Member Robert_in_NY's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to prepare large area for hay seeding?

    A lot has to do with your area, your field conditions and your equipment. For my area (I am planting around 15-22 acres of hay in a few weeks) I will plow the field if it was in sod for any amount of time, plant corn for a couple years to help remove any weeds that were growing in the field then plow it under, disc it a couple times while addressing any low spots and drainage concerns. When the ground is where you want it I run across it with a cultimulcher to prep it just before seeding.

    As far as seeding I have had the best results with a Brillion seeder, I have used a vicon pendulum spreader to seed with also but it requires another pass with a cultipacker to set the seed. I now have a 12' drill with small seed attachment that I will use this time and see how it compares to the brillion I also have (but is only a 5' so it is good for small fields and food plots).


    God must love stupid people; He made so many

  9. #9
    Elite Member Duffster's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to prepare large area for hay seeding?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert_in_NY View Post
    A lot has to do with your area, your field conditions and your equipment. For my area (I am planting around 15-22 acres of hay in a few weeks) I will plow the field if it was in sod for any amount of time, plant corn for a couple years to help remove any weeds that were growing in the field then plow it under, disc it a couple times while addressing any low spots and drainage concerns. When the ground is where you want it I run across it with a cultimulcher to prep it just before seeding.

    As far as seeding I have had the best results with a Brillion seeder,
    This is pretty much how we do it, only for your situation you can probably skip the corn.

    The only difference for us is we plant oats for a cover crop. The oats can either be combined for grain and straw or cut early for hay.
    "If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn't thinking." George Patton

  10. #10
    Silver Member funny farmer's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to prepare large area for hay seeding?

    I just finished up a field that I turned over with a 2 bottom and disked, what a job that turned out to be. I didn't think it would've been that much work. I started last fall when I turned it over, it took me three days, maybe 6 hrs a piece. I don't remember how long it took me to disk, it's an 8 footer but that's the most my ford 4000 could handle. I measured the field out last week so I would know how much seed to buy and it turned out to be only 12.5 acres. I was thinking that it should be more for the amount of time spent on it. I just think about the old days when that's all they had to work with. I figured why should I be so special to run with big equipment? I planted sorghum sudengrass in it on Mon. so I'm glad that is done for now. Nest spring I'm going to disk it, and plant something else in it. Anyways, it took way too long and was too much work, so I think no-till would be your best option, unless your retired or something and have nothing better to do. I have a 20 acre field that needs to be worked up badly but I think that it's just going to have to wait till I get some bigger equipment to use first, it's pretty compacted and hasn't been worked for a long time.

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