Maintaining Field

   / Maintaining Field #1  


Gold Member
Aug 27, 2010
Southeastern CT
Mahindra 3550, Hitachi 120-2
My in laws recently purchased a property in northeast CT, that was previously used for pasture. It's around 10 acres of fairly open field. I have not seen the property in person yet, but my understanding is that it is in fairly decent shape, not many rocks or stumps. I do not believe that it has been hayed recently, I believe that the animals kept it trimmed down.

Now that they've purchased, the animals have been removed, and the grass will start to grow soon. There has been some discussion of having someone come and hay the property - but I'm not sure if that will come to fruition. Is there any risk of not maintaining the fields at all? My gut tells me that if it is not bushhogged or hayed that it will fill with weeds and saplings and become more difficult to return to nice field.

Any advice for general maintenance on the field to keep it from degrading?
   / Maintaining Field #2  
Having someone hay it will be good because to maintain a good grass stand, it needs to be grazed and if not grazed, fertilized and hayed. When you remove hay from the field you remove those nutrients a from the property. Grazing will return the unused nutrients from the grazers to the soil. Leasing it for carefully managed grazing or haying can also provide income to pay taxes and maintain fences, etc. Grazing or haying also reduces the fire hazard of tall grass in late summer.
Since you are obviously new at this, talk to your county extension agent about what your options might be.
   / Maintaining Field #3  
Depending on where you live there may be property tax benefits to having someone hay it.
   / Maintaining Field #4  
The other option is renting it out for pasture. but someone needs to watch to prevent over use.
   / Maintaining Field #5  
I am nearby and I think we have a similar climate. It will revert to forest if it is not mowed at least once a year. If I let a grassy area go one year without mowing the next year there will be enough woody weeds -- multiflora rose, russian olive, bittersweet -- that it will be hard to mow. Three or four years and you won't be able to drive a tractor through. Once a year seems to be enough.

Unless you have plans for using it I would have it bushhogged once a year. The local market for either haying or pasture is weak, there are lots of 10-acre lots and not a lot of farmers left. I used to have my fields hayed, and every year it was a struggle to get someone to do it, they clearly weren't getting much out of it. After a while I just started bushhogging it myself, and now I hay it.

As others noted, haying removes nutrient from the soil. Mowing in place keeps them.