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TrueColours
Apr. 6, 2011, 07:34 PM
Help settle an argument please ... :rolleyes: ...

Will driving an ATV, or skidoo, or Gator across a frozen hay field covered in 6-24 inches of snow, do any damage to the hay crop below?

Thank you ... ;)

coloredcowhorse
Apr. 6, 2011, 07:55 PM
Help settle an argument please ... :rolleyes: ...

Will driving an ATV, or skidoo, or Gator across a frozen hay field covered in 6-24 inches of snow, do any damage to the hay crop below?

Thank you ... ;)

Nope...assuming something like dormant alfalfa? If you drive the same path/tracks every day and the ground is thawing then yeah..you could damage the crown of the plants. But covered in snow and plants still dormant...nope. Here they turn cattle on the dormant alfalfa fields for winter forage and you'd swear that there wasn't a plant left out there. Pull the cattle, get a couple of rains and a week or two of 50 degree weather and the fields are green.

CatOnLap
Apr. 6, 2011, 07:59 PM
short answer, of course not! long answer-No, until, of course, you get said vehicle stuck in a soft spot and dig a 10 foot long trench trying to drive your way out.

I did actually do a research study on the compaction of snow under snowmobile tracks and how it affects the rodent populations of rural manitoba, decades ago.

The snow compaction collapse the snow layer below the crust, making it impossible for mice and other small rodents to tunnel below the snow where they stay warm and dry and can reach food sources. When the tunnels are collapsed, the rodents are forced to the surface where they freeze to death, are more easily eaten by predators or starve, being unable to get below the snow crust to the food sources. The resultant decrease in rodent population is enough to affect the predators popualtions the following year. My study was enough to get snowmobiles banned and/or confined to established trails, within some of the registered parklands at the time.

What that ahs to do with hayfields is beyond me,. except I suspect you don't want MORE rodents in your hay fields, unless, like me you are a lover of winter predators like foxes, owls and hawks.

Tamara in TN
Apr. 6, 2011, 09:03 PM
Help settle an argument please ... :rolleyes: ...

Will driving an ATV, or skidoo, or Gator across a frozen hay field covered in 6-24 inches of snow, do any damage to the hay crop below?

Thank you ... ;)

no but we'd consider it somewhere between poor management and rudeness depending on who owned the field

Tamara