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knightrider
Jun. 10, 2012, 04:49 PM
My brother just had his fields cut for hay...this is the third year he has done hay on it and I have a question. How soon after its cut is it ok to start feeding to the horses? I have heard immediately, and I've also heard you should wait 30 days or so...any idea?

The field is timothy, orchard grass and some clover. I'm not finding many weeds in it which is good. He reseeded every year, but I'm not seeing much timothy.

So...if I continue to take the hay after this cutting, suggestions for what to do to get a second cutting and get a better crop next year? I'd like to have more timothy and maybe some alfalfa in it....what is the lifespan of timothy? and if I plant timothy in the fall will/should I also plant the orchard grass since it seems to have taken over?

Thanks!

sk_pacer
Jun. 10, 2012, 09:12 PM
If the hay is properly cured before baling (14% moisture or less) there is no waiting period. I still cut the ditches close to the house, dry it down and then fork fresh loose hay to the horse, no problems. However, if it is different hay than you usually feed, you should add it slowly to the old stuff until it is all new hay.

Did he fertilise the field, or just overseed without anything? I really don't know much about timothy and know nothing about orchard grass - timothy doesn't do well here and the growing season is too short for orchard grass.

Tamara in TN
Jun. 10, 2012, 10:38 PM
[QUOTE=knightrider;6369160]My brother just had his fields cut for hay...this is the third year he has done hay on it and I have a question. How soon after its cut is it ok to start feeding to the horses? I have heard immediately, and I've also heard you should wait 30 days or so...any idea?

feed that mess right away if it is at a low enough moisture (we like 11% for grass)


The field is timothy, orchard grass and some clover. I'm not finding many weeds in it which is good. He reseeded every year, but I'm not seeing much timothy.

it is a bit late in the year for much timothy depending on where you live


So...if I continue to take the hay after this cutting, suggestions for what to do to get a second cutting and get a better crop next year? I'd like to have more timothy and maybe some alfalfa in it....what is the lifespan of timothy? and if I plant timothy in the fall will/should I also plant the orchard grass since it seems to have taken over?



ok wow like four or five separate issues there....

second cutting success requires a good bump of nitrogen for the grass as a well as a broad leaf killer and for alfalfa a pesticide to keep alfalfa critters at bay

alfalfa is required as a drilled in plant and it grows in the heat of the summer....

timothy requires <x> of below freezing to grow well at all and it is in most places a one time cut....hence we in a usda 6 A zone can grow it, while 1 hour south of us in a USDA 7 cannot

orchardgrass prefers also the early spring early summer temps and goes dormant OR suffers from brown stripe depending on where you live...


and nothing will do well if the cutter blades are set too low for the stubble to regrow


finally is is all about which hybrid you have in the ground and it's life span

Tamara

sk_pacer
Jun. 10, 2012, 10:58 PM
Glad you showed up, Tamara in TN. I am at a loss when it comes to second cuts.......it just doesn't happen here.

Hilary
Jun. 11, 2012, 11:01 AM
I didn't know timothy doesn't grow without cold winters! Here (NH) the orchard grass heads out first, and the timothy is coming in about now (mid June). As for the lifespan? Well, around here, decades, if you keep the soil fertilized and the ph balanced.

Tamara in TN
Jun. 11, 2012, 11:12 AM
I didn't know timothy doesn't grow without cold winters! Here (NH) the orchard grass heads out first, and the timothy is coming in about now (mid June). As for the lifespan? Well, around here, decades, if you keep the soil fertilized and the ph balanced.


yes timothy requires cold...otherwise all the folks in FL would not be crying (endlessly;)) about "why can't we have nice timothy here like we do on NY....whhhaaaaaaa:rolleyes:" ummm cause it's not cold enough for it...



a hybrid can only last it's specific lifetime....that which was programmed into it when it was developed....unless it reseeds and volunteers itself back to the soil, it's very very few hybrids can remain simply if the soil is good.

We have some Persist Orchard grass that has lasted 15 years...but we killed them all this year as even they had reached the end of economic use...where some sprigs still alive? sure but they were not valuable anymore as a cash crop

Tamara

knightrider
Jun. 11, 2012, 01:37 PM
I did not know that about timothy either...explains why i barely saw any in the fields since we had an extremely mild winter. But either way, it looked like it might be nice hay and we are pulling it out of the field today. It was 17% moisture before they turned it and right before baling it was down to 6%...I think that is pretty good, right?

I really don't think there is any alfalfa in there. Not sure what happened to it, but I couldn't find any after going through some more of the field this morning.

Do we still need to spray even if we don't see any weeds? I found next to nothing in the weeds department. I'm not sure we will get a second cutting although it would be really nice if we did...

One thing my brother wants to do after the hay is baled is cut again pretty high to pick up all the stuff that didn't get baled and then he puts that on his compost bin...he seems to worry that too much grass left down weighs the grass that is existing so it can't breathe...i don't think there will be enough for a difference but we'll see...

Off to go stack hay...

Tamara in TN
Jun. 11, 2012, 01:42 PM
One thing my brother wants to do after the hay is baled is cut again pretty high to pick up all the stuff that didn't get baled and then he puts that on his compost bin...he seems to worry that too much grass left down weighs the grass that is existing so it can't breathe...i don't think there will be enough for a difference but we'll see...

Off to go stack hay...

oh no....unless your rake just leaves 8 inches of hay on the ground taking up the organic matter close to the roots is the WORST thing you can do to the stubble. just like compost works in a garden the shatter and remnant in a hay field shields the roots and ground from excessive heat and damaging wind and such things...it also helps to smother the weeds out and let established bunch grass grow...

as for weeds...if the alfalfa is gone and the timothy is gone and there is not much hope of a second cutting then what are you seeing left in the fields?

Tamara

knightrider
Jun. 11, 2012, 02:23 PM
i'm only thinking there is not much hope for a second cutting because not sure we will continue to get the rain needed for it to grow...

I'll tell him to not cut again...he seems to think that the leftovers is bad for the hay....

andrehillery
Jun. 12, 2012, 09:27 AM
Is there any chances of weed while growing orchard grass? I am seeding it for the first time. So I want to know about it.



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