So my retired, visiting father decided to fertilize one of my fields while I was away. This was very nice of him but now I haven't a clue how long to wait before turning the horses back on to this field. I called my county's ag extension & they said they they couldn't help without a soil management plan etc.
Anyone have any thoughts on this?
Last edited by BlueJay; Apr. 18, 2010 at 09:59 PM.
If it rained after the fertilizer was spread, you are safe. I've never seen a horse voluntarily eat fertilizer, but hey, I didn't know horses would eat a hot dog either (See Graatans 4H thread).
Incidentally, you should not spread fertilizer if it isn't going to rain. The sun breaks down the Nitrogen in Fertilizer, making it much less useful. With the price of Fertilizer, you don't want to waste one pellet!!
Get the package fertilizer came in, so you have chemical contents at hand. I want no chance of urea where horses can graze. Coincidence or not, we know several horses who foundered after being turned back out on fields recently fertilized with urea in the mix. I get a urea replacement in my fertilizer, does the same job, same price, no chance of problems for the horses.
I would agree with pasture being pretty safe after a GOOD rain, soaks into the dirt and grass. You can walk the field after rain, check bare spots for pellets still visible. I always have bright red ones, easy to spot on dirt. Can you see any pellets right now? If so, that will be a good place to check after the rain comes.
I also try to fertilize when rain is expected. If you don't get that rain, sometimes wet dew, moist nights, can help break down the pellets but more slowly. Again, find some pellets on a bare spot and keep an eye on them. If the weather folks really hate you, no rain, usually a couple weeks of time will have the pellets gone from view so horses can go back out.
Good luck with your dad. Maybe hiding the keys to the machinery would be discouraging to him? Harder to spread fertilizer on acreage by walking the spreader than driving spreader around. You might look around, check jobs that look like they need doing, to prevent any more of the WRONG kind of help from him.
Thanks for your replies. Sounds like I will just wait for a good rain.
Yes, goodhors, I do need to find some projects for my Dad. He said he "felt" like it was going to rain before he put the fertilizer down. Unfortunately it was just a few sprinkles. We purchased this farm from him (the house I grew up in) a few years ago & he likes to come over to make sure we are taking care of things properly.