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"Rye, Oh Rye" have my pastures gone dry!

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  • "Rye, Oh Rye" have my pastures gone dry!

    It makes me want to CRY!

    All that effort to seed the rye--perfect timing: it rained, without a downpour, within days of seeding.

    But now my fields are as dry as tinder and even the small pasture next to the house which I water religiously still mostly looks poorly.

    Moreover, my babies have gotten so stir-crazy from being in the small paddocks that I was forced to turn a pair of fillies onto a seeded pasture early--and now I fear I've ruined whatever chance of grass in there (all my pastures are comparatively small) I had.

    Should I RE-SEED? It is going to rain this Sunday. Please, someone, tell me if I should keep trying this year!

    (BTW, about "overseeding"? That came up when I asked about winter rye before. Well, I think I can definitely say that it ain't the greatest idea. Not saying it doesn't work, but, Golly!, you should see the difference between my "sacrifice areas" and the grassy areas of the one pasture I have that I've been watering. The areas where the rye had no competition with the bahia (we only got our first frosts a short while ago, so for several weeks, the rye did indeed have to compete) look so oddly LUSH compared to pasture after pasture of nothing-but-brown!)
    Sportponies Unlimited
    Athletic Thoroughbred crosses for the highly motivated, smaller rider.

  • #2
    I feel your pain. Mine was growing, even the overseeded pastures. The lack of rain and then the freezing temps didn't help. My rye grass is very lush under the drip edge of my barn and around the wash rack.

    I was thinking about spreading a few more bags of rye for Sunday, but the temps are supposed to drop to the low 20's Sunday night and then remain cold all week.


    • #3
      I oveseeded all of my pastures. The grass came up, it got dry, not so much grass now. It will surprise you this spring as it warms up though. WHne it starts growing. I'm not spending anymore money on it.


      • #4
        Hoping the rain Sunday gives it a boost, especially since I fertilized it. Just a tough year, so dry!


        • #5
          Mine isn't doing too well either. I think I put the boys out a little too soon. There is hardly anything left and it doesn't seem to be growing due to the very cold temps we have had. It might not be a bad idea to throw some more out. I may do the same thing today since we have rain coming tomorrow.


          • #6
            Put me in this club too . My rye was doing great until the lack of rain and extreme temperature ranges the last few weeks. I am debating on if I should spread more tomorrow night since it may rain. Oh well... at least my hay man will have a Merry Christmas!


            • #7
              Originally posted by pwynnnorman View Post
              Moreover, my babies have gotten so stir-crazy from being in the small paddocks that I was forced to turn a pair of fillies onto a seeded pasture early--and now I fear I've ruined whatever chance of grass in there (all my pastures are comparatively small) I had.

              you are not going to want to hear this, but if the horses ripped the plants up and out, roots and all you are kinda screwed and yes will have to start again if your climate allows....

              you cannot graze fields until the roots are deep enough,regardless of the top growth or the babies being nutty, w/o repercussions later...

              Tamara in TN
              Last edited by Tamara in TN; Dec. 10, 2010, 10:51 PM.
              Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
              I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.


              • #8
                At my barn it has gone MIA too. =(
                --Luck is what happens when preparedness meets opportunity--


                • #9
                  Sure, now it rains! I'm thinking about throwing a few bags after this next freeze. Looks like we have a shot at rain next week without the freezing temps. Hope the weather channel isn't fibbing.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by spotnnotfarm View Post
                    Put me in this club too . My rye was doing great until the lack of rain and extreme temperature ranges the last few weeks. I am debating on if I should spread more tomorrow night since it may rain. Oh well... at least my hay man will have a Merry Christmas!
                    Pretty much the same here in VA!
                    Ridge Farm Inc.-full care retirement


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Justmyluck View Post
                      At my barn it has gone MIA too. =(
                      Ours too. This is the worst looking our pastures have ever been!
                      Fox Haven Farm, Inc.
                      Home of 2002 JC Registered stallion Artrageous

                      Artrageous has his own Facebook page!


                      • #12
                        We've had maybe 2-3 inches of rain since mid May. I have cracks in the ground you could climb into and live in. I had the pasture shredded this fall because it was supposed to rain - I was hoping to take advantage of some 'end of the season growth'. But it didn't rain and now I have a ginormous dirt lot (with a few dead plants here and there). I had planned to plant rye for the winter - but with no rain and none in sight, there's no point.

                        I'm getting worried. The guy I found to buy round bales from isn't going to sell me anymore as he needs to keep them for his cattle (I don't blame him!). And I'm not sure where I'll find more hay.

                        Scary stuff.
                        Visit us at Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society - www.bluebonnetequine.org

                        Want to get involved in rescue or start your own? Check out How to Start a Horse Rescue - www.howtostartarescue.com


                        • #13
                          How long do you need to keep horses off rye after it sprouts?



                          • Original Poster

                            Ah, well, I'm feeling much better now.

                            Misery loves company.
                            Sportponies Unlimited
                            Athletic Thoroughbred crosses for the highly motivated, smaller rider.


                            • #15
                              I didn't even bother with the rye this year, figured I would use the money towards extra hay instead. I'm glad I did that, since we have not had any appreciable rain in the past 3 months here, and the weather folks say it is going to be drier than normal this winter thanks to La Nina.

                              My pastures look like crap, I am so sick of dry brown crunchy grass.
                              There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams


                              • #16
                                The Sunday rain here was pitiful. I have had my farm for 26 years and my pastures have never looked as bad. I planted my rye in October before it was suppose to rain and as usual, a 2 minute sprinkle. AND nothing since then. All of my beautiful high yield, drought & disease resistant bermuda has been gone since August along with my other pasture of specialty bahia. I do believe the climate is changing - northern Florida has never been this dry, record heat in the summer, and then record lows in the winter. My hay bill is killing me this winter and I ONLY have 2 horses on 10 acres.


                                • #17
                                  Pitiful rain just south of Ocala also.

                                  Florida has had a rainfalldeficit for quite a few years now, overall.



                                  • #18
                                    Pwy, Have you ever tried Dryland Mixes. I live 20 miles east of the desert. 4 to 5 month no rain and 90 to 100 F are standard and my pastures survive.

                                    I seed just before the first snow falls, the seed germinates great in the spring, around late April. I do not let my horses on the freshly seeded pastures till fall, October. I mowe twice, it helps with the root grow.
                                    If I have a good late Monsum, late September I like to seed, too. Than the fresh gras has enough time to mature to survive the frost and the long snow cover.

                                    Poor areas, I cover them with as much manure as possible, several inches disc it under and than seed. It can be fresh manure.
                                    That I have no use for them, does not mean, that I don't know them and don't know how to use them.
                                    Caveman extraordinair


                                    • #19
                                      Ocala is in zone 8; I bet Dolores CO is further north; we probably do not get enough cold hours for the grass mix you use.



                                      • #20
                                        you are not alone. I did everything "by the book" this fall, from fertilizing, spraying, mowing short, dragging, bought a huge cultipacker, prepped seed bed, overseeded heavily with rye and rye grass, all at the right time, with rains before and after seeding. The whole process was several weeks of work and a couple of thousand dollars in fertilizer, weed killer, and seeds - not including the price of the cultipacker. That was the end of the rain! I don't have enough pastures to take them off completely. The rye has grown so slowly that it has given time for the mature horses to seek out the sprouts and pluck them out like little delicacies. My foal paddock is the only one with a decent amount left. I knew we were in a La Nina pattern but thought I would at least try. My pastures have never looked worse!