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Removing weeds from pasture & hay field

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  • Removing weeds from pasture & hay field

    We have 10-15 acres of random areas around the farm that we would like to turn into hay fields. What is the best way to get rid of the weeds (mostly ragweed, grrr)? Some of the fields are already timothy, so it would be nice if we could use something that doesn't kill it. However, timothy is cheap so we can reseed it if that is the best way to go about this. Please Tamara chime in and don't wait for other people to post first.

    I have already contacted my local extension office, but they don't like to call people back which is why I'm posting here.

    I also have a 2 acre pasture that was seeded this spring. Unfortunately, ragweed got in there too. I'd like to get rid of that without killing the grasses since the grasses are doing great. There will not be horses on any of this for several months and the horses are not even on the property, so they are not a concern.

  • #2
    [QUOTE]
    Originally posted by 1ofEach View Post
    We have 10-15 acres of random areas around the farm that we would like to turn into hay fields. What is the best way to get rid of the weeds (mostly ragweed, grrr)? Some of the fields are already timothy, so it would be nice if we could use something that doesn't kill it. However, timothy is cheap so we can reseed it if that is the best way to go about this. Please Tamara chime in and don't wait for other people to post first.
    2,4 D

    if the weeds are tall and noxious clip them back to 6/8 inches...let the nasty things get some new growth (maybe an inch or so of delicate green....then pop it with 2,4 D in a spray tank

    if you are in farm country you may be able to find a tow behind spray tank to rent for the day...then we need to feed the grass left behind so we will on the same or pretty near (2/3 days) fertilize....

    it will all depend on where you live but we rarely pop just N on the field as every time you cut hay you are mining the inherent fertilizers out...and putting down just N grows big tops but not the roots underneath...so you are saving money but cheating the ground out of next years hay...

    also we spray for broadleaf every time we cut....every time, not just once a year or when we remember....that is one of the secrets to really good hay....each cutting thru the year on the same field will bring a different weed type/sort ....unless you live in the 1.5 cuts or less zone of the N US...

    kill the noxious and feed the remaining...no till drilling at the proper time will also help "fill in" the gaps where the weeds are now occupying your ground

    best
    Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
    I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Thanks Tamara! I do live in the north, where this year we will be lucky to get 2nd cutting. At most, we get 3 cuttings. Does that change anything?

      Comment


      • #4
        wild strawberries?

        Wow Tamara, you're a wealth of knowledge! So here you go - I live in the Northeast (if that matters), & my biggest problem weed-wise in my pasture is wild strawberries. The soil pH was (I think) @ 6 - & I lime every couple of years accordingly. But the berries still love that acidity & take over parts of the pasture. The best I've been able to do is mow the crap out of those areas - just to get the berries (which are low lying to begin with) & then seed those areas & hope for the best. I think that's helped somewhat, but not enough. I'm reluctant to spray chemicals - 'cause it's my only pasture, & I want to be able to keep the animals on it without poisoning anyone. So, whaddya think?
        Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it; Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it ~ Goethe

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Flipper View Post
          I'm reluctant to spray chemicals - 'cause it's my only pasture, & I want to be able to keep the animals on it without poisoning anyone. So, whaddya think?
          well if everything was peachy perfect we might not need them...but there are parts of the world not intended for grazing or hay, but we do it any way....places have been mined out for 100 plus years with the notion that the manure from the animals themselves repair the ground...

          not...

          I would think that 2.4 D early in the year would kill that plant of yours...I have only been to the North a few times in my life and have never farmed there so will need to ask a neighbor near you


          but early spraying in the life of the weed (under 3 inches) does the best work....but you have to decide what will fill in for the weed you want gone ahead of time

          best
          Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
          I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by 1ofEach View Post
            Thanks Tamara! I do live in the north, where this year we will be lucky to get 2nd cutting. At most, we get 3 cuttings. Does that change anything?
            it would mean you'd spray 2 times less than we would
            Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
            I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.

            Comment


            • #7
              Tamara

              When you say you spray for broadleaf everytime you cut, do you mean you spray with 2 4D every time or do you use something else? Thanks.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by skyy View Post
                When you say you spray for broadleaf everytime you cut, do you mean you spray with 2 4D every time or do you use something else? Thanks.
                it is the popular choice for broadleaf...so if broadleaf is implicated it's what we use...on the pumpkins and corn fields it might be something else...on horse nettle another...it just depends on what is going on...

                maybe sometimes things are just perfect and we don't do anything between some cuttings....maybe between 1-2 as the hot weeds have not come in or 4-5 if the summer has cooled back...or if we deep plow a field (rare here as we worry so much about the soil)

                it just all depends...it's all too expensive to live the fantasy of "spraying just to spray something" as some folks would have one believe...
                Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
                I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Hey Tamara, is there anything else I can use on the pasture? I have alfalfa in there and won't 2,4 d kill it? The 2,4 d would be fine for the rest until it's seeded. I will most likely seed a timothy/alfalfa mix.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 1ofEach View Post
                    Hey Tamara, is there anything else I can use on the pasture? I have alfalfa in there and won't 2,4 d kill it? The 2,4 d would be fine for the rest until it's seeded. I will most likely seed a timothy/alfalfa mix.
                    not if you used it on a swipper blade that is held above the existing crop...like a back rub for cattle...only the plants whose tops are swipped are killed...but that could be a specialized thing for a non pro to need/buy

                    killing ragweed in a field also with alfalfa is beyond what I would know about other than above...

                    best
                    Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
                    I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.

                    Comment

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