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Seeding Alfalfa

Things that come up in the daily operation of a ranch.
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Shelly
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Postby Shelly » Wed May 18, 2005 8:50 am

My husband usually seeds a cover crop, and then blows the alfalfa on top, and then harrows it. And then prays for rain! Last year he tried an experiment on one field. He seeded it with his air drill and no companion crop. Best catch he ever got!

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Cattleman
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Postby Cattleman » Wed May 18, 2005 12:38 pm

We have best luck establishing alfalfa with canola. Mix them both together and seed with an old press drill with a grass seed attachment. For us, 5#/acre is plenty.

Good luck!

cedardell
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Alfalfa

Postby cedardell » Fri May 20, 2005 6:01 am

We blend 12 lbs of alfalfa, 2lbs red clover, and 2lbs timothy, with our fertilizer and apply with an air flow floater with 90 ft. boom. Then we go over it with a mulcher(roller) which packs it in about 1/2 inch. Have had excellent luck because of the even pattern the air flow floater leaves. We go over it at 1/2 th rate and then go back over it to get the full rate. Have had excellent luck on sandy loam soil here. Timothy may be a little uneven at times but worked well.

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conan
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Postby conan » Fri May 20, 2005 10:16 am

we dont use a cover crop... on the river bottom that we farm its pretty sandy. after getting our land right (disking, vibrashanking, cultipackerand roller) we run a cultipactor across the same day as planting alfalfa... on the 3 point of the planting tractor... we have a peice of angle iron 4 inch. packing the ground even more, we are using a no till to drill alfalfa... always have always will..... we have 2700 acres of alfalfa
"watch her boys, she smells alfalfa!!"

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Big Muddy rancher
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Postby Big Muddy rancher » Fri May 20, 2005 1:26 pm

Conan is that dryland or irrigated ?
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Jinglebob
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Postby Jinglebob » Fri May 20, 2005 7:23 pm

A few years ago, guys around here were spraying Roundup, I think, and then seeding alfalfa with a no-till drill. Said they got real good stands. But most farm the ground first, as the land is so rough from pocket gopher/moles. Them little creatures are one of the reasons I quit haying.
Toda via estoy aqui. I am still here.
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conan
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Postby conan » Mon May 23, 2005 9:11 am

its dry land....... we live on the washita river in oklahoma and you pretty mush can not irragate off of it b/c of all the salt water polution and b/c of all the seeds that float down the river. i wish we had a center pivot like the boys from up north but its really not feasible with a normal year of rainfall....
"watch her boys, she smells alfalfa!!"

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jigs
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Postby jigs » Mon May 23, 2005 9:34 pm

wishing for center pivots is like going to the dentist and begging for a root canal.

granted, the pivots are nice, they save time water and prevent erosion, but walk half a mile through 7 foot tall corn in late August and see just how great a pivot is.

three years ago we got one stuck, it ws 104 that day, and the two of us were out trying to get it back in line.....it ws so hot and muggy in there, when I climbed up the tower to see if I was in line, the "cool" 104 heat hit me and gave me goose bumps!


all that bitching being done, we just put up another one this past week......
yes, I am a glutton for punishment.

Andy
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Postby Andy » Tue May 24, 2005 12:33 pm

Jigs(granted, the pivots are nice, they save time water and prevent erosion)
How does a pivot prevent erosion? I have never been around them so i don't know much about them.

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George
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Alfalfa

Postby George » Mon May 30, 2005 2:58 pm

I have tried several ways and the best stands I have ever gotten are by having the liquid fertilizer, liquid lime and seed applied at one time - - one half rate and then at a right angle the other half rate then cultipacking it in. I do not use a cover crop and can count on two cuttings the first year and then four after that. I tried without the lime once as my supplier was out and he did two fields the same day, one with liquid lime and the other with just added water. The field with the lime was as close to perfect as you could get and the one with water was a total loss.

TimH
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Postby TimH » Mon May 30, 2005 5:38 pm

George, Some guys around here swear by seeding 1/2 rate one way and the other 1/2 90 degrees to the first pass. Some even sow full rate one way and then just pull their press drill across empty at a right angle to the first pass. I'm going to try a couple variations on that theme next spring on a small (30 acre) field, but I suspect that it is all about proper COMPACTION.
Up here, 2 cuts is common, maybe 3 on irrigated land(if the frost stays away) and 4 is unheard of.
Why the lime??? Acidic soil?? Too wet????

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jigs
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Postby jigs » Mon May 30, 2005 7:34 pm

Andy

the pivots spread the water out like a rain...... you can set it to put on any amount you want. we time it to put on an inch every 5 days. It saves the erosion as compared to flood irrigation. Our area is really trying new ideas to conserve water. And this year we are guinea pigging a couple pivots to see what we can find out.


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