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Question on seeding alfalfa into grass stand

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Question on seeding alfalfa into grass stand

Postby Faster horses » Thu Aug 31, 2017 3:02 pm

We have a stand of grass that we irrigate with a side roll gravity-flow sprinkler. It isn't producing like it should. It is all grass and is an old stand; hasn't been fertilized for quite some time. We really don't want to farm it up, as it is on a slope. (And Mr. FH would be the first one to tell you that he is not a farmer :wink: .) So we want to take the path of least resistance. Can we use something to rough it up and drill some alfalfa into it with an older Brillion drill that we have? Any suggestions?

It was our thought that we could try it this late fall so that it would come up next spring.

Thanks in advance for any advice you have for us.
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Re: Question on seeding alfalfa into grass stand

Postby littlejoe » Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:48 pm

I've got a field that was played out and sodded in. Havn't farmed it at all. A qt of roundup in fall, another in spring, no till hay barley in. Willow creek winter wheat last fall==made 4 ton. it's flood irrigated.

Got some more I'm just doing now. roundup and winter triticale, gonna broadcast some turnips and radishes. heavy clay. pivot. turnips radishes only maybe about $8 an acre, might make some fall cow seed, bust compaction a little. trit is tough. fall graze, hay next yr.

i'll farm it in a couple yrs===I like my fields smooth and some shaping to do---but sod will be gone by then.

I really don't like iron. destroys soil tilth, burns up organic matter, makes a plow pan, hurts my ears..........


the stuff I've done couple of yrs ago---it's getting more mellow, it's got give to it when you jump off tractor, water percolates in faster....

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Re: Question on seeding alfalfa into grass stand

Postby Faster horses » Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:11 pm

Sounds good, littlejoe. Thanks for your reply.
We don't want to kill the grass that is there, just sweeten it up a little with some alfalfa, if that is possible.

I understand what you are doing and why, we just don't want to go that route at this late date. It's just very small fields as we have downsized a bunch and have more of a semi-retirement place now. Just raise a little hay....
"All the Democrats know how to do is lie and “forget.”--Trey Gowdy

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Re: Question on seeding alfalfa into grass stand

Postby Big Muddy rancher » Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:54 pm

Not sure how it would work but if you have water maybe just run some seed in with the Brillion and keep it wet for a bit. I know it would be best to kill the grass and smooth it out but why not get it sprayed with fertilizer?
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Re: Question on seeding alfalfa into grass stand

Postby Denny » Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:38 am

Spray it with 1 qt of roundup no till in your seeds i'd just mix some grass seeds with it and wait.
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Re: Question on seeding alfalfa into grass stand

Postby Faster horses » Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:45 am

Interesting, Denny. So you are saying kill the grass that is there and then reseed it with no-till with our little Brillion drill?
What if we don't kill the existing grass with Roundup? How many acres will a qt of Roundup cover?

BMR, you think like Mr. FH. You mean spray it with fertilizer and leave it alone? That's my thought, but wanted to make
sure we didn't miss anything. It would be nice to have just a little alfalfa in the stand. But not worth an extensive effort. (like farming it up.) :D

Thanks everyone for your replies. Appreciate it!
"All the Democrats know how to do is lie and “forget.”--Trey Gowdy

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Re: Question on seeding alfalfa into grass stand

Postby Denny » Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:55 am

My self I'd use a 1/2 a quart of roundup to the acre it will set back the native grass enough for your alfalfa to get established, we have a no till drill and i've been studying and trying all sorts of non-conventional stuff for our area. We no tilled sorgum sudan grass in after peas and oats we normally get 75 bales of hay off that field looks like we will get 180 to 200 this year with a double crop system. Im trying to run more cows on the acres we have. There is alot of videos on youtube on these subjects one in particular to what you want to do from alberta so the climate might be more to your area.
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Re: Question on seeding alfalfa into grass stand

Postby Faster horses » Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:09 am

Denny wrote:My self I'd use a 1/2 a quart of roundup to the acre it will set back the native grass enough for your alfalfa to get established, we have a no till drill and i've been studying and trying all sorts of non-conventional stuff for our area. We no tilled sorgum sudan grass in after peas and oats we normally get 75 bales of hay off that field looks like we will get 180 to 200 this year with a double crop system. Im trying to run more cows on the acres we have. There is alot of videos on youtube on these subjects one in particular to what you want to do from alberta so the climate might be more to your area.


Thanks!
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Re: Question on seeding alfalfa into grass stand

Postby Big Muddy rancher » Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:20 am

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But I can make tame women wild.

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Re: Question on seeding alfalfa into grass stand

Postby Angus 62 » Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:27 am

One of the challenges of planting alfalfa in an existing stand of grass is competition for moisture and sunlight for the new seedlings. I've had good luck planting with a conventional drill and letting cows walk in the seed and graze the grass down. Then pulling them out and irrigating. Once the ground firmed up enough I would turn them back in and repeat the cycle until the alfalfa got big enough that it was being grazed along with the grass. I had people tell me it wouldn't work. Availability of irrigation water is key.

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Re: Question on seeding alfalfa into grass stand

Postby littlejoe » Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:30 am

short and sweet method: broadcast some alfalfa--THEN--(you want the hoof action) put as many cows on it as you can find and eat grass to the dirt as quick as you can. cows off, water on. I'd maybe use an older variety that would hang in there, like ladak.

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Re: Question on seeding alfalfa into grass stand

Postby littlejoe » Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:32 am

Whoops! angus said it while I was hunting and pecking.............ah well-great minds work alike...


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