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Question on fertilizing hay meadows

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Faster horses

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I havnt had troubles feeding my horses straight alfalfa. Same with cows and bloat. They just need to get gradually used to it. Horses tend to get high and broncy on straight alfalfa so some might not like that. I couldn't keep weight on a horse with out alfalfa or barley. I know your not sapposed to feed horses barley but if been doing it for years.
I'm just saying new seed makes a big difference and if you seeded it 50% alfalfa then there are no future nitrogen bills.
Having said that I'm not sure about going from an old grass stand directly to hay again. Where I'm at everybody would do a rotation. Example greenfeed for a few years before going back to hay.
But new seed in a new seed bed will really out perform a twenty year old stand.
Irrigated quarters with pivots sell for 2 million each in southern Alberta but they really produce with new seed,water and probably the best in fertilizer as well. I sure couldn't pay 2 million for a quarter and make it work selling cow feed but if I had some irrigation somewhere I would be looking at ways to make it produce better than dry land. Example an old dry stand that's 50% alfalfa/grass should produce 2 tons an acre without fertilizer.
Trouble with cow hay is in a wet year it might be $60 a ton and then in a dry year you might not be able to get it for $300. You just dont know.
How do you pump your water? Have you ever fingered out how much it costs you to irrigate? Up here they are gradually putting carbon taxes on everything.
I thought I mentioned, it's gravity flow. No cost to pump, and actually no cost for the water. There is a cost to maintain the ditch and pay for the 'ditch rider' but it doesn't amount to much. It's added in on our annual taxes. This has been a really productive area in the past when it was all ranching. I realize that we need to turn this ground over. When we do that, we would have to seed it to barley hay and miss selling to our loyal horse customers as it would have to sell to ranchers. Maybe do half and half. A little alfalfa mixed with the grass (we love orchard grass) would be okay, but then the grass takes over eventually anyway. We would not plant straight alfalfa to sell for horses hay. No one would buy it, for one thing. Glad it works for you, however. In our country, it is too washy for cows. They need something in winter that takes longer to digest so that it sticks with them to keep them warm. It's a wonderful supplement. We really don't like feeding it at calving time. Causes cows to give too much milk, raises the ph level and can cause the calf to scour. We got along fine for over 40 years feeding mainly grass hay. Like I have said before, to quote Pat Parelli, "normal changes every 50 miles."

BMR, Mr. FH would like to see that spike tooth that you mentioned. When I told him about it, he chuckled and said. "that would keep me occupied for awhile." How wide is it?
 
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Faster horses

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I asked how much you get and what the bales weigh to see if the fertilizer pencils.
At $63 per acre for fertilizer and selling hay at $150 a ton it looks like it takes an additional 840 pounds of hay per acre to pencil. That should be a no brainer. A good fertilizer program could pretty easily add a ton per acre.
So what blend are you thinking? 27-13-13 or 70-10-10. Or the original 37-12-0? Give me a range that you recommend and I'll see how close to that I can come up with.
Thanks everyone for your patience and input.
 

Big Muddy rancher

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I thought I mentioned, it's gravity flow. No cost to pump, and actually no cost for the water. There is a cost to maintain the ditch and pay for the 'ditch rider' but it doesn't amount to much. It's added in on our annual taxes. This has been a really productive area in the past when it was all ranching. I realize that we need to turn this ground over. When we do that, we would have to seed it to barley hay and miss selling to our loyal horse customers as it would have to sell to ranchers. Maybe do half and half. A little alfalfa would be okay, but then the grass takes over eventually anyway.

BMR, Mr. FH would like to see that spike tooth that you mentioned. When I told him about it, he chuckled and said. "that would keep me occupied for awhile." How wide is it?
That was Mountain Cowgirl that mentioned that. These might work https://maybridgeharrows.com/
 

Faster horses

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Faster horses

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That was Mountain Cowgirl that mentioned that. These might work https://maybridgeharrows.com/
Guess what???? We have one!! Mr. FH just used one yesterday to go over the meadows and it took out a bunch of old
grass. He will go over everything with it. Not sure what brand it is, but it seems to be a good one. We bought it from a neighbor selling out. THANKS for the link!!
 

jodywy

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before we moved we spread inoculated Alsike clover either on late un melted snow snow or early spring just as green up . During the winter we feed heaver where wee needed fertilizer . these were high mountain meadows. Here we have spread inoculated Alsike clover on hay patches next to the creek where it gets wet feet from spring run off or after a heavy rain. kept us out of that buy fertilizer every year cycle
 

Mountain Cowgirl

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Are you sure they have 70-10-10? Maybe the 7 was meant to be a 2 and they wrote it down wrong. Straight Ammonium Nitrate is 34-0-0 and is a very common nitrogen in granular general use bagged fertilizer. Urea is 46-0-0 and much too hot for most applications. Organic farmers here mix it with compost.

I use 28-2-3 as a spring fertilizer. I use 16-16-16 in the late summer with great results. I went in to buy 3 bags of 21-10-10 for spring at a farm store and they no longer carried it but a forklift driver had just dropped a pallet of 28-2-3 and while waiting for the hazmat people they said to take all the bags I wanted for $20. I found 34 without any damage and loaded up spending less than the cost of one bag. It saved them money as only 6 busted bags for hazmat. I have been using it for 5 years and given away several bags to neighbors. it is a bit hotter than I like but I just cut back on the spreader feed.
 

Big Muddy rancher

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I was just visiting on another site about this.


28-0-0 has nitrate in it and will fry the plant. Melt 46-0-0 (2 tonnes per 800 gallons of water). Urea will not hurt the plant. 4X more efficient than putting in the soil.
1 gallon gives 1.8 pounds of N (equivalent of putting 7.2 in the soil). Most I heard of per pass is 4 gallons. Then add water.

Jack could do this with a little sprayer behind his Side X side.
 

webfoot

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Grass hay takes up about 40 pounds of N per ton +/=. I originally said apply about 70 pounds of N per acre. I figured an old estabished stand has some organic matter break down to provide another 40 pounds of N. I don't know how it is possible to have 70-10-10. I know of no granular N source that will give you 70% N. Urea works just fine. I have used lots of it. 150 pounds of urea per acre would give you 70 pounds of actual N. Get it watered in as soon as possible. Ammonium Nitrate is next to impossible to get anymore. That is what was used in the Ok City bombing. Ammonium Nitrate with a little diesel and something to get it started makes a pretty big bang. 27-13-13 needs about 260 pounds per acre to make 70 pounds of N. For that $63 figure I had used 200 pounds of the 37-13-0.
 

Faster horses

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Grass hay takes up about 40 pounds of N per ton +/=. I originally said apply about 70 pounds of N per acre. I figured an old estabished stand has some organic matter break down to provide another 40 pounds of N. I don't know how it is possible to have 70-10-10. I know of no granular N source that will give you 70% N. Urea works just fine. I have used lots of it. 150 pounds of urea per acre would give you 70 pounds of actual N. Get it watered in as soon as possible. Ammonium Nitrate is next to impossible to get anymore. That is what was used in the Ok City bombing. Ammonium Nitrate with a little diesel and something to get it started makes a pretty big bang. 27-13-13 needs about 260 pounds per acre to make 70 pounds of N. For that $63 figure I had used 200 pounds of the 37-13-0.
Thanks Webfoot.

I found what we used in 2018. They called it 70-10-10.
Here is the breakdown. This might solve what went into it.

Urea 46-0-0 2370#
MAP (whatever that is-Phos apparently) 11-52-0 310#
POT 0-0-62 270#

The charge was $478/ton applied at 183.5# per acre.
We got more acres applied than they set the spreader for....or something. I see in my notes.
Gee, we haven't fertilized since 2018!!

Waiting for a comment. Thanks again, all.
 

Faster horses

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I was just visiting on another site about this.


28-0-0 has nitrate in it and will fry the plant. Melt 46-0-0 (2 tonnes per 800 gallons of water). Urea will not hurt the plant. 4X more efficient than putting in the soil.
1 gallon gives 1.8 pounds of N (equivalent of putting 7.2 in the soil). Most I heard of per pass is 4 gallons. Then add water.

Jack could do this with a little sprayer behind his Side X side.
🤣😂🤣 Ya think???
I don't think so.
We are illiterate when it comes to things like this. I'm already confused.
I can really confuse him. We better stick to granular and a spreader. Unless I'm missing something.
 

webfoot

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Thanks Webfoot.

I found what we used in 2018. They called it 70-10-10.
Here is the breakdown. This might solve what went into it.

Urea 46-0-0 2370#
MAP (whatever that is-Phos apparently) 11-52-0 310#
POT 0-0-62 270#

The charge was $478/ton applied at 183.5# per acre.
We got more acres applied than they set the spreader for....or something. I see in my notes.
Gee, we haven't fertilized since 2018!!

Waiting for a comment. Thanks again, all.
More math than I want to do this late. It has been a long day.
 

Mountain Cowgirl

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Grass hay takes up about 40 pounds of N per ton +/=. I originally said apply about 70 pounds of N per acre. I figured an old estabished stand has some organic matter break down to provide another 40 pounds of N. I don't know how it is possible to have 70-10-10. I know of no granular N source that will give you 70% N. Urea works just fine. I have used lots of it. 150 pounds of urea per acre would give you 70 pounds of actual N. Get it watered in as soon as possible. Ammonium Nitrate is next to impossible to get anymore. That is what was used in the Ok City bombing. Ammonium Nitrate with a little diesel and something to get it started makes a pretty big bang. 27-13-13 needs about 260 pounds per acre to make 70 pounds of N. For that $63 figure I had used 200 pounds of the 37-13-0.
Exactly right on the ammonium nitrate. They used it as a blasting agent in mining and road construction mixed with diesel as a slurry and pumped it into a hole over a blasting cap as a less expensive method than dynamite. The government started regulating it in 2011. You can still get it from fertilizer places in quantity, but you have to meet the criteria and account for how you are using it. You can buy 40 lbs bags of 34-0-0 from Home depot but it is ammonium nitrate mixed with urea.
 

webfoot

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Thanks Webfoot.

I found what we used in 2018. They called it 70-10-10.
Here is the breakdown. This might solve what went into it.

Urea 46-0-0 2370#
MAP (whatever that is-Phos apparently) 11-52-0 310#
POT 0-0-62 270#

The charge was $478/ton applied at 183.5# per acre.
We got more acres applied than they set the spreader for....or something. I see in my notes.
Gee, we haven't fertilized since 2018!!

Waiting for a comment. Thanks again, all.
That 70-10-10 is not the mix. It is the pounds of each nutrient as applied. I came up the blend being 38-5-5. Applied at 183 pounds per acre I came up with 69.73 pounds of actual N and 9 ponds of P and K. I didn't go to far into decimal points so those 9's could be 9.8 or so which they probably rounded to 10.

So I am agreeing with them. 70 pounds of actual N. They could be a little higher on the K but not wanting to split hairs.
 

Faster horses

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That 70-10-10 is not the mix. It is the pounds of each nutrient as applied. I came up the blend being 38-5-5. Applied at 183 pounds per acre I came up with 69.73 pounds of actual N and 9 ponds of P and K. I didn't go to far into decimal points so those 9's could be 9.8 or so which they probably rounded to 10.

So I am agreeing with them. 70 pounds of actual N. They could be a little higher on the K but not wanting to split hairs.
So that would be what you are thinking would be the best to try. It's getting to be time to apply it, so maybe a soil test would have to wait til fall. Thinking we should take our chances now. It is raining now, but things are slow coming because it's been so cold. 28 degrees this morning. Our daughter who lives east of us about 100 miles said it was 20 degrees there this morning.
It's been a crappy spring here and it was crappy fall too.
 

DosArroyos

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I think you can get on line and find out the closest college that would do a soil test.They will have a form to fill out and you would pay with a credit card.Send it by priority mail and your data would come back pretty quick.
 

Faster horses

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Called today to see about the fertilizer. Of course, the price went up and they are having trouble getting product.
They wanted to send a spreader/cart with us that doesn't have a tarp. 🤣 25 miles away and no tarp.🤣 Mr. FH said
"no thanks. We will wait for a tarp."
So now it is $553/ton for 70-10-10. Still less than the other place at $630/ton for a different ratio.

Thanks for all your help.
 

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