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What would your advice be? Spray or not to spray...

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Faster horses

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Let me start off by saying, "we are not farmers." :D

However, we have about 90 acres that we are trying to get back into alfalfa.
It's not a great piece of ground and so far everything we have done regarding growing something has been a bust.
We worked it up, then in 2012 planted it to hay barley (that didn't make due to drought) so that fall we grazed it;
then in 2013 we summer fallowed it; the fall of 2013 we had
our neighbor plant it to winter wheat. We fertilized it in 2014 and sprayed it for weeds.
It was so wet they couldn't get in to combine it
and it sprouted in the head and was worthless. So we gave it away for feed for someone
combining of it to get it off the field. There was still a lot of wheat on the ground and a LOT of weeds growing.

This fall (2014) we took the advice of another
neighbor who has great success with fall planting so we planted alfalfa and
a couple varieties of crested wheat. What we are concerned about is
that the field is FULL OF WEEDS. Our neighbor says not to worry about it,
the alfalfa will come up just fine. We don't understand how the new alfalfa/crested seed
will be able to compete with all the weed seed. So,
what do you guys think? Should we spray it with Roundup early?
Our neighbor says not, but others say to spray it. We don't know what to do.
We are sure tired of this piece of ground, needless to say. :cry:

Looking forward to your thoughts.
 

Silver

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What sorts of weeds? If it's not full of the bad guys and the catch of hay looks good I'd leave it
 

Hereford76

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Probably the biggest deal I had to learn establishing or redoing hay ground or improved pastures was not expecting it to be perfect right off the bat. The only thing I'd do is either mow it next fall before the weeds set seed but late enough it don't have time to try again or hay it off. Just leave enough to protect the alfalfa/grass going into next winter plus catch some snow. If conditions were right you should be good. Don't know your country but here sometimes it don't matter how timely or perfect you do things it just don't take... all dryly d tho in real low rainfall area. Good luck
 

Ho55

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You should have sprayed it right before planting your alfalfa this past fall. Now you have to leave it be. If you spray it this spring you'll damage your young hay you just planted. Let the alfalfa get established. In a year from this coming spring, wait till the weeds start to green up and spray.
 

Big Muddy rancher

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I was thinking of spaying my old hay fields that the grass has taken over with Achieve. Take the grass out and Foxtail and let the established alfalfa come back.

Any ideas?
 

James

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If it was mine I would leave it and hay it off mid summer and the weeds should be gone. But then again I do things different here, plan to notill alfalfa into grass this spring, neighbors think I am nuts, done it before with good results, no chemicals
 

Silver

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James said:
If it was mine I would leave it and hay it off mid summer and the weeds should be gone. But then again I do things different here, plan to notill alfalfa into grass this spring, neighbors think I am nuts, done it before with good results, no chemicals

Do you fertilize when you do that? What do you use for a drill? I'd like to try this sometime.
 

Faster horses

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James said:
If it was mine I would leave it and hay it off mid summer and the weeds should be gone. But then again I do things different here, plan to notill alfalfa into grass this spring, neighbors think I am nuts, done it before with good results, no chemicals

You did that and had good results? Hummm. We have been told for YEARS that wouldn't work. :shock: :???: You learn something every day. Mr. FH
would go for that. He hates seeing dirt. :D
 

lefty

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I would find out your PH level first , 6.5or better for alfalfa . is important & potash. if its low I would spread Pell lime on it , It might take all summer for the little alfalfa plants to get a root in the ground & grow . If it wont make a hay crop I would just clip the field with a mower just before the weeds seed out & let the rest grow .
 

James

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Hey FH that is what I was also told, but as I said I do things different and it has worked for me, will be quite a few weeds the first cutting but after that has been real good alfalfa.
 

Faster horses

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James said:
Hey FH that is what I was also told, but as I said I do things different and it has worked for me, will be quite a few weeds the first cutting but after that has been real good alfalfa.

That is wonderful to know.
What kind of ground do you have? We have a lot of gumbo and when it
gets hot and dry, that ground is like cement... :cry:
 

Mike

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Depends on whether your weeds are perennial or annual.

P.S. Took some pecans to be cracked and dropped them off. Guy called and said they weren't worth it. Dried up from summer/early fall drought I guess. Sorry.
 

Faster horses

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Mike said:
Depends on whether your weeds are perennial or annual.

P.S. Took some pecans to be cracked and dropped them off. Guy called and said they weren't worth it. Dried up from summer/early fall drought I guess. Sorry.

You are sorry. I'm really sorry. :cry: :cry: :cry:
Thank you very much anyway. Hope next year is a better pecan year!
Didn't realize pecans were a 'next year' crop too. :D :p :wink:
 

PureCountry

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lefty said:
I would find out your PH level first , 6.5or better for alfalfa . is important & potash. if its low I would spread Pell lime on it , It might take all summer for the little alfalfa plants to get a root in the ground & grow . If it wont make a hay crop I would just clip the field with a mower just before the weeds seed out & let the rest grow .

We've had alfalfa establish with a pH of 5.2, but I agree 100%, 6.5 is optimal.

FH, if you're land is gumbo that hardens like that, it is most likely high in magnesium, or at least the Calcium to Mg ratio is out of wack in favor of the Mg. The alfalfa can help over time with that, but if you take hay off of it year after year without putting on some type of Calcium and other nutrients it will not improve. I'd try spraying on a foliar mix. These products are all powder or liquids that you mix in 10-20 gallons of water per acre:
GSR Calcium - 150grams
Soft Rock phosphate - most brands will do - 1.5-2 lbs
Sugar-any kind - 1lb
Compost tea - 1-2 gallons
Liquid fish - 1-2 gallons

A treatment like this did a lot of good for our alfalfa. It cost $36/acre for the products. Might be worth a try.
 

Faster horses

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I think we will find out the PH in the soil. However, the alfalfa is already planted, as I mentioned in my first post. This was a field that was in CRP
since 1987. It came out 3-4 years ago and that's when we worked it up.
There was still alfalfa in it, more than one would think. We just hope to
get it back to hay.

Thanks for all your replies. We are considering what to do going forward.
Definitely some good information here.
 

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