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My current plans in order:
We have a 40 acre center pivot that I’m disking this winter and sprigging in Midland 99 Bermuda in the spring. It’s fenced off and I plan to use it strictly for hay.
The common Bermuda fields I planned to just fertilize and spray and bring them back to life.
The areas that are in brush I plan to put in Wrangler Bermuda. This is where I have the biggest questions. NRCS office made the suggestion of Wrangler. They were against the hybrid Bermuda’s for grazing because they didn’t believe they would hold up to the grazing. Anyone had experience with Midland 99 for grazing pasture? Or is Wrangler my best bet long term?
Also very interested in B Dahl due to the fact that the fertilizer requirement is so much lower but my worries are the conflicting information I’m reading on how far north it will grow. Some of the seed salesman say I’m way to far north and some say South of I-40 it will be fine. Anyone with experience growing B Dahl in Oklahoma I would love to hear your opinion. The other reason I keep pushing off B Dahl is that my soil type is sandy loam. Anyone growing B Dahl on sandy loam soil and having success?
As for my prairie grass pastures: I’ve heard recommendations on this going different directions. It’s free grass in that you don’t have to fertilize and it comes back year after year. The production is low though and the protein is even lower so the “free hay” that I cut off of it every year has to be supplemented with protein. Would anyone recommend converting these pastures over? I’ve had guys tell me that is a cardinal sin and you never do anything to harm your native. I’m all ears and here to learn. I won’t take offense. Please tell me what ideas you think are stupid and what you’d do if it were yours.
Thanks in advance for any help and advice.
- kenny thomas
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- Trail Boss
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As for native grass, I would graze it rather than bale it. Native makes worthless hay. Far as I’m concerned not even worth the expense it takes to bale it. From what I’ve noticed in my area places that are still native grass are that way for a reason. Either very light soil, or highly erodible. If that’s the case, I would leave it and use it to graze, otherwise I would tear it up and plant something else.
- bird dog
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Dahl is a great grass but hard to establish, I would try something easier. Sprigging may depend on what your local sprigging contractors have available. They are probably your best source of information on what will work best on your land. Your ideas on the common bermuda are correct with an emphasis on spraying. As many on here have said, its much easier and cheaper to improve what you have than to start fresh.
My best suggestion is to not try to do to much at once. It gets expensive in a hurry. Clear some brush and see what works and then repeat or try something else. More than once I have spent a lot of money on land prep, seed and fertilizer only to not get any rain.
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Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day. ~Harry S. Truman
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I agree. Having an excess amount of a high maintenance grass like bermuda leave much profit margin for a cattle operation. Personally, I use bermuda mostly for hay production since it will produce more forage than the cattle can eat when properly cared for. Failure to utilize the bermuda before 30 days or so makes it lose its feed value so you have basically wasted a lot of money on fertilizer. I prefer to have a balance between steady slower growing grasses that the cattle can eat before it goes rank and some bermuda which I try and harvest at its peak nutrition for use as hay. This way I feel I get the best of both worlds.
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I agree with Kenny on this. (I wish we still had a like button) Alway soil test and don't just uses. Most everyone in our area uses 19-19-19 which is not smart. I will defer to those more knowledgeable than I on what is best in your area.
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