Spreading Manure on Hayfield

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BigBear56
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Spreading Manure on Hayfield

Post by BigBear56 » Mon Jun 22, 2020 1:35 pm

I did a soil test on rented hay ground this past winter and the results were underwhelming. Very low on potash and low on phosphorus. I’ve consulted with my county extension office and applied fertilizer per their recommendations. $$$$$

I’m wanting to start spreading my manure on this hayfield. I realize the manure may not give me all the N, P, and K I need but it certainly would help.

I have no experience with this. We always spread in corn and bean fields when I was younger. My concern is big globs of manure choking out the grass and being left in large clumps. I have my eye on a John Deere Model R spreader which, from YouTube videos, looks like it can chop it up pretty good.

I plan to clean out stalls in the spring and compost the manure (flip it a couple times) during the summer and spread right after our last cutting. Possibly tarp it a couple months before spreading to help it dry out and lessen the possibility of clumping.

I currently have about 40 cubic yards of manure piled and most of it is a year or 2 old.

Am I on the right path?



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Re: Spreading Manure on Hayfield

Post by Aaron » Mon Jun 22, 2020 1:45 pm

Yes. Leave it in pile over the summer and spread in fall. It will break apart very well. Spread at high speed apron speed and low ground speed. It will completely change that field in terms of production.
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Re: Spreading Manure on Hayfield

Post by BigBear56 » Mon Jun 22, 2020 2:11 pm

Aaron wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 1:45 pm
Yes. Leave it in pile over the summer and spread in fall. It will break apart very well. Spread at high speed apron speed and low ground speed. It will completely change that field in terms of production.
Thanks Aaron! I was thinking the same thing in regards to ground speed and beater speed.

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Re: Spreading Manure on Hayfield

Post by Texasmark » Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:36 pm

I have a JD Model N. Have slung all sorts of things. It does a good job of pulverizing wet or dry, full of hay stems or sloppy with too much moisture from stall cleanings. Great for cleaning up areas where you fed round bales. I use mine more for organic matter incorporation as NPK do suck. Cows are stingy.... they keep it inside. :D

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Re: Spreading Manure on Hayfield

Post by Nesikep » Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:46 pm

I find composting too long makes you lose too much goodness of the manure, especially on hay fields where you're looking for more nitrogen.
I scrape it when the cows go out, usually mid may, pile it and turn it a few times, spread it after my first cut if conditions are good to do so, I go at about 4-5mph full throttle and high apron speed, throws it 20 ft in the air, I make about 20 ft swathes.

Really good to have a pan under the beaters too
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Re: Spreading Manure on Hayfield

Post by BigBear56 » Mon Jun 22, 2020 8:42 pm

Texasmark wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:36 pm
I have a JD Model N. Have slung all sorts of things. It does a good job of pulverizing wet or dry, full of hay stems or sloppy with too much moisture from stall cleanings. Great for cleaning up areas where you fed round bales. I use mine more for organic matter incorporation as NPK do suck. Cows are stingy.... they keep it inside. :D
That’s what I have now. Mainly clean out around bale feeders. This winter my plan is to have them all up on concrete so it I should have quite a bit more next spring. Been way to warm in the winters here and I can’t take the mud anymore!

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Re: Spreading Manure on Hayfield

Post by BigBear56 » Mon Jun 22, 2020 8:45 pm

Nesikep wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:46 pm
I find composting too long makes you lose too much goodness of the manure, especially on hay fields where you're looking for more nitrogen.
I scrape it when the cows go out, usually mid may, pile it and turn it a few times, spread it after my first cut if conditions are good to do so, I go at about 4-5mph full throttle and high apron speed, throws it 20 ft in the air, I make about 20 ft swathes.

Really good to have a pan under the beaters too
And by the time you make second cutting all the clumps are gone? I would be afraid to pick those clumps up in the haybine. We run the cutter bar about 4” off the ground so that would probably help. Only about 6 weeks between cuttings here.

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Re: Spreading Manure on Hayfield

Post by Dave » Mon Jun 22, 2020 9:05 pm

Composting will cause you to lose a huge portion of the nitrogen. As for clumps. If you have too many or too big of clumps simply drag the field with a pasture harrow. That will break the clumps up.

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Re: Spreading Manure on Hayfield

Post by Nesikep » Mon Jun 22, 2020 10:01 pm

BigBear56 wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 8:45 pm
Nesikep wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:46 pm
I find composting too long makes you lose too much goodness of the manure, especially on hay fields where you're looking for more nitrogen.
I scrape it when the cows go out, usually mid may, pile it and turn it a few times, spread it after my first cut if conditions are good to do so, I go at about 4-5mph full throttle and high apron speed, throws it 20 ft in the air, I make about 20 ft swathes.

Really good to have a pan under the beaters too
And by the time you make second cutting all the clumps are gone? I would be afraid to pick those clumps up in the haybine. We run the cutter bar about 4” off the ground so that would probably help. Only about 6 weeks between cuttings here.
if it's hay for sale, I'd maybe avoid it, but if it's for my cows I don't care, neither do they
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Re: Spreading Manure on Hayfield

Post by Texasmark » Tue Jun 23, 2020 7:00 am

Nesikep wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:46 pm
I find composting too long makes you lose too much goodness of the manure, especially on hay fields where you're looking for more nitrogen.
I scrape it when the cows go out, usually mid may, pile it and turn it a few times, spread it after my first cut if conditions are good to do so, I go at about 4-5mph full throttle and high apron speed, throws it 20 ft in the air, I make about 20 ft swathes.

Really good to have a pan under the beaters too
I'm in Houston Black Clay. It has 2 states: Rock or mud. Anything I can do to increase the percolation and break up the rocks is welcomed. Course I don't want to over do it as that caking ability is what holds moisture for summer growth.

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Re: Spreading Manure on Hayfield

Post by Stocker Steve » Wed Jun 24, 2020 7:42 am

Are you losing N during composting, or is it used to break down carbon?
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Re: Spreading Manure on Hayfield

Post by Texasmark » Wed Jun 24, 2020 8:39 am

Stocker Steve wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 7:42 am
Are you losing N during composting, or is it used to break down carbon?
You didn't specify to whom you were addressing. If me, I don't keep any numbers on it and the amount of "poo" vs acreage is a drop in the bucket.

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Re: Spreading Manure on Hayfield

Post by SDM » Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:51 am

Stocker Steve wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 7:42 am
Are you losing N during composting, or is it used to break down carbon?
If you smell ammonia it's volatilizing. If the pile is uncovered some may be leached out. Other than these it's still in there. Some forms will be more readily available to plants than others.

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Re: Spreading Manure on Hayfield

Post by Dave » Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:09 am

SDM wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:51 am
Stocker Steve wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 7:42 am
Are you losing N during composting, or is it used to break down carbon?
If you smell ammonia it's volatilizing. If the pile is uncovered some may be leached out. Other than these it's still in there. Some forms will be more readily available to plants than others.
Beings as about a third of the N is in the form of ammonia that is a substantial loss. The organic nitrogen has to convert to nitrate which is the plant available form of nitrogen. In this process the microbes will make more ammonia which has the potential to volatilize.

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