Winter pasture, permanent pasture, or both?

Discuss grasses and how to grow and harvest them.
Conagher
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Winter pasture, permanent pasture, or both?

Post by Conagher » Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:43 am

Looking for recommendations on what to do with about 6 ac. I just cleared off. It was pretty much solid trees, so no real grass to speak of. I need to put in a permanent pastue at some point- plan to sprig with either coastal, jigs or tifton 85. Should I put it in winter pasture first - say around first of Oct, and then plow it up and sprig later - around Feb? Or is the month or two of winter pasture worth the extra effort/cost?

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Post by certherfbeef » Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:51 am

We just cleared a bit af woods for more pasture too. The cows will be wintered there this year and the round bales unrolled across the part that was cleared. That will help to get "something" established. You must have done a better job of clearing than we did...no way we could plow it. But we arn't wasting the money on seed for a few years yet.
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Post by txag » Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:56 am

another option would be to go ahead & plant your grass in the fall. we prefer to sprig or plant tops in the early fall so they get established before the first frost. then in the spring, you just have to watch 'em grow. :D

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cleared land

Post by bigbull338 » Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:57 am

well let the old man jump in here.id plant it to wheat an clover for winter grazing.an put emm on himag minerals a month before i turn on it.id graze a day on a day off.then in spring id plant millet or sudan grass for summer grazing. but thats me. scott

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Post by Conagher » Thu Jul 28, 2005 12:08 pm

Thanks Folks! Three very different recommendations, just what I was hoping for. Keep'em coming ...

Thanks!

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Post by 1848 » Thu Jul 28, 2005 1:01 pm

I would rye it the first year. It's easily planted, germinates fast, and provides excellent protein, plus it should come back volunteer every cool season, and that will be what you want if you plan on year round use! Use either gulf or Tam 90. If you are going to sprig early spring then use gulf, cause it will die out sooner. You can always keep overseeding they rye later on once the bermuda (or whatever you decide on) is established.

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Post by 1848 » Thu Jul 28, 2005 1:03 pm

P.S. Bigbull is right. Make sure you provide good mineral with any winter pasture.

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Post by BC » Thu Jul 28, 2005 5:09 pm

If you plan on sprigging it to a permanent pasture next spring, I would strongly suggest that you use a cereal rye (like Elbon, Maton, Wintermore 70) and not ryegrass. The reason is the ryegrass holds on too long and is tougher to kill out in the spring to prevent competition. Cereal rye will begin to play out in mid to late March, but is the most cold tolerant of all the cereal crops (wheat, oats, barley, etc) It also tolerates our acidic, sandy East Texas soils.

Do not plant a winter cover crop the first year after you sprig. That bermuda doesn't need the competition that following spring after establishment. After that rye/ryegrass or ryegrass-cloer mixes do well if you manage to get the excess of in the spring as to not hinder the summer grass.

Keep out a hi-mag mineral when grazing on winter pastures.

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Post by Texan » Thu Jul 28, 2005 8:28 pm

Depends on how much money you want to throw at it. If the money even matters to you. Winter pasture is pretty expensive to me, but it might be pocket change to you. Personally, I wouldn't even consider trying to establish something this Fall if I knew I was going to sprig it early in the Spring. You would have to go over it and prepare a seedbed twice. Plus, your cool season pasture would just be getting into peak production about the time you needed to plow it all under. That's a waste of money to me.

If it were mine, I would spend late Summer and early Fall being sure it was cleaned up and leveled like I wanted it. Unless it has so much slope that it is essential to have it covered, I would just hope that something free and volunteer would come up to cover it over the winter. Then it won't hurt as bad to get rid of that cover crop in the early Spring. If you don't have any money invested in a winter pasture, you will be more apt to work it when you need to, instead of possibly waiting too late. Your hybrid Bermudas are a long-term investment. They will work for you for years and years. Forget about expensive short-term projects like annual winter pasture if your goal is to establish one of the Bermudas.

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Post by Campground Cattle » Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:55 pm

Winter pasture is expensive I tried it for a few years doesn't pay in my book. Plus if you spray with Grazon next spring or summer you kill the seeds from your winter grass or clover.
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Post by Beefy » Thu Jul 28, 2005 10:55 pm

just sprig it now. or leave it like others suggested. something will come up. last winter we decided to take in a small crop field as pasture and we unrolled our alicia rolls in there when we fed the cows. surprisingly, there is pretty much a solid stand of alicia there now.
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Post by J. T. » Fri Jul 29, 2005 7:34 am

If the soil is completely bare you need to get something growing on it to prevent erosion. Ryegrass would be a good choice. It will grow vigorously and will give you a good ground cover, and it's wondeful winter grazing.

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Post by Conagher » Fri Jul 29, 2005 8:26 am

Great inputs from all, thanks!

Really good points by Texan and J.T. since the ground is both sloped and bare, thus erosion is going to be an issue.

Sounds like my best option is to prepare the ground as best I can for sprigging, but add enough winter cover to control the erosion.

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Post by BC » Fri Jul 29, 2005 8:57 am

J. T. wrote:If the soil is completely bare you need to get something growing on it to prevent erosion. Ryegrass would be a good choice. It will grow vigorously and will give you a good ground cover, and it's wondeful winter grazing.


Ryegrass is an excellent forage and can help stop erosion. Unfortunately, it does its best growth when you need to prepare your ground for the permanent pasture. There is a dairy next to me that utilizes rotational grazing. I have watched and talked to the owner as he has taken Coastal Bermuda out and replaced it with Tifton 85. His advice was to not use ryegrass as a winter cover crop, but use cereal rye. His experience showed too much spring competition from ryegrass and delaying getting the bermuda sprigged. He also advised against overseeding the first year of bermuda establishment. After that he overseeds his paddocks.

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Post by dun » Fri Jul 29, 2005 9:14 am

Conagher wrote:

since the ground is both sloped and bare, thus erosion is going to be an issue.



If you leave it bare I have some excellent spiny pigweed that you can use for a ground cover. No water needed, the only thing I've seen that will germinate in a drought. Of course you'll never get rid of it, but I'm told goats and mules love it.

dun

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