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Converting crop land back to pasture: North Central Texas newbie addition

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texasmedic

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This is my first post. I've been a lurker for the last couple years, but finally decided to ask a question I wasn't able to find a real answer to. I'm in the process of buying a new farm in Hill County, Texas. It's 30 acres that is currently in corn. I have zero desire to buy a combine so I'll be converting it back to pasture land. That's not actually true, big machines sound like lots of fun but 30 acres of corn won't be profitable enough to justify buying a combine and all the equipment needed to farm it. And cows are more entertaining than corn. I know that it will be an uphill and time consuming process, but I think it will be fun. I won't be relying on the cattle to pay my bills, so it can take a while to get to it. I'd like for them to at least pay for themselves in the next 5 years. I'll use this thread to document the process.

My main question is for the guys familiar with the area: what kind of seed should I put down? My lease pastures now are full of Bermuda and Johnson and has good winter grass as well. I would like both a winter and summer mix so that I can graze as year-round as possible. I don't mind feeding some winter hay, but I think cattle just look better on live grass.

Next question is what are your recommendations to getting started on this? I have some ideas, have heard many other ideas but am always open to new ones.
 

Cross-7

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I didn't read it all but here cropland is worth more than grass, so converting cropland to grass is a move in the wrong direction unless you plan on keeping it
Edit
Yo answer your question
Might be right
Might be wrong
But my plan is bermuda and ryegrass with hay in between
 

Son of Butch

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texasmedic":3unsep8j said:
I'm in the process of buying a new farm in Hill County, Texas.
My main question is for the guys familiar with the area: what kind of seed should I put down?
Why so narrow minded?
I'd suggest a mixture of Arctic Orchard Grass and Sugar Cane. :)

and of course :welcome: to the boards
 

Caustic Burno

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Cross-7":1jxxc4lg said:
I didn't read it all but here cropland is worth more than grass, so converting cropland to grass is a move in the wrong direction unless you plan on keeping it
Edit
Yo answer your question
Might be right
Might be wrong
But my plan is bermuda and ryegrass with hay in between

Used to raise a lot of peanuts there.
 

callmefence

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Very familiar with your area. Went to highschool in Alvarado.
I'm not far to your southwest

For grazing/ hay for cattle Klein grass is just hard to beat. Bermuda is great, just harder to establish and that fertilizer addiction it has.
Winter grass your pretty much going to be limited to ryegrass.

Unless your in that strip of sand in northern part of the county. I doubt it if you were in corn.
But if so i would look at crabgrass
 

bird dog

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If its plowed and you are in no hurry, I would turn it again in February and have it sprigged with Coastal, Tifton 85 or Jiggs.

If you want to get something going now, I would get a good seedbed ready and plant or broadcast some Rye grass around the first of October. I'm also a big fan of Klein grass. Its a small seed and a little bit hard to plant correctly if you don't have any equipment. I come through there every four or five days if you need somebody to look at it. I had a place close to Itasca a few years back. What town are you close to?
 

1982vett

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Don't know your operation, but 30 acres of winter pasture (oats and ryegrass) would certainly help support your lease pastures....back in the day, that's what Hill County was.
 
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texasmedic

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The new place is technically in Hillsboro, about 10 minutes west of town. It's all black dirt, nothing sandy from what I saw when I looked at it. I'll look into the Klein grass. I'll probably throw out Rye grass for the winter as well. I'm going to try and get in contact with the local ag extension and see what I can learn from them too.

Keeping it in crops really doesn't work for what I want to do/have the capacity to do. This is going to be a hobby farm/homestead type thing. I'll be using this property to learn as much as I can and expand the cattle stuff as I grow. There will be lots of trials and I'm sure I'll screw up a lot. Most important to be is having a good foundation to start with. The leased land I'm on right now is 150 miles away, so the cows won't be staying up there too long after I finalize on this place. And in reality, the deal isn't completed yet so it could all go away.
 

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