Grass Management

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HDRider

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I want some feedback on my grass management

I have two parts and I treat them differently. The north side I hit with 200# per acre of triple 19 fertilizer at least once a year. The north side I don’t put any fertilizer on it. The cows eat hay on the north side through the winter.

The ph is 6 to 6.5 up from 5. I put about 3 tons of lime per acre first off.

This is my fifth year grazing 30 mama, a bull and maybe 15 calves at any given time.

The place had been grazed hard for decades, and hayed hard for 5 or six years before I got here. It is roughly 60% fescue, 20% native Bermuda , and 15% clover and 5% forbs. Plenty of trees

I rotate 6 sections about every 4 or 6 days. I was rotating every day or two. Water stations were making a mess with the more frequent moves, and I cannot tell any improvement in grass health moving more often. Each side does get about 30 to 45 days rest during grazing. The north side sits empty all winter.

I have always mowed at least once, twice early on. I may not mow this year. Someone put a bug in my ear that taller grass would lessen the effects of the dry months late summer.

So far this has been a grass bonanza this year. The fertilized side is crazy good grass. The hay eating side is pretty good. You can sure tell where I put fertilizer.

Anyone got questions?



Better yet, does anyone have suggestions?
 

kenny thomas

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I want some feedback on my grass management

I have two parts and I treat them differently. The north side I hit with 200# per acre of triple 19 fertilizer at least once a year. The north side I don’t put any fertilizer on it. The cows eat hay on the north side through the winter.

The ph is 6 to 6.5 up from 5. I put about 3 tons of lime per acre first off.

This is my fifth year grazing 30 mama, a bull and maybe 15 calves at any given time.

The place had been grazed hard for decades, and hayed hard for 5 or six years before I got here. It is roughly 60% fescue, 20% native Bermuda , and 15% clover and 5% forbs. Plenty of trees

I rotate 6 sections about every 4 or 6 days. I was rotating every day or two. Water stations were making a mess with the more frequent moves, and I cannot tell any improvement in grass health moving more often. Each side does get about 30 to 45 days rest during grazing. The north side sits empty all winter.

I have always mowed at least once, twice early on. I may not mow this year. Someone put a bug in my ear that taller grass would lessen the effects of the dry months late summer.

So far this has been a grass bonanza this year. The fertilized side is crazy good grass. The hay eating side is pretty good. You can sure tell where I put fertilizer.

Anyone got questions?



Better yet, does anyone have suggestions?
I disagree with leaving the "tall" grass if they are referring to the fescue stems. I am almost finished with taking my grass down to about 10". It will now come back strong.
 

callmefence

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I think I have pretty good grass. Definitely above average for my area. Leaving plenty of grass helps in dry hot weather there is no doubt In my mind of that.
19-19-19
Sounds pretty generic. Are you sure you're not putting out something you don't need?
I've never been around fescue, wouldn't know it if I saw so take that into consideration........................
.. never seen" native" Bermuda either..lol
 
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HDRider

HDRider

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19-19-19
Sounds pretty generic. Are you sure you're not putting out something you don't need?
I've never been around fescue, wouldn't know it if I saw so take that into consideration........................
Based on soil test I could not afford to put the level of fertilizer it needs, so there is no way I could put too much of something I don't need. It needs everything.
.. never seen" native" Bermuda either..lol

That is what they call the stuff that just shows up on its own, It's not any type of hybrid, it is just "native" here, not literally, but practically speaking.
 

BC

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What did your soil sample call for? I am not familiar with fescue, but bermuda uses nutrients in a 4-1-3 ratio.

You are on target with your rotation and yu can manage stubble height with grazing pressure. If you leave too much, it becomes less palatable and doesn't have as much nutrition as young tender grass.
 

1982vett

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Since I began “under utilizing” pasture 10 years ago, it’s grown healthier. More grass with less (mostly) zero inputs. No doubt about it. I fight the urge to fertilize all the time, but I’m growing all the grass I need without it.
 

Brute 23

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Based on soil test I could not afford to put the level of fertilizer it needs, so there is no way I could put too much of something I don't need. It needs everything.


That is what they call the stuff that just shows up on its own, It's not any type of hybrid, it is just "native" here, not literally, but practically speaking.
I knew what you meant. Its probably common bermuda.😉
 
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HDRider

HDRider

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What did your soil sample call for? I am not familiar with fescue, but bermuda uses nutrients in a 4-1-3 ratio.

You are on target with your rotation and yu can manage stubble height with grazing pressure. If you leave too much, it becomes less palatable and doesn't have as much nutrition as young tender grass.
I did a lot of soil sampling early on. My Bermuda hay field is really the only place I even come close to what it calls for, and I always try to put more back than I take haying.

My main goal with soil samples was to get the PH right.
 
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HDRider

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Since I began “under utilizing” pasture 10 years ago, it’s grown healthier. More grass with less (mostly) zero inputs. No doubt about it. I fight the urge to fertilize all the time, but I’m growing all the grass I need without it.
I am using the two sides as an experiment. One side with fertilizer, and the other side with no inputs. Anyone can tell which is which.

I am seeing steady annual improvements on both sides. I am probably on the edge of overstocked.
 
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HDRider

HDRider

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I disagree with leaving the "tall" grass if they are referring to the fescue stems. I am almost finished with taking my grass down to about 10". It will now come back strong.
Everyone here cuts the fescue when it makes a seed head. That is about now. I have followed that until this year.

Maybe I will cut when rain starts in the fall.

Rainfall by month
1624533747411.png
 

kenny thomas

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Everyone here cuts the fescue when it makes a seed head. That is about now. I have followed that until this year.

Maybe I will cut when rain starts in the fall.

Rainfall by month
View attachment 5318
If you want to test the theory mow some strips and leave some side by side. See if you can tell a difference. The seed heads have the highest level of fescue toxicity and also cause eye problems.
Think about this. I'm betting that at times you have said you wish your pasture would grow like your yard. One reason your yard grows is that it's mowed and is young and growing.
 
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HDRider

HDRider

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If you want to test the theory mow some strips and leave some side by side. See if you can tell a difference. The seed heads have the highest level of fescue toxicity and also cause eye problems.
Think about this. I'm betting that at times you have said you wish your pasture would grow like your yard. One reason your yard grows is that it's mowed and is young and growing.
I did the strip thing for two years on the fertilizer side. Honestly I could not tell anything.

I have said the same thing about the yard growing.

Kenny, I am wondering if the early summer cutting works better where it rains more in the summer. It gets hot, hot here, every day above 90, and dry, dry here for about 2 or 3 months. July, August, September are brutal on grass. The Bermuda does great, but as you know, Fescue goes dormant.

The taller grass theory seems to make sense about keep the soil cooler, and retaining moisture better.
 

callmefence

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If you want to test the theory mow some strips and leave some side by side. See if you can tell a difference. The seed heads have the highest level of fescue toxicity and also cause eye problems.
Think about this. I'm betting that at times you have said you wish your pasture would grow like your yard. One reason your yard grows is that it's mowed and is young and growing.
You also water your yard when it's hot and dry......
 

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