Grass on new land

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oscarsteve

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I'm located in East Central Georgia, north of I-20 (yep it's really dry here right now). I'm in the process of converting timber land into pasture. Loggers just moved out last week and land clearing crew moving in by the end of this week. This will be about 25 acres. I'm asking for suggestions on grazing forage mixtures for this land. I have a cow/calf operation. Because of the timing, I don't know if I would be better off going with cool season annuals ASAP and work towards something more permanent later, or try to go ahead with some permanent/perennial grass mix now. Any suggestions foe either scenario would be appreciated.
 

Jogeephus

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If it were me, I'd go with a cool season annual for now but stay away from ryegrass then this spring I'd harrow this up and plant Tiftleaf 3 millet with a grain drill that has a small seed box. In the small seed box I'd put bahia seed and let the seed fall tubeless onto the ground to be scratched in by the chains. By the time the Tiftleaf 3 plays out you should have a good stand of bahia and next spring you should have a good permanent stand of grass without missing a beat.
 
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oscarsteve

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So, you're saying you would stay away from an annual ryegrass...not just a perennial? Bahia is the dominant grass I currently have in the other pastures. But it's just whatever came up (wasn't planted). Can't remember if that means Pensacola or Argentine? So, what variety of Bahia would you recommend?
 

Jogeephus

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Reason I'd stay away from a perennial like bahia right now is its not the time to plant it. You should do this in the spring. While you'll get a bunch of grazing with the ryegrass on bare dirt the new ryegrass yield more forage but this is due a lot to them breeding the grass to tolerate hotter temps which will be problematic when you try to harrow the ground to plant your millet. By going at it the way I suggested is you it will give you two chances to plow and level the ground before you get it back in grass. Argentiine bahia will have a wide leaf and pensacola a more narrow blade. I use Tift 9 bahia and like it. It is one of the first to green up but I was told there is a new bahia out now that can tolerate even colder temps. I don't know enough about this grass to say one way or the other but I don't think you can go wrong with Tift9. And doing it this way you'll have it in production without having to wait for a perennial to establish.
 

BC

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I like Jogeephus's suggestion. Annual ryegrass would give you more grazing, BUT will hang on TOO long next spring when you want to plant your permanent grass. Spring is the time to plant Bahia. If you try to plant it now, it would not have a chance to get well established before winter. Go with the Tift 9. More production. I like the idea of planting the Bahia with a quick growing summer annual to give grazing the first year.
 

Jogeephus

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That's the one he was talking about. He seems to love it.

I'm a little skeptical about it myself given its cost.
 
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oscarsteve

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Just got back the results of the soil sample for this land (land clearing crew moving equipment in right now). Recommendation is for 4-5.25 tons/acre of lime to get the ph into 6.0-6.5 range. Geez, don't know if I can afford to do that BUT can I really afford NOT to do it? 0-150lbs./acre nitrogen,100 lbs/acre Phosphate and 90 lbs./acre Potash.
 

Jabes0623

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Fertilize & lime as close to what's called for as you possibly can. It's like building a house, you don't cheap out on the foundation or the roof. Well this is the foundation of the pasture for the next 5,10,20 years. Doing it right the first time is way cheaper than doing it wrong.

My Papaw always told me: "Jabes, buy once, cry once..."
 

True Grit Farms

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oscarsteve":3tadbiig said:
Just got back the results of the soil sample for this land (land clearing crew moving equipment in right now). Recommendation is for 4-5.25 tons/acre of lime to get the ph into 6.0-6.5 range. Geez, don't know if I can afford to do that BUT can I really afford NOT to do it? 0-150lbs./acre nitrogen,100 lbs/acre Phosphate and 90 lbs./acre Potash.

Put a couple of tons out this year and a couple more tons next year. Same with the fertilizer, triple 15 at 300 - 400 lbs to the acre will grow about anything, and top dress with ammonium nitrate after its up good.
 

Jogeephus

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I'd worry about the lime first then the basics and the N last. No need to put it out there when its just going to be locked up due to the acid. Your winter crop will probably look like shyt but if you put the lime out then this spring your pH should be in line and you can start following the fertility recommendations. Or don't and plant blueberries.
 

Ebenezer

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Separate lime and complete fertilizer applications by several months or you will not get full benefit of either due to chemical/electronic competition in soil and binding with the applied elements. Put lime first. Plow in first application of lime if you can. But you will not need 6+ pH unless you are going heavy on clover. Bahiagrass does not need that. Rye can be almost as drying and aleapathic for the next crop as ryegrass so I would use some other cool season annual than those two.
 

pdfangus

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not much use putting down more than two tons of lime at a time as the soil does not have the capacity to react with an over abundance of lime for a magical transformation.....put a couple of tons down and retest and apply annually until you get where you want to be.

the ph did not get that low overnight and you are not going to balance it in one application....

as others have said the fertility will not be utilized until the ph is right. particularly don't apply too much nitrogen as any not taken up by a plant will either volatilize or leach away through the soil profile.....Nitrogen should be applied to a green and growing plant which can uptake and use it. a little starter nitrogen is fine but then apply to growing crops in smaller amounts.

you can build new ground soil by planting cover crops and returning the organic matter to the soil to feed the soil microscopic life.....I have had folks work wonders on poor soil by planting successive cover crops and just bushogiing them and then planting another cover crop....

cover crop should include grasses or small grains, legumes (at least one or more), brassicas, and perhaps some other broadleafs. attention should be paid to using some deep rooted crops to break compaction and enhance soil structure.
 
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oscarsteve

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PDFAngus, all that makes sense. My wife and I just attended 2 days of the UGA Grazing School in Tifton last week.A lot of emphasis given to the use of cover crops; including some you mentioned. However, we live in a community referred to as "Sandtown". And for good reason. In addition, I've watched the land clearing crew the last 2 days getting up the stumps with a D8R dozier and blade. There are a lot of stumps and they're digging down pretty deep and moving a lot of dirt around doing so. Then a D7R with a root rake is pushing it all near a trackhoe that is shaking dirt off everything and then making large piles for burning. I don't think compaction is gonna be a problem for a while on this piece of ground. :D
 

Beefy

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Same here. Trying to decide between 9, quik, and 85. The bahias are going to take over anyway unless I fight them with spray all the time plus they will reseed themselves there and wherever I feed. I've heard lots of good things about the quik except the price. I need something resistant to a leveling harrow on account of hogs.
 

Jogeephus

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Beefy":1x3ypthx said:
Same here. Trying to decide between 9, quik, and 85. The bahias are going to take over anyway unless I fight them with spray all the time plus they will reseed themselves there and wherever I feed. I've heard lots of good things about the quik except the price. I need something resistant to a leveling harrow on account of hogs.

My concern with quick - beside the price - is its prostrate and isn't as tolerant to careful grazing as 9. I've talked to two people who have it and get mixed reviews. One loves it but he also tends to raise a bunch of strange livestock, the other a hardcore cattleman says he thinks its good but maybe not that much better than 9. Then if you look at the seeding rate the seed salesmen recommend for the quick it can get pretty expensive to establish.
 

Jogeephus

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Beefy":38tfft93 said:
When do you throw out your clover?

I haven't planted clover in years. It just comes back. When I planted it I put it out in the fall. What I do now is bale it and keep the clover hay separate and feed it first in areas I want more clover.
 

Stocker Steve

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Jogeephus":3ddi8y1a said:
What I do now is bale it and keep the clover hay separate and feed it first in areas I want more clover.

2X
The clovers really take over once you get the ph and fertility up.
The issue in the north is that cow pie clover germinates early and a cold snap will kill the seedlings.
 
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