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Halfway Job of Pasture Renovation

Jogeephus

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I have a small pasture that I use to feed hay in. Over the years it has become not so pretty with bull holes, rotten hay and bare spots. Last spring I decide to fix the field by burning it off then harrowing the ground smooth. My thoughts were that there would be enough bahia seed remaining to reseed the pasture and I'd plant a nurse crop of millet to provide some grazing. Unfortunately we had a severe drought and the bahia didn't seed in as well as I had hoped and I ended up with a ratty stand. I thought this was a complete failure until this fall and winter when I found the pasture was covered in native ryegrass. The amount of forage this ryegrass created was amazing and whenever we had moisture hay consumption dropped to half what it would normally be. I found this interesting and makes me rethink exactly what is an improved pasture. Just thought it interesting.
 

mobgrazer

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I ended up deep plowing 120 +/- acres this year. I put down crabgrass and the leftover seeds of everything else sitting around from the last few years. I did get about half inch of growth with a few light rains. But then it rained like a cow pissing on a flat rock for a day with patches of heavy rains for the next 2 days and I thought I lost it all. On the way back for getting the kids form school I noticed that a few low points got washed out but the rest is about 1.5” high.

I’m getting my next load of seed on Friday and will spread it out then. As long as I’m able to get in there with the go-cart and a utility trailer so I can get some seed out where needed.

I still think I have screwed this up big time. I should have let it be till the heavy rains had come and gone but I have to much that I have to get done this spring and jumped on it when the weather was nice. It did not wash out very bad and as long as it dose not wash out and I have greenery it will not be too bad. I just hope I have the luck of jogeephus.
 

1982vett

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rusty":3gw8e8xi said:
Sounds to me like you need to go screw up some more.

Coming out smelling like a rose after a screwup? Forget it if it includes a drought!

:p Seems like "improved pastures" might not be such an improvement they used to be. High cost to get them established, then the fertilizer need to get them to produce their potential. Neither improve or unimproved do well in a drought. One thing that they do excel in. When a drought hits and the natives grasses are used up. You will probably always have some old tough improved grasses the cows had refused to eat left. Eventually they will get hungry enough to eat it. :lol:
 

Jogeephus

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I don't know the answer but this has changed my view of improved pastures greatly. I can't say this pasture produced as much feed during the year as the improved pastures but it did produce more feed during the lean times - and without any input whatsoever.

mobgrazer":1a145ncc said:
I still think I have screwed this up big time. I should have let it be till the heavy rains had come and gone but I have to much that I have to get done this spring and jumped on it when the weather was nice. It did not wash out very bad and as long as it dose not wash out and I have greenery it will not be too bad.

I know where you are coming from cause I work seasons too. Its hard to get everything done in the short windows we are given to work in. Its tough and sometimes you just gotta go on and do it and take the chance even if deep down you might know better. BTW - I got a lot of that washed out seed too. We got 5 inches the other day just as some seed I planted was germinating. I re-did it this week - now we are expected to get another 5 - 8 inches. If it don't float off or wash off I'll will be lucky. But on the bright side, you should see my corn! :banana:
 

dun

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Improved pastures just means that the native stuff has been replaced with a domesticated/foriegn (i.e. non-native) type of forage. Typically native grasses/forages don;t require the level fo fertility that the improved varioties do. Somw will suffer if the fertility is too high because the "improved" stuff can then out compete it. Any plant that has evolved in a specific area obviously has an advantage because it's adapted to the soil conditions
 

Jogeephus

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Dun, going along with what you said I've got a thought/theory on this. Not saying its right just saying its something I'm smoking over. Heck, it beats worrying about the economy. There is a rule in nature made by a German named MarMoeller. He stated that, "the total biomass of a site is relatively independant of density as long as the site is fully occupied". What he is basically saying is that the dirt has a carrying capacity. This is a rule designed more for timberland but I've noticed a correlation between the number of tons of wood I can grow per acre on a site and the amount of hay I can grow on a site. So taking Mar's rule out of context and applying it to forages, I'm wondering if this principle could also be applicable here as well. What this seems to me is that while I can grow some lush grass during the ideal growing season with improved varieties their production is limited to a certain window of the year and after which I get little or no production - unless it is manipulated via fert and other seed. On the otherhand, in this ugly field I created I realized a lowered production during this same window but an increased amount of forage during the time the improved stuff was shut down. All in all, if there was some way of calculating the tons of forage on both sites I'm wondering if they were not relatively the same like this rule would suggest. I guess the simplest way to compare the two would be to figure the number of grazing days. Just a thought.
 

Brute 23

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Where the improved pastures benefit you is when you do 25% more work to that field but gain 50% more forage.

Our best places have improved pastures and native brush pastures. The improved stuff shines during its growing season and is well worth it, IMO. The native brush pastures tend to take the cattle thru the winter better, IMO.
 

Jogeephus

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Brute 23":h3jr66a8 said:
Where the improved pastures benefit you is when you do 25% more work to that field but gain 50% more forage.

Our best places have improved pastures and native brush pastures. The improved stuff shines during its growing season and is well worth it, IMO. The native brush pastures tend to take the cattle thru the winter better, IMO.

I'm trying to find a balance between the options. I agree that improved pastures will outshine the others but the temptation for me is to push the stocking rate more than I should. I'd like to find a balance that will limit input while maximizing the return. First thought would be to push the pastures but I'm beginning to see this may not be right. Of course I don't know what is right yet - just thinking.
 

Brute 23

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Jogeephus":271rzcpj said:
Brute 23":271rzcpj said:
Where the improved pastures benefit you is when you do 25% more work to that field but gain 50% more forage.

Our best places have improved pastures and native brush pastures. The improved stuff shines during its growing season and is well worth it, IMO. The native brush pastures tend to take the cattle thru the winter better, IMO.

I'm trying to find a balance between the options. I agree that improved pastures will outshine the others but the temptation for me is to push the stocking rate more than I should. I'd like to find a balance that will limit input while maximizing the return. First thought would be to push the pastures but I'm beginning to see this may not be right. Of course I don't know what is right yet - just thinking.

Yup... when you are in a drout that improved pasture won't help one bit with those extra head. :x
 

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