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Hi yall, from currently soggy Virginia

Me n hubby have 50 acres, and lease a bit more. 30 Angus (and crosses) and the bull.

Came from a country background, but they did goats. No goats for me, thanks very much! ;-) Unfortunately, they didnt leave me a ranch, a zillion dollars worth of equipment, and a lifetime of cattle lore - So that's where you guys come in! :D

So far, I think we've been doin ok. We started with only a few mature cows, and purchased or bred our own heifers. So we've been worrying over heifers the last couple years. We did lose one with a huge bull calf, and had to help with only a couple - so I think we've been pretty darn lucky!

Just nice to find a relavant board, and no doubt I will pester yall with questions soon nuff.
 

talldog

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Paperbackslave":35ed1x2y said:
Hi yall, from currently soggy Virginia

Me n hubby have 50 acres, and lease a bit more. 30 Angus (and crosses) and the bull.

Came from a country background, but they did goats. No goats for me, thanks very much! ;-) Unfortunately, they didnt leave me a ranch, a zillion dollars worth of equipment, and a lifetime of cattle lore - So that's where you guys come in! :D

So far, I think we've been doin ok. We started with only a few mature cows, and purchased or bred our own heifers. So we've been worrying over heifers the last couple years. We did lose one with a huge bull calf, and had to help with only a couple - so I think we've been pretty darn lucky!

Just nice to find a relavant board, and no doubt I will pester yall with questions soon nuff.
:welcome: From NC----Good Luck !!! :tiphat:
 
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Thanks for the welcomes! And Kenny, Im down extreme south central VA - Near Buggs Island Lake.

We got over 1" rain yesterday! :D And what a nice wet year its been. Sure glad to see it since we did lose the entire spring hay cutting to, er, equipment malfunction. Rolled 36 bales last week, with more to go.

So whats the best cutting/bushhogging routine to keep your hay fields in the best shape? Probably depends on weather, huh? We had some that we cut this spring (and lost), and just cut again. Pretty nice hay, but more weeds than I like. Then we had a couple more fields that we cut this spring, then cut a couple months ago (thin cutting, but we realllly needed it). Those fields now have a lovely, low weed, crop of nice grass.

So - should we be routinely cutting the fields mid year whether they need it or not, for weed control? What if its a dry year? I dont recall so many weeds in the dry years... hmm.
 

S&WSigma40VEShooter

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Paperbackslave":19tigjed said:
Hi yall, from currently soggy Virginia

Me n hubby have 50 acres, and lease a bit more. 30 Angus (and crosses) and the bull.

Came from a country background, but they did goats. No goats for me, thanks very much! ;-) Unfortunately, they didnt leave me a ranch, a zillion dollars worth of equipment, and a lifetime of cattle lore - So that's where you guys come in! :D

So far, I think we've been doin ok. We started with only a few mature cows, and purchased or bred our own heifers. So we've been worrying over heifers the last couple years. We did lose one with a huge bull calf, and had to help with only a couple - so I think we've been pretty darn lucky!

Just nice to find a relavant board, and no doubt I will pester yall with questions soon nuff.

I have never had to assist one so I would say you are not lucky. That is not to say I wont ever have to just have never had to as of yet and been around cattle all my life. I have assisted neighbors and know what to do if the time comes but I have been lucky I guess and never had problems knock on wood. Now that I say I have had no problems I'll probably go out to the farm and lose a cow and 150 pound calf inside her LOL!
 
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S&WSigma40VEShooter said:
I have never had to assist one so I would say you are not lucky. quote]

Well, then - lucky you, I guess....

Considering all the heifers that calved in the first 3 years, I still feel pretty lucky, myself. We never had to use the puller, just a little gentle assistance for 2, and no malpresentations (knocking wood, here!).

Love mah cows...
 
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Paperbackslave":3mdxijbp said:
Thanks for the welcomes! And Kenny, Im down extreme south central VA - Near Buggs Island Lake.

We got over 1" rain yesterday! :D And what a nice wet year its been. Sure glad to see it since we did lose the entire spring hay cutting to, er, equipment malfunction. Rolled 36 bales last week, with more to go.

So whats the best cutting/bushhogging routine to keep your hay fields in the best shape? Probably depends on weather, huh? We had some that we cut this spring (and lost), and just cut again. Pretty nice hay, but more weeds than I like. Then we had a couple more fields that we cut this spring, then cut a couple months ago (thin cutting, but we realllly needed it). Those fields now have a lovely, low weed, crop of nice grass.

So - should we be routinely cutting the fields mid year whether they need it or not, for weed control? What if its a dry year? I dont recall so many weeds in the dry years... hmm.

Anyone?? Or should I repost this in the hay/pasture forum? Thanks
 

kenny thomas

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Look at spraying for weeds instead of bushhogging. In the long run much cheaper. Might have to do a little of both until you get it under control.
I usually work Mechlinburg Co. at least a week during the winter checking tree planting survival. Stay at Boydton. Might have been right by your place.
 

SRBeef

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Paperbackslave":1maz7yd0 said:
...we had a couple more fields that we cut this spring, then cut a couple months ago (thin cutting, but we realllly needed it). Those fields now have a lovely, low weed, crop of nice grass.

So - should we be routinely cutting the fields mid year whether they need it or not, for weed control? What if its a dry year? I dont recall so many weeds in the dry years... hmm.

I think if you are concerned about your stocking rate, clipping (mowing) pastures really helps build pasture carrying capacity, and control weeds without spraying.

I go into a paddock with either a drag or my flail mower after almost every rotation out of that paddock.

This keeps weeds from going to seed and, as you have seen, produces a thicker sward with fewer weeds. I have been resting pastures about 30 days this summer (between having cattle on any paddock). This makes a tremendous difference and much more grazing per acre, as long as you have sufficient moisture. If its a very dry year you will need longer rest periods.

In smaller herds and operations it seems to me that rotational grazing is a good choice of pastures management. I am not much for spraying pastures. Any chemical program strong enough to get obvious weeds like thistle must be doing some damage to other sensitive species in the sward, such as clover.

Mowing pastures as soon as possible (2-3 days?) after removing cattle from them gets the weeds left before the desireable species get very much regrowth. Mowing keeps the weed seed bank down. My mower has a full width roller across the back which also spreads manure piles so they don't end up leaving a non grazed ring next time the cattle are there....
 
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kenny thomas":oup7llg2 said:
Look at spraying for weeds instead of bushhogging. In the long run much cheaper. Might have to do a little of both until you get it under control.
I usually work Mechlinburg Co. at least a week during the winter checking tree planting survival. Stay at Boydton. Might have been right by your place.

I bet you have ;-) Fescue country round here, eh?
 
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SRBeef":vt6hq8bu said:
Paperbackslave":vt6hq8bu said:
...we had a couple more fields that we cut this spring, then cut a couple months ago (thin cutting, but we realllly needed it). Those fields now have a lovely, low weed, crop of nice grass.

So - should we be routinely cutting the fields mid year whether they need it or not, for weed control? What if its a dry year? I dont recall so many weeds in the dry years... hmm.

I think if you are concerned about your stocking rate, clipping (mowing) pastures really helps build pasture carrying capacity, and control weeds without spraying.

I go into a paddock with either a drag or my flail mower after almost every rotation out of that paddock.

This keeps weeds from going to seed and, as you have seen, produces a thicker sward with fewer weeds. I have been resting pastures about 30 days this summer (between having cattle on any paddock). This makes a tremendous difference and much more grazing per acre, as long as you have sufficient moisture. If its a very dry year you will need longer rest periods.

In smaller herds and operations it seems to me that rotational grazing is a good choice of pastures management. I am not much for spraying pastures. Any chemical program strong enough to get obvious weeds like thistle must be doing some damage to other sensitive species in the sward, such as clover.

Mowing pastures as soon as possible (2-3 days?) after removing cattle from them gets the weeds left before the desireable species get very much regrowth. Mowing keeps the weed seed bank down. My mower has a full width roller across the back which also spreads manure piles so they don't end up leaving a non grazed ring next time the cattle are there....

This is great stuff! Thank you! We do, in fact, do rotational grazing. Have 6 10acre pastures. I love, love, love this method. This year we started bushhogging after moving the cows, and YES it makes a lot of difference.

But my question was in regards to some separate fields that we cut for hay - they dont get any grazing. They didnt have so many weeds last year. Wondering if it may have been because of the wet year this year.

I spect there is no 'right' answer, since it will probably largely depend on the weather (like all things farming! :roll: ) If it looks like a wet year, I should probably bushhog the weeds, I'm guessing. And hope that it doesnt turn into a drought afterwards!

Any chance I could get a pic of your mower with roller? Hubby was trying to figure a way to put an aerator in front of the drag - think that would be a good idea?

Thanks!
 

farmwriter

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In the very best years, we've gotten three hay cuttings. Last year got only 1, this year 2 and we're grazing it now before we do winter planting.
We bush hog and spray for weeds, depending on what we're trying to control at different times of year.
Either way, beating seed set is what we aim for.
 

dun

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Paperbackslave":160styc3 said:
SRBeef":160styc3 said:
Paperbackslave":160styc3 said:
...we had a couple more fields that we cut this spring, then cut a couple months ago (thin cutting, but we realllly needed it). Those fields now have a lovely, low weed, crop of nice grass.

So - should we be routinely cutting the fields mid year whether they need it or not, for weed control? What if its a dry year? I dont recall so many weeds in the dry years... hmm.

I think if you are concerned about your stocking rate, clipping (mowing) pastures really helps build pasture carrying capacity, and control weeds without spraying.

I go into a paddock with either a drag or my flail mower after almost every rotation out of that paddock.

This keeps weeds from going to seed and, as you have seen, produces a thicker sward with fewer weeds. I have been resting pastures about 30 days this summer (between having cattle on any paddock). This makes a tremendous difference and much more grazing per acre, as long as you have sufficient moisture. If its a very dry year you will need longer rest periods.

In smaller herds and operations it seems to me that rotational grazing is a good choice of pastures management. I am not much for spraying pastures. Any chemical program strong enough to get obvious weeds like thistle must be doing some damage to other sensitive species in the sward, such as clover.

Mowing pastures as soon as possible (2-3 days?) after removing cattle from them gets the weeds left before the desireable species get very much regrowth. Mowing keeps the weed seed bank down. My mower has a full width roller across the back which also spreads manure piles so they don't end up leaving a non grazed ring next time the cattle are there....

This is great stuff! Thank you! We do, in fact, do rotational grazing. Have 6 10acre pastures. I love, love, love this method. This year we started bushhogging after moving the cows, and YES it makes a lot of difference.

But my question was in regards to some separate fields that we cut for hay - they dont get any grazing. They didnt have so many weeds last year. Wondering if it may have been because of the wet year this year.

I spect there is no 'right' answer, since it will probably largely depend on the weather (like all things farming! :roll: ) If it looks like a wet year, I should probably bushhog the weeds, I'm guessing. And hope that it doesnt turn into a drought afterwards!

Any chance I could get a pic of your mower with roller? Hubby was trying to figure a way to put an aerator in front of the drag - think that would be a good idea?

Thanks!

No matter how wet a year we really only get one good clean cutting. By the time it gets growing good after the first cut the weather turns hot and the grass almost stops growing. In the fall when we get good growth the summer weeds have sprouted like crazy and I won;t put up or feed hay that is that poor/weedy. So here is what we do, we graze the fall growth for a while, then late winter or very early spring we BH the grass fairly close (about 6 inches). That way when we do cut the hay the weeds have broken down enough that the hay isn;t full of the junk. The plan for next year is to spray Grazon P+D a couple of weeks after the first cutting then either fall/winter graze it the way we do now or if it has kept the weeds down the way I hope we'll cut it about 3-4 inches high and bale it.
 

novatech

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dun":2jumxmiy said:
No matter how wet a year we really only get one good clean cutting. By the time it gets growing good after the first cut the weather turns hot and the grass almost stops growing. In the fall when we get good growth the summer weeds have sprouted like crazy and I won;t put up or feed hay that is that poor/weedy. So here is what we do, we graze the fall growth for a while, then late winter or very early spring we BH the grass fairly close (about 6 inches). That way when we do cut the hay the weeds have broken down enough that the hay isn;t full of the junk. The plan for next year is to spray Grazon P+D a couple of weeks after the first cutting then either fall/winter graze it the way we do now or if it has kept the weeds down the way I hope we'll cut it about 3-4 inches high and bale it.
My supplier says they quit making Grazon P+D. Now they have Grazon Next which is formulated different. Another company makes the original formula called Trooper P+D.
 

SRBeef

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Paperbackslave":2rghl0xw said:
...Any chance I could get a pic of your mower with roller?...

Here is a link to the type of mower I use to clip pastures as soon after moving the cattle out as possible when there are obvious weeds left after grazing:

http://www.loftness.com/flail_tractor.cfm?cat=con

I have a larger older version of this mower but you can see the roller in the rear. This mower just demolishes whatever you are mowing and spreads it so there are not the windrows left by a rotary mower under many conditions.

If there are not a lot of obvious weeds then I use the drag to spread the manure. The drag is wider/faster. But the mower and high stocking rates on the paddock are keeping most weeds down without spraying.

As someone else posted here, the key is to keep ungrazed weeds from going to seed.
 
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SRBeef":3wocwx0f said:
Paperbackslave":3wocwx0f said:
...Any chance I could get a pic of your mower with roller?...

Here is a link to the type of mower I use to clip pastures as soon after moving the cattle out as possible when there are obvious weeds left after grazing:

http://www.loftness.com/flail_tractor.cfm?cat=con

I have a larger older version of this mower but you can see the roller in the rear. This mower just demolishes whatever you are mowing and spreads it so there are not the windrows left by a rotary mower under many conditions.

If there are not a lot of obvious weeds then I use the drag to spread the manure. The drag is wider/faster. But the mower and high stocking rates on the paddock are keeping most weeds down without spraying.

As someone else posted here, the key is to keep ungrazed weeds from going to seed.

Thanks! Oh man, I know whats on my Christmas list.......... :lol:
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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The better fertilized the hay field, the less weeds. We were getting a lot of weeds in our hayfield. We topdressed last year with a wirlygig seeder on our 4-wheeler with giant clover & fertilized. It was like night & day. We had so much clover, it was really hard to put up DRY 2nd cutting - almost weedless.
 

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