Nitrogen for pasture

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regenwether

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Last year we had a real wet fall. Corn harvest was delayed thus was turning out the cows onto Corn Stalks. So! My pasture pretty much looks like a carpet. :roll:

There is red clover out there and a little native white clover. I'm going to frost seed some white clover out there soon but I know that won't help me this year.

Urea or Ammonia Sulfate are my choices. I was told grass likes the sulfate.

What do you think? 40 or 60 units??
 

fargus

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I don't know that grass likes the ammonium sulphate any better, but it isn't subject to loss to volatilization. You won't lose any nitrogen to the air. If you want to get good clover growth I wouldn't put any more than 40 lbs of N out there. That'll give you a decent green-up kick, but shouldn't smother your clover out too bad. I may be out to lunch on the clover x nitrogen relationship, I'm speaking from my experience up here.
 

fargus

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We (unfortunately) have a hog barn. We've blasted 3-4000 gallons of liquid finishing manure on our pastures and still have pretty good white clover bottom in the fields. We have an enormous seedbank however, and do a pretty good job of rotational grazing, so there is lots of rest period. That being said, that is anywhere from 70-120 units of N, and like I said there is still clover there. Most of the research would say the grass would smother the legumes out when you give it that much for groceries. The fields I'm thinking of have been seeded down for 12+ years, and are a mix of brome, timothy, perennial rygrass, orchardgrass, bluegrass, reed canarygrass and the odd other wild species. Still alfalfa in a couple of the long-term fields, which surprises me.

I would frost seed the clover, and make sure you move the cows quick on the first trip through. Maybe see after the first turn through where you stand on grass, and if you need it put the N out then. Probably the best time of year to do that... still lots of moisture and daylight available if you're done your first rotation by June 1st, and it would give the clover time to catch and get somewhat established. Just a thought.
 
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regenwether

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When people say you have better spring regrowth when you allow the grass to have some length in the fall. Is it because of the decaying process or is grass like Alfalfa needs a rest period in the fall to "recharge" and put some energy in its roots? Keep in mind in this part of the world most of the grasses are cool season.

Does grass like alfalfa have a fall dormacey rating?
 

novatech

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regenwether":2604ws6w said:
When people say you have better spring regrowth when you allow the grass to have some length in the fall. Is it because of the decaying process or is grass like Alfalfa needs a rest period in the fall to "recharge" and put some energy in its roots? Keep in mind in this part of the world most of the grasses are cool season.
Your right. A rest perion gives the roots a chance to stock up on carbohydrates.
Does grass like alfalfa have a fall dormacey rating?
Never heard of a dormancy rating. Hope some body else can explain. I would like to know.
 

novatech

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fargus":3ot4obft said:
We (unfortunately) have a hog barn. We've blasted 3-4000 gallons of liquid finishing manure on our pastures and still have pretty good white clover bottom in the fields. We have an enormous seedbank however, and do a pretty good job of rotational grazing, so there is lots of rest period. That being said, that is anywhere from 70-120 units of N, and like I said there is still clover there. Most of the research would say the grass would smother the legumes out when you give it that much for groceries.
I cannot see where clover can tolerate this much nitrogen. I found this link that may help explain what is happening.
http://www.extension.org/faq/38407
I have used 21-0-0 on rye and all but wiped out my clover, what little there was.
 

Stocker Steve

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regenwether":3nqtexoo said:
When people say you have better spring regrowth when you allow the grass to have some length in the fall. Is it because of the decaying process or is grass like Alfalfa needs a rest period in the fall to "recharge" and put some energy in its roots? Keep in mind in this part of the world most of the grasses are cool season.
Does grass like alfalfa have a fall dormacey rating?

Partially - - we all need to take time off in the fall. This is when grass puts in reserves, and tillers. This is when I go hunting.

No - grass does not have the same rating system as highly bred alfalfa.

P.S. Test for sulfur and buy sulfate if you need it, then blend in urea for the remaining N as long as the ground is still cold.

P.P.S. Local tests showed legume suppression with more the 40# of actual N per APPLICATION. Some chemical fertilizer haters still think there is a long term problem with N applications.
 

fargus

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novatech":zbt4i8uw said:
fargus":zbt4i8uw said:
We (unfortunately) have a hog barn. We've blasted 3-4000 gallons of liquid finishing manure on our pastures and still have pretty good white clover bottom in the fields. We have an enormous seedbank however, and do a pretty good job of rotational grazing, so there is lots of rest period. That being said, that is anywhere from 70-120 units of N, and like I said there is still clover there. Most of the research would say the grass would smother the legumes out when you give it that much for groceries.
I cannot see where clover can tolerate this much nitrogen. I found this link that may help explain what is happening.
http://www.extension.org/faq/38407
I have used 21-0-0 on rye and all but wiped out my clover, what little there was.

I should have mentioned out application timing. We spread manure in the May-September timeframe. I prefer it in May-June, we get the most kick out of it then. Ideally I would spread in the spring for 3-4 years in a row and then take a year off. Our OM is high enough that we can take a year off and see no yield reduction. The other scenario is we have been doing this for about 15 years, and have been selecting the wild white clover that can tolerate that level of fertility and shading competition. As I have mentioned before, we have a huge seedbank.... I can't stress that enough. We can seed down with a straight grass mix and have a great white clover bottom in 2-3 years, all coming from seedbank.
 

novatech

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I can only fantasize about fields of clover like that. I'm still trying to get my phosphorous levels up. Around here all the egg producers have their own hay fields. Commercial phosphorous is high dollar. At 1 10 acre plot per year it's going to take a while.
 

fargus

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It took awhile to get our grazing rotation figured out so that the clover had a chance to establish and offer some bottom to the fields. We run cows, not yearlings, so we can really slow our rotation down in the second half of the season. Our white clover makes seed fast, so they are usually grazing it after it has gone to seed. Walk the field 2 weeks after the cows are gone, and every manure patty has dozens of new clover seedlings. I will admit, ours is the small wild white, so it doesn't get huge, but it makes enough N, and fills in the blank spots where the grass kills out or between bunches. I'll try to get pictures this summer.... hard to think about right now, everything is still white.

In the spring before the clover gets going our cows murder the dandelions in our pastures. They eat 'em like candy. It's great, they start early, are 20-22% crude protein, and the cows get 80-90% grazed off before they go to seed. The other plus, they are super drought tolerant with that huge taproot. I'm by no means saying we should seed dandelions (I get enough free seed from the neighbours :mrgreen: ) but they aren't the weed my cropping neighbours think they are.
 

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