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Planting new fields

lennie

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Okay, I have 10 acres more or less that has just freed up from a prior lease. We are wanting to plant the fields to Alfalfa. It had corn on it and I am going to have the soil tested. No problem with weed spraying from the corn as the atrazine was minimal (already checked this). Okay so here is my question.

How much seed do I need if I want to use an alfalfa /timothy mix. What should the mix be?
The reason I am thinking of a mix is because isn't straight alfalfa a little rich for beef cattle? For my area (Western, NY) is alfalfa/timothy the best mix? I remember as a young girl, the fields had birdsfoot trefoil in the alfalfa, but that was to feed holsteins. Any ideas?
 

dun

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Stop reading if you've heard this before. Check with your county agent, either NRCS or the university extension service.
 

jerry27150

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8-10 lb alfalfa & 2-6 of timothy add a little birdsfoot if you like, it will fill in more when alfalfa thins out & will come in damper areas, around 2 lb to the acre
 

msscamp

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lennie":15ghzxtf said:
The reason I am thinking of a mix is because isn't straight alfalfa a little rich for beef cattle?

First, second, and third cutting is fine for any kind of beef cattle. Fourth cutting does tend to be a little rich for weaning calves, and can cause bloat but that is easily remedied by mixing/alternating it with grass. As dun said, talk to your local people.
 

mnmtranching

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Alfalfa and timothy is a good mix. The timothy won't do much for multiple cuttings.

Check out orchard grass, should do very good in your area. Grows back very good for second and 3rd cuts. A very leafy cool season grass and a high yielder. You could also add timothy to the mix.

I plant 10 pounds of alfalfa and 8 orchard grass. Timothy is very small seed 5 pounds per acre is plenty.
 

SRBeef

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lennie":2b20pp7x said:
Okay, I have 10 acres more or less that has just freed up from a prior lease. We are wanting to plant the fields to Alfalfa. It had corn on it and I am going to have the soil tested. No problem with weed spraying from the corn as the atrazine was minimal (already checked this). Okay so here is my question.

How much seed do I need if I want to use an alfalfa /timothy mix. What should the mix be?
The reason I am thinking of a mix is because isn't straight alfalfa a little rich for beef cattle? For my area (Western, NY) is alfalfa/timothy the best mix? I remember as a young girl, the fields had birdsfoot trefoil in the alfalfa, but that was to feed holsteins. Any ideas?

Is this for grazing or hay? I assume grazing? A key bit of info in your soil test is the pH - correct that as well as fertilizer as needed.

Have you considered using a clover/grass mixture? I would plant it wiith oats as a quick emerging cover crop then mow the oats once the understory has emerged. Most good seed suppliers have a prepackaged pasture mix including a number of locally adapted grasses plus either alfalfa or clover as the legume. Make sure the clover is innoculated so it persists. I have had very good luck with a very good grade of innoculated clover with a seed store pasture mix. Clover just seems to be less trouble than alfalfa for grazing. It really fills in for summer grazing when everything else sort of slows down. Good luck. Jim
 
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