Planting rye grass for winter grazing

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TexasShooter

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I would like to plant rye grass on 12 acres in order to give my cows more grazing during the winter months. The problem is I have never planted rye in my pasture before. My questions are:
1. What type of rye do I plant? I live in N.E. Texas.
2. How do I plant the seed? I have heard to broadcast the seed, but I didn’t know if that pertained to all types of rye. Note: I do have a tractor and a 500 lbs fertilizer spreader – will this be sufficient?
3. What month should I plant the seed?
4. How many pounds per acre? I would like to grow it so thick you could bale it. I had one guy tell me to plant 50lbs per acre and it would do just that…but I wanted 2nd opinions.
5. By planting a rye pasture, would it lessen the amount of hay I would need to make it through the winter? Or is rye just a supplement?

I am also thinking of having someone sprig coastal bermuda at some point in the near future – Should I sprig before planting rye? Please let me know if that is a problem. I would definitely like to get some of your opinions on this matter and a Pre-“Thanks You” to all the responses.
 

dun

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I'm assuming this will be a monoculture of rye, is that correct? In this area Marshall rye grass is the hot ticket, lots of growth and very high feed value. It will start to provide grazing a month or so ahead of any of the other forages. As to the quantity per acre, your local seed dealer would be best able to answer that.
Regionality enters into what and how much of anything to plant. Soil types, moisture, onset of cold(cooler weather), etc.
If the field has been disked to a fine seed bed you might could get by with broadcast and roll, but drilling will give you much more consistant stand.

dun
 
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TexasShooter

TexasShooter

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Yes, Dun, it will be a monoculture of rye. I do not have a disk and don't have a way of drilling, unless I paid someone to do it for me. If I went with the Marshall rye and scalped the land with a bush hog prior to seeding, do you think I would get a good stand?
 

dun

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Nope! You need to get the seed covered and packed. At the cost of seed these days, you might be better off to hire someone to no-till drill it. Unless it goes to seed you won't have great persistence either.
It's almost an annual thing. But remember, that's our experience and even though the Baja Oklahoma border isn't all that much south of us, conditions can vary greatly. We have fields that are so different that one will only grow clover and another that will only grow fescue. The catch is, the adjoin each other.

dun



TexasShooter":4y7uh27r said:
Yes, Dun, it will be a monoculture of rye. I do not have a disk and don't have a way of drilling, unless I paid someone to do it for me. If I went with the Marshall rye and scalped the land with a bush hog prior to seeding, do you think I would get a good stand?
 

la4angus

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You should be sprigging the coastal about now.The ryegrass, you should be planting in early September. It should be ready to start grazing in 6 to 8 weeks.
I have never fed any rye grass hay, but I have several people that loves it. One man that I know says that it will equal Alfalfa in food value. That is hard to believe

Talk to your county agent about the recommended Ryegrass for your area.There can be a big difference in production from one area to another. Texas A&M had a variety released a few years that did very well in many areas and was highly recommended. It was by far, not our best.
 
A

Anonymous

I am in South-Central Texas and we plant Gulf Rye Grass seed. We use a no till drill and go in right over the native grass. The only down fall I have seen is it brings up a lot of new weed growth in the spring. I think we planted 30 lbs to the acre and it was sparcer then I would like but it worked well with the cows. Next year I will plant it heavier. I turned the cows into the rye pasture for 2 days every week and I found it really streched my hay out. I fed less bales this year then the last year.
 

Hawk

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I live a little East of you, over in Smith county. I have been overseeding rye grass in coastal bermuda pastures for several years now. I use also the "Gulf" variety. We usually plant in October, once we get a little moisture in the ground. Prior to seeding, I cut the coastal short, but don't try to scalp it. I broadcast the seed with a regular fertilizer spreader at the rate of 50# per acre. I also apply 250# of fertilizer per acre. I then drag the pasture to get the seeds down to the ground. The Gulf rye will grow fine as long as it is in contact with the ground. It does not have to be covered. The rye will supplement your winter feeding program, not replace it. It primarily helps out in the late winter and early spring while we are waiting for the coastal to green up. This is an annual routine, there is little or no carry over from year to year.
 

Texan

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Have gotten good stands of TAM 90 with 30 lbs./acre. I like it better than the Gulf we have established. We just mixed it with the fertilizer and spread it after grazing close. We then used a shredder over it AFTER spreading to cover it somewhat and then drug it with a section harrow. Best time would be as soon as you start getting some soil moisture in September. With luck you should be grazing it in about two months as long as you manage it closely and leave some hay out, also. Be sure and use little or no N until after your stand is established, so that your warm season grasses won't compete with it.

If you're interested, I'll try to find the figures and let you know exactly what it cost. I'll have to get my wife to get them for you because she hides all that stuff somewhere in the computer. As Dun and Sidney said, drilling might be better, but me and Hawk will tell you that poor folks got poor ways.
 

jcarkie

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our county extension has some drills that you can use for $10 a day, i live in north arkansas. check with your agent and see . it takes a pretty big tractor to pull it.
 

la4angus

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Texan":ricqxw5v said:
Have gotten good stands of TAM 90 with 30 lbs./acre. I like it better than the Gulf we have established. We just mixed it with the fertilizer and spread it after grazing close. We then used a shredder over it AFTER spreading to cover it somewhat and then drug it with a section harrow. Best time would be as soon as you start getting some soil moisture in September. With luck you should be grazing it in about two months as long as you manage it closely and leave some hay out, also. Be sure and use little or no N until after your stand is established, so that your warm season grasses won't compete with it.

If you're interested, I'll try to find the figures and let you know exactly what it cost. I'll have to get my wife to get them for you because she hides all that stuff somewhere in the computer. As Dun and Sidney said, drilling might be better, but me and Hawk will tell you that poor folks got poor ways.

TAM 90 is the Ryegrass That I was talking about. I have heard good stuff about it but it didn't do the best here. Maybe to far South, different soil, different climate. Bob Young at Kilgore College, or the people at the Research Center at Overton would be the ones that I would talk to. They are right in your area.
 

Arancher

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I use Gulf here in Louisiana and do not prepare a seed bed. I role a airator over my bermuda grass. It does not harm my bermuda and i apply the seed app. 50 lbs an acre. I let the rye get up to about 3 in. then fetilize.
 

la4angus

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Gulf, Jackon and Marshall will do good here. I think that the Tam 90
would do better where you are than here. We may have planted it a little to late for the moisture.
 

dun

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This all kind of goes to show that you need to do different things for different places. Our soil(?) is so heavy that if you don't get the seed to penetrate you might as well just feed it to the livestock. Other places with more porous soils you can get away with simpler methods. I use an old JD-VanBrunt drill that I picked up at a farm sale for 10 bucks. I probably have 1000 dollars in labor getting it working, but only about 50 bucks total in parts and origianl purchase. Even with the drill, you need to run a cultipacker or drill over the stuff to get anything to grow. That's one of the reasons I', big into over seeding legumes. We just frost seed them and they catch and grow well.

dun
 

Texan

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Dun, your advice for TexasShooter might be better than mine. I suspect that in Kaufman County he has a darker, clay type soil. Our soils are more like those at the Overton Research Center: deep and sandy. A variety recommended by the Dallas Research Center might be better suited to his area. As would your suggestions for planting. A visit with his County Agent or seed dealer would be a good idea.
 
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