Rye grass for hay

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csutton

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Was talking to my neighbor Sunday while burning some brush piles ( finaly able to burn after 2 years of dry weather) and was entertaining the idea of him cutting my place (around 15 acres) in the spring for hay. It usually comes up about 1/4 rye and whatever native stuff. I told him that he could come cut it and take the hay if he wanted it. Now after thinking about it, would it be worth spreading some rye seed out and then cut it for hay? I currently don't have a fence up yet so it wouldn't be used for grazing, so essentially I have to shred it every year anyway. Should I try to lightly disk the field then broadcast seed? or should I just shred down the weeds and then broadcast? I never have messed with rye grass that much, so not sure how well it seeds. Also, when is the best time to spread it? Does it need or take much fertilizer to make a good stand? What is the going rate for seed? The rye that comes up now is I guess some type of wild rye, meaning I didn't plant any. If I was to invest any money in the pasture I wouldn't give away the hay, I would have it baled for myself. Is there anything that can be planted after the rye is baled? I don't want to sprig anything, just use some sort of seed.
 

bigbull338

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i cant tell you what rye grass cost because we havent overseeded in years.but you are very smart in overseeding it to rye grass.yes id shredd the pasture.you need to plant 30lbs of rye grass to the ac.an id go a step further id plant 10lbs or less of clover to an ac.you just cant beeat rye an clover hay.
 

1982vett

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Lots of questions that depending on what you do. Some might need a different answer.

Lets start out with it growing "wild rye". Going to assume it is the same Gulfcoast ryegrass growing thru out Central Texas. If it has grown a nice stand each year all you might want to do is fertilize it in the spring when it starts warming up. If you fertilize a lot and don't get it cut it will tend to choke out what ever grasses you already have which is my next question. Is the native stuff prairie grasses?

I'll usually put out about 150 - 200 lbs of 30-10-10 on whatever "prarie grass meadow" I want to cut anywhere from late February to mid March to cut in early to late April. Really depends on your present fertility and soil as to what you really would need. I don't seed anything because mine makes plenty of seed after the first cutting.

Gulfcoast ryegrass seed I bought ran $17.50 a 50" bag. Since you already have some ryegrass growing 10-15 lbs broadcast and dragging would probably be enough, especially with the moisture we are getting now. Don't want much old growth on top of it. Shredding and a lot of "trash" on top of the ground isn't good. A little is OK. Seed needs to make good soil contact.

AS long as you don't let the ryegrass linger to long in the spring, what ever grass you already have should come back. Early baling is the key for that. Might just get two balings from it before the end of May.
 
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csutton

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Vett-
I'm really not sure what kinda of grass, if any is growing now. Most of what I have is goat weeds, whatever grows those little white and yellow flowers, and scattered mesquite bushes. I would think that some of it is a prairie grass of some sort, I will try to take a few pictures of it. The "grass" never grows much taller than 6 or 7 inches with good moisture. As far as the wild rye stand, it is scattered throughout. It looks like it started by the road, and each year moves a little further in. It really doesnt make a good stand as far as thickness, but when it seeds out, it is around 2-3 ft tall. I haven't done any fertilizing, except for the garden plot, and thats where everything gets tall. (expectially the goat weeds) With the weather being as dry as has been, I really have been hesitant on spending alot for fertilizer. Honestly I am not too worried about the grass during the late spring and early summer, because it is usually so hot and dry that it goes dormant anyway. I think I want to focus on something that can make better due to more spring rains.
 

1982vett

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A decent prarie grass should get taller than 6 - 7 inches. That is why I would be hesitant to put a disc across untill you could ID what you have. Could be the soil is too poor to do much if the goat/dove weed doesn't do much.

Might try a renovator. Does less damage than a disc.
 

marksmu

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Just for your information....I just put out Rye on 130 acres here in Chambers County, near Anahuac....my total cost $3,975...that included 100#/ac of 18-46-0 and 40#/ac gulf - ended up with a weigh out ticket on the scales with 2 buggies at 18,330lbs total...

I seeded on September 26, and as of Monday, I had about 50% up in very small sprouts...got our first rain on it, about 1" on Saturday the 3rd...I expect when I see it this weekend to have a decent stand.

Rye will grow in alot of different soils - and it responds very well to fertilizer - so if you plan to keep it for hay, go ahead and fertilize - the fertilizer is cheap now.

I look at this way (and I know you dont have a fence) - a bale of hay is give or take $40 for 1000lbs....at 2 cows per acre on the rye and 130 acres, I should (theoretically) be able to have 260 head on this field off and on through the winter....I plan to move them in and out of my adjacent pasture as needed to rest it for regrowth.

I plan to graze it off and on through the winter, let it head out for shredding towards the end of the winter (Feb), in hopes of getting more volunteer for next year, and then bale the final growth (March)....after that, I can burn that dried up rye, and set it into something good...the rye makes such an even establishment, that it burns like gasoline.
 

xbred

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$3942....that's cheap....here DAP...$400 ton
lime $50 ton spread
ammonia $350 ton
seed $36 100lbs
I'll be lucky to get mine planted for$85..per acre this includes 1000 lbs lime per acre...and then have to top dress two or three times between dec. and april...
 

marksmu

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I did not put any lime on....lime would have added, though not too much....and we spread it ourselves. Our fertilizer/seed provider, lets you use their buggies for free so long as you return them within 2 days...which is nice...they have 25 of them, so its not too bad to get 2 at a time.

Your seed is about the same price as mine...and I dont know the break down on the individual components of the fertilizer...I sent them my soil sample results, and they mixed the seed and required fertilizer components....I will eventually have to lime, but not for rye. My soil report, says for the rye grass not to lime. If I want to put bermuda in the same field, the recommendation called for 2700lbs/ac of lime so, in a permanent pasture I need lime...but for rye it said not to....currently I am rotating rye and millet through the field. I think (hope) by the end of next year I will have corrected my soil naturally, and can go ahead and finish this field off for good into something good.
 

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