Is there a best time to harrow

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KevinN
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Is there a best time to harrow

Post by KevinN » Sat Feb 01, 2020 11:59 am

I've been reading about the pros and cons of harrowing to break up clods of manure and spread around the pasture. Some say that cows don't enjoy the smell of manure and will not preferentially eat the bright green grass around manure. They also say that it spreads pest larvae around the pasture. In the North East our ground is frozen. It doesn't seem right to let the clods stand until spring...Is there a right time to do this or not at all?



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TennesseeTuxedo
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Re: Is there a best time to harrow

Post by TennesseeTuxedo » Sat Feb 01, 2020 6:47 pm

I’d do it now if you have the time and if they’ll break apart.
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Re: Is there a best time to harrow

Post by Lucky_P » Sat Feb 01, 2020 6:47 pm

If you think you must...from a parasite control standpoint... hot and dry is the proper time.
But, from an economic standpoint, it's really only useful as a method of wealth transfer - paying your kid to drive the tractor.

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Re: Is there a best time to harrow

Post by snoopdog » Sat Feb 01, 2020 8:57 pm

Honestly, it's a tough call. I like to do it,with a tire drag. I certainly am an advocate on abused fields, but on well managed pastures I don't think you'll see any difference. Did mine about a week ago before a big rain, will do it again before greenup.
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Re: Is there a best time to harrow

Post by _H Ranch » Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:50 am

We do ours in the fall before the freeze

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Re: Is there a best time to harrow

Post by cowgal604 » Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:28 am

We do ours twice a year. Spring and Fall.

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Re: Is there a best time to harrow

Post by Ned Jr. » Tue Feb 04, 2020 2:26 pm

I prefer to drag as soon as they thaw. Kick them and see if they break up. That way they break up and smear well. Around here if we wait too long they get dry and hard to bust up.
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Re: Is there a best time to harrow

Post by _H Ranch » Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:29 pm

Ned Jr. wrote:
Tue Feb 04, 2020 2:26 pm
I prefer to drag as soon as they thaw. Kick them and see if they break up. That way they break up and smear well. Around here if we wait too long they get dry and hard to bust up.
I dont know how many times Ive kicked one only to destroy my toes on a still frozen one. haha

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Re: Is there a best time to harrow

Post by Aaron » Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:35 pm

Used to harrow winter fed areas regularly, but lost majority of nitrogen to volitization by doing so, so I quit doing it. Have noticed that the areas not harrowed grow better for more consecutive years than areas that were harrowed. But you have to be able to handle the eyesore for the first year as the material rots down and new growth comes through - most can't bear to witness it.
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Re: Is there a best time to harrow

Post by Ridgefarmer63 » Fri Feb 28, 2020 7:09 am

We do spring and fall with a ten foot wide chain harrow. Seems to work OK.

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