Cover Crops After Hay?

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AggieStudent20
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Cover Crops After Hay?

Post by AggieStudent20 » Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:40 pm

I farm I recently toured does this. After the farmer cuts hay on a field, he puts in a multi-species cover crop and let's cattle graze it in fall and winter. He claims it has greatly boosted soil fertility. Has anyone else done this or something similar?

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Re: Cover Crops After Hay?

Post by HDRider » Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:46 pm

Very good question.
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Re: Cover Crops After Hay?

Post by kenny thomas » Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:22 pm

In the past I have drilled winter wheat into hayfields after second cutting and grazed small calves through the winter. Then in the spring it will add to the early hay production. I like it.
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Re: Cover Crops After Hay?

Post by sim.-ang.king » Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:28 pm

I wonder if the pounds of fertilizer removed, are replaced by the cover crops? Very well could with the right crops.
One risks I could see is damaging your stand in some hay species, as they would compete with any cool season grasses.
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Re: Cover Crops After Hay?

Post by AggieStudent20 » Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:35 pm

kenny thomas wrote:In the past I have drilled winter wheat into hayfields after second cutting and grazed small calves through the winter. Then in the spring it will add to the early hay production. I like it.


We actually almost never do a second cutting. We usually graze the regrowth down and let it rest. I was thinking about planting the cover crop after the grazing since the manure is on the field and the thatch is down. I'd like to do this to winter graze.

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Re: Cover Crops After Hay?

Post by AggieStudent20 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:11 pm

sim.-ang.king wrote:I wonder if the pounds of fertilizer removed, are replaced by the cover crops? Very well could with the right crops.
One risks I could see is damaging your stand in some hay species, as they would compete with any cool season grasses.


I think the legumes in the mixes generally produce not only enough nitrogen for the plants in the mix but also for plants already in the field. That's at least what people tell me. I would just likely choose a mix with mostly annuals. You make a good point with the issue of harming the current grass stand.

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Re: Cover Crops After Hay?

Post by HDRider » Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:41 pm

I cut my Bermuda three times. I fertilize it three times.

I am thinking a rye grass, wheat, clover, vetch mix after the third cutting, and grazing it through the winter.

Anyone do anything like that?
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Re: Cover Crops After Hay?

Post by gcreekrch » Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:23 pm

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Re: Cover Crops After Hay?

Post by kenny thomas » Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:47 pm

It's all in the area you are in. I'm sure the northern members do not have the options the southern members do. I have fescue which is great in the winter but can cause problems in hot weather. Others areas can grow much better warm season grasses. One answer does not fit everywhere
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Re: Cover Crops After Hay?

Post by Stocker Steve » Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:56 pm

I do.
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