Pasture Management

Discuss grasses and how to grow and harvest them.
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JeremyPhillips75
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Pasture Management

Post by JeremyPhillips75 » Mon Mar 23, 2020 6:25 am

First post! Aren't yall lucky. Located in Watkinsville, GA.

My cows have been on the same pasture for several months. I am close to having another pasture fenced in. Once I complete fencing in the other pasture my plan is to move the cows over and recondition their current pasture.

Both pastures are low land and stay pretty wet when it rains. Soil is pretty sandy as it boarders a prominent creek.

My plan:
1. Drag pasture with drag harrow to break up manure, hay and scratch up ground
2. Fertilize - Weed control
3. Seed (Intention to get some ground cover - fast growers)
4. Seed (Intention on longer term application)

Rotate back on 30-45 days.

Any suggestions? Especially looking for thoughts on seed types



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Re: Pasture Management

Post by bird dog » Mon Mar 23, 2020 7:40 am

Thats probably not enough time to get your seed established. Is there any grass on it now? how long have you owned it? In my experience, its way cheaper and easier to get going what is already there than to try to start something new.

In most cases to let the grass grow enough where the cows won't damage it is going to be three to four months.

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Re: Pasture Management

Post by JeremyPhillips75 » Mon Mar 23, 2020 7:45 am

There is grass...mostly fescue but there are some other varieties mixed in. Grass is thin, not looking to replace, more so give it breathing room and possibly get cattle to munch on something else while its growign up.

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Re: Pasture Management

Post by Ebenezer » Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:21 am

Decide if you want to start the renovation with permanent or temp grazing. Spraying for weeds with particular herbicides will hinder seed sprouting and establishment. Read up. Two pastures and our southern rainfall patterns will make your situation difficult unless you irrigate and use a lot of fertilizer. Wet bottom land will not be great for the bermudas.

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Re: Pasture Management

Post by anewcomer » Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:34 am

Jeremy, you have a PM.

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Re: Pasture Management

Post by regolith » Mon Mar 23, 2020 4:39 pm

new pasture is easily damaged, particularly in wet country.
Standard advice locally (rotational grazing and paddocks are the norm in this country) is to run calves on the new pasture for a short time once the roots are firm, then remove the calves. All they do is nip off the tips, encourage tillering and leave a minimum of treading damage in the soil. Three weeks later you could do that again. After that it should be good for normal grazing in *dry* conditions. Ideally grazing when its wet should be avoided for the whole of the first year... we all know how realistic that is. But some of us know how long new pastures last if they're damaged early on (they don't).

Read around a bit I don't think you'll be too happy with establishing short term grasses followed by perennials into the same sward (if I'm reading your intention correctly). Short term grasses have their place but in a very different type of renewal program, I think best used as a stand-alone crop or for areas that will need annual resowing no matter how you try to manage them (gateways, tracks, resting areas, wet patches).
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Re: Pasture Management

Post by sstterry » Mon Mar 23, 2020 4:42 pm

Have you considered sowing annual ryegrass for the fast-growing ground cover and then coming back in the fall and sowing fescue and a legume?

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Re: Pasture Management

Post by JeremyPhillips75 » Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:14 pm

My thought is to first establish some ground cover in addition to what I already have. The cows have stomped the ground pretty good. I was thinking rye and fertilizer as soon as I can get them off and then drill in some other grass once I see how my other pasture is going to manage. Am I correct in thinking that I shouldn’t drill immediately?

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Re: Pasture Management

Post by snoopdog » Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:36 pm

How many head on how many acres?
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Re: Pasture Management

Post by JMJ Farms » Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:45 pm

Too late for rye this year. And it’ll soon be too hot for ryegrass. I’d look into TiftLeaf3 pearl millet. Good grazing but it won’t last long. Maybe 120 days of cover while growing and grazing total. You’re a little north of me.... anyone up there plant alfalfa? Too hot here in South/Middle Ga.
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Re: Pasture Management

Post by JeremyPhillips75 » Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:33 am

Apologies on the lack of education - is there a difference between rye and ryegrass? I've assumed they were the same.

I'll look into the TiftLeaf3. I can't recall the name but a local feed and seed suggested something that turkey hunters love to put out.

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Re: Pasture Management

Post by JMJ Farms » Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:48 am

JeremyPhillips75 wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:33 am
Apologies on the lack of education - is there a difference between rye and ryegrass? I've assumed they were the same.

I'll look into the TiftLeaf3. I can't recall the name but a local feed and seed suggested something that turkey hunters love to put out.
No need for an apology when you’re asking questions. Yes sir. There’s a difference. Rye is cereal grain kinda like wheat.
Ryegrass is a cool season grass. Ryegrass is higher quality grazing. It will produce the most forage, generally, in March and April. However weather plays a huge role in this and it also needs to be planted no later than December, in my experience. But this too can vary. Either way our hot weather will kill it in late spring.
Pearl Millet is an awesome forage. It can be planted as early as April here but they generally recommend towards the end of May. Ground temps need to warm up first. It will usually provide about 60 days of grazing, if stocked correctly, after about 30-45 days of growing time.

Another to look into is Sorghum Sudan Grass. I don’t have any experience with it but a lot of folks around here plant it.
It’s a lot like millet but you have to be aware of Prussic Acid poisoning.

You are north of me and have more options due to slightly cooler weather. Best advice I can give you is to call your local extension agent or the University of Georgia directly. They have a wealth of knowledge available to you free of charge.
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Re: Pasture Management

Post by hurleyjd » Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:12 am

JeremyPhillips75 wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 6:25 am
First post! Aren't yall lucky. Located in Watkinsville, GA.

My cows have been on the same pasture for several months. I am close to having another pasture fenced in. Once I complete fencing in the other pasture my plan is to move the cows over and recondition their current pasture.

Both pastures are low land and stay pretty wet when it rains. Soil is pretty sandy as it boarders a prominent creek.

My plan:
1. Drag pasture with drag harrow to break up manure, hay and scratch up ground
2. Fertilize - Weed control
3. Seed (Intention to get some ground cover - fast growers)
4. Seed (Intention on longer term application)

Rotate back on 30-45 days.

Any suggestions? Especially looking for thoughts on seed types
Plant one of the improved Bahia grasses such as tifton 9. Plant it control the weeds and do not over graze. This grass will take care of itself. I have volunteer Persian clover and rye grass the comes each year without planting. That should be the goal and that is to have pasture that rejuvenates with out much work. I have reduced the cow herd and will bale hay without any fertilizer. I think I have enough acres to do that.

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Re: Pasture Management

Post by 1982vett » Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:55 am

hurleyjd wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:12 am
JeremyPhillips75 wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 6:25 am
First post! Aren't yall lucky. Located in Watkinsville, GA.

My cows have been on the same pasture for several months. I am close to having another pasture fenced in. Once I complete fencing in the other pasture my plan is to move the cows over and recondition their current pasture.

Both pastures are low land and stay pretty wet when it rains. Soil is pretty sandy as it boarders a prominent creek.

My plan:
1. Drag pasture with drag harrow to break up manure, hay and scratch up ground
2. Fertilize - Weed control
3. Seed (Intention to get some ground cover - fast growers)
4. Seed (Intention on longer term application)

Rotate back on 30-45 days.

Any suggestions? Especially looking for thoughts on seed types
Plant one of the improved Bahia grasses such as tifton 9. Plant it control the weeds and do not over graze. This grass will take care of itself. I have volunteer Persian clover and rye grass the comes each year without planting. That should be the goal and that is to have pasture that rejuvenates with out much work. I have reduced the cow herd and will bale hay without any fertilizer. I think I have enough acres to do that.
Most cost and labor effective pasture renovation plan I have tried. :2cents:

I have the volunteer ryegrass and Persian clover also. Not so much the Bahaia, Bermuda and KR Bluestem are the prevalent warm season grasses. I’ve got ball and arrowleaf clover that has finally spreading like wildfire. Took quite a few years for that to happen.
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