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New Plots in hay ground-No Till Drill

MN Slick

PMA Member
We're going to be putting new plots in hay/cattle pasture ground with a no till drill. Would you just spray a couple weeks before drilling right into the killed sod or spray, work the first couple inches of ground to break up the sod roots, then drill? There seems to be conflicting reports. Anyone have exprience we could lean on?
 

IowaBowHunter1983

Super Moderator
Staff member
What are you planting? Beans are my go to in first year conversation. I would no till.

The biggest thing with hay ground is most often the nutrient deficits. I routinely find them severely lacking P&K and PH way too low.
 

Bassattackr

Active Member
The biggest thing with hay ground is most often the nutrient deficits. I routinely find them severely lacking P&K and PH way too low.

Yep, when we took over our fescue / red clover pasture from the farmer renting our field, P & K were spent and pH was 5.6. Not terrible but definitely time to get the lime truck out this winter.

I'd do a soil test ASAP and get P&K down as quickly as you can. Takes a few months to work itself into the soil.
 

Brett Morris

PMA Member
I did 8 acres of food plots a few years ago into pastured ground for over 30 years. Worked amazing but I did a full rate of fertilizer which was critical. Moisture to get them up & out of the ground was super critical too. Tried it again this year and they burnt up before they could ever emerge.
 

Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
Bingo on soil test. Call kill on sod is always better but a spring kill is fine for plots- Just plan on a lower yield. U will need to throw a bomb on spring kill sod.
You for sure want to run innoculated beans! U can have innoculant added to bean treatment or u can sprinkle on when putting in box. This is a bacteria that’s very likely lacking in the soil as it sits & it allows the beans to fix nitrogen much better/quicker.
 

MN Slick

PMA Member
The plots are small so beans are something I didn't consider. Over browsing will be an issue so they probably won't have a chance to canopy. I should also clarify these plots are going in spots that have been pastured for cattle. Hopefully the manure they have been laying down for the last 3-4 years will help the soil.
 

Buckscrape

Member
Even pasture will be depleted of N P K if the cattle haven't been fed on it. Most of the manure will be in the shade/shelter. If you're going to no-till the bigger the seed the better. Spray early and again just before the seedlings emerge. A roundup ready variety would be the best (probably limits your choices to corn or beans) that way you can control the pasture regrowth better.
If you go the till route you're going to break the dormancy of a lot of the seeds in the soil and you'll be finding volunteer pasture and weeds germinating all summer. Might have to keep the land worked and sow your plots really late.
I farm and have done a fair bit of sod seeding and in my experience the best time to spray out the grass or legume stand is late fall and then again in spring just before crop emergence.
 

Tmayer13

PMA Member
I will agree with everything everyone says but I would add going with an E3 bean. This way your post spraying you can use 24D....this will help you out in years to come. Also if the plots are small you could fence them. And then in fall overseed some rye to help with the "green" plot and also help the soil health
 

MN Slick

PMA Member
Thanks guys. Is the theory behind planting beans that they allow one to spray multiple times to combat grass and the seed bank or is there some synergism at play?

I like the E3 bean idea and we wil no-till them for sure. Hopefully they stay off them enough to get them going. The other 40 acres or so of pasture will be planted to beans so hopefully that will help take some pressure off too.
 

IowaBowHunter1983

Super Moderator
Staff member
Thanks guys. Is the theory behind planting beans that they allow one to spray multiple times to combat grass and the seed bank or is there some synergism at play?

I like the E3 bean idea and we wil no-till them for sure. Hopefully they stay off them enough to get them going. The other 40 acres or so of pasture will be planted to beans so hopefully that will help take some pressure off too.
Beans are easiest to spray multiple times which is going to be required in year 1. I agree on E3 beans.... they are the best thing since sliced bread (For now!) Being able to spray 2,4-d has been a game changer in weed control for me. I would go nuclear gly to start as spring grasses can be tough to kill.
 
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