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Switchgrass

Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
Don’t disc. In my strong opinion. There’s seed companies & big influencers recommending to use a disc & in 95% of the cases…. I strongly disagree. Ruts & wash outs are the only reason to disc, IMO… but… I’d still only disc if the problem that caused those issues was resolved (so put in tile & terraces for example to resolve & then disc).

on COVER CROPS or NURSE CROPS…. Rye is an excellent idea!! I have learned the hard way over the years it is harder to establish a steep hill thats fully bare soil. We are not wanting a carpet that covers it horribly (unless drill through carefully) but we do want some residue on top. We want dead plants to hold soil & to cover the soil for moisture loss on rough soils. Oats could be used but they will clearly be terminated when you spray. A guy could do an “all mow” method there too. But remember…. Those oats will be growing MONTHS before switch is out of the ground. Whatever u plant - just realize those tiny switch plants will be up late June through July & need open canopy.
 

Tmayer13

PMA Member
I agree do not disc....I had to disc my field this spring as it had just had 800 cedars removed and there were mortar craters all over....I have a serious weed issue because of this, i was left with no choice and im sure long term I will be fine but this first year is kind of a bust for me although i know the little plants are in there somewhere, year 2 should be a different story for me
 

Bassattackr

Active Member
Great feedback, thanks all. I have a section at a field end I will frost seed into milo trash around March. Then come back and rotary mow everything after seeding, before switch seeds start to come up. Trash may be a good way to hold the seed in place, reduce erosion.. Will skip on the disc then.

Good plan?
 

Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
Great feedback, thanks all. I have a section at a field end I will frost seed into milo trash around March. Then come back and rotary mow everything after seeding, before switch seeds start to come up. Trash may be a good way to hold the seed in place, reduce erosion.. Will skip on the disc then.

Good plan?
Yes.
u can use atrazine or simazine for weed control. Your worst enemy is foxtail & crabgrass.
worth repeating to anyone…. U are gonna have a LONG period where you do not see switch. Months. So- keep that canopy open & have a lot of patience.
 

Bassattackr

Active Member
Yes.
u can use atrazine or simazine for weed control. Your worst enemy is foxtail & crabgrass.
worth repeating to anyone…. U are gonna have a LONG period where you do not see switch. Months. So- keep that canopy open & have a lot of patience.

Thanks Skip. I'm going to have to rethink this strategy, the section at my field end is not going to be as "open" as I first thought. I may mow and disc in early June and plant directly then so everything starts at the same time.. Then mow, mow, mow to get established. Fortunately I don't have a ton of weed pressure at that end. No foxtail but some crabgrass which could be a problem..
 

Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks Skip. I'm going to have to rethink this strategy, the section at my field end is not going to be as "open" as I first thought. I may mow and disc in early June and plant directly then so everything starts at the same time.. Then mow, mow, mow to get established. Fortunately I don't have a ton of weed pressure at that end. No foxtail but some crabgrass which could be a problem..
Plant late winter. Have it prepped this fall. Seed stratification is important. February/March planting is ideal.
 

Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
I broke down and mowed. I mowed in early June and this weekend.

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Nothing wrong with that. Even with max rates of atrazine or simazine- mowing once at least is needed. Or certain herbicides. Especially if foxtail & crabgrass are an issue. I mowed some new areas this year as well.
 
Nothing wrong with that. Even with max rates of atrazine or simazine- mowing once at least is needed. Or certain herbicides. Especially if foxtail & crabgrass are an issue. I mowed some new areas this year as well.
There was both growing. I set the brush hog at 8 inches.

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8/1 Update on my first year switch
Im a happy boy
0d977584ad67c42878521997caa2ad56.jpg



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jlwdvm

Member
Quinclorac with a splash of 2-4D is working well in my new patches of Switch planted early this year, except for this type of grass. Does anyone know what it is and how to kill it?
 

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So Quinclorac 75 DF is OK to use on Newly planted switch? Think I could use it on screen 3 & 4 below.

I have 4 different plots of switch screens. All prepped the same, and planted the same time Feb this year.
plot 1 is 3-1/2 feet tall just a few fox tail, no broad leaf. The 2nd one is all switch no weeds,1-1/2 Ft tall have mowed it once, this plot has lot more shade to deal with
the other two screens have little switch, a lot more weeds, I have mowed it twice.
 

Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
So Quinclorac 75 DF is OK to use on Newly planted switch? Think I could use it on screen 3 & 4 below.

I have 4 different plots of switch screens. All prepped the same, and planted the same time Feb this year.
plot 1 is 3-1/2 feet tall just a few fox tail, no broad leaf. The 2nd one is all switch no weeds,1-1/2 Ft tall have mowed it once, this plot has lot more shade to deal with
the other two screens have little switch, a lot more weeds, I have mowed it twice.
Yepper. Mix with methylated seed oil. If it’s competing hard or especially smothering out…. Do it ASAP. I’ve got mine clipped & the switch is doing just fine so it’s getting close to the time where folks “let it go”.
 

Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
Quinclorac with a splash of 2-4D is working well in my new patches of Switch planted early this year, except for this type of grass. Does anyone know what it is and how to kill it?
I think that’s a type of crabgrass. I’m surprised quinclorac & seed oil didn’t smoke it. I might be wrong but I think thats in CG family.
Looked up windmill grass- that sure could be it too & might explain things. JNR is probably right.
 

cchadww

Member
Ok, so I need some advise on Switchgrass. Looks like this is another year of a failed planting. Here was my process this year:

* The area is old field of brome in southwest Iowa. As you will see in the pics, the EW looks great that was planted right next to the switch.
* 3/20/21 Drilled switch (cave in rock) that we had ordered spring of 2020. 10.6lbs/ac; 1/2" deep.
* 4/1 sprayed atrazine 3qt per acre
* 5/5 sprayed 2qt GLY + 1Pt 2,4D per acre
* 5/27 sprayed 2qt GLY + 1pt 2,4D per acre
* 8/9 mowed since it looked so weedy. NOTE: The pics below are 2 days before we mowed.

HELP!! What is the right process to get this done next year? I treat every year as an experiment, but this is getting old. What am I doing wrong?

Thanks so much!
 

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I am interested in you situation as well. I sprayed Simazine and gly after frost seeding in March. I have the same weed as well but I do have some pockets of switch. What is that weed?

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Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
Ok, so I need some advise on Switchgrass. Looks like this is another year of a failed planting. Here was my process this year:

* The area is old field of brome in southwest Iowa. As you will see in the pics, the EW looks great that was planted right next to the switch.
* 3/20/21 Drilled switch (cave in rock) that we had ordered spring of 2020. 10.6lbs/ac; 1/2" deep.
* 4/1 sprayed atrazine 3qt per acre
* 5/5 sprayed 2qt GLY + 1Pt 2,4D per acre
* 5/27 sprayed 2qt GLY + 1pt 2,4D per acre
* 8/9 mowed since it looked so weedy. NOTE: The pics below are 2 days before we mowed.

HELP!! What is the right process to get this done next year? I treat every year as an experiment, but this is getting old. What am I doing wrong?

Thanks so much!
That’s frustrating!!!
go in and frost seed it this year. Eliminate the possibility of it being drilled too deep. That is a pretty common one. Frost seed a nice thick amount of seed…. Do 2 varieties (kanlow & CIR for example).
Other possibilities on why things fail beyond planting too deep…
1) seed that was not stored right at some point in process from harvest to seeding.
2) got wet enough to germinate & then it dried out from lack of rain. We did experience this in iowa in June this year.
3) with germinating & drying out…. Soil types impact this. Extremely good soils can tolerate this better. Mediocre soils don’t have tolerance for the dry conditions.
This year- if seed did germinate at that wet point in June & it did dry out- likely lost some or all of what germinated. I know I lost some seed this year to that big dry spell.
4) seed not stratified…. Need freeze/thaw cycle many times over. Some switch has thick hard seed coat that will not germinate without it. Lot of variables on why this is & when seed is or isn’t like that.

bottom line: probably one of above or possibly something else going on. Let’s get it frost seeded with 2 varieties in February next year. Do not give up.
 
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