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View Full Version : Seeding Over a Cornfield


GravelyGuy
02-22-2012, 07:56 PM
I am thinking about buying a 10 acre lot that is currently a cornfield. I will be building a house and pole barn on the property. My business is mainly fertilizer/weed control and maintenance, so I do not have a tractor or anything to tackle this large of a job. I don't think my 18" slice seeder is adequate:laugh: I could rent equipment, but I am not very experienced using large equipment.

Is it best to try and find a farmer to disc the field? Anyone ever tried to start a lawn over corn? How expensive is this going to get?

Help me out please;)

RigglePLC
02-22-2012, 09:22 PM
Farmers are busy in spring, but maybe a farmer's 15 year old kid would be willing to smooth it our for you.

I hope there is nothing chemical wise in the soil that would kill the grass seed. Smooth it our and broadcast the seed on loose soil--should work. Perhaps drag it a bit to work the seed into the soil. I would say aim for late April.

agrostis
02-22-2012, 09:39 PM
I would think that if it is a no-till field then you shoudn't need to disc. Corn is a annual but you might get some wild corn on the edge's. Find a local farmer to help you plant. I don't know what would be the right thing to plant for your area. Your cost depend's on what you want. The more manicured, the more expensive. 10 acre's... If you don't have any experience with large equipment then how do you plan on mowing that ?

atasteofnature
02-22-2012, 09:55 PM
I would get a soil test done on the area. The corn has probably depleted a lot of nutrients out of the soil the grass needs to grow. Ran into this same problem with my father-in-law's funeral home land. Good Luck!

GravelyGuy
02-22-2012, 10:08 PM
Thank you guys. It is actually a small development with 5 other houses. They are smaller lots, but they all seem to have been able to get grass to grow. Maintaining it will be no trouble I have 60" ZTRs and a Zspray.

Corn has a pretty strong root system, will the old stalks/roots need removed after tilling/discing or will they decompose pretty quick? What is the best tool for this?

atasteofnature
02-22-2012, 10:21 PM
To decompose the microboes will need oxygen to do their job. If the land is compact I would try to move air into the system some how. ie: tilling, aerifying, discing, whatever it will take to make the anaerobic conditions to an aerobic conditions so the microbes can do their work.

atasteofnature
02-22-2012, 11:02 PM
Also the lignin, I believe, the corn is composed of is also harder for the microbes to break down as well and will take a little longer.

KS_Grasscutter
02-23-2012, 12:27 AM
Are you wanting the whole 10 acres to be lawn or just "grass" lol? I would first hire someone to disc it a couple times to help chop up the corn stalks to get them to decompose. Then I would get on craigslist and buy a compact tractor cheap, and a little 3pt grain drill. Also will need a cultivator or harrow to smooth it up good. You can do little sections at a time to make it more manageable.

If it was mine, I'd build my house and shop, then farm the other 8.5 acres haha.

ochosdaddy
02-23-2012, 01:15 AM
Are you required to turn it all over to turf? If not, you might get a tax break if you leave a good portion to farmland. Talk with a (good) accountant before you seed it! I have a client who lives on 30 acres or so. His lawn is 1.5 acres, the rest is left as native grass. Once per year a farmer comes in and bales it up all so my client can call it farmland and receive all the associated tax breaks.

GravelyGuy
02-23-2012, 01:56 AM
Are you required to turn it all over to turf? If not, you might get a tax break if you leave a good portion to farmland. Talk with a (good) accountant before you seed it! I have a client who lives on 30 acres or so. His lawn is 1.5 acres, the rest is left as native grass. Once per year a farmer comes in and bales it up all so my client can call it farmland and receive all the associated tax breaks.

That is a damn good idea. It is being leased by a farmer now. Land is VERY hard to find in my area so I have to work with less than ideal situations like this.

Smallaxe
02-23-2012, 09:56 AM
That is a damn good idea. It is being leased by a farmer now. Land is VERY hard to find in my area so I have to work with less than ideal situations like this.

Great to hear it... :)

KS_Grasscutter
02-23-2012, 11:27 AM
In your area you could probably rent it out for over $200 per acre to someone that wants to farm it. That would help pay the property tax on it, at least. But most big farmers probably wouldn't want to mess with that small of an area unless they had ground nearby.