Any pasture reclamation experts out there?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by Jim@MilkyWay, Sep 22, 2006.

  1. Jim@MilkyWay

    Jim@MilkyWay LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 472

    I am interested in getting more grass and less weed in my pastures. I don't like herbicides, selective or otherwise, but I am beginning to think I have no choice.
    I want to find out who, if any, on the forum deals with pasture grasses and maintenance in general.
    I am looking for on-going maintenance and continuous improvement, not instant gratification. I want the most bang for the buck, weather it be time or money investment.
    If I get any bites on this post then I will elaborate on my specifics.
    If this is the wrong section, then please direct me.
  2. JB1

    JB1 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,904

    you might want to check with your local co-op as they deal with this daily and could give you a better idea for your area.
  3. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Messages: 4,205

    If you don't want to use herbicides you need to cut it on a regular basis particularly at this time of year, add lime as prescribed by a soil test and fertilize it according to that same test.
    Just doing this will promote grass growth and choke out the weeds to the extent a pasture can be revamped without extensive management.
    Overseeding will help as well.

    We're about to do this with another 15 acres that needs to produce hay by the end of next year.
  4. JoeinJasper

    JoeinJasper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 173

    Check with your local county extension office for information and recommendations for your particular situation. This link will give you the information on what is labeled to be used on pastures. You do not have to be licensed to apply non restricted use pesticides on your own agricultural land. Joe
  5. Jim@MilkyWay

    Jim@MilkyWay LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 472

    Thanks JB1.
    I have checked with them before, but not for on-going reclamation. The ground here is steep, terraced and large areas have surface rock. This in addition to milk thistle, cocklebur, stick tights, etc. I usually pick up about ten tractor bucket loads of rock in the winter months (no grass then), and the pastures are all a lot better now than when I bought the place.
  6. Jim@MilkyWay

    Jim@MilkyWay LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 472

    Thanks to you guys who have posted replies.
    I'm off to teach at planetarium right now, but I will post responses this weekend. Maybe even tonight, since I am sure we will not have to open the observatory after show as it is cloudy/rainy.
  7. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Messages: 4,205

    What are you going to be using this pasture for?
  8. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    Soil test, and apply correct amendments. Use a few goats to help with the weed problems. The goats prefer weeds to the grass. Mow or bushog during the dark nites of July, and Aug. this helps control the number of weed seeds that mature. Mow anytime the weeds get higher than the grass. Usually on my pastures, I set the bushhog up real high and just knock the tops out of the weeds the cows didnt eat. I might do that 3 or 4 times a year. You can control the weeds, (sort of), by not letting them develope seed heads. Dont over graze the pastures.
  9. Jim@MilkyWay

    Jim@MilkyWay LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 472

    This tract was a chicken farm for some 15yrs. before I bought.
    The only time I had it tested, the soil tests said it was in good shape as per the UGA (?) test facility. It has been a while since it was tested so I don't remember for sure, where I sent samples.
    I believe the test stated the phosphorous balance may be a tiny bit low, but like I said, it's been a while.
    I tried a little experimental 1 acre, (approximate) plot this season, where I plowed up some weeds, some rocks and the high spots, then drug the high spots down into the low spots. It sure cuts easier as it is a lot more even, but I did not get much yield from the 75lbs of tall fescue I broadcast, neither in the new ground, nor the over seed area. I use composted horse manure, raw, as supplement, no NPK.
    The _broad_ leaf, invasive weed that is positively incorrigible, is like a wild lettuce that chokes out the grass. Mowing, not bush hogging, keeps it down but it does not seem to mind being cut. The grass is _NOT_ going to win unless I do something different. Have taken enough interest in project to take even the initial step of contacting you guys, because I don't feel I got enough improvement for the effort I put into the experiment. Will continue to research from this forum and county x-service and keep you posted.
  10. Jim@MilkyWay

    Jim@MilkyWay LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 472

    Thanks for the link.

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