Seeding greenfeed directly into standing live hay? - The Combine Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 02:53 AM Thread Starter
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Seeding greenfeed directly into standing live hay?

Probably acquiring some new land, but a little too late in the growing season to spray it out and have much hope of getting a crop off it. It has a very tired hay crop on it, hasn't been fertilized for years, has a few healthy alfalfa plants, and some starving grass in between. We have more than adequate moisture right now, and supposed to get even more.

So, rather than lose the entire year, can I direct seed ( double shoot Dutch precision openers) some barley with generous fertilizer right into the hay, the existing hay plants should benefit from the fertilizer, but will the barley compete with the hay, especially since it will have first access to the fertilizer being right below the seed rows? Then greenfeed it all together. Any other crops that would compete better?

It would be a tough pull to get the drill in deep enough to seed cereals, but ground should be wet enough to make it possible if I can get enough traction.

Plan is to get it all into crop for next year, and it always seems to take me a few years to get nutrients up to par on old hay land, regardless how much is applied, so this would give it a head start.


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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 08:05 AM
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Years ago I rented a JD 750 no till drill and seeded oats into an old hay field that was sprayed out.
It turned out to be a drier year.
It didn't work out well.
I wouldn't do that again.
I combined this piece, and between the mole hill dirt landing up in the feeder chain and the rough field caused a lot of headache.
My choice would be summer fallow.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 08:29 AM
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Just to add, I had trouble getting the oats seeds to germ in that sod.
That JD drill worked ok as far as not ripping up the sod and making the field any rougher.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 08:56 AM
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One spring I seeded some oats into pasture ground and aside from the oats bridging in the John Deere cart it turned out well. The opener on the drill at the time was a Dutch side band opener. I can't remember if it was a Precision Side Band or Super Eagle Opener, I would have to look it up to be sure, but it seems to me the nH3 was going down about 1.75" deeper and the rest of the fertilizer was going in the sideband with the seed. The pasture had been sprayed out and those openers did a beautiful job in the sod. You could go behind the drill and see a little trail where the openers had cut, dig down and a layer of sod would pull up and all your seed was sitting there on a perfect shelf. They did a fantastic job other than at the headlands where there was some overlap, then of course things were a little rougher.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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I have nothing to lose, will be haying it anyways, and it looks like hay will be expensive again this year. So worst case is I would be out the cost of the barley seed and fuel, most of the fertilizer will still be there next year.

Just concerned that the barley won't amount to much due to the competition from the grass if I don't kill it off first.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 11:04 AM
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I wonder if a light rate of ru would help. Just enough to slow the grasses so the barley can establish and piss off the alfalfa. I don't know anyone who had much luck direct seeding into sod that has been completely desiccated unless it is a wet year. Works well if desiccated in fall but the spring/summer burns seen to keep the soil dry.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Beerwiser View Post
I wonder if a light rate of ru would help. Just enough to slow the grasses so the barley can establish and piss off the alfalfa. I don't know anyone who had much luck direct seeding into sod that has been completely desiccated unless it is a wet year. Works well if desiccated in fall but the spring/summer burns seen to keep the soil dry.
I would spray it. Plow it then vertical till the field. If itís not too late seed greenfeed. If you donít spray it youíre setting yourself up for 2 years of poor crops.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 01:10 PM
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I tried putting oats into a tired hay crop once without spraying it out. Used a Great Plains disc drill. Did a good job. Was a waste of time and seed though. The oats was choked out by the grass and maybe 10% amounted to being knee high.

I'd hit it with 720 g of glyphosate, wait three days then put in some barley if you can find some.

That's what I did on a couple fields this spring.

This was a 30 year old fescue pasture. Sprayed 4 days before seeding. Ground was so dry and hard this spring that my BG 4710 disc drill didn't even penetrate in spots and left the seed in the duff layer for half the field. Moisture was down 2-4". Got lucky and caught a shower a few days later and it all germinated.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 01:35 PM
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I have seeded directly into old hay stands, the best thing is to run harrows over the field after it's seeded, it helps get some soil onto the seeds again. Diamond arrows worked best, smooths the field out nice, but a heavy arrows also does a good job.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-15-2019, 06:08 PM
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I would spray it, seed oats and/or barley with a healthy dose of fertilizer and then spray it out again before cutting mid to late August. That'll give it time to pick up any fall moisture and help the sod break down some more before next year.

Edit: I also agree with the harrowing or maybe even harrow packing after seeding.

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