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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter #5
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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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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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 it’s not too late seed greenfeed. If you don’t spray it you’re setting yourself up for 2 years of poor crops.
 

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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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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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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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Will be spraying and old pasture soon and seeding it to oats. I plan on giving it 720 grams of RU, wait 4 days seed and spray it out later for green feed. I definitely would not seed without spraying.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, right or wrong, I did seed it as is, right into the standing hay. There was 4+" of rain forecast, and it is late June so waiting for chemical to do its things wasn't really an option. Instead we only got 1.35" so likely could have waited. Seeded very heavy, using up some old seed and what I had left over this year. Barley is germinated, will see which wins. I realize I am not gaining anything on weed control in preparation for next years crop, but at least getting a head start on the fertility. With the moisture we have been and are forecast to get, if nothing else, the existing hay should respond, tearing it up always seems to motivate a really old stand, but never tried it at this time of year.

I like the idea of spraying it out before cutting, but really need the late fall pasture, so unfortunately not an option this year.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
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.
I was counting on the rain to germinate seeds no matter how buried they were or weren't. But almost all are well covere, only see the odd short patch of open seed trench. Didn't harrow or roll it since harrows would just make a mess of the thick nasty sods that mostly fell back into place. Likely should have rolled, but too late now that it is germinated( I think).
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Appears to be working really well. It helps a lot when mother nature is on side, and has basically rained every day since being seeded. Even seeds on the surface grew. I expected the grass to take right off from the fertilizer, but it took a long time to respond, likely because it was already mostly headed out, and needed to start over. So the barley had a good start without much competition. The grass is really greening up and coming back now, and both are comparable heights, looks like there will be a lot of biomass one way or the other, plus some fall pasture if all goes well, part of the reason why I didn't want to spray out the grass, is needing the fall pasture. I'm sure its not possible, but looks like alfalfa coming in where there was none?

So I'm no further ahead on weed control for next year, but bringing the old grass out of dormancy with the disturbance, and fert will help get a much better kill next spring, and Tru Flex canola seems to be a good fit for first year direct seeding into old hay. And having a head start on getting fertility back up is always good.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Update.

I remember why I swore against ever growing greenfeed again...

The good news, is that the hay eventually came back from the abuse and found the fertilizer and outcompeted the barley, probably 3/4 grass, 1/4 barley in the end, which is much easier to dry than pure barley( which I am trying to dry in another field, with highs in the teens, cloudy, humid, calm and showers every day, that isn't going very well...)

Have some baled, looks like around 2.5 tons/acre, which is a disappointment on a year like this around here, but is probably 5 times what it would have been without the intervention. Coming back nicely for fall pasture.

I also threw some leftover wheat seed in, and it didn't amount to much, heads with 2 kernels, no tillers, it really doesn't like competition.

I could probably count the days without precipitation since it was seeded on one hand, so not exactly an average year to compare to.
 
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