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Overseeding Existing Hay Field and Johnson Grass Question


 
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Bill VA
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:30 am    Post subject: Overseeding Existing Hay Field and Johnson Grass Question Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I've got a field of timothy that just has not been very good. I'd say it's about 50-60% timothy now and the rest is native grasses from the legacy seed bed. We killed off this field a couple years ago and drilled in climax timothy. I have another field we did the same, but used Clair timothy and it is doing great.

So I'm not ready to kill off this mix timothy field yet, but would like to reinforce the timothy come this fall as I have good paying customers who want straight or as near straight timothy as I can grow. I don't want to use a drill (got my reasons), but so I'd just over seed it heavy with timothy via a broadcast seed spreader and literally roll it with a cultipacker, hope for the best and restart the field in another year or so from scratch.

Reason I ask about broadcasting seed on an otherwise established field is - we've got timothy growing everywhere around the farm now where the seed has spilled, been blown or by whatever means, it's growing around the barn, the lane, in several places where it was never planted. Obviously this seeding was "broadcast" over existing sod by some means, i.e. wind, birds.

So what do you think? Broadcast some timothy and see if it will help repopulate the field? I've read that timothy is very competitive. In our fields, it is not, outside our fields, it is....

Johnsongrass. I'm getting ready to spot spray some sprigs of JG coming up in my other timothy field. As the timothy goes dormant, something grows, foxtail, milkweed, purple top, etc. This JG wasn't noticed in our first cut, but it's out growing everything where it's trying to grow (height). I could run a weed wiper over it, but we have so little (knock on wood) I can walk the field and deal with it via a hand sprayer.

Not that I'd do this....

But it seems a lot of folks are looking for a companion to timothy that will grow during the hot months while timothy goes dormant. Is johnson grass possibly that grass? Doesn't really come-in until after the first cut of timothy and when it does come-in, it's plentiful. I read that on one hand, JG is a pest (I get that), on the other hand, IF properly managed, it's a pretty good forage.

Again - not going to grow a field of johnson grass, but just curious if anyone in other parts of the country has used it for a post first cutting hay?

Thanks,
Bill
 
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Traditional Farmer
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Overseeding Existing Hay Field and Johnson Grass Questio Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Blue Stem is a good hot weather grass in VA,grows no matter what.Don't know if it'd work with Timothy or not.
 
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4520BW
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:09 am    Post subject: Re: Overseeding Existing Hay Field and Johnson Grass Questio Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I grow orchard grass with timothy mixed in and I can sell every bale that I can make. Both of them seem to peter out in the summer heat though. This year with all the rain they both look good.
 
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Bobl1958
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:37 am    Post subject: Re: Overseeding Existing Hay Field and Johnson Grass Questio Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Johnson Grass is a noxious weed in KS. Hard to get rid of because the roots spread out underground, similar to Bermuda. People will cut and bale JG, but, at least here in dry Kansas, you have to be pretty careful of it having high nitrates. My BIL knows a guy, and this is supposedly a true story, who fed a (first of the season) bale of JG to some younger weaned calves one morning. The next morning, there were several dead. They had a Vet Post them and JG was the cause.
Where you get more seasonable weather, it may not be as bad, or even a worry at all. I would kill it, here anyway. Bob
 
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4020 electrician
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 4:00 am    Post subject: Re: Overseeding Existing Hay Field and Johnson Grass Questio Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Well I'd soil sample before I did anything. Orchard grass might be a good choice. Orchard will give your bales that nice green color that around my neighborhood horse people pay top dollar for.
 
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Jim Phelps
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:03 am    Post subject: Re: Overseeding Existing Hay Field and Johnson Grass Questio Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Not sure where you live but we are trying our best to eliminate Johnson Grass in my area, it will overrun any field in time. We spot spray, use a wipe what ever we can do to kill it.
 
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Northvale PA
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:04 am    Post subject: Re: Overseeding Existing Hay Field and Johnson Grass Questio Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Try late orchard grass / early Timothy mix. Maybe get some red clover on it, not too heavy. Run a disc lightly, spread and roll in. I have a field to plant in September and plan to do this. I use a drill but take the seed tubes off and let the Timothy seed drop and scatter.
 
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donjr
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:32 am    Post subject: Re: Overseeding Existing Hay Field and Johnson Grass Questio Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Bill, I'm not sure where you are in Virginny, but JG is a noxious weed around here in Maerrylin. I do know that folks raise it as a grazing crop in the far south, but it is spread by seed eaten by deer and birds. Plus the rhizomes keep it going into neaxt year, and when in row crops, will take over a field in a few years. We use glyphosate to control it and at a high dose. Don't let it get a start....
 
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