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Does it pay to DIY?

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ridgeandvalley
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:00 pm    Post subject: Does it pay to DIY? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I've got a 5 or 6 acres of hay ground and 3 or 4 acres of horse pasture, and the last few years I've paid to have someone from the local fertilizer coop to come and spread some fertilizer each spring. The land had been pretty neglected for quite a while and the fertilizer has made a nice difference. Last fall I fully intended to try to get some lime down as well, but weather, schedules, etc... got in the way and it never got done. I know ideally it would have been best to let it work in over the winter, but that didn't happen.

I'm wondering about getting the lime put on now, or even after I get my first hay cutting off in June. Even if it does little or nothing for this season, it couldn't hurt to get a headstart on incorporating it for next season could it? The land hasn't had any lime in probably close to 20 years, and a few of the weeds I'm seeing are said to thrive in acidic soils. Is the cost of adding lime comparable per acre to adding fertilizer?

Is there any savings in trying to figure out how to spread stuff (both the fertilizer and the lime) myself, or is it better to just pay someone to come in with the spreader trucks and get it done?
 
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SVcummins
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:20 am    Post subject: Re: Does it pay to DIY? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Unless you can rent a fertilizer buggy it doesn?t
work to try to spread your own on that few of acres .
Even the big farmers it doesn?t really pay to have
your own applicator but having your own you can
sometimes get a better dealer on chemical than
from the local guy also when you?ve got your own
rig you can get to your crops when it needs the
product not maybe waiting for the dealer to get to
your farm to spread
 
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paul
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:50 am    Post subject: Re: Does it pay to DIY? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Probably best to let them spread it for those acres, unless you come into a real deal on a spreader/ drop fertilizer. Some forms of lime can be difficult to spread so
especially might be best to just let them do it.

Plants use a mild acid in their roots they release, to break down and then absorb the nutrients they need.

If your soil is acidic, then the nutrients would rather stick with the soil than be moved into the plant roots. And so even if you fertilize, the plants can?t get the nutrients
pried loose, and starve a little.

So, if you need lime, get it on. It is more important than the fertilizer really.

In my area we have too high of a ph, that is really hard to correct. It?s not good to be over 7.5; being around 6.5 is good. Being under 6 is easy to correct with lime and
well worth it.

Do it when you can, so the process starts. Last fall would have been nice, but do it now and it starts working it will kick in my mid summer anyhow. Can?t get started if
you don?t get it spread. Smile there are only losers by waiting. And waiting.....

Paul
 
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redforlife
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Does it pay to DIY? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Local coop has pull behind spreaders you can rent for the do it your selfers. If you buy your material there, they
are pretty reasonable on the rent. If you can do something like that, go for it. But otherwise, forget doing it
yourself. Not enough acres to justify it.

Shouldn't hurt to put lime on at anytime. Fertilizer is a different story. It can get to late to do any good for
this year if that's what your intention is. Be better to wait untill fall if your intentions are for next year on
the fertilizer.
 
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JCCWI
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Does it pay to DIY? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

For smallacre fields.....a 3pt. hopper spreader works great ! Do it all the time on small hay fields and even for small corn fields .
 
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ridgeandvalley
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Does it pay to DIY? Reply to specific post Reply with quote


Thanks for the input. I've thought about a 3 point spreader. Do you just get a load of lime delivered and then load and spread it yourself, or can you get lime in bags? Is there a savings in doing it that way?

Also, if I wanted to do the same thing with fertilizer, what would be my options? Do you get fertilizer in bags and then spread it? It just seems like fertilizer would be more expensive to buy in bags.

However, I do love the idea of being able to do it myself on my own time schedule. As a "really small" customer, I kind of get pushed down the list of priorities when it comes to getting my fertilizer spread at the ideal time (which I understand).

Curious as to how all the logistics work.
 
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Northvale PA
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:34 am    Post subject: Re: Does it pay to DIY? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

We have 25 acres of hay. I try to get lime down every 2 years because acid rain lowers ph constantly as
well as granular fertilizer use. I have hired a dry lime spreader guy and borrow a lime spreader and
spread dumped damp lime too. That cost is about half as much but tales 10 hours, a loader tractor and
a hauling tractor. I spread in November when the ground is dry so there is time to dissolve and work in.
One caution, lime attracts moisture so if you spread during the hay season you may be raking and
baling some of that powder and that may keep your hay slightly damp. I spread fertilizer myself for the
same cost consideration. In farming, if you pay others to do work for you, you eventually approach the
retail price of the product, or more. I do almost everything myself but it takes a lot of time, tools, etc.
 
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hd6gtom
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 8:44 am    Post subject: Re: Does it pay to DIY? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

When I worked for the farm coop, everyone put their fertilizer on right after the first cutting of hay.
You can buy pel lime. It can be put on Any time and is available to the plant almost immiediatly. I
always put fert on as they did right after 1st cutting. I use 0-0-60 at the recommended rate.
 
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SVcummins
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 1:09 am    Post subject: Re: Does it pay to DIY? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I bought a 3 point spreader like that I may just have to try it
 
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Texasmark1
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 5:35 am    Post subject: Re: Does it pay to DIY? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

If I didn't DIY it wouldn't get done on this farm.
 
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Destroked 450
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 5:37 am    Post subject: Re: Does it pay to DIY? Reply to specific post Reply with quote


Not sure about your area but here we normally apply lime at 1-2 tons per acre, that means you'd need 16-20 tons on your acreage.
My 3 pt spreader holds around 300 lbs, do the math.
Best to have it spread.
You only need around a ton of fertilizer, if you have a big enough tractor to pull a buggy up and down any hills you have I'd do it that way.
If you have any steep hills or just a small tractor spread it with the 3 pt seeder.
None of our local suppliers have bagged fertilizer any more so we have it bulk loaded in the bed of a pickup or trailer.
 
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WGM
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:10 am    Post subject: Re: Does it pay to DIY? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

What do your soil tests show you need for fertilizer
and lime?
 
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hayray
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 5:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Does it pay to DIY? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

You're not gonna be able to spread lime yourself with a three point hitch spreader or a regular fertilizer spreader you can do it yourself if you mix it with
Manure in a manure spreader that's how I spread the wet line and I get the wet calcitic lime for about free around here but you have to go really light
on your spreader it's heavy stuff
 
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hayray
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 5:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Does it pay to DIY? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

One other point about the pelleted line you can spread that your fertilizer spreader but it's very expensive compared to the regular lime either dolomitic or calcitic
 
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MJMJ
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 6:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Does it pay to DIY? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

First off, SOIL TEST. Without it you re just guessing and likely wasting money on fertilizer.
Second, very few 3 pt spreaders do well with ag lime. Pelletized lime will cost you more than just hiring a spreader to do it for you. If you have a tractor big enough and the insurance, check into renting one. Otherwise, just hire it done.
After your soil test
 
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