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Need input on N for hay field


 
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Farmall 504
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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2021 4:53 am    Post subject: Need input on N for hay field Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Have a lightly mixed alf/mixed grass field. Been improving it the last few years with soil samples and applying recommenced nutrients, (and cutting higher than the last tender of the field was), but they never suggest Nitrogen. Boron and Phosph., can't remember what all, but we put it on and it's getting better.

We're getting ready to cut and I keep reading how about how much nutrients you pull with each harvest, and although this field has some alfalfa in it, I don't think it's enough to replace the N coming out. I think it's at most 20% alfalfa, is that anywhere near enough to keep N levels up? Strangely, the soil sample we took did not list the N level, and I thought that very odd.

Seems like you want to apply right after cutting, so want to be ready. Info on liquid vs granular application helpful too.

Thanks very much for any help.
 
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centash
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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2021 6:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Need input on N for hay field Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Most soil tests don't include N because accurate results are hard to obtain due to
its volatility. If it's good soil with a potential for two cuts and about 150 small
squares per acre, I would go with a 100 pounds to the acre split granular
application.This may eventually thin out the alfalfa since grass is more
competitive, so you may have to break it up and reseed it in several years with a
higher proportion of alfalfa....usually 80/20 alfalfa to grass ratio...and that
will reduce your N required, but you gotta pour on the K!

Ben
 
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john in la
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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2021 1:32 am    Post subject: Re: Need input on N for hay field Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I can not speak about alfalfa and what I am about to say may have little to do with you because you do not get the growth rate we get.

But for us here in the deep south with 100 percent grass.
We are removing about 45 lbs of N per ton of hay.
N does not store in the soil and is all gone in at most 60 days.
To much Urea is lost to the wind when applied on top the soil so we use ammonium fertilizer.
Heavy doses of N are needed for hay as it not only increases yield it increases protein levels making for a better hay.
We try to put 300 to 400 lbs of N a year on hay fields for good production but that is way to much to apply at one time.

So what is recommended for us on a field that has proper lime P and K is to apply 100 lbs of Ammonium nitrate or Ammonium sulfate at green up
and 100 lbs after each cutting except the last cutting. With 4 cuttings this gives us our 400 lbs of N a year. Once you have a good stand of
grass you might tweak this down a little based on your protein test and tons removed from the field to try and save a few bucks.
 
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paul
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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2021 4:42 am    Post subject: Re: Need input on N for hay field Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Are you saying 300 to 400 lbs of actual N, or are you saying 300-400 lbs of product, which isnt 100% N?

400 lbs of actual N would be a lot!

Up here in the north the urea is a bit more stable in our heavy ground. You would have a hard time finding the other N you mention. They put stsblizers on the urea if you want, probsbly a good idea. Really helps to apply right before a rain, but we know how that planning goes much of the time!

Paul
 
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john in la
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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2021 5:45 am    Post subject: Re: Need input on N for hay field Reply to specific post Reply with quote

400 lbs of actual N is a lot.
I used 200 back in the day when I was into it.
The differance in growth between 200 and 400 did not justify the input price to me.
But yes if you are looking for every ounce of protein you can get 400 is doable.
Of course manure has to be figured in the mix if we are talking pasture and not pure hay ground.

Like I said what works here needs to be tweaked down for you northern guys.
You grow alfalfa mixes that give you N.
You do not have the heat units we have.
You do not have the rain we have.
You can not grow the grasses we do.
You are not trying to grow green grass 365 days a year.
But I'm also betting you guys are not raising a caw calf pair per acre either.
There is a reason some of the biggest cattle ranches in the country (by head count not acres) are in Florida.

I had a publication in print from LSU that explains all this.
Finding it now would be futile.
Let me see if I can find it online and I will post a link if I do.
 
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john in la
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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2021 6:37 am    Post subject: Re: Need input on N for hay field Reply to specific post Reply with quote

.
I found it

 
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Farmall 504
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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2021 7:49 am    Post subject: Re: Need input on N for hay field Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Good info.
 
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Farmall 504
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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2021 7:54 am    Post subject: Re: Need input on N for hay field Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Thanks Ben.

Yep, makes sense now.

We're going take another sample just before we cut to determine how much to apply. We're very small, this one 10acre field actually, and have limited equipment. Wondering best way to apply the N? Liquid vs Granular? I have no sprayer or spreader wagon. We've used a wagon from the supplier for what we've put down thus far, and wondering can I just get N in granular, or should it be sprayed, which means buying a sprayer or paying the man to come out?

Really appreciate your help.
 
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paul
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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2021 10:44 am    Post subject: Re: Need input on N for hay field Reply to specific post Reply with quote

We can do a lot more than a pair per acre, but then after 5 months that pesky winter comes along and shuts down anything growing, and we need to go to the silage and forage piles.......

We are just so much better suited for corn and soybeans here, pasture and hay is a sideline.

Corn is the big N crop here, and if you apply more than 200# actual you are crossing into some territory the govt wants to control you. They recommend only 160-180# of N for best corn use.

So if I ordered up 400# actual folk would get interested in what I was doing.

I understand you are doing multiple applications and I forget you have nearly 12 months to use it.

For the original question, 20% legumes (alfalfa and clover) would nearly keep the grasses happy here for N, adding a little after each cutting might help. You are near that half way between level of not needing any to where a little will help but a lot would actually slow down your legumes and they wont produce as much then.

Where I live we get so much summer rain a nitrogen test rarely is done, as its so unpredictable, it depends on the rainfall that week. For a hay crop getting an N test will help you see where you are.

Paul
 
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centash
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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2021 4:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Need input on N for hay field Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Liquid N may burn the foliage. Does your supplier of granular fertilizer have spreaders they rent out?

Ben
 
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paul
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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2021 2:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Need input on N for hay field Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Granular is fine. Best if you can get it to rain 1/2 inch plus within 48 hours of application. There is a stabilizer they can add to it costs a bit but gives you a week or two before needing that rain.

Some types of granular N are more stable; but they are rare around me and cost more. Everything is urea around here. You might find differently where you are.

Paul
 
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