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I've got about an 8 acre pasture at my inlaws that grows naturally. We've been getting it cut/baled every year by a neighbor, we split the bales.

The pasture is basically on it's own. No water system, doesn't get treated in any way. I will drag the harrow around to break up really hard spots, maybe spread horse manure.

My question is should I, or can I, do anything to increase the yield without major watering modifications?

Should I disc/seed? overseed? Any other suggestions?
 

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I just got pretty good booklet "Colorado Forage Guide" from CSU Extension (cost $10). They cover seeding,grass types, and pasture renovation and fertilizers for dry land pasture. When get to a real computer I'll put a link to it here. Not easy for me to on iPad.
 

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hhmmm, run chickens on it? get a couple hundred birds and use a joel salatin style shelter. that will put a few thousand pounds of nitrogen on it. hay it before you put birds on it, as they need it to be short so they can eat it. the other thing i would do is run some 1/2" black water line with a faucet every 200' for water if/when/where you need it. the worst thing you can do is spray it or till it (tilling is okay in the winter because the surface biology is frozen.) or leave it alone- i.e put it into a program like CR(a)P.:thumbsdown: start incorporating diversity into your pastures. corn and sudan grass is good for cows. if you run birds on it, dont plant legumes as they simply will not grow because of the nitrogen from the manure. dont mow it to short because that will kill every microbe or surface biology in a matter of hours. you need good surface biology as they are sort of the metabolization system of the dirt.

and, get a soil test and add the things they say.

just my $0.02
 

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I've got a 8 acre piece that I bale twice a year. I put ammonium sulfate and potash on it right after I cut the first crop, just before I think we will get some rain (usually the first week of June).
I can't remember the rate but maybe 150 pounds of AMS per acre and 100 pounds of potash.

The field is all volunteer, and it's amazing how good the yield/quality got after I started baling it. I cut it 2 years before I started fertilizing it...Then it really took off. It's a mixture of timothy, brome, clover with a little alfalfa.
544.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Arlen, that looks real similar to mine. Although much greener than mine. How many bales do you get on average per cut?

Last year we had a much higher amount of spring rain & got a decent yield.


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Arlen, that looks real similar to mine. Although much greener than mine. How many bales do you get on average per cut?

Last year we had a much higher amount of spring rain & got a decent yield.


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I usually get 25-28 round bales on the first cut (1400 lbs each), 10 on the second cut, and last year I cut it a third time and got another 5.
 

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You're yield is about 10k more pounds. Last year was around 300 small squares avg about 60lbs each.


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That's why I said like:bigthumb: I'll drive up to FoCo to save over 1k!!:gizmo:

I saw that one a week or two ago when I was looking for a drag harrow. :thumbup1gif: I want to get the local ag extension guy out here to look at our place, I'm in a similar situation as you are. I don't intend to hay our property but I'd like to put a few more animals on it. I've got the grass to support it, but I don't want to over graze and if I can improve the grass/ soil I'd certainly like to.
 

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I'm still getting around to doing this. Been so busy and also the weather hasn't been exactly ideal, but hopefully the snow is finally gone.

I have already drug the harrow around, but that's it. Hopefully the upcoming days will be productive as I see the grass starting to green up and grow.
 

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I have a similar situation and wanted to increase my yield. The options I considered were over-seeding and fertilizing but decided on just cutting it more often between hay crops. My father told me that grass loves to be cut and weeds hate it...so the more you cut the more grass and less weeds supposedly. It has worked for me. I am satisfied with the yield off that pasture now. Overseeding has a disadvantage in that the seed may rot if it doesn't rain soon enough afterwards.
 

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I'm waiting for the snow to stop...:flag_of_truce:
 
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