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Starting Over: Pasture Establishment and Renovation

Starting Over: Pasture Establishment and Renovation

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Starting Over: Pasture Establishment and Renovation

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  1. Starting Over:Pasture Establishment and Renovation Developed by: Rhonda Miller Utah State University USDA USDA

  2. What we’ll be covering: • Introduction • Forage establishment • Factors to consider prior to renovation • Plant characteristics • Characteristics of individual grasses and legumes UNCE, Reno, NV www.freefoto.com

  3. Does your pasture need help? • Fertilization • Weed control • Proper management • Renovation USU, Logan, UT

  4. Definitions • Establishment - planting a pasture where there is no existing pasture • Renovation - series of actions that lead to a long-term change in the botanical composition of a pasture • Partial renovation • Total renovation

  5. Type of renovation • Partial renovation • Rejuvenation or enhancement of existing pasture • Generally done when poor forage stands result from winter injury, drought, flooding, or other stresses • Total renovation • Destruction followed by reestablishment of either the same species or another species

  6. Definitions • Species - refers to the type of plant such as alfalfa, sweet clover, smooth bromegrass, etc. • Cultivar - refers to a specific variety within a specie. York, Saratoga, and Bravo are all improved varieties of smooth bromegrass.

  7. Benefits of renovation • Replaces old or diseased pasture species with healthy improved varieties • Extends or increases productivity of pasture • Improves quality of forage • Increases animal productivity • Reduces soil erosion • Reduces pollution potential www.farmphoto.com www.farmphoto.com

  8. When to renovate? • Renovate when: • Pasture is in poor condition and even proper management techniques will not improve pasture to desired level • You want to grow a different forage specie or variety UNCE, Reno, NV

  9. Forage establishment www.farmphoto.com

  10. Forage establishment • Seedbed preparation • Seeding methods • Seeding guidelines • Seeding rates • Costs USU, Logan, UT

  11. Forage establishment • Seedbed preparation • Seed requirements • Tillage • Other forms of seedbed preparation • Fertility & pH USU, Logan, UT

  12. Seedbed preparation Goal - Control weeds and provide a firm seedbed with just enough loose surface soil for shallow seed placement and good seed-to-soil contact www.farmphoto.com

  13. Seedbed preparation • Seed requirements • Minimal soil temperature • Moisture • Oxygen • Seed-to-soil contact • Accomplish by creating a firm, moist seedbed

  14. Seedbed preparation Importance of a firm, moist seedbed • Essential for: • Proper seed placement • Good soil-seed contact • Successful establishment www.farmphoto.com

  15. Seedbed preparation Creating a firm seedbed takes proper tillage • Deep tillage (plow) • Disc • Roller harrow or cultipacker www.farmphoto.com

  16. Seedbed preparation Purpose of tillage • Eliminate existing vegetation • Turn under surface weed seeds • Loosen soil • Incorporate fertilizer and lime • Provide firm seedbed for seeding www.freefoto.com

  17. Close clipping or grazing Burning Non-selective herbicide Seedbed preparation Other forms of seedbed preparation USU, Logan, UT

  18. Seedbed preparation • Fertility & pH • Base on soil test • Add lime if pH is low • Determine reasonable yield • Add appropriate nutrients • Phosphorus and potassium • Nitrogen www.efma.org

  19. Forage establishment Seeding guidelines • Planting dates • Seeding depth • Inoculation of legumes • Why forage seedings fail www.farmphoto.com

  20. Seeding guidelines Planting dates • Late winter - early spring • Late summer - early fall

  21. Planting dates Late winter- early spring seeding • Late February to early May • More common in northern U.S. • Soil moisture usually good • If too early soil can be cold, resulting in fungal diseases • If too late, soil can be dry and seedlings desiccate

  22. Planting dates Late summer - early fall seeding • August to mid-October • Less competition from weeds • Liming, fertilization, and tillage done during drier weather thereby reducing compaction • Fungal diseases reduced Note: Seedlings need to have at least six weeks of growth before killing frost

  23. Seeding guidelines Seeding depth • Approximately ¼ inch • Varies with: • Soil type • Soil moisture • Time of seeding • Firmness of seedbed clay.agr.okstate.edu

  24. Seeding guidelines Inoculation of legumes • All legumes should be inoculated with the proper strains of N-fixing bacteria prior to seeding • Ensures that proper bacteria will be present for nitrogen fixation www.clay.agr.okstate.edu

  25. Forage establishment Why forage seedings fail • Germination through emergence • After emergence

  26. Why forage seedings fail Germination through emergence • Hard seed • Temperature • Improper planting depth • Seed dries out • Crusted soil surface • Toxicity - allelopathic effects, herbicide carryover clay.agr.okstate.edu

  27. Why forage seedings fail After emergence • Undesirable pH • Low fertility • Poor drainage • Drought • Inadequate legume inoculation • Competition from weeds/companion crops • Insects • Diseases, winterkilling clay.agr.okstate.edu clay.agr.okstate.edu

  28. Forage establishment • Seeding methods • Broadcast • Cultipacker • Drilled • No-Till • Frost seeding • Companion crop USU

  29. Broadcast seeding • Cheapest and easiest method of seeding • Typically drag or pack the soil after broadcasting the seed • Tilled seedbed • Seed placement not uniform www.modernforage.com

  30. Cultipacker seeding • Consists of 2 sets of rollers with seed boxes between them • Commonly used on tilled seedbeds • Don’t use on heavy soils www.faivre.com www.faivre.com

  31. Drill seeding • Directly plants each seed into tilled soil at the proper depth • Need to use a forage drill • Grain drills will have poor seed placement for small forage seeds UNCE, Reno, NV

  32. No-till seeding • Plants seed directly into existing sod or vegetation • Solid planting • Band planting • Requires a no-till planter • Reduces erosion • Conserves soil moisture • Reduced fuel, labor, and time requirements www.usda.gov

  33. Seed broadcast in late winter on soil surface Freezing & thawing action plus rain will cover seed Works well with Red Clover Frost seeding www.freefoto.com www.freefoto.com UNCE

  34. Companion crop seeding A companion crop is a small grain crop (i.e. oats) planted with spring-seeded grasses and legumes. Advantages: • Can be cut or grazed for feed • Provides a quick ground cover • Helps control soil erosion • Reduces invasion of weeds Disadvantages: • Competes for nutrients, light, & moisture • Good management essential USDA

  35. Forage establishment Seeding rates • Desired stand • Pure live seed % • Other factors to consider www.ca.wvu.edu

  36. Seeding rates Desired Stand • Varies based on: • Forage species planted • Ability to fill in (rhizomes, etc.) • % Hard seed • Mixture, pure-stand, companion crop • Availability of water clay.agr.okstate.edu www.forages.orst.edu NRCS

  37. Seeding rates Pure live seed percent (PLS) %PLS = %Purity x %Germination %Purity = % of seed that is the desired forage seed %Germination = % of seed that germinates when planted

  38. Seeding rates Other factors to consider • Seeding method used • Seeding rate affected by uniformity of seed placement • Condition of seedbed • Allelopathic toxins

  39. Forage establishment Costs • Tillage • Seed • Reduced yield in first year

  40. Costs Tillage • Plowing • Moldboard $10.00 to $15.00/acre • Chisel $8.00 to $12.00/acre • Disc/Harrow • Tandem disc $6.00 to $10.00/acre • Harrow/Cultipacker $4.50 to $6.00/acre • Planting • Conventional $7.00 to $10.00/acre • No-till $10.00 to $16.00/acre

  41. Costs • Seed: Varies by species and variety • Grasses • Orchardgrass $1.40 - $1.60/lb. (15 lb/ac) • Smooth Bromegrass $3.50/lb. (15 lb/ac) • Timothy $.95 - $1.45/lb. (12 lb/ac) • Tall Fescue $1.60 - $1.75/lb. (35 lb/ac) • Legumes • White Clover $3.25 - $3.85/lb. (2-3 lb/ac) • Birdsfoot Trefoil $4.30/lb. (8 lb/ac) • Alfalfa $3.25/lb (12-15 lb/ac)

  42. Costs Reduced yield in first year • Spring-seeding • Reduced number of cuttings first year • Reduced yield per cutting • Fall-seeding • No harvest of new crop during year of establishment • Reduced yield (of previous crop) during year of establishment • Ground preparation • Time for establishment

  43. Factors to consider prior to establishment or renovation www.usda.gov

  44. Factors to consider • Pasture inventory • Land wvailable • Climate • Soil fharacteristics • Forage use • Livestock • Grazing vs. hay production • Continuous grazing vs. rotational grazing USDA

  45. Pasture inventory Land available • Grazing land • Water source(s) • “Sacrifice” Area • Hay production www.farmphoto.com

  46. Pasture inventory Climate • Growing season • Frost-free days • Growing degree days (GDD) • Temperature • Precipitation USDA

  47. Pasture inventory Soil characteristics • Drainage • Water holding capacity (droughtiness) OSU Extension Service

  48. Forage use Livestock • Different animals have different nutritional requirements and forage preferences • Horses (timothy grass) • Dairy cattle (perennial ryegrass • Beef cattle (tall fescue) www.farmphoto.com

  49. Forage use Grazing vs. hay production • Determine primary use • Many forages that are good for hay production are not good for grazing, and vice-versa. • Upright growth habit - better for hay production • Trampling effects www.farmphoto.com

  50. Continuous grazing Easy Reduced yields Rotational grazing More management Higher yields More infrastructure required Forage use: Continuous grazing vs. rotational grazing UNCE, Reno, NV