"NEW" pasture/barn

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"NEW" pasture/barn

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    11-03-2010, 09:49 PM
"NEW" pasture/barn

Hello again all, I have a question and hope y'all can answer it for me.

My husband and I are going to be moving into a property that is currently vacant but was used a few years ago for cattle. The land around the barn was used for pasture at one time but this year had been planted in soy beans. My question is this, what would be the best way to start a new pasture for the horses? I already know what seeds I'll be buying but I'm not sure if the soy will harm the horses or not if I pasture them on that while the new pastures are growing.

I have attached a pic of the area and drew on it where we are planning on putting the fences. Although only the one right off the barn will be done before we move the horses in.

Thanks for any advice/help y'all can give!
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File Type: jpg landfences.jpg (51.7 KB, 398 views)
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    11-04-2010, 08:35 AM
I assume the soy will be harvested off the field prior to you replanting?

Do you have the tractor and accessories to plow and plant the field yourself? If not it is probably best to talk to some farmers in your area and discuss with them if they would do it for you (for a cost, obviously).

I would get the soil tested to see if you need to treat it in any way to help it best grow what you plan to plant.

The field that is now my pasture was formerly a corn field. I was shocked at what we had to go through to turn it into a pasture. Some of the chemicals the farmer used to help prevent weed growth in his corn field would have made just over seeding with pasture mix not work. We had to plow and disc, etc.
    11-04-2010, 10:08 AM
Assuming the soybeans are harvested. Hire the farmer harvesting the beans to plant the fields. He will know better than anyone what will work in your area and what will not. Do not plant hay grass. Plant grasses that hold up to traffic, not grasses that you imagine your fufu would like to eat. Keeping the ground covered is more important and will grow more grass that planting a magical "horse Pasture" mix that will dissapear in 1 year due to trampling or the horses cropping it too short.
Additionally, no 90 deg corners in the field! Always use round corners such that one animal can never pin another animal in a corner and beat them to a pulp. Leave the non alfa animal a way of escape.
    11-04-2010, 10:47 PM
Well of course the soy beans have already been harvested! Besides, we won't be putting horses on it until probably around Dec-Jan. I know what grasses do good for pasture around here as I have been witness to poorly planted pastures as well as well thought out pastures. It also has a lot to do with proper management of those pastures not just the type/species you plant.

We had already planned on talking to the farmer who harvests the fields and see if we can work some kind of deal out with him if he would be willing to plant the two larger fields with seeds we supply. When the fields were harvested he cut it down to the surface so there's no "stubble" to speak of just the chaff left over from the harvesting laying on the fields. I was curious if we should overplant the fields as is with no tilling or if they should be tilled first. Most of the farmers around here plant winter wheat directly onto the fields pretty much the day after the soy beans have been harvested.

I guess I'm just going to have to talk to the farmer first and see if he'd even do that for us.
    11-05-2010, 08:31 AM
You want no till if possible. You have to do this NOW! ASAP! Here in northern TN the cuttoff for sowing wheat is generally Thanksgiving. It may be this week in PA, don't know. You will want to sow about 2 bu small grains with your seed as a nurse crop to protect the grass seed through the winter.

BTW, a lot of soybeans across the nation are still comming off the fields depending on planting dates, so the harvest condition of your beans is not a given.
    11-05-2010, 08:38 AM
Originally Posted by Production Acres    
BTW, a lot of soybeans across the nation are still comming off the fields depending on planting dates, so the harvest condition of your beans is not a given.
That was kind of my thought too.

There are still fields waiting to be harvested even here in NY.
    11-05-2010, 09:33 PM
What I meant by that comment was that I wouldn't attempt to plant anything if the crops were still on the field... that wouldn't be very intelligent. I realize that there's still soy waiting to be harvested as there are still fields here needing the same...

Anyways, thanks for all the advice, it's appreciated.
    11-07-2010, 11:51 PM
Wow, I would never have thought about the 90 degree corners. Learn something new everyday. Great tip.
    11-13-2010, 02:53 AM
If the land the string of trees are standing on is yours I'd incorporate them into the pasture lines. It gives great places for them to chill and relax during summer.
IF you do have it tilled you could have them run the aerator over it to gently repack it after seeding. I know that sounds counter productive but it works for a friend of mine. He reseeds his pasture about every 4th or 5th year. He rotates which are reseeded so it's a smaller area each year.
I'd definitely round the corners. It can be as simple a fix as chopping off the corner with an 8 to 10 ft section of fence. I hope that makes sense LOL

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