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deserthorsewoman 08-27-2012 10:55 AM

pasture tune up
I have 10 acres of pasture. 8 of them irrigated. We just got it this month and it pretty run down, IMO. The previous guy had too little animals on it, didn't irrigate well enough or too much and its now pretty weedy and overgrown. We have neighbor's 25 cows on it at the moment to clean it up first. They do eat the tumbleweed (yeayyyyy) but are pretty picky about some grass.
We want to see what the ground looks like, we found lots of holes from cows on it when being to wet, and have to get rid of the weeds and thistles.
Idea is to raise beef (see my other thread) , rotational grazing and maybe let our horses on after the cows.
Since fall is near it seems to be a good time to work on it and get it ready for spring.
Any ideas of how to approach that?
We're in central CA btw.
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littrella 08-27-2012 11:33 AM

subbing, trying to re-hab a weedy pasture also & want to see what everybody has to say

Dreamcatcher Arabians 08-27-2012 11:39 AM

Since you're in CA you may have restrictions I don't. If you can burn, once the cows eat it down a bit, I'd burn off the pasture and then turn everything under and re-seed with grass. If you can't burn, then I'd turn it all under and re-seed. Once it's starting to come up, watch for the weeds and spray a weed killer. Ideally, I'd spray a pre-emergant weed killer before anything came up in spring and then after the recommended time, I'd re-seed the grass. You'd probably need to establish a 'sacrifice' lot to keep the horses off the newly seeded pastures for a while but in a year you could have a lush green pasture established.

Because the drought has killed off everything here, I'm going to have to re-seed but I have to wait until I know the drought is over. Right now, I can't burn and it would be a waste of time and money to spray or re-seed. I'm looking forward to the end of the drought so I can get my pastures deep in grass again, I remember vaguely, when things were green!

deserthorsewoman 08-27-2012 11:50 AM

I can imagine ;-)

I don't think burning it would be such a good idea and I bet we couldn't anyway....California is really strange. I'd be afraid to burn neighbor's pasture too. Although he could use it;-) . Apart from that there are houses too.
I was thinking of spraying, turning under and reseeding anyway, seems the easiest option.
Then get a first cut of hay from it and then graze it.
Sacrifice lot I have, 4 acres of dry lot.

I looked into seeds and decided I really miss my Bavarian pre-alpine grass and herb mix......:/
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PaintHorseMares 08-27-2012 11:55 AM

You can spray it with a 2-4-D weed killer. It is pasture safe (no waiting), but you would have to read how long you have to wait after spraying before slaughter for the cows.
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deserthorsewoman 08-27-2012 01:12 PM

Thanks PHM:-)
We will do the tune up before we put any animals on.
Hubby is all for spraying the weeds, but doesn't know what to do after.....drag, turn under, reseed.....he believes in being informed BEFORE talking to a custom farmer about doing it, guess he doesn't want to look stupid;-)
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Dreamcatcher Arabians 08-27-2012 01:13 PM

I've been using 2-4-D out here and it's pretty good if you stay on it and don't have the drought issues we're having. From what the OP is describing, I'd use the pre-emergent to kill everything off prior to it coming in and then re-seed with what I wanted.

deserthorsewoman 08-27-2012 01:34 PM

That's what I had in mind, but what do you do with the dead grass and weeds, full of chemicals...?
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Dreamcatcher Arabians 08-27-2012 02:57 PM

If you do the pre-emergent and then wait the specified amount of time before you re-seed, there's no problem.

If you go the 2-4-D route, it's pasture safe and you don't have to stop grazing (though I do, at least until it's dry) but there is a withdrawal time for cattle going to slaughter. You spray before you want to slaughter your cattle, then you wait the number of days it says for it to clear their systems and then you load 'em up and take them to the knacker. Or you can wait til you take them to slaughter and then spray.

PaintHorseMares 08-27-2012 04:42 PM

If you want to kill everything (including any grass), spraying RoundUp is the way to kills everything.
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