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Thread: Which grass seed mix?

  1. #1
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    Which grass seed mix?

    I'm about to 're seed 3 acres of pasture to cut for hay in future. Which would be the best mix for an early cut and high yield?

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    Re: Which grass seed mix?

    Quote Originally Posted by John kirby View Post
    I'm about to 're seed 3 acres of pasture to cut for hay in future. Which would be the best mix for an early cut and high yield?
    Could you expand on "early cut" please ? And what is the hay to be fed to ?

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    Re: Which grass seed mix?

    Quote Originally Posted by John kirby View Post
    I'm about to 're seed 3 acres of pasture to cut for hay in future. Which would be the best mix for an early cut and high yield?
    are you north, south, some where else?

    what is the soii like- moisture content?

    i have seen ground go from 1 crop to 3 crops per season based on where they were located and what was planted and weather conditions and . . . .

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    Re: Which grass seed mix?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ironhead View Post
    are you north, south, some where else?

    what is the soii like- moisture content?

    i have seen ground go from 1 crop to 3 crops per season based on where they were located and what was planted and weather conditions and . . . .
    Northwest England and the soil is heavy. Would like a crop beginning of June and another later on. Usually sell the hay for horse fodder

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    Re: Which grass seed mix?

    Quote Originally Posted by John kirby View Post
    Northwest England and the soil is heavy. Would like a crop beginning of June and another later on. Usually sell the hay for horse fodder
    Again it all depends on the type of horse market you are aiming for. I grew 40-ish acres for the racehorse trade for many years as well as making 40-50,000 bales as a contractor for customers, mostly farmers but also did some horseyculture at the end of each season but while being very lucrative (if you get it right) the racehorse market is very specialised and it is 1 year ryegrass ley only. If you grow a mixture of ryegrasses, some timothy and a bit of clover you've got a wider audience and not so fussy. Just leave the cocksfoot out of it.

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    Re: Which grass seed mix?

    Quote Originally Posted by zaza View Post
    Again it all depends on the type of horse market you are aiming for. I grew 40-ish acres for the racehorse trade for many years as well as making 40-50,000 bales as a contractor for customers, mostly farmers but also did some horseyculture at the end of each season but while being very lucrative (if you get it right) the racehorse market is very specialised and it is 1 year ryegrass ley only. If you grow a mixture of ryegrasses, some timothy and a bit of clover you've got a wider audience and not so fussy. Just leave the cocksfoot out of it.
    To be honest the mixes I've been looking at have a variety of diploid only rye grasses and some Timothy. Need a good quality one and supplier now

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    Re: Which grass seed mix?

    Quote Originally Posted by John kirby View Post
    To be honest the mixes I've been looking at have a variety of diploid only rye grasses and some Timothy. Need a good quality one and supplier now
    Some annual and perennial ryegrass need to be in the mix, as well as a small amount of clover - some red and some white which will leave a bit of nitrogen behind to encourage regrowth which can be made into 2nd cut if the weather is right (and if you're feeling lucky !) If not there may be the possibility of a bit of sheep grazing income which will put a bit back into the land.

    Remember that grass is like any other crop, it takes nutrients out of the soil and you can't do that year after year without putting something back.

  8. #8
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    Re: Which grass seed mix?

    Quote Originally Posted by John kirby View Post
    Would like a crop beginning of June
    Therein lies your first problem.

    You are going to have to force grass to get a crop worth bothering with at the beginning of June, that alone will make it fairly unsuitable for the horse market.

    The exceptional weather twisted my arm this year and I made hay late June early July. This particular field was seeded two years ago with a Barenbrug permanent mixture, all intermediates and lates with Timothy and white clover. The field is in it's seventh year without artificial fertiliser, it was grazed with sheep last year and received FYM at approximately 10 t/acre in February. Ideally it would have been cut a month later but the weather was just too good, it was mowed on a Monday morning and this was it rowed up ready for the baler tea-time on Wednesday.

    Two issues, firstly, those are twenty foot rows so not a heavy crop. Secondly, the white clover is really getting in to it's stride now and while it will be superb hay for stock feed (sheep mostly in our case), it would have to be used very carefully feeding equines due to the higher protein content. We have another field which has an early season mixture in it and it was baled the week before this one. It will be suitable for horses as it has little clover yet and was harder sooner, but the crop was worse as it had stopped growing due to the lack of clover, the scorching weather and having run to seed so early.

    It's all a balancing act as you will find out.
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    Re: Which grass seed mix?

    With the racehorse job if it wasn't cut by the 2nd week of june then you could forget about it for that market, and the two really decent chaps that I used to grow for would know when it was cut to within a week just by looking at it. That's one of the reasons they liked Italian ryegrass, it gets going early and plenty of protein in it if cut in early June. Both of these chaps would fetch container loads of alfala in from Canada every year, it may have been barn dried. And that was ridiculously expensive by the time they got it into the U.K. but the top trainers would pay for it, presumably because there was a lot of energy in it.

    I can remember that one of the chaps came from Great Gransden but they were both quite close to a lot of the yards.

    Maybe the further North you go the more difficult it is to make top quality hay. I don't know. If we'd had a difficlt time and not got it when we should have done invariably I would sell it to Howkins & Harrisons in Rughy who would sell it on and it always seemed to go up North. Belly fill presumably ? I used to make hay for an old boy who milked 30 cows or so and I remember him saying once, after we had made some ronk old stuff at the end of July and I had said that it wasn't a lot of good, "ah me lad, but they'll eat it before they eat their front feet"

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    Re: Which grass seed mix?

    Quote Originally Posted by zaza View Post
    "ah me lad, but they'll eat it before they eat their front feet"
    Reminds me of an old boy used to have a smallholding in the village, right tight old git

    He got some rough old hay from a neighbour one year for next to nothing. I asked him how he was getting on with it.

    "Aye lad, best hay I've ever bought. I fill the racks up at night and it's still there in the morning"


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