AGRONOMY • Crops • Soils • Climate Steps to Establish and Maintain Legume-Grass Pastures Lime and Fertilizer sod by shallow plowing or discing on the contour with a heavy cut-away or brush disc. Use a tandem disc and Take soil samples before preparing seedbed, clearing harrow to finish the seedbed. Apply lime and fertilizer brush, or filling gullies. Lime and fertilizer according to before discing or when drilling if a grain drill is used needs shown by soil test. Apply lime and fertilizer for planting. before plowing or heavy discing. Soil pH and fertility deficiencies may be connected more rapidly with Species and Variety Selection application of lime and fertilizers with fall tillage, although this may not be desirable on steeply sloping Select species that are suitable for desired yield and land. persistence. Iowa State University Extension Publica- tion PM 564, Forage Crop Varieties and Seeding Mix- Seedbed Preparation tures, covers characteristics of many forage legumes and grasses used in Iowa. A seedbed following a row crop may be prepared with a disc or harrow. When renovating a pasture, destroy The following mixtures are frequently used in Iowa: Forage Seed Mixture Recommendations (lbs. per acre)* For Rotation and Permanent Pastures Moderately to well-drained soils Imperfectly drained soils 9. Tall fescue 10-15 1. Alfalfa 6-8 Smooth bromegrass 6-8 4. Red clover 6-8 10. Switchgrass 5-7 PLS 1 Orchardgrass 4-6 Ladino clover ⁄2 Tall fescue 6-8 Orchardgrass 4 11. Smooth bromegrass 10 Tall fescue 6-8 Orchardgrass 4 2. Alfalfa 6-8 1 Timothy 2-4 5. Ladino clover ⁄2-1 12. Switchgrass 5-7 PLS Smooth bromegrass 4-6 Orchardgrass 6-8 Orchardgrass 3-4 Smooth bromegrass 8-10 13. Big bluestem 10-12 PLS 3. Smooth bromegrass 15-20 6. Birdsfoot trefoil 5 Smooth bromegrass 6-8 (continued on next page) For 1 and 2, you can substitute Timothy 3-4 4 lbs/A red clover for 1⁄2 the *Italics indicate foreign choices to alfalfa seeding rate, or 6-8 lbs/A 7. Birdsfoot trefoil 6 complete the mixture. For example, red clover in place of alfalfa. Kentucky bluegrass 4-6 for mixture #1, mix alfalfa with either smooth bromegrass, 8. Smooth bromegrass 15-20 orchardgrass, or tall fescue. PM 1008 Revised June 2004 Poorly drained soils 22. Tall fescue 10-15 Supplemental Pasture 14. Birdsfoot trefoil 5 29. Sudangrass 25-30 Smooth bromegrass 6 23. Crownvetch 8-10 Timothy 3-4 Smooth bromegrass 6-8 30. Oats 2-3 bu. 15. Alsike clover 2-4 Pasture for Horses1 31. Hybrid Pearl Millet 30-35 1 Ladino clover ⁄2 24. Alfalfa 6-8 Reed canarygrass 8 Kentucky bluegrass 2 32. Winter rye 11⁄2 bu. Timothy 3-4 Smooth bromegrass 6-8 Tall fescue 6-8 Orchardgrass 4-5 33. Foxtail/German Millet 20-25 16. Reed canarygrass 10 25. Ladino clover 1/2 34. Forage Rape 4-6 Kentucky bluegrass 3-5 Oats 1-2 bu. 17. Tall fescue 10-15 Timothy 2-4 a Orchardgrass 6 Special care is needed when 18. Ladino clover 1-2 Smooth bromegrass 6 feeding horses. Consider these Kentucky bluegrass 6-8 cautions when selecting forage 26. Birdsfoot trefoil 6 mixtures forhorses. Sudangrass, 19. Switchgrass 5-7 PLS Timothy 3-4 sorghum hybrids. Endophyte fungus-infected tall fescue should Droughty soils Pasture for Hogs not be fed to pregnant or gestating 20. Alfalfa 6-8 27. Alfalfa 8 mares. Though not as serious, Smooth bromegrass 6-8 Ladino clover 2 alsike clover has caused photosen- Orchardgrass 4-6 sitivity and sunburn in horses. And, Tall fescue 6-8 28. Forage Rape 4-6 red clover can cause horses to Oats 1-2 bu. salivate excessively. 21. Smooth bromegrass 15-20 Seeding One to two bushels of oats per acre may be seeded with any of the previously listed mixtures as a com- Seed in one of the following ways on a well-prepared panion crop with spring seedings. The oats may be seedbed: grazed, taken as silage, cut for hay, or harvested as grain. In a dry spring, it may be desirable to remove a. Use a grassland drill with press wheels or a cultipack the companion crop as early as possible to conserve roller type seeder designed for small seeded forage moisture for the new seeding. legumes and grasses. Late summer seedings made between Aug. 15 and b. Use a grain drill with a grass seed attachment. Pull Sept. 1 without a companion crop are often successful. tubes of small seed legume box out of downspouts on Moisture often is limiting at this time of year but there the grain drill to prevent small forage seed from being is less weed competition. Well-established stands can planted deeper than 3⁄4 inch. Cultipack or roll after be grazed the following year. Late summer seedings of seeding. birdsfoot trefoil may be less successful than spring seedings. c. Broad seed with an endgate seeder. Cultipack or roll before or after seeding. Weed and Companion Crop Control All seeding and seedbed firming operations should be Graze rotationally after oats are 8 inches tall. Do not on the counter. graze between Sept. 15 and frost to allow recovery and build-up of food reserves in the plants. Caution: Do not disc in seed. Seeds should be no deeper than 1⁄4 to 3⁄4 inch. Mow as often as needed, particularly where brush is a problem. Weeds must be kept to a minimum during Seedings can be made in the spring as soon as a the seeding year. suitable seedbed can be prepared. Spring seedings made after mid-May may not be successful. Selective preplant herbicides may be used in place of a companion crop. See your county extension education director for information on herbicide selection and use. Be sure to read the label on the container. Use preplant Graze rotationally and avoid over-grazing to maintain herbicides only when seeding pure stands of legumes; ground cover and animal grains. the herbicide will not allow forage grasses to establish. Remove livestock by Sept. 15, rest pastures 30 days, The herbicides Butyrac and Butoxone are formulated then graze after a killing frost if desired. to control broadleaf weeds in a grass, legume, or mixed grass-legume seeding. The active ingredient is Fields may be harvested for hay, but do not cut be- 2,4-DB, a form of 2,4-D which has little or no herbicidal tween Sept. 15 and frost. effect on legumes. These herbicides are most effective when broadleaf weeds are less than 3 inches tall. The Increase Management Level labels note that treated pastures should not be grazed or harvested for forage within 60 days after treatment. The management level of your livestock program can These herbicides should not be used on sweet clover be increased by following these suggestions: seedings. • Plan efficient forage production and use during the Management After Establishment entire year to make your pasture improvement pro- gram successful. Clip as often as needed to control weeds, if pastured. • Increase livestock numbers as forage production If weeds and brush cannot be controlled effectively increases. with fertilization, grazing and clipping management, refer to extension publication PM 601a, Weed Control • Upgrade livestock quality. in Small Grains, Pastures, and Legume Forages. Top-dress with phosphorus and potassium according to soil test recommendations or refer to extension publication PM 869, Fertilizing Pastures for mainte- nance fertilizer rates. Prepared by S.K. Barnhart, extension agronomist. File: Agronomy 3-3 . . . and justice for all Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Acts of May 8 and June The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Stanley R. programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, Johnson, director, Cooperative Extension Service, Iowa State University of religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or Science and Technology, Ames, Iowa. family status. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Many materials can be made available in alternative formats for ADA clients. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 14th and Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call 202-720-5964.
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