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Cleaning up old Hay fields


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Anybody got any ideas on how to clean up a old hayfield? Picked up some grass hay fields manly orchard grass that wasnt baled last year! So all the old junk is still out thier and i want to avoid any off the old stuff in the 1st crop this year! Would it be smart to go bush hog it off early before it gets growing if i can get in without tearing it up? Would a flail mower be a better choice then a bush hog i never had a flail mower besides a new idea cutditioner id buy one if it work to mow it off grind it up so it rots faster? Or am i just stuck with junk in the first crop this year? 

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I don't know if mowing it would do it? If so the sooner the better, do while frozen ground yet ? 

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I'd fail it as soon as possible then in the spring get you a good heavy chain harrow and go over it a few times just go easy on the thin or bare spots may have to drag what's left to in a pile and get rid of it

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32oz of Powermax and plant it. Do it all the time

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29 minutes ago, ChrisNY said:

32oz of Powermax and plant it. Do it all the time

I assume you no till it! If you have what do you usually seed and in perfect conditions how many cuttings the year you plant it?

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4 hours ago, Gleaner k2 said:

Anybody got any ideas on how to clean up a old hayfield? Picked up some grass hay fields manly orchard grass that wasnt baled last year! So all the old junk is still out thier and i want to avoid any off the old stuff in the 1st crop this year! Would it be smart to go bush hog it off early before it gets growing if i can get in without tearing it up? Would a flail mower be a better choice then a bush hog i never had a flail mower besides a new idea cutditioner id buy one if it work to mow it off grind it up so it rots faster? Or am i just stuck with junk in the first crop this year? 

Fire or plow

Shredding will give you issues

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What does this old hay look like?  It is possible to mow and bale it as beef cattle baleage over the winter?  If not I would be tempted to try the brushhog route although I would be concerned that none of the material will break down in the cold.  

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Very difficult to get permission for controlled burn in PA from what I've heard

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Just unmowed or was it left in windrows? Maybe it's because we get heavy snows up here but anything that wasn't mowed just seems to disappear back into the ground over the winter. We had a field that we took half off and put in the silo in early September, intending to cut and bale the rest, but it never stopped raining. You won't be able to tell the difference between what was mowed and what wasn't come spring.

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8 hours ago, Gleaner k2 said:

I assume you no till it! If you have what do you usually seed and in perfect conditions how many cuttings the year you plant it?

I misunderstood what you were trying to do. I would no-till corn into it for a year, get it cleaned up then put in a new seeding. 

If you are trying to save what is there, I would take a first cutting and chop it for heifer or dry cow feed then no-till a mix of your choice in and hope for the best. 

If this was 4 months ago I would advise to burndown and no till some tillage radish then seed in spring but that ship has sailed. 

There are options, just depends on your equipment, time and finances

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3 minutes ago, Matt Kirsch said:

Just unmowed or was it left in windrows? Maybe it's because we get heavy snows up here but anything that wasn't mowed just seems to disappear back into the ground over the winter. We had a field that we took half off and put in the silo in early September, intending to cut and bale the rest, but it never stopped raining. You won't be able to tell the difference between what was mowed and what wasn't come spring.

Same here

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