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Educate me on growing Hay.

Old 06-11-2007, 09:11 PM
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Educate me on growing Hay.

Probably going to clear cutting some land we own for various reasons. Probably be about 20 acres total.

This is in East Texas and some of this will include a long road into the property and about 4 acres I plan to build up. Alot of it will be sand and no topsoil left since I'm building up the road and the 4 acres. Also include a 6 acre pit maybe since that land isn't usable for anything except to pull the sand out since it backs up to a creek, which I will level out since I don't want to ugly up the land anyway...

Think this would be worth my time? How can I enrich the "soil"?

I'd like to pull some income off the land while it sits for maybe 6 years.

If I could pull enough income off it I could push the topsoil aside and push it back over... But that's some work!
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Old 06-11-2007, 10:12 PM
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Well with a great hay yield you get 4 or 5 bales per acre, thats 5x5 round. Now figure up how many acres you can actually bale, it give you a starting point. As far as enriching the soil, first thing is get rid of the weeds. Grazon is most popular but you'll have have it sprayed, since it requires a liecence. One good idea is to drive around, is it smooth ? if not disc it and harrow it out, nothing sucks worse than a rough field. Next take a soil sample and have it tested at local soil conservation, they can then tell you what is needed to get soil to its best.

ps where at in east texas?
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Old 06-11-2007, 10:21 PM
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Just north of houston. Not deep east texas, but the soil would be the same since it's piney woods.

How much could I get for a 5x5 round bale?

How many times could I cut on average a year. I heard one time a lot of people wait too long to cut thinking this will benefit them.
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Old 06-11-2007, 10:23 PM
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Also, if I were to do it I wouldn't have to worry about grass or weeds since I'd plant it immediately. But like I said it would be in sand pretty much.

And yeah, I'd make sure it's smooth. I need to keep the land available for resale and maintained.
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Old 06-11-2007, 11:05 PM
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You also need to decide what kind of grass you want to plant or what the hay will be used for once sold.

I help a guy out in Waller and he plants a mix of 3 different kinds of grasses mixed into one bag. One for the bottom, middle, and top layers. Also, spreading the seed seems to be the most cost effective way of planting grass.

If you would like more info on this I can put you in contact him because I am not the expert here.

PM me for his number and he would be more than happy to help you out.
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Old 06-11-2007, 11:40 PM
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here in canada I like to use a forage blend for new hay fields. It has alfafa as well as a few differents types of grass to act as cover crops until the native grass takes over. You can broadcast it and then use harrows to bury it a little or use a air seeder but be sure to only go about a 1/2 inch deep
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Old 06-12-2007, 12:11 AM
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where exactly is the land? Magnolia, Willis, Huntsville?

we need to know so we could probably tell you close to the soil type is around there
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Old 06-12-2007, 12:22 AM
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Close to willis.
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Old 06-12-2007, 12:23 AM
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Originally Posted by boarbuster View Post
You also need to decide what kind of grass you want to plant or what the hay will be used for once sold.

I help a guy out in Waller and he plants a mix of 3 different kinds of grasses mixed into one bag. One for the bottom, middle, and top layers. Also, spreading the seed seems to be the most cost effective way of planting grass.

If you would like more info on this I can put you in contact him because I am not the expert here.

PM me for his number and he would be more than happy to help you out.
Thank you!
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Old 06-12-2007, 12:40 AM
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Here is the thing on the family land. It's going to be probably eventually sold to a developer (most likely). In the spots I'm talking about one area we need to build up which is about 4 acres, going to do this by building a pond and build it up about 5 inches in most areas avg, but it's going to be mostly sand. The second spot I'm talking about will be the road to the back about 100 ft wide cleared section with ditches on both sides and the road just built up with the sand I pull out of the ditches and some other stock pile we have. Then in the back the about 4 acres isn't really useable and is full of sand which I'll probably find someone who wants to buy it and turn it into a pit about 8 foot deep and keep it level, not trashed. My neighbor did the same so it would look ok. I noticed on the spots he has no top soil on that grass just grows wild and rapidly... I'm wondering if I can get hay off this or if I'd have to fertalize it too much where it wouldn't be worth it.
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Old 06-12-2007, 07:37 AM
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bermuda will grow like wild fire on sand, but you will be hard pressed to make any money on hay off such a small peice of land.
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Old 06-12-2007, 08:13 AM
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That's was what I was sorta thinking. How much land do you think I'd need to make it worth my time? Figuring 4 round bales per acre at $50 a bale.. Sound correct?

Oh, plus a baler.. I'd have to buy that.
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Old 06-12-2007, 09:00 AM
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sounds like you need to find someone to rent the land too, who has the time, expertise, and equipment,

then have him come in, tell you how he wants it graded, then he pays you whatever. and if you keep buying and selling land, you have a relationship with him to make hay $$ along

and you make money doing what you know, and get some pocket change from this land as it goes along.

your time is worth more than the money you make, sometimes.
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Old 06-12-2007, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by 04ctd View Post
sounds like you need to find someone to rent the land too, who has the time, expertise, and equipment,

then have him come in, tell you how he wants it graded, then he pays you whatever. and if you keep buying and selling land, you have a relationship with him to make hay $$ along

and you make money doing what you know, and get some pocket change from this land as it goes along.

your time is worth more than the money you make, sometimes.
Yeah, that's what I was thinking about too, I plan on starting to do this myself on my own (buy/sell land)... So it could be much more than 20 acres worth.

You're thinking I should build a relationship with a leasee instead of just doing it myself. Hmm, might work well.
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Old 06-12-2007, 10:04 AM
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Coastal Bermuda will probably be your best bet. Cheap, cost effective, and somewhat drought tolerant. Also I would spray for weeds regardless if you are planting right away. It doesnt take much for weeds to get established and ruin a pasture. Also like others have said get your soil tested. I think the A&M lab will do it for around 20 bucks. They eveb have bags you can get from them with directions on how to properly sample.

If your looking for a rotational crop for the fall, you can overseed rye grass on the bermuda and have a decent forage in the fall that will not interfere with the bermuda in the spring.
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