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Starting Over: Pasture Establishment and Renovation

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Title: Starting Over: Pasture Establishment and Renovation


1
Starting Over Pasture Establishment and
Renovation
Developed by Rhonda Miller, Utah State
University
USDA
USDA
USDA
2
What well be covering
  • Introduction
  • Forage establishment
  • Factors to consider prior to renovation
  • Plant characteristics
  • Characteristics of individual grasses and legumes

UNCE, Reno, Nev.
www.freefoto.com
3
Does your pasture need help?
  • Fertilization
  • Weed control
  • Proper management
  • Renovation

USU, Logan, UT
4
Terms to know
  • Establishment planting a pasture where there is
    no existing pasture
  • Renovation a series of actions that lead to a
    long-term change in the plant composition of a
    pasture

USDA ARS
5
Type of renovation
  • Partial renovation
  • Rejuvenation or enhancement of existing pasture
  • Generally done when poor forage stands result
    from winter injury, drought, flooding, or other
    stresses
  • Total renovation
  • Destruction followed by reestablishment of either
    the same species or another species

6
More terms
  • Species - refers to the type of plant, such as
    alfalfa, sweet clover, smooth bromegrass, etc.
  • Cultivar - refers to a specific variety within a
    specie. York, Saratoga, and Bravo are all
    improved cultivars of smooth bromegrass.

7
Benefits of renovation
  • Replaces old or diseased pasture species with
    healthy improved varieties
  • Extends or increases productivity of pasture
  • Improves quality of forage
  • Increases animal productivity
  • Reduces soil erosion
  • Reduces pollution potential

www.farmphoto.com
www.farmphoto.com
8
When to renovate?
  • Renovate when
  • Pasture is in poor condition and even proper
    management techniques will not improve the
    pasture to the desired level
  • You want to grow a different forage specie or
    variety

UNCE, Reno, Nev.
9
Forage establishment
UNCE, Reno, Nev.
10
Factors involved in forage establishment
  • Seedbed preparation
  • Seeding methods
  • Seeding guidelines
  • Seeding rates
  • Costs

USU, Logan, UT
11
Forage establishment
  • Seedbed preparation
  • Seed requirements
  • Tillage
  • Other forms of seedbed preparation
  • Fertility and pH

USU, Logan, UT
12
Seedbed preparation
  • Your goal
  • To control weeds and provide a firm seedbed with
    just enough loose surface soil for shallow seed
    placement and good seed-to-soil contact

www.farmphoto.com
13
Seedbed preparation
  • Seed requirements
  • Minimum soil temperature
  • Moisture
  • Oxygen
  • Seed-to-soil contact
  • Accomplish by creating a firm, moist seedbed)

14
A firm, moist seedbed is essential for
  • Proper seed placement
  • Good soil-seed contact
  • Successful establishment

www.farmphoto.com
15
Seedbed preparation
Proper tillage creates a firm seedbed
  • Deep tillage (plow)
  • Disc
  • Roller harrow or cultipacker

www.farmphoto.com
16
Seedbed preparation
  • Purpose of tillage
  • Eliminate existing vegetation
  • Turn under surface weed seeds
  • Loosen soil
  • Incorporate fertilizer
  • Provide firm seedbed for seeding

www.freefoto.com
17
Other forms of seedbed preparation
  • Close clipping or grazing
  • Burning
  • Non-selective herbicides

USU, Logan, UT
18
Seedbed preparation fertility and pH
  • Base on soil test results
  • Add lime if pH is low
  • Add sulfur if the pH is high
  • Determine a reasonable yield
  • Add appropriate macro-nutrients
  • Phosphorus and potassium
  • Nitrogen

www.efma.org
19
Forage establishment
  • Seeding guidelines
  • Planting dates
  • Seeding depth
  • Inoculation of legumes
  • Why forage seedings fail

www.farmphoto.com
20
Seeding guidelines
  • Planting dates
  • Late winter to early spring
  • Late summer to early fall

21
Late-winter to early-spring seeding
  • Late February to early May
  • More common in northern U.S.
  • Soil moisture usually good
  • If planted too early, soil can be cold, resulting
    in fungal diseases
  • If planted too late, soil can be dry and
    seedlings desiccate

22
Late-summer to early-fall seeding
  • August to mid-October
  • Less competition from weeds
  • Liming, fertilization, and are tillage done
    during drier weather, reducing compaction
  • Fungal diseases are reduced
  • Note Seedlings need to have at least six weeks
    of growth before the first killing frost occurs.

23
Seeding guidelines
  • Seeding depth
  • Approximately ¼ inch
  • Varies with
  • Soil type
  • Soil moisture
  • Time of seeding
  • Firmness of seedbed

clay.agr.okstate.edu
24
Seeding guidelines
  • Inoculation of legumes
  • All legumes should be inoculated with the proper
    strains of N-fixing bacteria prior to seeding
  • This ensures proper bacteria will be present for
    nitrogen fixation

www.clay.agr.okstate.edu
25
Why forage seedings fail
  • Germination through emergence
  • Hard seed
  • Cold temperatures
  • Improper planting depth
  • Seed dries out
  • Crusted soil surface
  • Toxicity - allelopathic effects, herbicide
    carryover

clay.agr.okstate.edu
26
Why forage seedings fail
  • After emergence
  • Inappropriate pH
  • Low fertility
  • Poor drainage
  • Drought
  • Inadequate legume inoculation
  • Competition from weeds/companion crops
  • Insects
  • Diseases, winter kill

clay.agr.okstate.edu
27
Forage establishment
  • Seeding methods
  • Broadcast
  • Cultipacker
  • Drilled
  • No-till
  • Frost seeding
  • Companion crop

USU
28
Broadcast seeding
  • Cheapest and easiest method of seeding
  • Typically drag or pack the soil after
    broadcasting the seed
  • Tilled seedbed
  • Seed placement not uniform

www.modernforage.com
29
Cultipacker seeding
  • Consists of two sets of rollers with seed boxes
    between them
  • Commonly used on tilled seedbeds
  • Dont use on heavy soils

www.faivre.com
www.faivre.com
30
Drill seeding
  • Directly plants each seed into tilled soil at the
    proper depth
  • Need to use a forage drill
  • Grain drills will result in poor seed placement
    for small forage seeds

UNCE, Reno, Nev.
31
No-till seeding
  • Plants seed directly into existing sod or
    vegetation
  • Solid planting
  • Band planting
  • Requires a no-till planter
  • Reduces erosion
  • Conserves soil moisture
  • Reduced fuel, labor, and time requirements

www.usda.gov
32
Frost seeding
  • Seed is broadcast in late winter on soil surface
  • Freezing thawing action plus rain will cover
    seed
  • Works well with red clover

www.freefoto.com
UNCE
33
Companion crop seeding
  • Advantages
  • Can be cut or grazed for feed
  • Provides a quick ground cover
  • Helps control soil erosion
  • Reduces invasion of weeds
  • Disadvantages
  • Competes for nutrients, light and moisture
  • Good management is essential

USDA
34
Forage establishment
  • Seeding rates
  • Desired stand
  • Percent pure live seed
  • Other factors to consider

www.ca.wvu.edu
35
Seeding rates
  • Desired stand varies
  • based on
  • Forage species planted
  • Ability to fill in (rhizomes, etc.)
  • Percent hard seed
  • Mixture, pure-stand, companion crop
  • Availability of water

clay.agr.okstate.edu
www.forages.orst.edu
NRCS
36
Seeding rates
  • Percent pure live seed (PLS)
  • PLS Purity x Germination
  • Purity of seed that is the desired
    forage seed
  • Germination of seed that germinates
    when planted

37
Seeding rates
  • Other factors to consider
  • Seeding method used
  • Uniformity of seed placement
  • Condition of seedbed
  • Allelopathic toxins

38
Forage establishment
  • Costs
  • Tillage
  • Seed
  • Reduced yield in the first year

39
Costs Tillage
40
Costs Seed
  • Grasses
  • Legumes

41
Costs
  • Reduced yield in the first year
  • Spring seeding
  • Reduced number of cuttings first year
  • Reduced yield per cutting
  • Fall seeding
  • No harvest of new crop during year of
  • establishment
  • Reduced yield of previous crop during year of
    establishment
  • Ground preparation
  • Time for establishment

42
Factors to consider prior to establishment or
renovation
www.usda.gov
43
Factors to consider
  • Pasture inventory
  • Land available
  • Climate
  • Soil characteristics
  • Forage use
  • Livestock
  • Grazing vs. hay production
  • Continuous grazing vs. rotational grazing

UNCE, Reno, Nev.
44
Pasture inventory
  • Land available
  • Grazing land
  • Water source(s)
  • Sacrifice area
  • Hay production

www.farmphoto.com
45
Pasture inventory
  • Climate
  • Growing season
  • Frost-free days
  • Growing degree days (GDD)
  • Temperature
  • Precipitation

USDA
46
Pasture inventory
  • Soil characteristics
  • Drainage
  • Water holding capacity (droughtiness)

OSU Extension Service
47
Forage use
  • Livestock
  • Different animals have different nutritional
    requirements and forage preferences
  • Horses (timothy)
  • Dairy cattle (perennial ryegrass)
  • Beef cattle (tall fescue)

www.farmphoto.com
48
Forage use
www.farmphoto.com
  • Grazing vs. hay production
  • Which will be your primary use?
  • Many forages that are good for hay production are
    not good for grazing, and vice-versa
  • Upright growth habit - better for hay production
  • Consider trampling effects

49
Forage use
  • Rotational grazing
  • Requires more management and infrastructure
  • Butyields are higher
  • Continuous grazing
  • Easy
  • Butyields are reduced

USDA NRCS
USDA NRCS
UNCE, Reno, Nev.
50
Plant characteristics
USDA NRCS
51
Plant characteristics
  • Grasses
  • Legumes
  • Seasonal growth patterns
  • Disease resistance
  • Forage quality
  • Pure stands or mixtures

52
Grasses
  • Growth habit
  • Bunch
  • Sod-forming
  • Stolon
  • Rhizome
  • Re-growth
  • Jointing
  • Non-jointing

USDA NRCS
  • Grasses are more tolerant of poor soil conditions
  • Butgrasses require nitrogen source

53
Legumes
  • Legumes fix nitrogen from the air
  • Growth habit
  • Upright (sainfoin)
  • Prostrate (birdsfoot trefoil)
  • New growth
  • Axillary (sweetclover)
  • Crown (red clover)
  • Axillary crown (alfalfa)

clay.agr.okstate.edu
54
Seasonal growth distribution
ISU
55
Insect and disease resistance and winter hardiness
  • Genetically inherited traits
  • Select disease-resistant
  • varieties
  • Select varieties with good winter hardiness if in
    cold climate
  • Consider the intended years of use

clay.agr.okstate.edu
56
Forage quality
  • Affects
  • Palatability, and thus amounts consumed
  • Nutritive value
  • Digestibility
  • Chemical composition

www.farmphoto.com
57
Should I plant a pure stand?
  • Advantages
  • Management is easier
  • Weed control is easier
  • Disadvantage
  • Yield is lower

www.forages.css.orst.edu
58
Should I plant a mixture?
  • Advantages
  • Higher yields
  • Reduced need for nitrogen fertilizer when legumes
    are included
  • More tolerant of wider differences in soil
    conditions
  • More competitive against weeds

59
Should I plant a mixture?
  • Disadvantages
  • Grazing management more difficult, especially if
    growth habits not similar
  • If not managed properly grasses will dominate
  • Weeds more difficult to control

clay.agr.okstate.edu
60
Principles for composing mixtures
  • Keep the mixture simple
  • Similar maturity date
  • Similar palatability
  • Similar growth habit

61
Characteristics of individual grasses legumes
62
Cool-season grasses
  • Most productive in the spring and fall
  • Poor summer production
  • Bunchgrasses versus sod-forming grasses

NRCS
63
Basin wildrye
  • Advantages
  • Good forage for wildlife
  • Hardy, long-lived
  • Tolerates salt and alkali areas
  • Disadvantages
  • Easily damaged by over-grazing

NRCS
64
Crested wheatgrass
  • Advantages
  • Drought-tolerant
  • Winter-hardy
  • Vigorous seedlings
  • Disadvantages
  • Needs to be grazed throughout season to maintain
    palatability
  • Goes dormant during hot summer

www.aginfonet.com
USDA ARS
65
Intermediate wheatgrass
  • Advantages
  • Long-lived
  • Drought-tolerant
  • Good forage for both livestock and wildlife
  • Disadvantages
  • Does not tolerate continuous, close grazing
  • Slow regrowth

www.agric.gov.ab.ca
66
Meadow bromegrass
  • Advantages
  • Good yield potential
  • Good regrowth
  • Tolerant of close grazing
  • Disadvantages
  • Not tolerant of acidic and poorly-drained soils

www.agric.gov.ab.ca
67
Orchardgrass
  • Advantages
  • Good quality
  • Good regrowth
  • Shade-tolerant
  • Disadvantages
  • Suffers when grazed continually

NRCS
NRCS
USDA NRCS
68
Perennial ryegrass
  • Advantages
  • Very good quality
  • Easy to establish
  • Good tolerance to close grazing
  • Disadvantages
  • Poor drought and heat tolerance
  • Poor winter hardiness
  • Poor shade tolerance
  • Likes well-drained soils

www.forages.css.orst.edu
stephenville.tamu.edu
69
Pubescent wheatgrass
  • Advantages
  • Long-lived
  • Drought-tolerant
  • Good forage for both livestock and wildlife
  • Disadvantages
  • Does not tolerate continuous, close grazing
  • Slow regrowth

NRCS, Bozeman, Mont.
70
Russian wildrye
  • Advantages
  • Cold-hardy, drought-tolerant and long-lived
  • Very tolerant of grazing and regrows quickly
  • Disadvantages
  • Difficult to establish
  • Can be damaged by overgrazing, especially in the
    early spring.
  • Recommended to be planted in pure stands and
    fenced off for better grazing management

prairiewild.com
71
Siberian wheatgrass
  • Advantages
  • Drought-tolerant
  • Winter-hardy
  • Vigorous seedlings
  • Disadvantages
  • Needs to be grazed throughout season to maintain
    palatability
  • Goes dormant during hot summer

APMC, Idaho
72
Slender wheatgrass
  • Advantages
  • Somewhat tolerant of alkaline and saline
    conditions
  • Good forage for both livestock and wildlife
  • Disadvantages
  • Short lived
  • Moderately tolerant of grazing

USDA Plant Gallery
73
Tall fescue
  • Advantages
  • Good quality
  • Tillering stimulated through frequent grazing
  • Very winter-hardy
  • Active fall growth
  • Disadvantages
  • Must be endophyte free

OSU
stephenville.tamu.edu
USDA NRCS
74
Tall wheatgrass
  • Advantages
  • Tolerant of saline and alkaline soils
  • Good winter forage
  • Disadvantages
  • Does not tolerate continuous, close grazing
  • Low forage value

stephenville.tamu.edu
75
Timothy
  • Advantages
  • High quality
  • Easy to establish
  • Winter-hardy
  • Disadvantages
  • Sensitive to frequent defoliation
  • Poor regrowth
  • Poor summer production
  • Not suited to droughty soils

NRCS
USDA NRCS
76
Garrison creeping foxtail
  • Advantages
  • Likes wet soils
  • Highly palatable
  • High yield
  • Disadvantages
  • May invade canals, ditches, etc.

www.aginfonet.com
77
Kentucky bluegrass
  • Advantages
  • Good quality
  • Withstands animal traffic
  • Good tolerance to close grazing
  • Disadvantages
  • Low yield potential
  • Poor drought and heat tolerance
  • Likes well-drained soil

NRCS
78
Reed canarygrass
USDA NRCS
  • Advantages
  • Good quality
  • Good regrowth
  • Adapted to wide range of conditions, including
    wet soils
  • Disadvantages
  • Lack of palatability
  • Produces best when intensely grazed
  • Poor drought and heat tolerance
  • Invasive

USDA NRCS
79
Smooth brome
  • Advantages
  • Usually grown with a legume
  • Graze after stem elongation
  • Provides good mid-summer grazing
  • High quality
  • Disadvantages
  • Aggressive, can take over a pasture

NRCS
USDA NRCS
80
Western wheatgrass
  • Advantages
  • Tolerant of alkaline and saline conditions, poor
    drainage, and drought
  • Good forage for both livestock and wildlife
  • Disadvantages
  • Moderately tolerant of grazing
  • Grazing must be managed to maintain stand

Kansas Grasses
81
Warm-season grasses
  • Productive during summer months
  • Must be suitable for your area
  • Bunchgrasses versus sod-forming grasses

USDA NRCS
82
Alkali sacaton
  • Advantages
  • Productive during hot summer months
  • Adapted to alkaline or saline soils
  • Tolerates flooding and soil deposition
  • Disadvantages
  • May be difficult to establish
  • Best if grazed only in spring and summer, during
    active growth

www.noble.org
83
Big bluestem
  • Advantages
  • Productive during hot summer months
  • Likes well-drained soils with low fertility
  • Used by livestock and wildlife
  • Disadvantages
  • Not suited for cool climates
  • May be difficult to establish

www.noble.org
84
Little bluestem
  • Advantages
  • Productive during hot summer months
  • Likes well-drained soils with low fertility
  • Disadvantages
  • Not suited for cool climates
  • May be difficult to establish
  • Becomes unpalatable in fall and winter

www.noble.org
85
Sideoats grama
  • Advantages
  • Productive during hot summer months
  • Adapted to a wide range of soil conditions
  • Maintains feed value throughout year
  • Disadvantages
  • Not suited for cool climates
  • May be difficult to establish

www.noble.org
86
Indiangrass
  • Advantages
  • Productive during hot summer months
  • Adapted to deep, well-drained soils
  • Tolerates poorly-drained soils and a range of pH
    and soil textures
  • Disadvantages
  • May be difficult to establish
  • Best if grazed only in spring and summer, during
    active growth
  • Can be invasive

www.noble.org
87
Switchgrass
  • Advantages
  • Productive during hot summer months
  • Tolerates a wide range of soil conditions
  • Excellent forage for livestock
  • Excellent forage and cover for wildlife
  • Disadvantages
  • Not suited for cool climates
  • May be difficult to establish

USDA ARS
USDA NRCS
88
Sudangrass and sorghum-sudangrass hybrids
  • Advantages
  • Productive during hot summer months
  • Adapted to moderately well-drained soils
  • Tolerates poorly drained soils and a range of pH
    and soil textures
  • Disadvantages
  • Requires warm (60 degree) temperatures to grow
  • Winter kill at first hard frost
  • Young plants and drought or frost stressed plants
    can be poisonous

www.agry.purdue.edu/ext/forages
National forage and grasslands curriculum
89
Legumes
  • Fix nitrogen from atmosphere
  • May cause bloat

clay.agr.state.edu
90
Alfalfa
  • Advantages
  • Excellent quality
  • Drought-tolerant
  • Disadvantages
  • Causes bloat
  • Potential for heaving

NRCS
clay.agr.okstate.edu
91
Alsike clover
  • Advantages
  • Excellent quality
  • Grows in variety of soils and conditions
  • Disadvantages
  • Can graze frequently, but not closely
  • Much lower yielding than alfalfa

www.agry.purdue.edu
92
Birdsfoot trefoil
  • Advantages
  • Excellent quality
  • Grows in variety of soils and conditions
  • Non-bloat legume
  • Disadvantages
  • Can graze frequently, but not closely
  • Slow to establish

flicr.com
93
Cicer milkvetch
  • Advantages
  • Non-bloat legume
  • Good forage quality
  • Adapted to a wide range of soil conditions
  • Disadvantages
  • Slow to establish
  • Slow regrowth

clay.agr.okstate.edu
94
Red clover
  • Advantages
  • Good quality
  • Easy to establish
  • Works well with frost seeding
  • Disadvantages
  • Generally does not persist after two growing
    seasons
  • Can be invasive

USDA NRCS
95
Sainfoin
  • Advantages
  • Good quality
  • Well adapted to soils of the Rocky Mountain
    Region
  • Good drought tolerance
  • Non-bloat legume
  • Disadvantages
  • Intolerant of frequent defoliation

clay.agr.okstate.edu
96
Strawberry clover
  • Advantages
  • Suited for grazing
  • Tolerant of wet, saline and/or alkaline soils
  • Disadvantages
  • Not suited for hay production
  • Not as productive as white clover
  • Will cause bloat
  • Slow to establish

97
Subterranean clover
  • Advantages
  • Excellent quality
  • Good tolerance to close grazing
  • Does not cause bloat or early lambing
  • Tolerates a wide range of soil conditions
  • Disadvantages
  • Not cold-hardy
  • Can be invasive

elib.cs.berkeley.edu
98
White Clover
  • Advantages
  • Excellent quality
  • Good tolerance to close grazing
  • Withstands continuous grazing
  • Grows best during cool, moist seasons on
    well-drained soils
  • Disadvantages
  • Low yielding
  • May cause bloat

USDA NRCS
99
Summary
  • Renovation may be partial or total
  • Partial renovation rejuvenates or enhances parts
    of an existing pasture
  • Proper management can aide in partial renovation
  • Total renovation destroys existing vegetation
    then re-establishes better vegetation

100
Homework
  • Determine if your pasture requires improvement.
  • Determine your goals for the improvement or
    renovation.
  • Determine the best and most cost-effective method
    to achieve your goals.
  • Determine the best plants to use for your area
    and for your goals.
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