Hay field conversion

Ncwoodsman

A good 3 year old buck
So I have a small corner of a hay field that I was going to plan a plot in this year, but after investigating recently it seems like it's 50% hay grass and 50% white clover actually a pretty decent stand of clover. So my thoughts were maybe spray a grass selective and overseeding with some other types of clover to make it pure clover stand? Or should I round up and kill it all and start fresh ?
 

Derek Reese 29

5 year old buck +
I am doing this same thing and did it with great success last year on a half acre...how big is your area to plant? And have you done a soil test yet?
Also, have you considered mowing first before spraying? I just mowed mine last week and will hopefully be spraying once I get some better growth.
I am in about the same situation about half hay/half white clover.
Some guys on this forum do a lighter application of gly, to "set back" the clover, (which allegedly kills the grass yet the clover rebounds) but I have only ever sprayed at the full rate and never tried a grass selective herbicide. I know some people would worry about gly resistance with this tactic as well.
I would add some red clover (Mammoth red from merit seed is my favorite as it grows large and fast, along with medium red which grows about anywhere) to your mix, as both come up fast and allow your perennial white clovers to get established for the next spring.
Also, don't forget your grains, as oats/winter rye/winter wheat are great companion crops for new clover. I have had great success with WR but may try oats this year. (oats get frosted out after a few heavy frosts apparently, but WR keeps on kicking throughout the winter and is the first green thing to pop up in the spring).
If you are in NC, I would also wait a bit before planting clover as you only need to plant about 8-10 or so weeks before first frost. I am planting this early in Northern PA as I am trying to get my brassicas to grow alot bigger.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
So I have a small corner of a hay field that I was going to plan a plot in this year, but after investigating recently it seems like it's 50% hay grass and 50% white clover actually a pretty decent stand of clover. So my thoughts were maybe spray a grass selective and overseeding with some other types of clover to make it pure clover stand? Or should I round up and kill it all and start fresh ?

Unless you are in an area with a lot of row crops and glyphosate resistant weeds. this is a case where I would consider an application of gly at 1 qt/ac (half the total kill rate). Clover has a natural resistance to glyphosate and most grasses are highly susceptible to gly. Timing here is important. You don't want to do it when the clover is stressed. I'd wait until I had a good rain in the forecast and I'd also wait until fall. The gly will kill the grasses but will only topkill the clover. You can then either drill a fall crop. Winter Rye and Groundhog Radish (daikon) are good candidates. After the WR and GHR germinate and begin to grow, the clover will bounce back and fill in.

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This is a field where I did that. You can see the radish in the rows I drilled and the clover filling in.

In your case, since you have a mix of grass and clover and want to maintain it in clover, I'd add clover seed to the mix.

This has been done with a drill, but I understand others have had success simply surface broadcasting the WR/GHR/Clover after the gly and then cultipacking it.

Best of luck,

Jack
 

Ncwoodsman

A good 3 year old buck
Thanks for the advice I have done a soil test the pH is right around 6.1 but the potassium is pretty low which I'm working on amending. We drill in about 10 to 15 acres total in fall food plots every year with a mix of Winter wheat, oats and crimson clover but I usually hand broadcast the crimson before I drill because I'm worried I'll get it too deep. So I'm considering trying to drill in the clover but if I could get a decent grass kill then I could broadcast then mow again sometime in September( hopefully before a rain) I actually mowed the plot a couple days ago to prepare it for spraying, all in all it's about .4 acre just a little spot that's to good not to have a plot. So would the red clovers be my best option? Also looked at durana
 

Derek Reese 29

5 year old buck +
Thanks for the advice I have done a soil test the pH is right around 6.1 but the potassium is pretty low which I'm working on amending. We drill in about 10 to 15 acres total in fall food plots every year with a mix of Winter wheat, oats and crimson clover but I usually hand broadcast the crimson before I drill because I'm worried I'll get it too deep. So I'm considering trying to drill in the clover but if I could get a decent grass kill then I could broadcast then mow again sometime in September( hopefully before a rain) I actually mowed the plot a couple days ago to prepare it for spraying, all in all it's about .4 acre just a little spot that's to good not to have a plot. So would the red clovers be my best option? Also looked at durana
Listen to Jack on advice to what to plant down South as I am a bit farther north. Durana is a perennial white clover that may take a bit longer to get established. As for the red clovers, I just know up here the red clover comes up very fast and it lasted quite a while into a cold winter after planting in August. Maybe try something different in this little plot? Like a WR/red clover/brassica maybe? (I like the winfred forage brassicas or even a blend of several varieties, but don't know how they would do down South). Some guys are hesitant to plant the grains, clovers and brassicas together, but it worked pretty well for me..just stagger your broadcasting, doing the clover/brassica first then come in a couple weeks later with the grains...if its only a 0.4 acre plot you can do it by hand so you don't smash your new clover and brassicas..
This was a 2 months after planting last fall (note: it was an exceptionally wet fall, so I think that helped...)
IMG_4989[1].JPG
 

bigboreblr

5 year old buck +
Crimson clover is one of the more depth tolerant clovers out there. Think it can handle up to 1/2". Medium red is 1/4" maybe a bit more. Most other perennials are 1/8 to 1/4". Do you have a separate seed box, or just using an older grain drill? Sometimes offsetting the small seed tubes more to the side of the coulters helps keep the seed higher up in the dirt.

Corner of hay field, keep it a hayfield. You could spray that 1 quart / acre gly or clethodim to kill the grass. cleth stuns clover very lightly, usually because the surfactant you need for it upsets the clover.

Put oats, wheat, or winter rye in there after you spray. If the weather is still dry, focus on the rye. And put some clover in there too. Mow the area short, cultipack or roll with tires. In in NY, we do this at or a bit before labor day. Down in NC, maybe spray labor day and put the seed in and then mow a week or two later. Gly you can plant pretty much when you spray. clethodim has residual effects, especially on its target grass. You definitely should wait 2 weeks. Cleth is handy to have, can spray around fruit trees or bushes and it doesn't bother them. commonly used in tree farms. The smell brings back memories of grape vineyards my family owned.

Just a broadcast of rye and clover with a low mowing should make things more attractive to deer.

It is very common practice to mix cereal grains and potash together and broadcast. 10 bags of pelletized lime mixed with the seed would be about 1/2 ton / acre equivalent. If concerned about the potassium pick up 2 bags of potash, or 2 bags of 6-24-24 would work good too. Oats need the potassium more than the other 2 do.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Thanks for the advice I have done a soil test the pH is right around 6.1 but the potassium is pretty low which I'm working on amending. We drill in about 10 to 15 acres total in fall food plots every year with a mix of Winter wheat, oats and crimson clover but I usually hand broadcast the crimson before I drill because I'm worried I'll get it too deep. So I'm considering trying to drill in the clover but if I could get a decent grass kill then I could broadcast then mow again sometime in September( hopefully before a rain) I actually mowed the plot a couple days ago to prepare it for spraying, all in all it's about .4 acre just a little spot that's to good not to have a plot. So would the red clovers be my best option? Also looked at durana

When I'm using a drill for crops that can be surface broadcast, I just remove the tubes from the planting feed so they bounce around. My little drill has a cultipacker to close the rows, so it is the same effect as broadcasting and cultipacking for me.

Medium red clover is a short-lived perennial. I get about 2 years out of it. Durana on the other hand is my favorite improved variety of white clover. It is slow to establish but very persistent. It would be a great choice for overseeding in the fall. Durana is both persistent and drought resistant. There are other improved varieties like those in WI mix, but you can't buy them directly. While durana is not cheap, the improved varieties in the WI mix are astronomical in cost. For 1/4 acre it is a drop in the bucket, but in large plots it is not practical. They include a small amount of their improved variety in the bag along with inexpensive clovers like berseem. For a tiny plot, these are worth a look as well.

Thanks,

Jack
 

TreeDaddy

5 year old buck +
May be a non issue in the North, but........

All things Bermuda grass are of the Devil for wildlife in the South unless raising livestock

bill
 
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