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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Tillers and Ploughs Forum

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 12-01-2006, 17:28 Post: 137499
kcirstein



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 tilling fescue pastures

I am starting a prairie restoration on about 10 acres of fescue pasture. My plan is to burn the fescue in a couple of weeks and then till. I'll probably till again in April and plant the warm season prairie grass around May 1st. Will a roto tiller turn under the fescue root structure without discing first . . . or should I assume that I need to make a pass across the pasture first with a disc? . . . and then till? I have a Ford 4610 (52hp pto) so can run a fairly heavy and large tiller.






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 12-02-2006, 06:07 Post: 137507
hardwood

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 tilling fescue pastures

10 acres is a lot to roto till. I'm not familiar with how heavy of a root system that fescue has but roto tillers don't work very good in heavy roots, they wrap and plug real fast. Rather than till or disc a moldboard plow would be best this fall unless erosion is a concern. Frank.






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 12-02-2006, 07:16 Post: 137508
greg_g



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 tilling fescue pastures

Yeah, you'd be at it forever with a tiller. I think I'd tackle it with a heavyweight wheel type disc harrow.

//greg//






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 12-02-2006, 08:54 Post: 137510
Chief



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 tilling fescue pastures

I think I would spray it with glyphosphate, take soil samples, after all the sod has deadened, turn the soil under with a 2 or 3 bottom plow,disk in a good seed bed, add lime and fertilizer, and seed as required, disk again to work the lime, fertilizer, and seed into the soil.

Are you entering this acreage into CRP upland game bird practice?






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 12-02-2006, 09:25 Post: 137511
kcirstein



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 tilling fescue pastures

No to the CPR question . . .

Also, my wife and I are adament about not using Roundup or similar . . . There is an increasing awareness in the scientific community that the surfactant in Roundup is harmful ecologically. I know it has been considered a completely harmless herbacide, but I think that is changing. We won't use chemicals on our land.

Rick






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 12-02-2006, 09:43 Post: 137512
greg_g



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 tilling fescue pastures

No chemicals.....hmmmmmm. That sorta limits your selection of lime and fertilizers too, doesn't it? By that I mean, a strict "no chemicals" policy takes all inorganic fertilizers and pelletized ag lime off the list.

So that makes me curious. What is your position on chopping up approximately 150,000 earthworms per acre?

//greg//






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 12-02-2006, 10:56 Post: 137513
Chief



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 tilling fescue pastures

Just trying to offer a little help. If the surfactant bothers you, don't use Round Up Ultra. Standard formulas Round Up has no surfactant in it that I am aware of. The glyphosphate is a lot cheaper. If you ever have to deal with noxious weeds such as Johnson Grass or Cudzu, you may want to reconsider not using any chemicals.






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 12-04-2006, 07:36 Post: 137544
yooperpete



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 tilling fescue pastures

If you don't like chemicals, I go with Hardwood's suggestion of using a moldboard plow in the Fall. You should be able to pull a 3 bottom plow [3x14" or 3 x 16"]. Normally you would plow about 6-8" deep. Clay soils pull harder.

Some of the Fescue will come back in the Spring. Suggest disking in the spring to rough level and kill some of the fescue as it comes up(reimerges). Some type of harrow (spring tooth drag or similar tool) a week or so later to finish level the ground. You can then broadcast spread the seed. Some fescue will return along with weeds! That's one of the laws of nature.

P.S. If you don't have a moldboard plow, you should be able to purchase a used one (50's-60's vintage) for about $250.00 to $400.00.

Best of Luck!






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 12-04-2006, 08:28 Post: 137548
kcirstein



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 tilling fescue pastures

Thanks for all the input guys. I think I'll start with discing . . .

Rick






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 12-04-2006, 08:54 Post: 137549
AnnBrush



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 tilling fescue pastures

I see your location as Kansas, is your "restoration" area naturally disposed to prairie - if not you will be battling forever as prairie is not the climax specie mix the region equilibrates to.

A local gun club here has a "prairie restoration project" which they proudly erected a sign in front of. The project is laughable as everyone here (SW Ohio) knows that if left untouched the entire area reverts back to dense woodland and bushy thickets - NO chance of prairie in Ohio.






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