Converting Hay Crop

Asked June 12, 2019, 5:06 PM EDT

I have a small hayfield in the Willamette Valley of Oregon that has been planted with Tall Fescue for decades. What is the best timing and method for converting this to an Orchardgrass crop for next year? Should i till? or overseed? spray first? Thank you.

Clackamas County Oregon

1 Response

Now is a good time to begin the preparation for changing the grass species. Spraying the current stand with glyphosate will make it easier to till the pasture. Tall fescue is tough to kill so check the label for rates. Usual rates on tall fescue are about 2 quarts of product per acre.

If you spray, wait at least 2-3 weeks before tillage. If you decide to just plow and disk the field, getting it done now will allow the summer sun to dry out crowns and roots.

If the current pasture has a lot of weeds in it, I would recommend planting an annual crop for a year to allow the weed seed to sprout and not be an issue in the young orchardgrass stand. Annual crops can be grazed or hayed.

Plant in September as soon as there is sufficient moisture.

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