I have a small field (3.5 acres) that I'm trying to turn into a hay field,...

Asked May 27, 2020, 1:43 PM EDT

I have a small field (3.5 acres) that I'm trying to turn into a hay field, and I am wondering if the currant growth on it is worth baling or if I should mow it and work on spraying the weeds. There some areas with quite a bit of what I believe is some variety of Dock, and there are some other plants I believe to be a type of Sedge. Is there some kind of criteria like number of weeds per sq. yd. that I could use to determine viability? Some areas have a decent variety of grasses and clover, and some are sort of sparse and weedy. Thanks very much.

Delaware County Ohio

3 Responses

Hi,

Thanks for reaching out.

We are getting somewhat late in the season to start a hay filed. This is a great article that was posted on the OSU forages website on May 6 asking how late you can plant. https://forages.osu.edu/news/how-late-can-i-plant-forages-spring. The second to last paragraph talks about an alternative option that might work for you.

Let me know if you need more info.

Thanks

Jacci

Jacci Smith
ANR/ 4-H Educator
Ohio State University Extension Delaware County
149 N. Sandusky St., Delaware, OH 43015
7408332030 Office

smith.11005@osu.edu delaware.osu.edu

Like our facebook page: OSU Extension, Delaware County Ag

The hay field is already planted, I just have some spots that need overseeded, but the problem is all the curly dock that's in the field, along with some sedges in some spots. I don't want to try and bale an inferior crop full of noxious weeds. Just wondering what the best options are.

Hi again,

It sounds like your best option is to use a combination of mowing and herbicide this year to control your weed population. Below is a link to the 2019 weed control guide that has good guidance on both legume hay (page 160) and for grass hay/pastures (page 171).

https://cpb-us-w2.wpmucdn.com/u.osu.edu/dist/7/3461/files/2018/12/2019-Weed-Guide-2018-1214-accessible-1gnip2o.pdf

Both of those pages have a very good descriptions of strategies on controlling weeds.

Feel free to email me personally with any more questions. Smith.11005@osu.edu

Thanks

Jacci