I have a small field (3.5 acres) that I'm trying to turn into a hay field,...
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
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.
ANR/ 4-H Educator
Ohio State University Extension Delaware County
149 N. Sandusky St., Delaware, OH 43015
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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.
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).
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.email@example.com