Recommend a consultant for pasture restoration?
Asked August 13, 2020, 6:36 PM EDT
I have a pasture of about four acres that I would like start over on. It has some grass in it, but it has become increasingly infested with false dandelion and field bindweed while I strive valiantly to keep the Canada thistle, tansy ragwort, blackberries, and cut leaf teasel in check with spot treatment. The sequence I’m thinking of for next year is to cut everything down to the ground and rototill in early May next year, cover in silage tarp May through end of September, spread pasture seed before it rains, or possibly uncover and let rain sprout some of the weed seed bank, then flame weed before grass seeding. I would do half the pasture next year, then repeat the next year on the other half. It’s a big project, however, and I’d like to pay for the advice of someone who specializes in success for this sort of thing. Suggestions, either on finding someone, or on the proposed process? Also, I’m figuring a specialist would have the flame weeding and seeding equipment suited to this scale.
Edit: I've added soil survey and soil test results to the question. The portion of pasture that is kind of out of control straddles the boundary between the Chapman (19) soil and the Wapato (99) soil (it lies between the two trees that are midpoint vertical on either side of the boundary). There was some gypsum and lime added to the portions of the pasture in 2006 to support some vegetable breeding trials, but I can't really remember the details; I should send out for a new soil test. Other relevant facts: the pasture has had two horses on it for the last six years or so as part of a rental agreement, but I anticipate that arrangement will end next year. I'd like to raise sheep on that pasture, so I'd be curious about what forage varieties would suit the soil and the purpose.
Linn County Oregon
I would be happy to visit about your current plans, offer some information and advice, and provide you with some contacts for custom operators who have worked with pasture renovation. If you would like to contact me directly, at the number or email below, we can set up a time for a discussion.