Page 11 - MWC 10-26-2023s
P. 11

Is it time to renovate                                                                   The Midwest Cattleman · October 26, 2023 · P11

                  your pasture?

                 By Rebecca Vittetoe, ISU extension field agronomist, and
                   Meaghan Anderson, ISU extension field agronomist
         After the last several             Some may still have time
      years of dry conditions, some  to do fall herbicide applica-
      pastures may benefit from  tions in pastures.  Applica-
      renovation in 2024. Proper  tions should be made when
      planning and preparation  the sun is shining, and day-
      are needed to successfully  time temperatures are above
      improve pastures with either  50-55 degrees Fahrenheit.
      a late winter frost seeding or  Fall herbicide applications
      no-till renovation with inter- can still be effective even
      seeding next spring. Below  after a frost event (or two).
      are some good reminders on
      what you should be doing                        continued on page 25
      now  to prepare for pasture
      renovations in 2024.
         Address soil fertility
      needs.  To improve the suc-
      cess of frost seeding or inter-
      seeding, adequate soil fertili-
      ty is important. The only way
      to know what the soil fertili-
      ty levels are in your pasture
      is by taking soil samples for
      testing. Preferably, take soil
      samples yet this fall to deter-
      mine lime, phosphorus, and
      potassium needs. More infor-
      mation on soil sampling and
      testing is available here.
         •A soil pH of 6.0 is recom-
      mended for grass, clovers,
      and birdsfoot trefoil and
      for alfalfa a soil pH of 6.9 is
      recommended. Ideally, lime
      should be applied a year be-
      fore seeding. Note  that if
      placing lime on the soil sur-
      face with no incorporation,
      follow the 2-to-3-inch lime
         •Adequate        phosphorus
      and potassium are important
      to improve pasture establish-
      ment and production. Use
      soil test results to determine
      if phosphorus and potassium
      levels are adequate or if lev-
      els are low and it would be
      beneficial to apply some fer-
      tilizer to bring up those lev-
          •Do NOT apply early sea-
      son nitrogen to frost seeded
      or interseeded areas to mini-
      mize early season growth and
      competition from weeds and
      already established plants in
      the area.
         Control        problematic
      weeds.  If thistles or other
      broadleaf weeds are prob-
      lematic, control them before
      adding  a  legume  to  a  pas-
      ture or hay stand. Fall can be
      a good time to control these
      problematic weeds.
   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16