What to do with over-fertilized grass land?

Discussion in 'Livestock & Forage' started by Coximus, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. Coximus

    Coximus Member

    I've just been offered a bit of land near home thats got PK indexes at 4 last test, and has been used for spreading the max amount of muck on as a disposal field - (was originally crap rocky soil) - its had, horse muck constantly over the past 15 years. Current tenant doesn’t want it because of grass staggers - apparently it grows like a rocket and the hay is too rich for horses now.
    Is it worth having for cutting? Or am I missing something? Is it too rich? Should it just be ploughed up and cropped if possible? its not registered with the RPA / or has any subs with it, as was a stables land.

    Lands cheap and my feeling is they want someone to cut it and cart it off to sort it out.
     
  2. GTB

    GTB Member

    Location:
    Ceredigion, wales
    Take it on by all means. It may need some lime but you won't need to fertilise it much. Just a little bit of nitrogen perhaps.
     
    yellowbelly likes this.
  3. Coximus

    Coximus Member

    Its over limestone so the field is 7.2 already, quite stoney as well.
    Good clover content too so may get away, no quality feed issues with the silage then?
     
    GTB likes this.
  4. beefandsleep

    beefandsleep Member

    Location:
    Staffordshire
    Red clover ryegrass cutting ley and just cut it for a few years. Maybe a little spring N to get it going but after that it shouldn't need anything.
     
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  5. Bones

    Bones Member

    Location:
    n Ireland
    Fill it full of sheep ,rest it for a fortnight and repeat the order ,
     
    Y Fan Wen likes this.
  6. yellowbelly

    yellowbelly Member

    Location:
    N.Lincs
    Fill your boots @Coximus (y)(y)
    I wish the grass we got offered round here was in as good heart:rolleyes:
     
  7. multi power

    multi power Member

    Location:
    pembrokeshire
    Over fertilised, how is this a problem?
    It's like having too much silage or too much money
     
  8. Princess Pooper

    Location:
    East Mids
    Probably OK as long as you don't feed to late in calf/lamb or early lactation. High K silage can certainly increase milk fevers, staggers, retained cleanse and other issues.
     
    Old Tip likes this.

  9. In all instances...


    Itl only go to waste :whistle:
     
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  10. Apply nitrogen only and cut it as often as you can.

    I have seen various bits of land like this as you describe, the only real issue can be that cattle won't graze it very well as it can be sour. Cheated and applied salt to some which seemed to work.

    High levels P and K are not an issue and should not stop you growing anything on it. Clover will like it, I am convinced clover needs more P and K than grass.
     
  11. Coximus

    Coximus Member

    As a problem - its that a few graziers have turned it down as they worry about high staggers grazing it, and I feel same, from experiences lambing on good re-seeds, lots of lush rich grass is great for growing a fat lamb, but not always for a lactating ewe, so I'd be cutting it, but I dont want to make a load of silage thats all sugar and protein but low CA / high PK and throws ewes off balence when fed it.
     
  12. neilo

    neilo Member

    Location:
    Montgomeryshire
    Can you make use of hay/silage from it, or would you have to sell it for the cost of making it? If you can use it, fill your boots. If not, what about growing a potash hungry root crop for winter grazing for your own sheep or tack?
     
  13. Keep plenty of black and red Crystalix buckets infront of the ewes through April, May and early June you should be OK.
     
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  14. Fleeced

    Fleeced Member

    Why does it need nitrogen if over fertilized?
     
  15. Coximus

    Coximus Member

    Good question. It was topped in sept and is still holding 18inchs I think for one year at least I won't need any n!
     
  16. Fleeced

    Fleeced Member

    I joined the forum to learn more about grass management from those who practice it. It seems that all the farmers I know personally always apply nitrogen in early spring. No one tests soil and I don't know anyone who tests forage. Then I read on here of people doing those things and applying specific nutrients / minerals as indicated.
    We don't use our grazing for raising fat stock so really don't want rocket fuel or fertilised hay or haylage (we are of the dreaded horse fraternity and want clean, low fructose forage) and often have people approach us to rent land, usually for sheep, but they all want us to apply nitrogen at £25/ acre. I know it kickstarts growth but should it always be applied or is it an ingrained farming habit. Our land has plenty of white clover. Is it to enable overstocking?
     
  17. multi power

    multi power Member

    Location:
    pembrokeshire
    The reason to apply nitrogen is simply to grow more grass
     
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  18. GTB

    GTB Member

    Location:
    Ceredigion, wales
    @Fleeced First step would be to get a soil sample done. Normally they will test for ph, P (phosphate) and K (potash). If the ph isn't right then nothing else will work to its potential. Your local lime merchant should be able send your soil sample away for analasys FOC provided you order the lime from them (if needed).
    Nitrogen application is a matter of personal preference. Yes the grass will grow better after an application of N but with tidy P and K levels and a good clover rich sward it's going to grow fairly well anyway. It will grow earlier in the spring with some N though.
     
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  19. Princess Pooper

    Location:
    East Mids
    To add to the good guidance that GTB has given, the reason that N is not usually tested for soil is that it is extremely difficult to get an accurate result as it is so mobile in the soil. It is possible to get a measure of accuracy from taking deep N soil samples but that is normally more accurate under arable cultivation than grassland especially where a lot of muck has been applied. Whilst a lot of N will leach over the winter months, there will be some left from the muck and some of the N in other forms in the soil will be mineralised as temperatures warm up to make nitrate available to the grass. If you have lots of clover that is great. Sometimes if you need an early bite of grass it is worth applying a bit of straight N fert but by the sound of it on your system you will probably get enough from your clover. The biggest limiting factor to grass growth in some areas is the summer rainfall rather an N and again the clover is good as it tends to come into its own in the summer.
     
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