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Tall Fescue Seed Production. In Southern Missouri Dave Danker Buchheit Inc. Tall Fescue Grown For Seed Production in Southern Missouri. Rowed Fescue – Rows are generally in 7.5, 15 or 22.5 inch widths. Tall Fescue Grown For Seed Production in Southern Missouri.

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tall fescue seed production

Tall Fescue Seed Production

In Southern Missouri

Dave Danker

Buchheit Inc.

tall fescue grown for seed production in southern missouri
Tall Fescue Grown For Seed Production in Southern Missouri
  • Rowed Fescue – Rows are generally in 7.5, 15 or 22.5 inch widths.
tall fescue grown for seed production in southern missouri1
Tall Fescue Grown For Seed Production in Southern Missouri
  • Chemical Used – Diuron for volunteer seedling, 2,4-D Dicambia, Apogee for lodging

Left side of photo untreated – Right side treated with Apogee

tall fescue grown for seed production in southern missouri2
Tall Fescue Grown For Seed Production in Southern Missouri
  • Nitrogen Application – Split 40-50 lbs. in September, 40-50 lbs. in December/January
tall fescue grown for seed production in southern missouri4
Tall Fescue Grown For Seed Production in Southern Missouri
  • Turf-type fescue – second year of production
  • Windrowed for drying – moisture ~40%
  • Expected yield = 1600 lbs/ac
  • Heavy rains (2004) after windrowing reduced yield to 550 lbs/ac
tall fescue grown for seed production in southern missouri5
Tall Fescue Grown For Seed Production in Southern Missouri
  • Field produced 1300 lbs/ac - Variety = Max Q (forage type)
  • Straw baled for mulch – Stubble is cut for hay
  • Straw production: Slightly more than one ton per acre
  • Remaining stubble: 2.5 tons per acre
  • Field was lightly grazed in November/December
tall fescue grown for seed production in southern missouri6
Tall Fescue Grown For Seed Production in Southern Missouri
  • View from combine
  • Same field as last slide
  • This windrow – Apogee treated
  • Produced less straw but more seed
tall fescue grown for seed production in southern missouri9
Tall Fescue Grown For Seed Production in Southern Missouri
  • Thirty years ago...
    • Missouri produced vast majority of fescue seed for turf and forage markets
    • 75 million pounds per year – Missouri contributed 60 million
  • Early 1980s – Oregon started to become a major player
    • Ideal climate
    • Specialized – quality or certified production
    • Market nearly tripled – Oregon consumed all market growth
  • Oregon – Certified seed
    • Remainder “dumped” into KY31 market (Missouri)
  • 95% of all fescue seed is turf/lawn industry
    • Remainder – forage or pasture market
tall fescue seed production issues oregon vs missouri
Tall Fescue Seed Production Issues Oregon vs. Missouri
  • Oregon
    • Land costs ($10-80,000/acre) and rent costs (>$250/acre) forcing seed companies to look elsewhere for production
    • Transportation is more costly to east coast market
    • Continuous seed production has infested fields with rye grass – very costly to eradicate
    • Management practices restricted due to environmentalist’s movements
tall fescue seed production issues oregon vs missouri1
Tall Fescue Seed Production Issues Oregon vs. Missouri
  • Missouri
    • Harvest 3-4 weeks earlier than Oregon – creating a longer window to get freshly produced seed ready for fall market
    • Utilize full potential of fescue by grazing or feeding residue of production fields to cattle
    • Volatile weather conditions during harvest
    • Farmland cannot compete with northern states (corn, soybeans) but would be ideal for production of fescue seed
top ten fescue management tips
Top Ten Fescue Management Tips
  • Fertilize with Nitrogen in Late August or Early September
  • Remove cows from fescue fields no later than March 15th
  • Bale fescue stubble hay as soon as possible after seed harvest
  • Apply Phosphorus and Potassium to soil test
  • Apply lime to soil test
  • Spread second application of fertilizer Late December or Early January
  • Spray 2,4-D and Banvel to control broadleaf weeds
    • March or very early April (daytime temp. >50)
  • Consider adding sulfur to your fertility program
  • Allow tiller regrowth to occur in August and Early September
    • Do not pasture until Late September
  • Interseed with clover and-or lespedeza to improve forage quality and reduce endophyte levels
slide16

Fescue Seed Production Time Line

Aug. 20-Sept. 20-First fertilizer application (40# actual nitrogen phoshorus to soil test). Spray with Atrazine to remove excess seed.

Dec. 10-Jan. 10 Second fertilizer application (75-80# actual nitrogen)

June/July 15-Harvest

March 15-Remove cows-Stop grazing.

March 25-April10-Spray with 2-4D to remove weeds.

July 15-Aug. 1- Remove Aftermath-Bale it! Burn it! Graze it! Allow sunlight to penetrate down into roots. (Promotes Tillering)

Sept. 10-Frost- Stockpile pasture for winter grazing. Do not graze too short before frost. Grazing too short in the fall thins stands.

Dec. 1-March 15 Graze hard, remove as much of the stockpiled growth as possible.

June/July 15- Harvest

hay wastage
Hay Wastage
  • Bell, S., and F.A. Martz. 1973 Univ. of Missouri Ag Exp.
fescue stubble hay anhydrous treatment
Fescue Stubble HayAnhydrous Treatment
  • Apply at rate of 50 lbs. per ton of dry hay
  • Four bales wide on bottom – three on second layer
  • No more than 36.5 ft. from ground level – can be up to 95 ft. long
  • Must be square
  • Seven tons of lime or fine dirt needed to cover edges
  • Cover gently – plastic will tear when stretched
  • Do not cover pile above 90 degrees
  • Cover same day it is made – no rain
    • Wet spots will attract anhydrous and prevent adequate treatment
  • Insert valve on upper end of stack – it will disperse by itself
fescue stubble hay anhydrous treatment1
Fescue Stubble HayAnhydrous Treatment
  • Use orifice with 5/64” opening with a paper clip inserted for a slow release
  • Apply anhydrous in the evening
    • Calculate amount needed
    • If you do not have an orifice – barely crack the valve for a slow seep
  • If you have the correct amount in the take – you can leave it to release overnight
  • Four days to adequately treat stubble hay
  • After treatment – hay can be fed out of the pile as needed
  • WARNING: ANHYDROUS AMMONIA IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS!!! EXERCISE EXTREME CAUTION WHEN USING IT!!!
converting established stands to row crop production
Converting Established Stands to Row-Crop Production
  • Option 1: Plow & reseed the stand in 15” rows
  • Option 2: Use Roundup to selectively kill 10-11” strips between rows
  • Use 3 to 4 pints per acre Atrazine in September to kill volunteer seed
  • Jury is still out – time will tell
methods for selective kill
Methods for Selective Kill
  • Use 1.5 to 2 quarts Roundup per acre in 20 to 30 gallons water
  • Add Ammonium Sulfate at rate of 17 lbs. per 100 gallons water
  • Use drop or turn nozzles in direction of travel
critical elements of quality fescue seed production
Critical Elements of Quality Fescue Seed Production
  • Spray with 2,4-D (1 pint/acre) Late March or Early April
  • Do not begin harvest until seed is below 23% moisture
  • Deliver seed to Buchheit the same day/evening it is harvested
  • Immediately remove fescue aftermath
critical elements of quality fescue seed production continued
Critical Elements of Quality Fescue Seed Production- continued
  • First fertilizer application in Early August
  • Stockpile fescue for Fall/Winter grazing
  • Second fertilizer application in December or Early January (promotes tillering)
  • Remove Winter grazing cows by March 15th
  • Don’t forget to spray!
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