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 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 • 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 Missouri • Nitrogen Application – Split 40-50 lbs. in September, 40-50 lbs. in December/January
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 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 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 Missouri • Field ready for Harvest
Tall Fescue Grown For Seed Production in Southern Missouri • First pass with windrower
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 • 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. 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 • 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
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 • Bell, S., and F.A. Martz. 1973 Univ. of Missouri Ag Exp.
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 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 • 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 • 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 • 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 • 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!