NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Chain Harrowing  (Read 2101 times)

moprabbit

  • Joined Oct 2011
  • North Notts
Chain Harrowing
« on: March 30, 2013, 10:23:04 pm »
My field is in an awful state! It's been overgrazed and badly worn over the winter. Last year I had it chain harrowed which I'm sure improved it. I wondered when would be the best time to do this again? At the minute the grass (like everyones) is not growing - so would it be a good time now or wait until it starts to grow?
Would it also be a good idea to put some fertilizer or lime on it and if so when would be the best time for that?
Thank you
4 pet sheep
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bigchicken

  • Joined Nov 2008
  • Fife Scotland
Re: Chain Harrowing
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2013, 10:58:59 pm »
I would be interested in any replies to this post cheers moprabbit.
Shetland sheep, Castlemilk Moorits sheep, Hebridean sheep, Scots Grey Bantams, Scots Dumpy Bantams. Shetland Ducks.

MKay

  • Joined Jan 2013
Re: Chain Harrowing
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2013, 06:56:55 pm »
It all depends on your ground and weather, as its been grazed over winter I'll assume its dry now so go ahead and harrow. This will break up the thatch and tear out moss.
Next job is take a handfull of topsoil (inn a bag) to your local agricultural collage to analyse.
You will want Lime and I would suggest over liming, the college will tell you how much you need to apply pwer acre to rebalance the Ph of the soil but if you up this to 3t per acre you will have the benefit of killing off bacteria including coccidiosis (particularly if you have both poultry and equines).
This can be done as soon as you have harrowed, as long as you are not expecting significant rainfall which will wash the lime off the land quyicker than it can be absorbed through the surface(this is where harrowing is helpfull as it damages this initial crust allowing quicker absorbtion) follow the application with a light roll if you have the option.

Once Sol is making an effort and the ground warmed above 7degC the grass will start to grow and you can start thinking about fertiliser, re-harrowing the day before and rolling agin after is parramount if you want to see the most for your money.

How old and what type is your lay? I have the exact same situation here and when I spread the Fert I will be adding grass seed to it for an over-seed to build up the sward as our lay is now 5years on and was not as strong to establish as I would have liked.

moprabbit

  • Joined Oct 2011
  • North Notts
Re: Chain Harrowing
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2013, 09:06:16 am »
Thanks MKay for your excellent reply - the field has always been grass as long as I 've lived here which is over 30 years. It's got loads of thistles in but last year with all the rain, we got an excellent crop of hay. At the moment there are 3 ewes with lambs at foot in the field - would it be alright to harrow, lime, fertilise and reseed whilst they are still in there? Obviously we could pen them up whilst the tractor was in the field. Thanks again!
4 pet sheep

 

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