Growing Corn, Wheat, Oats, Alfalfa?

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by rwzzz, Mar 24, 2005.

  1. rwzzz

    rwzzz Well-Known Member

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    Mar 8, 2005
    I would like to try some field crops this year, mostly for feed and bedding, some chickens, rabbits and a goat.
    I have settled dividing up a field into 5 plots and rotating Corn, Wheat, Oats, Alfalfa, Alfalfa.
    I am thinking of 5,000 sq ft plots, 50x100 ft.
    Do these seeding rates look right?
    Corn 4lbs
    Wheat 17 lbs (based on 2.5 bushels acre, 60lbs bushel, for 150lbs, and I planting about 11% of an acre)
    Oats 17lbs
    Alfalfa 4 lbs (based on 18 lbs acre, and I planting about 22% of an acre, 2 plots in the rotation)

    The wheat & Oats seem too much and the alfalfa seems light?
    Thanks, newbie in NE Pa.
    Bob Z
     
  2. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    SE Missouri
    Bob, the alfalfa is a perennial. You wouldn't want to rotate it with the other crops. The seed is very pricey because it is perennial. I would substitute another legume instead were I doing a rotation. Field peas might be a good option in your area. Also alfalfa grows best in the alkaline soils and your area has more acidic soils.
     

  3. seymojo536

    seymojo536 Well-Known Member

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    Ohio
    Your rates should be O.K. I would just round up the small grains to 20 lbs. not much more money. Are you going to hand plant everything? The alfalfa does like a neutral pH. Not a good idea to bank on just one variety for grazing, so I would think about mixing in some orchardgrass or timothy. Instead of the wheat which around here is fall planted, why not try some pasja brassica ( forage turnip) you can let the animal graze it then it'll produce a root crop that they can use in late fall, early winter. Or wait till the oats come off then plant it. Another good forage/cover crop is rape. Oh yeah, don't forget to put a few pumpkins in with the corn. Just for the "kids".
     
  4. rwzzz

    rwzzz Well-Known Member

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    Mar 8, 2005
    I don't really know what I am doing so thanks for your suggestions. I will definitely add the timothy to the alfalfa.

    As soon as it dries up around here (North East Pa), I'm going to mow whats left of the timothy in the field, till it with a walk behind troybuilt garden tiller, rake it, and then hand plant and cultivate. I am proably going to get a "Earthway Vegetable seeder" planter from Johnny's Seeds to plant the corn, I was thinking of using a push lawn seeder I have for the grains? To cut the grain and forage I am going to get a scythe and lose stack it in the barn. I know it will be a lot of work but what else am I going to do except sit here on the PC.

    I do have access to a couple of real tractors but the very old plow is just rusting in a corner of the field. And there is what looks like an very old spring tooth harrow? in the back of a shed. Its a big iron thing about 5 ft wide, 3ft deep with 2 rows of 2 ft curved spades with a disk in the center front. Looks like all the adjustment bolts on top of the curved spades are all rusted up.

    I did a ph test in the garden and it came up 6.7 and Penn State said everything was optimum for vegetables. I will send them a sample of the field as soon as the snow melts.

    Thanks
    rwzzz
    NE Pa