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Illinois Livestock Trail by UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS EXTENSION


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Illinois Livestock Trail

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QUESTION
What is the best way to turn 5 acres of alfalfa - timothy mix into a good grass pasture? It has a good sod base and I don't want to turn it.We do not feed alfalfa thats why we would like to turn this to grass.


ANSWER

A fall application of 2,4-D ester (many trade names) is an option. Late summer/early fall treatment (while alfalfa is actively growing and 3-4 weeks prior to frost) will be more effective than an application in the spring. The suggested application rate is 0.75 to 1.0 pint per acre. It will not harm established cool-season grasses (i.e., timothy). A repeat application may be necessary. Beware of drift potential to nearby soybean, grapes, tomato, trees, and other desirable broadleaf plants (2,4-D ester can volatilize if air temperatures exceed 85 degrees F.).

One may wish to add some Banvel herbicide (dicamba) to the 2,4-D ester. Be sure to read and follow the pesticide label(s).

When the legume is removed and if the owners wish to have a "good grass pasture", they will need to apply nitrogen fertilizer. They may also need to add additional grass.







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