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Pasture species ID help

 
Posts: 18
Location: PA
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Hello

I am hoping to ID some plants that are in our field that we just purchased. We are in zone 6a/b and this field was previously used for soybeans. This is the first year post soybeans.

I think the non-grass is lambs quarter, but the majority of the field is the grass. Any ideas?

IMG_20150914_175640439.jpg
green foxtail?
green foxtail?
IMG_20150914_175646800.jpg
foxtail
foxtail
IMG_20150914_175700261.jpg
lambsquarters
lambsquarters
 
steward
Posts: 2719
Location: Maine (zone 5)
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The third one is lambsquarters. It's just going to seed now. Once the seeds are brown, collect them and spread them all over your field. I don't know of any animal that doesn't love it.


 
gardener
Posts: 840
Location: western pennsylvania zone 5/a
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hi Kellan

the grass looks like a species of foxtail
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Setaria

possibly green foxtail
http://extension.psu.edu/pests/weeds/weed-id/green-foxtail

not necessarily what you want to hear
 
Kellan Cook
Posts: 18
Location: PA
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I think your right. Green foxtail.

So I have a predominantly foxtail and lambs quarter pasture. It was previously a soybean field when the previous owner farmed it so this makes sense.

I would like to convert it to a more perennial based legume mixed fodder. This will be the basis for a future silvopasture system I have planned.

How do I convert this? I do not want to use herbicide or chemicals. I had my eye on the American Guinea Hog to pasture in this as a means to change the landscape. Followed by chickens and then the seed of my choice. I am wondering how this breed would do with foxtail. The extension link above doesn't sound promising. Does anyone have experience converting a field of foxtails to a more permaculture based setting? Any chance the guinea hogs can make food from this plant?

Thanks!
 
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Posts: 6652
Location: Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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To get the foxtail under control you will need to plant tall nitrogen fixers that will block out the sun.
I would mow the field short and plant a mix of clovers along with buckwheat, alfalfa, winter peas, field peas, and add in some brassicas for a good start.
These will grow nice and tall and shade out the foxtail. This also gives you the chance to bale some hay later on down the road.

The Guinea Hog will not eat the foxtail, The are fairly picky about what greenery they eat and that mix above is working pretty well for us. Guinea Hogs also don't particularly like Bermuda grass. But they do love fescues.
I'm in the process of building pastures that our hogs love to eat, currently we give them pasture during the day and for evening snacks we give vegetables and one and a half cup (each) of a 14% hog pellet. They are not overweight and actually doing very well.

We made the mistake of buying a bale of Bermuda hay for them, they root around in it but have not taken one bite. The fescue grass is clipped nice and short though. We have some other weeds in their current pasture but they have not touched them either.
 
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