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what to do with a field of Timothy

 
                    
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Hi all,
I'm a new permie, planning a design on 5 acres we're moving onto this summer.  About 2 acres of it is (or rather, was) a field of Timothy.  Since we plan to have sheep (plus, it's planted over the septic field) we'd like to continue growing it and use it as rotational pasture and cut hay for winter.  Does anyone know ways to harvest/manage Timothy without a tractor?  And, does anyone have experience/ideas on how to bring the field back into production after a two-year lapse? 
Kris in Michigan
 
John Meshna
Posts: 111
Location: Vermont
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If you have the muscle and strength of back you can harvest any field crop by hand using a  scythe.  after you cut it down you draw a wagon into the field and put all the hay onto the wagon, bring it back to the barn and load it all by hand into the barn.
you can bunch all the cut hay in the field ahead of time to save some time picking it up and keep it from getting wet from due and rain too badly.  you will need to leave it out in the field and if it's moist when you cut it you'll have to "Ted" it by hand by tossing it around with a fork until it's the right moisture content.
This is a lot of work but it's the way it was always done before machines came along.  JM
 
Susan Monroe
Posts: 1093
Location: Western WA
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This seems like a good article on growing timothy for hay and pasture:  http://www.animalrangeextension.montana.edu/Articles/Forage/Species/Grasses/Timothy.htm

Sue
 
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