Snyder has noticed that local wildlife enjoys the novel fescue cultivars, too. Turkey and deer
haven’t damaged any fi elds, but their presence there is often evident.
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we generally lime the soil. We don’t
fertilize intensely, but we do put
down a starter fertilizer to give a boost
to the new plants.”
The next step is to allow cows to
closely graze down Kentucky 31 – so no
seed heads develop – through July 4. By
that date, cows are removed, and the
fescue is regrown until about August 1.
“At that point, we spray the fescue
with glyphosate for a kill,” Snyder says.
“We let it set for about 30 days so that
existing seeds will sprout, then we come
back and spray it again. About four or
fi ve days later we’re ready to drill in the
novel endophyte fescue variety.”
Using a no-till drill, the rangeland
is seeded in a cross-hatch pattern
using approximately 10 to 11 pounds
of seed with each pass.
WHAT IF THERE’S
TOO MUCH RESIDUE?
If there’s a lot of residue after the
second spraying, Snyder prepares a
prescribed burn to remove the trash.
“That helps kill any pests that
might be in that trash,” Snyder
explains. “It also makes it much easier
to see where we’ve gone with our drill
when we reseed.”
Initially, Snyder was using a cover
crop to keep soil covered until the
fescue emerged. However, in drier
years, the moisture cover crops used
was sorely needed once the fescue
“In years when we don’t have a
cover crop, we’ve had issues with
grubs. They really go after that fi ne,
short grass when it comes in,” Snyder
says. “Now we spray for the grubs
before we ever see them. If we wait
until we see them, it’s too late. They
do a lot of damage.”
Snyder also found that skunks
and coyotes were strongly attracted
to grubs in the new pastures. That
resulted in signifi cant digging and
degradation of the pasture area.
“We scout each new planting diligently,”
Snyder says. “Because it can
take up to a week to get a sprayer in
once you see the grubs, we just spray
once the grass starts to come.”
Though it’s often tempting to graze
the new fescue by November, Snyder
doesn’t put cattle on the new fescue
until the following spring.
“In that fi rst grazing, we let them
take the tops of the grass and then
we take them out of there,” Snyder
says. “We don’t want them to graze
JUNE / JULY 2019 I WORKING RANCH I 33