Thursday, July 31, 2014

Native Grass Seeding

While I have used this picture on the "header" of my blog page since starting to write it, I've never said much about it. Tim, Carolyn are with me on a farm that we owned in NW Seward, Co. NE back in the 50's-'70's time frame. It was 160 acre farm about 2 miles from where I grew up and had  farmed it for a couple years during the '40's. It was put up for Auction in a bankruptcy sale in 1956, and we bought it from the people who held the mortgage. It was at the time the "Soil Bank" program began with payments guaranteed if the land was seeded to native grass. It was a badly eroded place when we farmed it in the '40's and  even worse by the time we bought it. We had a local contractor build terraces on all the cropland, and then seeded it to Native Grass. Seed was not readily available so we even hand stripped some Indian Grass which we planted. Switch grass and Sand Love was bought from the Miller Seed Co. in Lincoln and individual producers in SE Nebraska. We bought a mixture of Bluestems and Grama grass from the local Campbell's Seed House. We surface seeded it in late spring, tredded and harrowed it to get the seed covered in a firm seedbed. The first year we saw more weeds than grass which we sprayed with 2,4-D. The grass came along the 2nd year and again we sprayed and mowed. This picture was taken in about the 3rd or 4th year when the native grass had really taken over. We also planted trees and multiflora rose which was popular for Quail cover in those days. The place required very little maintenance, and we were even able to extend the contract for an additional 5 years. The place was our "pride and joy" for several years but a local farmer sought us out to buy it as the contract expired. We sold it which helped  get kids through college which was what we had hoped for at the time we bought it. It is still in grass today which we still visit occasionally. 

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