Any Farmers out there?, I may have done a bad thing....

Shazzababs

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Ok, so here is the thing.

I've sprayed my winter paddock, with my little tractor and boom sprayer.

I do this on one or the other paddock most years (as needed to kill any baby ragwort and the docks etc.), and I always use the same herbicide, in the same concentration and obviously the area of land hasn't changed.

Normally no problems, but this year its turned all the grass brown. I mean really 'oh poo it looks dead brown'. I've no idea why, I double checked my maths against the instructions and I didn't even use the maximum concentration allowed.

My question is, what should I do now? Should I leave it and hope for the best (its been 2 weeks and it still looks awful), overseed it (can I just spread grass seed with my fertilizer spinner?), fertilise it, or do I need to do something more drastic?

Are there any experts out there that can help me?

I've got Blackberry and Apple pie and custard waiting for you if you can.
 

FfionWinnie

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Was the grass under stress when you did it (ie drought). What did you use? Could there have been contamination in the tank from another spray?
 

MiJodsR2BlinkinTite

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Slopping along on a loose rein somewhere in Devon
Gosh. I'd be inclined, personally, if you've done what you always do with the same stuff and same concentration as you've always used, and are 100% sure that you've done that correctly - then get onto the manufacturers of the herbicide and ask them why this has happened.

Take photographs too, showing what the field is looking like, just to cover yourself basically.

But yes, that would be my first course of action.
 

Clodagh

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OH has gone to a Parish Coucil meeting ( he knows how to party) but I will certainly ask him later.
Do you ever use your sprayer for anything else? Was the herbicide in date?
 

outinthefens88

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In the land of no hills.....
I fear this sounds like something else has either been used in the sprayer and the tank hasn't been washed out properly or there is some other form of contamination present.

Any chance the sprayer had been used for 'Roundup' or any other glyphosphate based product - and not been washed out after?

Drought stress can sometimes cause this but its normally only the very very tips of the grass that get singed.

What product was applied - as many you can't overseed with new grass for 6-8 weeks afterwards. If the fertilizer spinner is tractor mounted, you may struggle to get a low enough setting for grass seed depending on the model....
 

Shazzababs

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Thanks everyone.

Yes the grass was pretty short, and we hadn't had rain for sometime before I sprayed it.

I'm pretty sure that the sprayer hadn't been used for anything else, but I can't swear that I didn't use it last summer for the arena and then forgot to wash it out..

I used Headland Polo (http://www.agrigem.co.uk/weed-kille...FMy8q6qHduk9PXq5b7BkjEQnE63JTluESQaAiVm8P8HAQ), at 2.5l per hectare with the recommended Phase 2 booster for ragwort as there seamed to be a lot, I can't remember what I did the arena with last year, but the tank has sat empty for at least 6 months so it couldn't have had more than a mall residue.

Looks like I need to wait a bit and then overseed then. My spinner is a very small tow along one (I only have a few acres and a compact tractor). But it sounds like I'm going to need to do it by hand or find a contractor.

Thanks for the help everyone. At least I don't need the paddock for a good while!
 

Dry Rot

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Can't help with the dead grass but I'd get right down to grass level and carefully examine for any green shoots. Grass will usually re-establish itself anyway. We plough and re-seed to establish selected species, bury weeds, and give the young grass a good start. But if you have any gravel paths, you will know how quickly it grows back without encouragement!

Yes, you can put grass seed on with a fertiliser spinner though some will tell you otherwise. Personally, I would mix the seed with saw dust or fertiliser and put it on a bit too thin to start, then spread at least twice at right angles. It would be best to create a seed bed first by scarifying the surface, preferably with spiked chain harrows. Get down on your hands and knees (again!) and see how wide the seed has been spread. Keep your swathes to that width. It won't be much. The next step is to lightly harrow the seed in which will also help to spread it. This really is a light harrowing. Do it at least twice, the second time at right angles to the first. In the past, I have used an old piece of chain link fencing as a harrows. Don't laugh, in the past many would simply drag a hawthorn bush over it. The seed is best sown in a wet period and then roll, roll, and more roll. The trick to establishing young grass is a firm seed bed. The old farmers say you should be able to ride a bicycle over it without leaving a tyre mark. I use the tractor wheel, driving round and round the field, although I have a heavy water filled roller it is not as good. Then pray for rain (so back on your knees again!). But don't worry. The grass will grow.

Edited to ask how big is this paddock? An Australian friend of mine had a 'back paddock' that was 6,000 acres! You can easily spread grass seed by hand. There's sure to be a YouTube video. Hang a bag around your neck and toss the seed out right and left alternating hands. That's the way it was done for the last couple of thousand years. You'll develop a rhythm. It's quite satisfying.
 
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