Anyone plant brome?

We have 4.5 acres we are going to put in brome. I understand that because the site is small we will lose 50% to the farmer but we are on a road with a lot of farms so hopefully easy to get someone to do it. The patch was in corn and soybeans. What is the best way going about getting this planted? Rent seeder equipment?

i have, but the stuff is junk grass. good for ditches/bad for pastures unless you hay very early or brushhog early. The seed heads are nasty.

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My horses have liked brome hay. But maybe it was cut at the right time. It won’t grow here so I don’t know about pasture. There is smooth? brome and meadow brome.

Go to the forum. They know all about that stuff. And there probably are old threads discussing how to plant it.


Your location is needed. You may want to consider mixed seed to plant, not Brome alone. If I am picturing brome correctly, it is kind of coarse in leaf and stem. Might not be as appealing to all horses as a mixed hay could be. Seeds are big and coarse. We have Orchard Grass (also a coarse type seed) in our mix and it seems to mature at the same time as the Brome. They could spread well together. Hope I am not getting my seed sizes mixed up here.

We are mid-Michigan, had all the spring rain, then nothing wet for almost a month after baling this year, mid-June. We had planted more grass seed in established hayfields right after Labor Day last year to thicken the field growth. We usually start getting reliable rain about then, just not so good for 3rd cutting! Ha ha Tradeoffs. Have to get rain for seed germination, growth. Fall grass plantings work very well in our area.

We rented the County no-till grass drill for this “overseeding”. It workd rather like a disk, opening a slot, dropping seed, closing slot after. Rolled right thru the grass plants already in place. This particular no-till drill has seed boxes to let us put different seed in each box, so it laid down “mixed planting” in one pass. Spread it evenly for best germination. Getting seed types mixed together is not the best way to plant large areas. Learned that using a broadcast spreader.

We had originally planted the worked up dirt of hayfield with a broadcast spreader and chain drag. Spreader is the big cone type, on 3pt hitch of tractor, PTO powered. It did a pretty good job, and we just kept things mowed to about 6 inches the first year to get the roots thicker, better established. We spread a needed quantity of fertilizer in several applications that first year too. Smaller applications got rained in, absorbed, not washed away like one big application. Better use of my money, better for the land, though it took extra time getting it on.

Knowing more now, I would spread the same sized seed types together for better spread during seeding. This means more passes over the field wit a broadcast spreader. We planted a mix of 4 kinds of seed, would not do that again! Live and learn. The big seeds tended to clot up in the spreader holes while tiny seed ran out like water!! So the field can be splotchy in what seed sprouted where. The Chain drag was teeth down, some tires tied on top to hold it down on the dirt. This drag stirred the dirt behind broadcast seeder to immediately cover much of the spread seed without covering too deeply for seed to sprout. Drag is 8ft x 8ft, we use it a lot around the farm.

Newer information is recommending rolling after seeding to get seed in better contact to soil for sprouting. So cultipackers could work for that. I don’t have a cultipacker…yet. I will get one if the rental seed drills are not available in the future. That newer information also recommends adding seed to established hayfields every couple years to keep production up.

At the cost of good seed, you want to let EVERY grain have the best opportunity to succeed, not be bird food! Ha ha

Drill did a nice job, we had good germination and good growth in fall before winter cold froze things down. Hay was THICK and tall with all the rain last spring, we got a good first cutting. Walking the cut field, plants are thicker now, coming along now that we have had some rain. Hoping for a second cut before Labor Day.

We did soil testing, put on fertilizer recipe designed from the soil test to remedy lacking minerals. Our soil was in terrible shape according to the soil test, so we did the big quantity needed, in three applications that first year. This prevented fertilizer from washing away before it could be absorbed to help the soil. Second year soil tests showed things vastly improved, which is when we started cutting hay off the land. Starting with soil testing can be REALLY helpful, so you don’t have time, seed invested, to get poor results at harvest time. Our fields LOOKED good, covered plenty of tall, lush weed and shrub growth before we cleared it off. Soil test told us there were NO MINERALS in that dirt! Worst soil test the fertilizer supply guy ever saw!!

Best of luck with your new field!


Brome is supreme in Kansas ! A quality hay - that all horse owners want !

Kansas Brome is wonderful - better than any other type - horses will leave alfalfa for Kansas Brome.

Missouri Brome is not as good… it’s a KANSAS SPECIALITY.

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We are in Kansas.

I know that -

I wasn’t sure everyone did.

Great forum! Thanks!

Before we baled our own, i used to buy orchard/timothy/brom mix in square bales. It was very good hay. The guy knew when to cut and bale and never ever had it gotten to tough or gone to seed. And Brom makes good hay, i am not arguing that. It makes lousy pasture though. If you keep at it with a brush hog though, it can be nice pasture grass. Or if you have enough livestock that are grazing on it i suppose.

I’ll have a friend of mine in KS bring me a bale sometime. Am curious now!

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Horses typically love brome hay.



don’t mix any other sub-standard hay with my Brome ! :crazy_face:

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This makes me wonder. Last year I bought a 3x3x8 bale of what was supposedly “mountain timothy”. I got it from a reseller that buys all kinds of stuff from the western states. Now it can be hard to distinguish brome from timothy without the seed heads and this had very few seed heads. It had really thin stems and long long leaves. It was nice and green and smelled great. The horses could barely chew it. They would try and then quid it and spit it out. So needless to say they wasted a lot of it.

Could this have been over mature brome? The leaves were rather thin and longer than any timothy leaves I have ever seen. There were a few brown seed heads of what looked a little bit like timothy but mostly it did not have seed heads. Usually over mature timothy has big stems but this only had long skinny stems. I won’t buy any more of it but I was really curious as to what it was.

sounds more like timothy than brom to me. Only the seed stalk is stiff. The ‘leaves’ of a timothy plant are just grass appearing.