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Questions about after a burn?

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The DNR is going to burn about 11 acres on our 40 with a fire break around it that is almost a mile. It joins up with a burn on some county land that is getting torched as well.

I'm going to round up the fire break then turn the soil and try planting something on it. Will not get seed into the soil till the middle of June with waiting 2 weeks after spraying round up then turning the soil.

It has a ph level of 5.9 and is very moist to wet soil. We are in an area that has been ditched in south central St. Louis county and the hay fields grow like mad. The grass on the property has little trouble growing and reminds me of how the grass grows in Missouri.

The fire break is on the edge of good cover and will get full sunlight. Am going to try and put half the lime and about a third of the fertilizer called for this year and then do the same next spring.

Am very green when it comes to food plots and have been reading everything I can get my hands on. Have read that clover can get mold or bacterial issues in wet areas.

Would I be better to grow an annual like some sort of brassicas being I'm looking to attract deer in the rifle season on the fire break? And if so what is a good one for northern MN? Have heard good things about Essex rape and seems reasonable for price in seeding per acre and the tonnage it yields.

The fire break is about 20' wide. Could I do half with the an annual and half with a perennial or is that a bad idea?

We've created 2 mineral licks and they've been getting hit hard since we bought the property.

We've been working on cutting trails and I would like to seed those with a perennial but once again the wet soil concerns me. The trails would not get a tremendous amount of sun light but at least 4 hours a day. Would like something the grouse and deer could both eat on the trails. The root systems on the trails from aspens and alders are extensive and would love something that could choke that stuff out but also be beneficial for wild life.

In the area they are actually burning is there any less expensive seed to plant that I could let go that would benefit deer and possibly sharptail grouse (yep I said sharptail) that could be broadcast were I wouldn't need to do anything with the soil? Or am I better off just leaving that alone for now?

The area has good browse and ample hay fields. The deer seem fat and healthy in the area. The hay fields draw deer well into December.

Appreciate any advice!

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I am studying Natural resources and forestry and this poses a great question. I think that you would be better off planting perennial rather than annual unless you want to rotate cover each year. Not knowing the area, what about planting rye grass in the area to hold from both water and wind erosion? It will give forage to the wildlife and cover to the birds etc. The other option would be to put corn in or something on those lines and just let it go to sleep in winter, disc under etc however this creates a lot of work for you. could also go with barley or winter wheat which will hold the soil and will handle the winter very well. The other thing is that the DNR should be able under the federal guidelines and plant some forage to hold the land. I would contact them to see if they have plans on doing this, if not i would bring up the erosion factor to them. Sorry for the vague answer, it is really a wide open question however i will ask it in my class to see what the response gets. Jeff

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One other thing is you could broadcast milo or sorgum across that area as long as it has some moisture to take root. It would be spotty and would also hold the soil and provide forage and cover.

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Do you need your food plot to provide cover too? In woody areas you probably don't but in farm country it may be hard to get the deer to come into the food plot during daylight hours if the crop isn't tall enough to provide some cover. Its tough to hunt them if they don't arrive until after dark.

We have a 20 acre food plot on our 280 acres and rotate so we have corn on one half every year and then run beans on the other. We will also put turnips or rape around the edges of the plot as well. It seems to work well.

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You dont have to wait 2 weeks to seed after appling round up. Once round up hits the soil it is inert. It only works by entering the plants leaves and such. It wont heart the seed or kill it. It gets absorbed via the cellular structure of the plant. It is not a preemergent. Get that seed down as soon as possible.

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