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Boosey

Food Plot Failure

28 posts in this topic

My relatively new food plots got a dose of Round-up this past weekend. My spring planting did not take with the extreme dry weather (with the exception of a few large turnips). The bulk of the seed was Ladino Clover. Time to start over.

2 questions. Anyone else have similar results this year. And... what is your favorite fall planting/attractant. PH is on it's way up, soil is sandy well drained, and fertilizer is in per soil test (for clover), but will be re-applied depending on what I end up planting.

Any adivce is greatly appreciated.

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sugar beets? I have no experience with food plots, what so ever but last fall I walked through a couple of food plots during the 3B season that were sugar beet plots, they were all tore up....I don't think it takes long to grow sugar beets either so that would be an option.

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sandy soils...

try rye grain, alfalfa, chicory

You could try brassicas. Given enough moisture they can do well in the sandy soils.

sugar beets = expensive brassica

Dwarf Essex rape = inexpensive brassica

many other forms of "brassica"

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i tried sugar beets this spring. didn't work, as they got frozen off with the late spring we had. what are you looking for in a food plot, fall or winter hunting?

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Brassicas are my favorite fall planted food plot. I just bought 5 pounds of turnips and rape for 7 bucks (enough to plant an acre) Sugarbeets are a long season crop and should be planted in the spring for the best results otherwise if fall planted you will only get leaf growth and be no better off than brassicas. Another thing you could do is a cereal grain like rye or wheat mixed with some kind of peas and/or sunflowers planted in late August, they will hit the peas and sunflowers as soon as they start growing and then the grain will stay green all winter long.

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Did your clover actually germinate? If not, you could give it a light disc and it might still germinate. Also, clover is a funny animal, the second year after initial planting is always the best year and when the crop actually takes off. At this point, you could still get a few crops in, however, I would wait another month and plant a cereal grain of some sorts. I have planted almost everything known to man and by far my best producer is cereal rye. Deer just pound it and I am in an agricultural area with beans, corn, and many other crops. Rye brings them in every year. However, once you get a couple inches of snow, it is done! Good luck.

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Some of the clover did germinate, but I'd say less than 1% of the seed. I got winter oats to grow last year with a mid August planting. The deer left them alone until the first couple frosts, then they got hit good. I believe the plots are too new for perenials. Many weeds came back after disking so I need to get them under control better. It's the second year for the plots. I have three small plots 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 acres. I'm thinking an oat/pea mix in one, brassicas in another, seems like people are sold on rye as well. I assume the cereal rye you speak of is an annual variety?

Has anyone tried an annual seed to mix with clover to protect it as it germinates and establishes?

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Vister, I'm looking for an archery season plot, so fall to mid November. thanks

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You are rushing it.

Here is what I do for clover.

For good soil:

Previous spring, start spraying glyphosate at 2qt/ac. You want to kill everything, wait 2-4 weeks and repeat. Spray one more time in early september and plant clover. The cool fall weather and lack of competition will help it get well-established. Don't get upset if it is a slow grower the first year.

For bad soil:

Repeat, except substitute a buckwheat planting for spraying #2. Let the buckwheat grow about 60 days, do not let the seed mature. Till it under and proceed as above.

Spring clover is tough. Even with good moisture, weeds are taking off when the clover is and it really needs low competition.

I am sure you want SOMETHING this year for the deer - so I'd plant rye grain with winter peas. I think your soil is too poor yet even for brassicas / rape seed. You can throw in a little rape to see how well it responds - my bet is that it won't grow all that well.

Do not plant your grains too early. Spend the time between now and then spraying round-up to rid the field of weeds. You want them to be 4-6" tall for opener, and that means a late august / early sept. planting.

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in hindsight, it was turnips, not sugar beets, they were turnips, my mistake, but the plots were torn up something fierce. My buddy said there were deer in them the entire morning, up until he shot his doe at 11 am...

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Some of the clover did germinate, but I'd say less than 1% of the seed. I got winter oats to grow last year with a mid August planting. The deer left them alone until the first couple frosts, then they got hit good. I believe the plots are too new for perenials. Many weeds came back after disking so I need to get them under control better. It's the second year for the plots. I have three small plots 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 acres. I'm thinking an oat/pea mix in one, brassicas in another, seems like people are sold on rye as well. I assume the cereal rye you speak of is an annual variety?

Has anyone tried an annual seed to mix with clover to protect it as it germinates and

establishes?

One reason I like rye over oats is that oats will die after a few hard frosts where as rye will stay green throughout the winter. Good plan putting different things in each plot that way you can see what works best for you for next year.

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ok my .02 cents worth with a few options but this is coming from the agriculture side of me coming out. It's hard to do recomendations when you don't know if it's a field or a hole in the woods or if you have farm equipment to get back there.

Fall

if you want something that will come back either replant or put in a Forage Plus which i have put out it's drought tolerant or a Antler King Honey Hole. Honey hole is a one time thing FYI! But they will both produce for this fall. You can also do a cereal grain...rye/barle/wheat/winter wheat. Deer love winter wheat FYI!

Fall/Early winter

Brassica is awesome something you may not know Canola is Rape that has been changed to get a chemical out of it so it's not toxic to livestock like tradition Rape. Canola can be planted 1-2 lbs per acre. Just like any brassica the lighter the application the bigger the leaves will get. This will turn on after first frost/cold snap. The plant converts Starches into sugars. I will be personally doing a few of these plots. You can also do options like peas/cereal grain which probable wouldn't be a bad thing if your looking for a one year thing then next spring plant something coming back. If your looking for something that you only want to get in ONE time I would do a mixture of Clover/Cereal/Peas/Brassica do a mixture so when it comes up at different times it will produce later one. big thing is don't over seed it. Run out of water faster and nutrients.

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I also had a failed clover plot - weeds took it over. I let it sit for 2 weeks after tilling and had very, very little weed growth. Thought I was safe to plant, guess not. Even had rain right after I tilled. Gave it the roundup treatment. Think I'll till again and wait about a month for the next batch of weeds to come up and then spray again. Don't know if I should replant this fall or wait until spring - from a post above sounds like around Sept is a good time for clover. Can anyone go into the negatives/positives of a cover crop such as rye or wheat with the clover? Thanks.

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sugar beets = expensive brassica

Dwarf Essex rape = inexpensive brassica

many other forms of "brassica"

Sugar beets aren't a brassica. Seeds should be fairly cheap for a a game plot sized area you'd think? I'd check out mangel beets also, the seeds are usually cheaper.

Deer love about any brassica, so the rape is a good suggestion.

Buckwheat is an extremely fast grower, out competes about anything.

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usually you put Wheat/Cereal crop in with clover. Main reason the cereal crop is a one year thing unless it goes to seed and reproduces (occasionally) but it produces some cover/protection for the clover. it will sit in the bottom of the Cereal crop and get protected from a heavy rain/drought because dew will be trapped down there and it the shade will not dry out as quickly as bare dirt. Most farmers when they put an Alfalfa field in will have a Wheat/Barley (Cheap) variety in there at 1-1.5 bu/acre then when the cereal gets near jointing stage they do the first cutting. But you can use that to put a cover crop to protect your clover then after winter you will have a cleaner plot.

You will need to mow clover if it is getting thick...

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I'd love to have clover thick and tall enough to mow!! Thanks much, think I'll do a clover/rye mix in Sept.

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i did two plot's this year none cultivated but my one ran out of moisture so that kinda sucks frown but hey I tried. some is growing but I do plan on doing some spotty ones with Canola laugh

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i would blend clover and turnips. may be a bit on the late side for turnip bulbs to get big, but boy do the deer love them big bushy leaves! it isn't completely necessary to spend the time and money on the soil prep like many think you need to. however, the time and money means the plot will be good this year. otherwise, next year it will fare better.

in the plots where i dont use roundup, i try to plant anything that will grow back after mowing. like clover and chicory. plant your clover and chicory, wait until they are coming up, and broadcast another, thinner, coating of seed, but don't disc it in. when everything is coming up nicely and the clover starts to form blossoms, mow it all down to about 4-6 inches tall, with a brushhog. this is usually in august if planted in the spring. then hang them cameras, cause here come the deer. by doing it just as i explained, any competing weeds will typically not come back after mowing, at least not as thick. just remember to mow that plot. if you plant turnips in the mix, then you may have to wait till next summer to mow it for the first time. turnips usually don't grow their leaves back, so mowing them is usually the end of them.

every spring i broadcast a bit more clover seed over my existing plots. then mow in the later summer. some of them plots are EXTREMELY thick stands of clover, without a single blade of grass in them

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I have had very good luck with clover plots as far as a beautiful, lush crop. However, the deer did not agree. They barely touched it in the 3 years I had it in. Its funny how areas are so different. I had the same experience with turnips. Planted about 2 acres and they turned our fantastic. They all rotted the next Spring, the deer barely touched them. For my area, soybeans are tough to beat if you want a Spring planting. Cereal rye is the best late season plot for me (NW MN). By the way, if you plant rye too early in the Fall, you will be disappointed. You have to be sure that it is in the last weekend in August or into September. The key is young shoots that are grazed often so it stays young and lush. If it gets to mature, it loses it appeal. Rye need little to no moisture as well, the Fall heavy dew will get it going!

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Great info guys. Thanks. I'm in marketing so I have a hard time believing all the good marketing claims of the retail seed companies and beleive the seeds from the co-op are just as good and a better value. Anyone have an experience where a retail seed blend ("formulated for whitetail") did better than anything else?

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Well give you a quick background on myself...Went to school and have my Bachelores of Science in Agronomy Science Bachelores of Science in Natural Resources with Law Enforcement. So I got lots of schooling on deer and crops. Well I started at the coop's selling seed and scouting fields. Then now I do test plots for Monsanto. I know what the salesmen are going to want to sell you for making money for themselves but I know product B is same as A but the salesmen don't get as much profit.

If you guys have large amount of seed you want like 50 lb bags or what not contact the coop. When I was at the coop I put in I think 100 acres for one farmer of Antler King products. I was able to buy 50 lb bags from them and got a heck of a deal since I was an authroize dealer. I also know if your looking to make your own blends there is a dealer in Fargo/West Fargo area that does good blends of whatever you want. Agassiz Seed will do this for you. Also if your looking for Alfalfa look at a Vernal variety the salesmen will also tell you it'll do just as good for deer plots as the expensive stuff so don't waste your money.

Coops are great guys to have as friends. If you are spreading fields for plots where you need fertilizer you can have them mix seed with fertilizer to spread with a tractor with a pull behind spreader. Works great on most seed. When I was at the coop I did a lot with hunters with soil sampling for plots and fertilizer getting it bagged for their blends or lime in bagged version for them. We also sold 50lb bags of Rape along with 2 or 3 different varieties of "Whitetail Mixes" but if you have a little bit of time check out the Horse and Cattle mixes that are already premixed. Might be shocked at what they put into them is an antler king or biologic without rape or chicory. Sometimes you'd get twice the product for the same price.

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Great info guys. Thanks. I'm in marketing so I have a hard time believing all the good marketing claims of the retail seed companies and beleive the seeds from the co-op are just as good and a better value. Anyone have an experience where a retail seed blend ("formulated for whitetail") did better than anything else?

I used to get sucked into buying the seed with the "big buck" on the bag until I realized they used basically the same seed as your local co-op. Sure maybe some of the seed is preferred by deer or maybe more cold hardy but I doubt it is much if at all that much better. For example I used to plant biologic "maximum" and antler king "honey hole" brassica blends and they worked awesome, the deer loved them and were in them every night. But then I started making my own blends from local seed dealers and had the exact same results for about 1/5 of the cost. Also tried Buck Forage Oats and the deer didnt seem to care if it was BFO or regular old seed oats that you can get for $8 for a 50 pound bag. Unless I start seeing different results I will continue to buy the less expensive seed locally, I dont think the deer will mind at all.

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Maybe if you'd put a little sign on the edge of the plots with how much each blend cost the deer would know to go to the more expensive ones...

Just kidding obviously, I agree they eat the crops that are available so if you get something different that's high on their preferred food list, they're going to hit it no matter where you bought it.

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I went to a biologic seminar at FF once...they of course touted their stuff. When I went to the shelf, there were competitors food plot bags, that showed the same ingredients at a lesser cost, and now at a local green house, they have the same mixtures even less. And this green house is not known for having inexpensive things,so I can only imagine what coops would cost.

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If I were you, I would sell that Forkhorn producing sand and buy some decent land in another state.

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