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Moonshine

Fall Food Plots

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Am I missing something? Typically we have at least a couple threads on food plots. I'll get one going.

Just wondering if anyone put in food plots recenty with any results. Mine are in the Backus, MN area and it is REALLY dry around there. I was told not to plant anything because it was too dry, but I wanted to put something in the ground before it was too late. That was two weeks ago. Last weekend I looked at them and it looked like seed in some dust. I know it was too soon to expect germination, I just wanted to see if there was any sign of water.

I planted rye grass, brassicas and more clover. Does anyone have any thoughts on what I should have done or planted as possibly an alternative?

The frustrating part is that I did everything right. I put down lime this summer, later killed off the fields, then had a friend come in and till with a tractor and I finished the seed bed by smooting it with a drag.

It all looked great, just no rain and opener is two weeks away....

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Last year I waited until Labor Day weekend with the same mix, we went about a week or so with no rain, and then the skies opened. The patch grew and was down to stubs by opening weekend in Nov. Good luck, and hope that some of Gustav makes it way up the Mississippi Valley.

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My food plots are farther north than yours.

I've planted brassicas and clover in August and not had great results. They'll start growing but never do that good.

Clover is slow to germinate because it's a perennial and I've never got much out of it in the fall and never had it survive over the winter and regrow the next spring. Brassicas typically need 10-12 weeks of growth to reach full size and we usually get our first frosts by mid October. If you're farther south maybe they'd work better for you.

I don't like having any grass in my food plots. The deer like it when it's young, but if it grows too much it gets too fiberous for them.

In the fall I plant cereal grains, namely oats, wheat, and rye (grain, not grass). If there's any moisture it will germinate in only a few days, and it grows fast and withstands browsing from the deer. The frost will take it out so it's a short-lived food plot, but great for early season bow hunting. The oats are the first to get killed by the frost, the rye grain will usually last the longest. In most years my cereal grains in northern MN are done before gun season opens. But I really like them and plant them every year.

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My food plots are farther north than yours.

I've planted brassicas and clover in August and not had great results. They'll start growing but never do that good.

Clover is slow to germinate because it's a perennial and I've never got much out of it in the fall and never had it survive over the winter and regrow the next spring.

Crud PJ, so I'm going to have to replant my clover next year? You are right about the germination, mine was slow to grow but during the month of July it really took off for me.

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Does anyone have any thoughts on what I should have done or planted as possibly an alternative?

In the future, you might want to consider trying buckwheat. Probably the fastest maturing crop out there, broadcasts easily. Deer and game birds love it. It is frost killed very easily, so you have to consider that too.

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Crud PJ, so I'm going to have to replant my clover next year? You are right about the germination, mine was slow to grow but during the month of July it really took off for me.

No no no - the clover that I've planted in Aug hasn't had enough growth to survive the winter. The clover that I've planted in the spring does awesome (unless it's a really dry year) ..... I've had some clover plots that have gone on for 5 years or more after a spring planting.

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I planted a small plot with an alfalfa/clover/chicory blend a few weeks ago and it is starting to come, but I have been watering it- otherwise I'm sure it would be dust. A buddy planted some brassicas/turnips in mid july and is getting some deer at his plots. Next year I'm going to start it earlier.

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i just planted my rye last weekend and it is starting to come up already. You dont want to let your rye head out like wheat. If you disk it back into the ground two weeks before bow season it should look good. I also plant shot plot a week ago and even with no rain it is starting to come up. We do need some rain though. Good luck everyone.

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Am I missing something? Typically we have at least a couple threads on food plots. I'll get one going.

Just wondering if anyone put in food plots recenty with any results. Mine are in the Backus, MN area and it is REALLY dry around there. I was told not to plant anything because it was too dry, but I wanted to put something in the ground before it was too late. That was two weeks ago. Last weekend I looked at them and it looked like seed in some dust. I know it was too soon to expect germination, I just wanted to see if there was any sign of water.

I planted rye grass, brassicas and more clover. Does anyone have any thoughts on what I should have done or planted as possibly an alternative?

The frustrating part is that I did everything right. I put down lime this summer, later killed off the fields, then had a friend come in and till with a tractor and I finished the seed bed by smooting it with a drag.

It all looked great, just no rain and opener is two weeks away....

Welcome to the life of being a farmer, dependent upon the weather as to whether you get a crop!

You did things right, you just have to hope for some rain. I've had luck planting clover in both the fall and springtime. The advantage of fall planting is that you can work the plot several times during the summer, which eliminates a lot of the weed seed because it sprouts, you kill it off, it spouts some more, you kill it off. This works great if you don't have a sprayer, which I don't. If you want your clover to survive the winter, you almost have to get it in by Labor Day and hope for rain.

Last year I did exactly as I said above, worked several spots several times all summer long and planted clover on Labor Day weekend. This spring I was very disapoiinted, it was very thin but thru the summer it grew, even though it was very dry and right now it looks great!!! So fall planting WILL work!! So be patient, this plot may be great for 2009.

If you want a hunting plot, plant your clover in the spring, or consider the cereal grains like rye, wheat, oats. A tip on rye. You can plant it now, use if for green forage this fall, let it head out next spring/summer, then disk it down in mid aug. It will reseed itself that way. I have a patch that I'm on its fouth year.

Good luck!!

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Ditto what BJ says about the cereal grains. I am on year number 4 of discing a field down in Aug/Sep and letting the seed heads do the seeding for me.

I just knocked it down this weekend in fact. The beauty of cereal grains, you can dump the stuff on the ground and not even till it in, and if you get some rain the stuff will germinate. Not that I am recommending that, but its super easy stuff to grow.

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HOT SPOT, Has any one tried this?

The solution is Hot Spot — a scientifically selected blend of winter peas and buckwheat designed to be fast-germinating,and incredibly easy to plant, thanks to our revolutionary new shaker bag design. No soil-tilling is required; simply clear the ground and apply the seed right from the specialized shaker bag over a 20-yard by 20-yard area. Ideal for planting near treestands and in woodland clearings — and for luring pressured bucks that shun high traffic locations.

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Moonshine, There could be 1 more step in your process that might aid in germination. After smoothing the plot with a drag, I've found it very helpful to pack down the soil by simply driving over it with my 4 wheeler. Just keep going back and forth until you've packed it all down. A water filled pull behind roller would work even better, but I just use the wheels of my wheeler.

Packing the soil helps to make really good seed to soil contact, which is critical to good germination. My plots came in much thicker after I started doing this.

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Thanks BlackJack!

I took a look at my food plots this weekend and was suprised to see the results. The rye grass is coming in and the deer are already using it. The clover and brassicas is just popping out of the ground. They are tiny little green buds. The clover I planted was over an existing plot that dried up. In the past I have had better results planting in the fall. The following year I use

Slay and Arrest to get rid of weeds/grasses. Results have been great until this recent dry spell. No new growth and the deer munching it up pretty much eliminated the section I replaced.

As Blackjack mentioned I planted the rye as a fall green forage. My rye field was unattended last year due to my unavailability, but the disking it under method worked for me two years in a row, and its cheap.

Does anybody have any experience with a product called Forage Oats? I put a couple bags of that in another spot on Saturday. Just experimenting....

Thanks for all the replies!

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Buck Forage Oats, for the money, a big rip off if you ask me.

I planted winter rye, winter wheat, field oats and BFO all side by side a couple years ago. The winter rye was best hands down.

I dont recall exactly which one was hit best at varying times of the fall, but I remember that was all I needed to see to wipe BFO off my list of needs.

The deer did eat the BFO, but for $50 a bag versus less than $10 a bag for winter rye, save your money.......

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I would agree with BLB, I've planted BF Oats and regular oats side by side and didn't see any difference, and the regular oats is about 1/5 the cost.

BLB mentioned something that I like to do, which is to plant a lot of different types of plots, cereal grains, brassicas, clovers, corn, etc. Maybe throw in some apple trees and pumpkins. My philosophy is that it keeps the deer coming onto your property over a longer time period, they come after the clover, then as it gets colder they hit the rye grass, then the brassicas, then the corn. And where the does are, the bucks will follow - when nature's urge is upon them!!! smile

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I also did and am done with BFO - gonna plant winter rye tomorrow in some pretty sad soil, I'm sure it will grow. The stuff grew in the back of my pickup for heavens sake! Gonna also plant some buckwheat and annual clover from one of the big wigs - small plot so not a big investment.

Back to the BFO - it didn't come back up in spring like winter rye will. Maybe its not designed to do so, but it wasn't anymore of a draw than the rye in fall. You can't hunt it but in spring that rye is the first thing green and helps. Later, gonna go get dirty!

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The stuff grew in the back of my pickup

There's the definition of a road hunter - drives around with a mobile food plot in his truck grin

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I had lots of compliments on my portable food plot! No one could figure out why I had deer following my truck down the loggin roads wink

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Just so I have this right, when you talking about Rye that your either planting new or discing down in Aug/Sept, what Rye are you specifically talking about. In other words, when I go into the local seed/fert. company, what should I specifically be asking them for so that I don't get the "deer in the headlights" look at me?

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Just checked my food plot that was planted this fall. GONE !!!!ALL GONE !!!! Grashopper ate it ALL. Just a couple of small stems left. It's the only thing that it could have been. Hoppers are everywhere. SUCKS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Knew there where hoppers but didn't think they were that bad. Must have chewed it off as it came up.

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Wave - I get winter rye from the local seed co. I paid $18/bushel - higher than last year by a fair amount if I remember right.

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