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Lots of food plot questions - breaking new ground. Looking for suggestions.

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Lots of food plot questions - breaking new ground. Looking for suggestions.

Old 04-28-2006, 08:21 AM
  #1  
Nontypical Buck
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Default Lots of food plot questions - breaking new ground. Looking for suggestions.

As can be seen on the picture below, the areas in green are all new food plots that I plan to put in this year. This weekend after my Saturday morning hunt (this property is in PA) I plan to break ground and hopefully get some lime in the ground so it has a solid 90 days to leech in and hopfully raise the PH before I plan to seed in August.

My main focus will be the food plot that is on the southwest corner of the property, this is the largest one we are putting in. It will be about 3/4 of an acre. We plan to plant 75% of this plot in full draw, 25% in maximum, and 25% in premium perennial. The other plot on the southeast corner I would like to break ground on this weekend as well if time permits.

Both the southern patches are hay fields that are approx 10 years old and haven't been worked (other than a brush hogging last fall) for about 10 years. Initial soil testing w/ a Mossy Oak ph tester show levels between 5.5 and 6.0ph. The soil is about 4-6" of nice loamy topsoil, on top of ground below that is half way between sandy and clay....not really either but definitely a bit rocky. Both of the southern plots have had horse manure spread on them 2-3x a week for the last 3 years. For equipment, I have a 29 horse 4wd kubota, a 2 bottom plow, a rake, and a seeder/spreader that will handle 500lbs of whatever you wish to put in it.

My main question is what is the best way for me to break ground on these plots? Should I be buying a disc? Should I be breaking ground w/ the plow and then discing, or breaking ground w/ a disc? If I need to buy a disc, I will but don't know if I need one when I have a plow. When in this process is the best time to lime? I have 2250 lbs of powdered lime in bags, but am not sure if I should apply before or after the ground is broken, or if I should be breaking ground, spreading lime, and then discing or raking it after? I have a seeder/spreader that will hold up to 500lbs of lime in it at a time for the back of the Kubota so I should be able to spread the lime pretty easily.

If someone could explain the best process so that I don't overwork/underwork the soil, it would be greatly appreciated. I have spent a lot ofmoney preparing for this project and really want to have some quality food plots this year. Your help is appreciated!

~Matt


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Old 04-28-2006, 08:35 AM
  #2  
Fork Horn
 
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Default RE: Lots of food plot questions - breaking new ground. Looking for suggestions.

Rick, IMO, the best way to break new ground is to go in with a 2 or 3 bottom plow and turn the soil over, let sit for a few weeks to rot down, then go over with your disc to break it up and smooth it down some, then run a cultivator over it, then lime/fert/seed. This is how I'd recommend if doing for a crop(corn,beans,etc). If the purpose is just to break up the soil to put in clovers,food plots,etc,without needing to break up the top soil for 6"-10", then instead of using a bottom plow, you could use a cultivator to break up the soil to the depth of a few inches, either let it sit awhile, or just go right in with a disc and break up soil clumps and smooth out,then fert/lime/seed. Just a poor dirt farmers opinion. Happy Growing. Taz
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Old 04-28-2006, 09:23 AM
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Default RE: Lots of food plot questions - breaking new ground. Looking for suggestions.

ORIGINAL: tazimna

Rick, IMO, the best way to break new ground is to go in with a 2 or 3 bottom plow and turn the soil over, let sit for a few weeks to rot down, then go over with your disc to break it up and smooth it down some, then run a cultivator over it, then lime/fert/seed. This is how I'd recommend if doing for a crop(corn,beans,etc). If the purpose is just to break up the soil to put in clovers,food plots,etc,without needing to break up the top soil for 6"-10", then instead of using a bottom plow, you could use a cultivator to break up the soil to the depth of a few inches, either let it sit awhile, or just go right in with a disc and break up soil clumps and smooth out,then fert/lime/seed. Just a poor dirt farmers opinion. Happy Growing. Taz
Good info Taz.....much appreciated. So from what I am gathering, you don't think I should attempt to disc/rake/plow a second time after the lime has been spread? I really don't know anything about this stuff, but I was assuming that discing/plowing/raking after the lime was laid would help it get into the soil a bit....is this a bad assumption?

Thanks so much for your help!
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Old 04-29-2006, 06:11 PM
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Default RE: Lots of food plot questions - breaking new ground. Looking for suggestions.

I would go in with the bottom plows and break the land. let stand a couple mo's. or more, (so as the grasses and stuf has time to rot some).then I would lime and disk,let set till ready to plant(this gives the lime time to get in),fert. and seed,run the disk real shalow.thats the way I do every year.
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Old 04-30-2006, 08:01 AM
  #5  
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Default RE: Lots of food plot questions - breaking new ground. Looking for suggestions.

[ol][*]Send soil sample to state university soil test lab.[*]Spray with glyphosate (round up) first, 41% 2qt per acre, let sit for two weeks.[*]Plow, then disk, soil permitting.[*]Spread lime and fertilizer, per soil test, disk into soil.[*]Plant desired plot -considering time of year, usage, weed control, maintenance, and future plot rotations. [/ol]


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Old 04-30-2006, 04:23 PM
  #6  
Typical Buck
 
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Default RE: Lots of food plot questions - breaking new ground. Looking for suggestions.

i would spread your lime (or half of it) before plowing. then plow it under 4-8 inches. on every soil test i get back, there is a form for incorporation depth adjustment for lime. theextension officesreccomendation for limeis for something like 12". if you are only disking it in 3", you only use 1/4 of their recommentation. for example, if the soil test says you need 2500 lbs of lime per acre (that's assuming you are not going with 12" incorporation), and are just plowing/disking it in for 6 or 3 inches. you would just need 1250 or 625 lbs/acre of lime.

so spread your lime. plow it under, when it comes time to disk spread your other half of the lime. that way you raise the ph in the entire root zone, not just at the surface.
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