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Clover - Crop Rotation

Old 07-14-2006, 09:35 PM
  #1  
Nontypical Buck
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Default Clover - Crop Rotation

Below is a progression of a field with Marginal Soil (heavy clay - 6.0 to 6.5Ph) over a couple years. These photos might be helpful if you are considering rotation - this was not a series of perfect plantings - but we learned alot along the way. We discovered Round up corn & Soybeams in 2003 - that made a big difference.


These are all the same field:

2001 - 2nd year corn plot - Cultivated:


2002 corn: - No picture - fair corn - some weeds - we cultivated

2003 corn: - Cultivating could not keep up with Ragweed - (last year corn this plot)



2004 - After 3 years corn - we decided to rotate the field - and reduce the Ragweed seed base - we used Roundup Ready Soybeans



6/2005 - with so much exposed soil due to roundup soybeans the year before - we decided to spray in June - and Broadcast clover in Early July



In September 2005 - the clover was coming in - but it was spotty.


As a result of a thin plot - we rolled & expanded the plot and over seeded it in April 2006.


The plot thickened nicely - and we Mowed it in June 2006 - especially we reduced the annual weeds by mowing(daisy, ragweed, etc) - grasses were very very few.

1 week after mowing - July 9th - Year #2 White Clover mix - now ready for serious deer use:



This gives you a sense - of a plot in progress - it never really ends - and you need to react from year to year. We hope to get 3-4 years out of the 2 acre clover plot - then go back to corn - with healthy soil.

Hope you liked the progression

FH



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Old 07-15-2006, 03:42 AM
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Default RE: Clover - Crop Rotation

FH - very nice!

-fsh
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Old 07-16-2006, 01:31 PM
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Default RE: Clover - Crop Rotation

Yes, real nice. Alot can be learned from these pictures. Alot of food first time plotters are not aware of how important weed control is.
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Old 07-16-2006, 07:23 PM
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Default RE: Clover - Crop Rotation

Nice shots Farm Hunter. Are you reaching the point where the crops aren't completely consumed by winter's end or are you still expanding?

Dan O.
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Old 07-16-2006, 10:43 PM
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Default RE: Clover - Crop Rotation

Yes Dan - This was the first year (since 2000) when I plowed under whole ears of corn.Not a ton of them (dozens not hundreds) - but it was obvious to me that for once - we provided more food than the Winter herd could consume.We could see this coming (lower deer population in general) - and we backed off the winter (corn) plots - and put in more Summer Plots like soybeans ans clover.

This year I've noticedtwin fawns (lacking the last few years due to heavy snows).



Also my soybeans are taking a beating more thannormal - I hopethey can establish - toflourish in Late July anbd August - but right now I'm not sure. The corn has been Stunted by 8-10" more than normal rainfall in July - we're hoping it gets going soon ( 2 weeks late planting shows)



We haven't seen any MONSTER bucks - but have seen a couple Healthy 2.5 yrs olds that we are trying to promote:





Its fun posting progress and failure - it forces you to truly evaluate your program. Ours is not perfect by any means - but its been getting better and better - and been enjoyable.

FH



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Old 07-19-2006, 08:12 PM
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Default RE: Clover - Crop Rotation

Sean, this is a switch , do you use anything to kill the grass that comes up in the clover, that doesnt kill off the clover as well....
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Old 07-19-2006, 08:34 PM
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Default RE: Clover - Crop Rotation

Hi Ron - no we don't use any spray once the clover comes in . The Key is to plant clover following Roundup Corn and/or Round up Soybeans for a couple years. Sure we get some grasses - but most of the weeds are annuals and controlled by mowing alone(as long as the clover becomes well established). We can mow for 2-3 years and have a fairly homogeneous clover plot if its well established - before the grasses start to compete.

Thanks - I"ll post more pics later this summer.

Sean
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Old 07-21-2006, 06:47 PM
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Default RE: Clover - Crop Rotation

farm hunter, great explanation with pictures...thanks, keep up the explanations and suggestions.
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Old 07-26-2006, 09:11 PM
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Default RE: Clover - Crop Rotation

I remember some of those older pics being put up here years ago (the round up ready seeds specifically).

Are you striving for 3-4 years of taht clover for a reason? I'm in confidence you could easily do 5-6 on the same plot with maintenance, and get great results. Not only that, but in my experience, the deer patterning becomes easier, as adult does train their fawns around this set up. You could easily getdialed inon two generations of mature deer this way.

You've got a great setup!
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