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-   -   Who knew habitat was so hard. (

spaniel 08-12-2009 07:43 PM

Who knew habitat was so hard.
Being from a farm family, I thought this habitat thing was going to be relatively easy.

I bought a 16-acre former elk farm, meaning I have 11+ acres with 8-ft fences that are great for keeping out the over-populated coyotes that keep game birds from reaching significant populations around here. I started by strategically cutting several sections of fence down to 4 ft to let the deer in; in 2 years, since I have no draw to bring them in, I've only seen 2 jump in.

Last year, I tried to set up a cost-sharing arrangement with the state and get a drill through Pheasants Forever to replant. By the time the weather cooperated and I got through the 4 agencies that got involved (gov't bureacracy at its best), it was too late to plant (I'd already paid $360 to Round-up it). So I stored the seed until this year.

This year, I burned it then I bartered out my barn to a local farmer to winter his cattle in exchange for applying Round-up again. The weather turned cold, and didn't warm up for like 5 weeks. So it did not kill well at all, and I later found out they had a recall on that batch of spray so it wasn't working well anyway. But I'd already gotten the drill and replanted it no-till.

Whether because the fescue wasn't totally dead or the seed was crap after storing a year, germination was TERRIBLE. The legumes came up great, but the warm-season grasses don't appear to have come up well at all. And now my cost-sharing money is stuck up in a budget battle, so I may not get it back anytime soon.

I'm thinking for next year I will barter with the farmer again to spray half of it at double-strength Round-up then plow the sod under completely and replant. Then do the other half the following year (I want to preserve SOME habitat this year). I also got a 2-row planter setup to put in some corn plots to draw the deer in for late season when all food around here is GONE.

The only bright spot is the patch of sunflowers I worked in this year are doing great, so I should be able to salvage dove season.

timbercruiser 08-13-2009 05:18 AM

Instead of "double spraying" the Gly just put it out at the right time of year (I got a 41% 2 1/2 gallon jug the other day for $60). Although the deer will jump a 4 foot fence with no problem, they will seek out a 1 to 2 foot hole in the fence about 2 feet up and cross easier. Some corn around the proposed crossing might help also.

Soilman 08-13-2009 01:31 PM

Sorry to hear about all of the problems. I do agree with timbercruiser on the timing issue. If it is not green and growing, glyphosate will not kill it. You also may be able to plant grass into a legume with some cutting and good weather, especially if it is a low growing clover.

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