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Crop Rotation

Old 06-04-2003, 07:36 AM
  #1  
Nontypical Buck
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Default Crop Rotation

What are good combinations of crops to rotate each year? For example, if I plant corn in a plot this year what would be good to plant there next year . . .or how about Buckwheat one year, what the next? I' m in central Vermont and our growing season is a short one - June 1 through mid September is usually frost free.

Thanks for your input . . . Rob
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Old 06-04-2003, 06:10 PM
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Nontypical Buck
 
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Default RE: Crop Rotation

Hevre are 2 interesting links that should answer your question:

http://www.mountvernon.org/pioneer/farms/rotation.html
http://www.ext.nodak.edu/extpubs/pla...ops/eb48-1.htm

Dan O.
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Old 06-05-2003, 06:25 AM
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Default RE: Crop Rotation

First, I really only want to plant a combination that will shine in hunting season, but have a clover base to be an attraction the next spring and summer, without the competition of the fall attractant still hanging around.

For me, that leaves planting a brassica/clover combo or a oats/clover combo. My local ag extension agent told me that would be a decent crop rotation for my purposes, and wouldn' t put any type of strain on my soil.

My two central fields this year are and will be planted in a brassica/clover combo(Biologic' s Premium Perennial). One field was planted in early May, the other will be planted in July with adequate moisture.

My two outside fields will be planted in a Buckforage Oats/clover combo.

I' ll plant each field once each year, and just rotate the combos, always having clover as my base.

Around my house, oats should be planted about mid-August, while I' ve had great luck with both May and mid-July plantings of brassica/clover combos. The " icing on the cake" would be Biologic' s Premium Perrenial, in which the 6 varieties of brassicas included in the mix have 3 that mature for palability early, and 3 that mature for palability late, giving you a potential brassica crop for the entire year, with a base of a 4 clover variety and chicory. We' ll see how it works with my 5/10 planting of this year.

By planting the above combos and times of year, I not only get the rotation, but I' m never tilling up more than 1/2 of all my acres at one time, so my deer can always eat well on the property and don' t have to wander too far away.

I' m always trying to squeeze in another 1/2 acre or more each year of food plot so that there are always adequate acres of food plot even if a field or two is tilled up.

Right now I' m at almost 4 3/4 acres, and I hope to be closer to 6 by the end of next year. At this point I just have to make sure I add strategically, and smart, with access, huntability, and safety areas/bedding areas in mind.

Jeff...U.P. of Michigan
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Old 06-05-2003, 06:43 AM
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Default RE: Crop Rotation

This is the rotation we use mainly on our farm in Western Wisconsin. We have been active in Nitrogen Crediting and minimum tillage practices due to the severe slopes here. Corn - Soybeans - Corn - New Seeding - Hay - Hay - Hay. Not sure what to say on the barley, never grown it before. I would think it would be close to an oats crop and could be usefull as a cover crop and planted with your new seeding and then harvested when it heads out. If you wanted to plant it more often you could work that in with your corn rotation. When you harvest your barley (if not planted with other legumes) try and plant winter wheat after harvest. This adds nitrogen to the soil and also gives the deer something to munch on late fall and into the spring.



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Old 06-05-2003, 09:11 PM
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Default RE: Crop Rotation

Good question Rob, there' s lots of good answers, you' ve already got several.

I' ll tell you what I do, though I' m still experimenting with different rotations.

First, I always want to plant corn following clover (or alfalfa if your ph is good enough). This is because of the N content availible the first 2 years of corn. Then If the site is good, I' ll keep corn there 2 more years. In the last 2 years I will have to add more Nitrogen - but its worth it. The corn needs to be sprayed or at least cultivated well until its knee high, this will get rid of any sod build up - after 4 years of corn, a feild is a PLEASURE to prepare again for clover, with little or no sod (grasses) to bust up, and few weeds to contend with. I cultivate rather than spray my corn.

As far as other rotations go - Buckwheat (spring planting) & Rye(fall planting) are often good 1st time plots on plowed sod soils, the roots are extensive, and help break up sod and loosen up the soil for the next year' s clover or legume plot.

We are going to play with two acres of soybeans (follows corn) this year - I' ll probably post on the results. We plan to row plant it in the corn planter, and cultivate like the corn. At last cultivation in August, we will broadcast Rye/clover as a cover crop, and fall food source. Hopefully it will take hold well enough to become a clover plot the next year. At least thats the plan right now

Fall plantings in the North should always be winter hardy ( clover/ rye, rye, clover/winter wheat, etc.) No sense planting soybeans, cowpeas, buckwheat or any other frost intolerant plants in the fall.
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Old 06-06-2003, 07:46 AM
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Default RE: Crop Rotation

farm hunter Im developing some new small plots Id like to plant to oats every year as an attractant. Would it be ok to plant buck wheat in these plots the first of June every year to keep the deer used to feeding in these areas. Then plant the oats in mid August. Do the deer hit the buckwheat pretty well during mid-summer? I was hoping the buckwheat might be attractive to the deer about the time the soybeans in the area start to get less appealing.
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Old 06-06-2003, 09:47 AM
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Default RE: Crop Rotation

Try planting oats with clover during the fall planting season. You will have the attraction of the oats for hunting season, but the improved nutritional and preferance of the clover for the following spring and summer.

Jeff...U.P. of Michigan
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Old 06-06-2003, 08:40 PM
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Default RE: Crop Rotation

Thanks for the replys guys! Very useful information.

I have been told to plant buckwheat around July 1st, which the deer will begin feeding on in early October. Do you agree with this? I was also told that they will feed on it for only a week or so, something about how palitable it is to them. What are your thoughts?
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Old 06-08-2003, 07:31 PM
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Default RE: Crop Rotation

Rob,

I' ve planted buckwheat a couple times. Its best as a spring planting, as a summer forage, and the deer really eat on it hard when the seeds are just forming 8-10 weeks from planting. They will eat the whole tops (which will be about shoulder height with good soil). In my experience, once the seeds turn brown and get hard, the deer stop eating it - and birds & mice come from all over. If its still growing at first frost (mid september in NY where I am), its done after that. In fact - frost will lay it flat right on the ground (good for mice and birds, but not deer in Mid Oct).

July planted buckwheat will offer some forage in the end of August/beginning of sept. It could be the seeds will not ever get hard when July planted. But do not count on it as a fall forage after the 1st frost. Again, I Like buckwheat for the massive root structure (read sod-buster) in a new planting, and for how easily it breaks down in the soil - a great first planting on sod heavy soil.

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