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First attempt at Semisane's no-till food plot method

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First attempt at Semisane's no-till food plot method

Old 06-25-2017, 11:01 AM
  #11  
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Sorry for the late update. I've been really busy as of late.

I went out to check on the plot last weekend. There were quite a few lablab plants visible. . . :



. . . as well as some sunflowers. . . :



. . .but unfortunately, well. . .:







That's not exactly what I intended when I planted the plot. I saw some grasses emerging the last time I visited, but I didn't realize how much of it was about to come up. Something else disappointing I noticed was how sparse the lablab and sunflowers were. I probably should have put down at least twice as much seed as I did.

I'm going to go ahead and call it: this plot wasn't a success. However, I refuse to call it a failure either. I did get some tender vegetation for the deer to feed on, and I've already seen a doe and a fawn frequenting the plot.

In spite of how this attempt turned out, I'm going to try again in the fall, with some slight modifications. I'm going to go with a mix of cereal grains, clovers, and winter peas all seeded about twice the recommended rate. Hopefully that will ensure enough of them get established to ensure a good plot. Also, in the fall, I hope the grasses won't be much of an issue.
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Old 06-25-2017, 11:20 AM
  #12  
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Well DAMN TN, that's a bummer. I suspect the deer hit a lot of your young sprouts.

I would hit that plot as soon a possible with a good dose of Gly before that grass gets tough or starts to seed. Maybe even throw some seed into the grass, then hit it with the Gly.
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Old 06-25-2017, 11:38 AM
  #13  
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Semisane, have you tried this method for spring plots?
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Old 06-25-2017, 02:52 PM
  #14  
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I have not because I've always had good clover/chicory growth in the Spring from the seed planted with my Fall plot of wheat & oats. But if you go with something suitable for late Spring/Early summer planting I see no reason it would not work. In my mind almost anything would be better than letting that grass grow. Perhaps millet? It can be planted at almost any time of the year. Check your state's ag web site to see what might be suitable for planting in June/July.
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Old 06-29-2017, 07:56 AM
  #15  
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Couple of suggestions:

First, you said you used 2,4-D. I would suggest a general use herbicide like glyphosate instead, as 2,4-D is specifically a broadleaf killer. It will not kill grass. I don't know how long you waited between the spray and planting, but 2,4-D can have a residual effect on some broad leafs, and could have possibly hurt your germination and growth percentages.

Another thing I would suggest. Get 4 cattle panels at a farm store and wire them together to create a small exclusion spot. You will never see some of the things the deer eat, nor know how much they eat. With an exclusion spot, you have a benchmark. You can see how much the deer are utilizing the plot, and you will also be able to see if germination was a problem or if the deer eating the emerging seedlings played a role. And if you have lots of rabbits, put something at the bottom to exclude them, too. Then you won't accidentally be misattributing the lack of growth or density to operational failures and trying to make changes IF the problem was wildlife use.

Sunflowers are probably something I would skip in most food plots. They aren't consistent performers and there are much better forage options for deer out there. If birds are a plot consideration, there are still better options, like grain sorghum.
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Old 06-29-2017, 08:22 AM
  #16  
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All good points North Texan. Especially with respect to exclusion cages, though cattle panels are a bit expensive for that purpose. An 8' or 10' length of 2" x 4" x 48" fence wire formed into a circle works quite well.

Even a small one like this will do the job.

SL Exclusion Cage 02-18-17 by Van Lopez, on Flickr" />
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Old 07-06-2017, 02:48 PM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by Semisane View Post
All good points North Texan. Especially with respect to exclusion cages, though cattle panels are a bit expensive for that purpose. An 8' or 10' length of 2" x 4" x 48" fence wire formed into a circle works quite well.

Even a small one like this will do the job.

SL Exclusion Cage 02-18-17 by Van Lopez, on Flickr" />
My only issue with that one is the frames for the clip and weigh system I use for measuring forage are 37 3/16" square. The smaller the exclusion, the lower the ability to take samples and measurements.
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Old 07-06-2017, 06:44 PM
  #18  
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Good point NT. I don't measure forage. Ever since an embarrassing incident when I was a teenager I've tended to avoid measuring things.
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Old 07-07-2017, 06:46 PM
  #19  
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I had thought to put an exclusion cage out, but just kept forgetting to. I definitely will next time.

An employee at the local farmers' Co-op recommended I use a mixture of Glyphosate and Crossbow. Not going to worry about it any more this summer, though. Come fall, I'll try again.
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Old 07-08-2017, 07:26 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by TN Lone Wolf View Post
I had thought to put an exclusion cage out, but just kept forgetting to. I definitely will next time.

An employee at the local farmers' Co-op recommended I use a mixture of Glyphosate and Crossbow. Not going to worry about it any more this summer, though. Come fall, I'll try again.
Are you mixing any ammonium sulfate in with your glyphosate?
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