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How successful will I be?

Old 02-13-2004, 06:12 AM
  #1  
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Default How successful will I be?

I've talked to the local ag extension agent, who has been to my property and given me my soil tests, and he said I should be able to grow around 70 bushels of corn per acre on my land. At 60#'s per bushel, that's a lot of corn. Problem is, I don't have many extra acres of solid food plot to work with, so this is my plan:

*I will plant around May 15th(recommended by ag agent),with his recommend type of corn for the area, with his recommended fertalizer rate, and a ph level that is already in line.

*His recommendation was to herbacide the acre I will plant, which is in the middle of a 1.5 acre field that will be expanded to 2.5 acres this summer, adjacent to a 1 acre field, around the first of May, fertalize in Mid-May, and then till the soil with my tiller. Then, he told me I could use a type of hand-pushed single planter with a press-wheel, and plant the corn.(Unfortunately there is no round-up ready corn variety available for our short growing season yet).

*Then, I will set-up the Plot-saver fencing around the plot, and hope for the best, most likely fertalizing at least 1 more time, or whatever the ag agent recommends.

If it doesn't work, I'll just chalk it up to experience and plant my usual late summer/fall mixture rotation, and only lose the productivity of that field for about 3 months, if it works, it will be an awesome late season draw for the local deer herd on my property.

Given a decent growing season weather-wise....what do you guys think?
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Old 02-13-2004, 08:17 AM
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Default RE: How successful will I be?

What is the purpose of the corn?
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Old 02-13-2004, 09:01 AM
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Default RE: How successful will I be?

Although the oats or rye do well in late Oct., November, the clover isn't visited regularily and numerous frosts, freezes, and early snows, slow the entire food operation quite quickly during the rut and rifle season-the best time of the year. Even just a few inches of snow hurts the food plot usage, and as the deer go into their migrating phase, most migrating deer walk right over the plots on the way to staging areas before the yards. Corn would be high enough, and attractive enough to withstand quite a bit of snow, but at the same time I like to have 70-80% of my plots offering clover into spring greenup, so a large offering of corn is out of the question. Basically, If I can get an acre of corn to late October, it will be by far the #1 food source in the area, and offer a hedge against the neighboring competing bait piles of corn, beats, and carrots. Basically, I feed them the good stuff..clover and brassicas, throughout the entire growing season, but the plots experience their lowest amount of use during the best time of hunting season...I want to guard against that.
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Old 02-13-2004, 06:31 PM
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Default RE: How successful will I be?

It sounds like alot of work - I know I would try it.
but I have to warn you that corn can be fickle - and expensive.
Weed control, suffcient Nitrogen, and the 1st 4 weeks growth is what's critical for corn - usually in that order.

I've never heard that round-up ready corn couldn't be used in the North? Are you sure about that?

Thanks
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Old 02-16-2004, 06:28 AM
  #5  
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Default RE: How successful will I be?

Farm Hunter,

If it works, it will be worth the work, and if it doesn't, I'll just plant a great wheat/clover combo in the fall...not really a big deal.

According to my Ag extension agent, the short-day corn variety I need for up here is not available round-up ready. He said the Round-up ready variety is only available in the longer-day varieties designed for say WI, lower MI, or further south. We often experience frosts through the middle part of June, and around the first of Sept, so he said most of the locals plant the corn in Mid-May, with the corn not being succeptable to frost in the first 4 weeks due to the growth of the plant being underground up till that point.

I guess I feel fairly confident about the actual growth of the corn, but am a little less confident on keeping the critters out of it until maturity. According to the ag agent, soybeans simply won't work up here due to the short growing season. What I'm trying to do is have a great, easily identifiable and seen plant available with 8-10" of snow. This rules out all cereal grains, clover, and soybeans(won't grow). Brassicas may work, with the plot saver fence, but I've found that my deer really like them when young, or at any stage, and I fear they would eventually learn to jump over the plot saver fence, while at the same time the migrating deer may not easily identify the brassica planting, or it may succomb to the weight of a heavy snow causing it to be hidden to migrating deer like every other planting.

I do not know what else I could try but corn for what I'm looking for.
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Old 02-16-2004, 07:09 AM
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Default RE: How successful will I be?

Jeff, we talked last year about plant some trial plots. Would you like to plant them this spring?
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Old 02-16-2004, 07:29 AM
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Default RE: How successful will I be?

Lunchbucket,

Right now, out of the 5 7/8 acres, I have 3, 1/4 acre harvest plots to frost seed with clover, 1, 1/4 acre new plot to actually plant in clover, after 1 more application of herbacide, and the rest, except for the corn area, will be frost seeded in clover to build up fall clover/combo plantings. 1/2 of those areas will be maintained as clover until fall of 2005, and the other 1/2 will be round-uped and replanted in a fall attractant/clover combo.

I wouldn't mind trying something, especially on the 1/4 acre harvest plots, or the new clover field. That would be nice if I could get some seed from you to plant on those areas...I would greatly appreciate it. I think last time we talked my plantings were already completed for the fall.

The power-plant might be a real interesting planting on the harvest plots, and if the forage was still great into hunting season, I'd keep it, and if not, I'd till it under and plant a cereal grain/clover combo.

I've just always wanted a late season forage that could compete with the snow depths and be availabe for migrating deer. Other than the cereal grains, which worked O.K., with the Buck Forage Oats being the best so far, nothing else has really worked that well into early November, and later. An acre of corn would be awesome, but if I could plant something else and not lose the acre for clover production during the summer, that would be great!
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Old 02-16-2004, 07:52 PM
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Default RE: How successful will I be?

Jeff - It sounds like your Ag Agent has good information for a farmer in your area - but your situation is likely a little different - since you do not plant to harvest.

You should consider soybeans at some point - even if you spring plant in combination with a clover. The short growing season may hinder the bean development, and maturity - but the deer are interested in the leaves as much or more than the beans anyhow. It is however a summer plot for the most part, with some "afterfrost attraction" - Never would it be a high snow attraction however.

The corn growing days can be an issue - as corn that is not out of the mil stage at forst frost will rot, and never become hard. If you can get it in in Mid may (maybe not a realistic goal for your area) even 110 day corn could work for you. We get frosts through all of may here too, not June though.

As you know - corn is king - when snow is 2ft+ deep - I haven't found another plot that will rival corn in a snowy winter - there are some other good plots for turkeys though. This year we had 78" of snow in January alone, and are up to 145+ for the season so far with 6 weeks to go. Our couple acres of corn is LONG GONE - so are the sunflowers we tried with poor results for deer.

Each tough winter - it becomes obvious to us that we need to foster natural browse production and thermal cover. We will continue to plant corn (though we will never use a feeder) - but our plan will always include browse enhancement -

Good luck with your plan.
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Old 02-17-2004, 06:55 AM
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Default RE: How successful will I be?

Do you want a late season product?
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Old 02-20-2004, 05:51 AM
  #10  
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Default RE: How successful will I be?

I love my clover for just about all my fields, but wouldn't mind a central late season draw that would withstand a foot of snow, and be attractive for migrating deer. Almost all my plantings are in the late summer, fall, and contain a mix of clover to offer the clover for the following spring.

My ag agent has been to my land, and reviewed my initial and recent soil tests, as well as all my recommendations. The corn variety I need is in the 85 day range...that sounds familiar anyways.
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