Best way to prep cleared land for soybeans?

Discussion in 'Food Plots for Wildlife' started by Paradise725, Dec 28, 2018.

  1. Paradise725

    Paradise725 Active Member

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    Well, today I met with the dozer operator and got a better idea of what the project will require. I don’t think I’ll be able to get all I want done for $2k. The biggest worry the operator, Curtis, had was where we are going to put all of the trees once we push them down.

    He thinks it would take at least 3-4 dozer piles based on the size of the trees. I planned to have him push up a blockade on the eastern side of the plot to cover my access route to the stand I plan to hang, however I think I would still be left with at least 1-2 large dozer piles.

    He suggested burning as we go, but that will require much more time. Basically, to get a nice clean field with minimal dead trees to deal with, he’s thinking $5-6k. Interestingly enough, I got a bid from someone a year ago to do this same project, and they came in at the same price. Unfortunately, $5-6k just isn’t within my budget this year. I am debating two options at this point:

    First option would be to have him start with the area directly adjacent to the tree I plan to hang the killing stand from. Essentially, i would tell him to make the biggest, nicest plot adjacent to that stand that I can get for $2k. Pros would be the resulting plot would be picturesque, and could be expanded in future years. Big con would be the resulting plot would be too small to grow soybeans without future expansion. I’ve tried 1 acre size bean plots on this farm before and there is too much browse pressure to be successful. I really think I’ll need the full 3 acres to be successful.

    Second option would be to have him clear as much as he possibly can, with primary focus on maximizing open ground available for planting, and have him push the trees to the edge of the field except for in a few critical areas to allow deer movement into and out of the plot. Pro would be maximum cleared ground available for planting (likely enough to do soybeans) as soon as possible. Con would be it wouldn’t look very pretty for another year or two until I could get someone back in there to clean things up.

    I’m going to discuss with the other guys on the farm, but until then I’d love to hear other thoughts.
     
  2. deer patch

    deer patch Active Member

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    I have a 3 acre plot that has 3 different dozer piles placed in a way to funnel deer to come by in strategic locations. It has taken about 10 years for the dozer piles to rot enough that the deer are wanting to make their own trails through them. Since I'm done hunting this year I am going to cut some junk trees and fill it back in to funnel deer where I want them. I would rather have the piles to funnel deer than not having them them their to funnel deer.

    You could always let him pile them up and burn them yourself later if you have the resources to keep it from getting out of control.
     
  3. Drycreek

    Drycreek Well-Known Member

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    I believe I might have him clear as much as possible and leave the timber in a long windrow in the middle with a couple breaks in it. When that timber has dried a good bit you can burn it yourself, taking it in thirds if you want to. You can "punch" the piles with a farm tractor to burn most of it if you have a bucket on it. The rest of the small stuff you can throw on by hand.

    That's pretty well how I cleared all my big plots. I sold what timber I could, had a track hoe to clear the remainder and dig the stumps, then I let it sit until the piles dried out. They will burn MUCH better when dry, and meanwhile you can farm most of the plot. The windrow of trees won't take up that much room. After you get the piles burned spread the ashes out, (you're still gonna have chunks and roots for a couple years) and keep on plotting.

    Edit: Deer Patch is a faster typer than I am.:) I thought about leaving some piles too, but the operator in me just won't let me do that. I can hardly stand to leave small brush piles for the little critters to hide in but I tell myself it's for the best.
     
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  4. wbpdeer

    wbpdeer Well-Known Member

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    Pretty and picturesque are golf course words. We are deer hunting so I suggest you maximize your $$ to get the deer hunting better. If you wind up with a smaller foot print of beans could you protect it with the types of fencing folks use? I don't know - that is for you to answer.

    I took a small John Deere tractor and worked for a month to clear and bottom field. I spent money on lime and fertilizer and planted sunflowers, beans, clover and cow peas. It was a beautiful field - especially the sunflower. They brought in all kinds of birds. I was so excited for the upcoming deer season - at least I thought. We took pictures and then we had no deer sightings. Why? The cover was gone and we had put too much human pressure in that field. I have never forgotten that lesson.

    We are currently creating food plots on a farm that was timbered two years ago. We like long dozier piles to restrict where deer enter and exit.

    The previous posters that suggest you locate dozier piles now to save money and burn later seems to make sense to me. Bill Winke uses Egytian Wheat as his screens to access a stand. We likely will try that in a few locations.

    Those dozier piles will improve turkey hunting locations in the short run.

    I encourage you to stick to your $2 K budget - it make require you to spent some $$ later and it might not.

    If you use a protective fence - you can use it again or sell the components.

    If a plot has some trash and brush in it - a target buck is more likely to feel at home IMO.

    Wayne
     
  5. wbpdeer

    wbpdeer Well-Known Member

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    I have another option to think about. In your proposed area, can you make two small plots with a small section of timber between them.

    Cut a small area of trees between the two plots to create a deer walking path. That is your hunting spot for a bow.

    This may be a bad idea but if you want to stick to $2 K, you have to think outside the box. At a later time you can eliminate the timber between the two smaller plots.

    You are creating an hour glass hunting situation. You clear less land but set up the bow hunting.
     
  6. Drycreek

    Drycreek Well-Known Member

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    This is another good idea. Make your bucks want to see what's in that other plot.

    I kinda solve that by making L shaped plots. Another way is to clear your plot (if it's long and straight) in such a direction as to have your bucks come to the end you're hunting in order to scent check what's in the plot. I had one like that that I hunted on a N or NE wind. The plot ran generally SW to NE from my stand. Most all the bucks would come across it on my end to scent check and visually check the plot.
     
  7. Chipdasqrrl

    Chipdasqrrl Active Member

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    Depending on the goal for your soybeans, you could just get an acre or so cleared and buy an electric fence for it. That would ensure that there is plenty of food come hunting season, but not in the summer.


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  8. cutman

    cutman Administrator Staff Member

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    I would delay the project until I could afford to do it right. 3 acres of brush piled up in one spot is going to be massive and difficult to burn without a trackhoe.
     
  9. Paradise725

    Paradise725 Active Member

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    [​IMG]
    The areas highlighted black above are where I’m thinking to have him push the trees.


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  10. Drycreek

    Drycreek Well-Known Member

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    If you have room for that, I don't see a problem.
     
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  11. deer patch

    deer patch Active Member

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    Are their any deer trails thru that area that come by a good tree now? If so don't block them off with the brush piles and just capitalize. The pile on the top right of the picture needs to be moved to one side IMO. My deer here love to come out in the corners of the plots. You know your area better than anyone else so do what works best for you.
     
  12. Paradise725

    Paradise725 Active Member

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    The red star on the east edge of the future plot halfway back has a nice trail on it currently running east-west. There is a perfect tree with multiple large trunks right at the point where that trail intersects the future plot. I plan to hunt that spot with a straight north or NW wind. The deer bed to the NW of the plot on further out the ridge also. I plan to improve that bedding to encourage N-S travel through the plot. My access is from the SE corner and possibly during ideal conditions from the NE corner. I think I may rethink how I screen that northern end a little bit to leave both NE and NW corners wide open for entry into field.


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  13. Paradise725

    Paradise725 Active Member

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    Quick update: I’m hoping to get started clearing next Saturday. Unfortunately, the weather doesn’t look like it is going to cooperate. With baby #2 due Feb 18, I’m coming to terms with the possibility of having to put the project off until March. I’m afraid I’m going to lose too much topsoil if I have it done when it’s this wet. I’ll keep everyone posted, but fingers crossed for dry weather this week!


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  14. wbpdeer

    wbpdeer Well-Known Member

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    Been wet - guessing you have put this on hold for that reason.

    I have ran the dozier a few days but ground is wet for us too. I have a gentle slope that I dries up fast that I have worked on.

    Wayne
     
  15. Paradise725

    Paradise725 Active Member

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    Yep that’s exactly the case. To me it isn’t worth it to make a mess of the place. If I have to wait until March I will, but that’s going to make getting the ph down fairly difficult. I’ll likely go with pelletized lime and incorporate into the soil right after we clear the plot.

    Glad you’re still able to get some work done at your place. Do you have a property thread where you are documenting your progress?


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  16. wbpdeer

    wbpdeer Well-Known Member

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    No on the property thread. My son and I have not discussed that. I will likely yield to his point of view.

    Our ground is well suited to the "hollows being the sanctuary" and the "ridges being the plots". This setup makes hunting fairly simple.

    We will have three big plots and plenty of smaller plots. pH will be a two year solution on some of our plot sites.

    Your clock is on the last 30 days for Feb 18th countdown!!!

    Wayne
     
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