No Spray

Discussion in 'Food Plots for Wildlife' started by srmtrap, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. srmtrap

    srmtrap Member

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    Anyone manage their stand without spraying? I hate to use the stuff quite frankly and wonder what it does to the deer and turkey and then me if I eat them. Any non-spray options?
     
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  2. cutman

    cutman Administrator Staff Member

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    Sure. Depends on what your goals are. How many acres are you talking about, what equipment do you have, etc?
     
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  3. MarkDarvin

    MarkDarvin Well-Known Member

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    I've sprayed my new place a few times, and each time I do it, I am terrified of what may follow. On non-wet areas, when I've sprayed, my situation has gone from native to horrendously glyphosate resistant enormous superweeds in one year.

    I've been working to eliminate the need to ever spray, and currently I don't own a sprayer or any chemical to put in one. I've had luck using heavy rental equipment to "create an opening" in the ecosystem with light tillage on first time plots. Then I immediately cover with cereal/clover/chicory/brassicas, and never kill it off ever again, not with tillage or chemical.

    From there, if I can't manage it with a mower, I zap my plan, not my ground. I'd rather have less options and keep the ground covered than force something that has no business happening.

    I'm surprised the habitat community hasn't evolved past glyphosate yet. We're at the point farmers were at 15 years ago. It killed everything at first, then there were escapes, then there were completely failed treatments. What followed were higher application rates (4x labeled rates) and endless applications to no avail.
     
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  4. Drycreek

    Drycreek Well-Known Member

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    I’ve not experienced that scenario Mark, and sprayed gly twice a year for ten years on one place I owned. Not on my clover plots of course, but on the annuals. I had around 5 acres of plots (in addition to two clover plots) that rotated beans or IC peas in spring or wheat/rye in the fall. I’ve used gly at the 1.5 oz. to gallon up to 2 oz. to gallon with no problems.
     
  5. farmhunter

    farmhunter Well-Known Member

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    Agreed with Drycreek - spray one sometimes 2x per year - beans/corn. Probably 10 years now. I don't have any non resistant weeds. Well - I saw some Marestail on one wet plot that handled it and some clover LOL. try to spray as little as possible -and use 32oz/acre when I do.
     
  6. srmtrap

    srmtrap Member

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    Good questions. I have 4 fields about an acre a piece...I have a tractor, disk, spreader, bush hog, york rake. Right now I have a decent amount of clover growing in each but they now need some work...weeds...and I also want to diversify a bit in terms of what I plant.
     
  7. srmtrap

    srmtrap Member

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    Very interesting. And I should have put in my opening question the whole issue of tilling too much and what it does to the soil. I disked yesterday a portion of 3 of my fields. I probably did a total of an acre. I'll re-do it in a couple of weeks to kill what's there which is mostly weeds. But the whole time I'm thinking I'm likely damaging my soil. Thus my original post. I'm at a loss. But this is interesting...you just keep it covered with what you want planted. But what do you do when you want to change it up or plant more annuals? Clover is the only perennial in your list I think?
     
  8. cutman

    cutman Administrator Staff Member

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    Have you looked at a crop roller? I think the “best” (obviously a subjective term) method for you would be to use a combination of “throw and mow” and a crop roller. You will have to get good at timing your field activities, get lucky with rain, and accept that your plots won’t be picture perfect beautiful, but I think it will work.
     
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  9. srmtrap

    srmtrap Member

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    I have not looked into that or considered it yet. I remember taking a stab at throw and mow and I failed miserably but I learned from here that I took a little knowledge and tried to apply it...not good. But I always thought spraying was a key to throw and mow.
     
  10. cutman

    cutman Administrator Staff Member

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    That’s where the roller comes in. You can terminate a crop with a roller instead of chemical.
     
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  11. weekender21

    weekender21 Well-Known Member

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    I haven’t sprayed my 2018 plots yet. My neighbor is planning to bush hog them over the next few weeks. I’m planting on 27/28 August. I’ll spray if needed but not just for the heck of it.

    I was amazed how weed free my newly cleared fall (September 2018) plot was this spring/summer. The rye grain really does a great job preventing the small weed seeds from growing.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  12. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    I like your thinking, I don't like chemicals either, I guess I view them as a necessary evil required for most notill systems, but total no-till and no herbicides can work with a no-till drill and a crop roller. However throw n mow without tillage or herbicides is much tougher, you need everything going right for crops to grow.
    Broadleaf weeds in your clover aren't so bad, it's the grass type weeds that you really need to carry the fight to, and there's one really good option without chemicals. Disc the clover field in late summer until half the clover has disappeared, the idea is to see 50% dirt so the new seeding has some soil contact. With some types of dirt and equipment this might be one pass, some types it will take 3 passes or more. After preparing a seedbed, overseed cereal rye pretty heavy, 100 to 200 lb per acre. The clover will pop right back up for fall grazing, just add more clover seed if the clover stand was thin before you started. Meanwhile the rye will kill all the grass and some of the broadleaf weeds. By spring you will have only rye and clover growing which grow very well together. Terminate the rye at your convenience in early summer by mowing after the rye is about tall enough to set seed heads, or just let it go to seed and die on it's own. The deer won't have any trouble getting to the clover in the rye and you will have a weed free clover patch. Follow this plan every year for a perpetual clover plot.
    Plowing for tillage is bad because turning over the soil kills a lot of beneficial fungi. Discing doesn't go deep enough to kill the fungi in the soil, so discing to several inches deep is an acceptable conservation practice if it doesn't lead to soil erosion, andis noted for your soil. The level of discing that I'm proposing here is supposed to leave enough rooted plants that erosion shouldn't be a problem. This system will also work for an oats or wheat and brassica combination but you won't have the allopathic properties of rye, and brassica often doesn't germinate well in rye for me.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
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  13. MarkDarvin

    MarkDarvin Well-Known Member

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    If you have really good soil, you can get away with abusing it for quite a while. I don't have that luxury. My topsoil is thin, I'm abnormally wet about a solid month longer than most, and probably 8" above growing cattails.

    As far as managing this and changing it up, that's still a work in progress. This year, I broadcasted all my seed early June and mowed it the same day. I had pretty good germination of stuff, but the rates were too low. I ended up with a solid stand of clover and only traces of what I had overseeded. Next year, I'd like to broadcast and wait a week or two to mow. I think that would help take the top off the clover and what I threw on would have gotten a chance to sprout and root down.

    I also broadcasted forage barley as early as possible. Once my standing water was down to about a half inch deep, I was out there with a bucket throwing it down. The clover hadn't quite come on yet, so the barley took really well.

    If you can keep living stuff out there all year, lots of problems go away. No more soil crusting, less stress from drought and flood, you've always got clover to fall back on, and you'll have a solid soil environment full of AM fungi and a network of fungal hyphae moving nutrients around. When you till, you kill all that and all those prayer events come back into play.
     
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  14. srmtrap

    srmtrap Member

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    Ohhhh! Gotcha. Thank you for that!
     
  15. srmtrap

    srmtrap Member

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    Wow that is extremely helpful. I will give this a go and thanks so much.
     
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  16. dogghr

    dogghr Well-Known Member

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    YouTube “Ray the soil guy “and watch his videos or read his stuff. It’s a game changer from chemicals to planting choices to crop rotations. It’s no coincidence influx of certain plants into a plot. Once one accepts that and spends as much time analyzing why a plant is there as they do what chemical to use then a whole new world opens up. I’m not anti anything w foodplotting but we often make it way too complicated.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  17. MarkDarvin

    MarkDarvin Well-Known Member

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    Ray is an excellent teacher. I highly recommend him. I've watched about every soil health, biology, chemistry, and cover crop seed video out there (winter was really bad here). If you're ready to invest the time, these are the three I'd recommend.

    Ray will teach you about what happens when you get your soil physics right and what happens when you get them wrong.


    Keith will give you a good education on what happens when you get diverse plant mixes correct.


    Forget the organic label on this video. This is a tremendous single shot of education that explains the relationship between sunlight, moisture, plant diversity, and the organisms that colonize the roots and the fungal interstate system that connects them.
     
  18. Baker

    Baker Well-Known Member

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    I don't like using chemicals! For me drenching GMO crops with gly as a food for anything is unacceptable and I do not do it. That doesn't mean that I have been able to get away from using gly to control weeds though.However I have learned how to avoid using chemicals on anything the animals eat. The key is when to spray.

    I have been total no till for over 10 years on lousy soil....though it is improving. With fall planting coming up, I will roller crimp my summer crops about Sept.1 That will terminate all the plantings the deer eat leaving some grasses, sickle pod and a few weeds that are not grazed. I will drill fall cultivars directly into the thatch then spray with gly to kill the grasses and weeds.

    Same process for spring planting. IF REQUIRED [ and often its not ] I will spray after terminating the winter cultivars before planting the summer rotation. Practically speaking there is nothing in the fields the deer are eating then.

    Clover I simply mow to manage broadleaf weeds. If grasses become a problem I spray cleth late summer when the clover has essentially disappeared from heat stress. Generally only have to do that every few years.

    I simply do not spray anything after crops get going. If there are weeds or grasses so be it. The fields are for animal consumption not aesthetic appeal or commercial harvest.

    My crops do no look like the farmers crops along the highway. But I am growing healthy deer not commercial harvest.I am a big fan of Ray, Dave Brandt, and all those leading edge no till farmers. Dirt to Soil is one of the best books I have read in a long time Got several video's on my youtube channel showing how I try to mimic their approach. Heres one

     
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  19. TreeDaddy

    TreeDaddy Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the links

    bill
     
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