Pearl millet

Discussion in 'Food Plots for Wildlife' started by Creek chub, Feb 23, 2019.

  1. Creek chub

    Creek chub Active Member

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    Anybody tried hybrid pearl millet for soil improvement?

    If so, was it worth the price of the seed?
     
  2. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Hardiness Zone:
    6a
    I planted hybrid pearl millet in early June, zone 6b, for soil improvement and it was a huge success, to the point of being a problem the following year with so much plant residue that it affected my ability to notill drill a crop the following spring. This particular strain grew into a jungle 8-10' tall on somewhat dry, relatively poor shale soil, with thick stalks that stayed standing until late winter and made a perfect screen as well. I had to chop the field with a brush hog to plant the next spring. The seed attracted birds and doves but I didn't see deer touching any of it, and it seemed like the deer even hesitated to go through it because it was so thick, they had a few trails and beds, but considering the high dpsm and the location between food and bedding area I was surprised by the limited usage. So, to summarize, pearl millet will definitely be in my toolbox for future use, especially for screens, I'm actually planning some for this spring. Make sure you get a tall variety if you are using the pearl millet for a screen. P. S. I mixed iron clay cowpeas into the mix and that also added to the jungle. Go online and check out Ray's Crazy Summer Mix from King's Agriseeds in Lancaster PA for a great cheap soilbuilder/ deer mix, it has the pearl millet component. This stuff grew like dynamite for me.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2019
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  3. Creek chub

    Creek chub Active Member

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    I have Sunn Hemp seed too. Wonder if a combo of the two would be worth trying?
     
  4. THE LLC

    THE LLC Well-Known Member

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    Doves love it.
     
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  5. swat1018

    swat1018 Well-Known Member

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    If you are looking for deer usage, it's a bust. Birds love it. If you are strictly managing for deer use a sorghum/milo variety.
     
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  6. Creek chub

    Creek chub Active Member

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    I have an old logging road that both sides are bush hogged with poor soil with about a ph of 5. I’m mainly looking to improve the soil health while I figure out a long term strategy of what to plant there. If the deer don’t eat it at all I’m ok with that
     
  7. THE LLC

    THE LLC Well-Known Member

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    I bet my deer will eat---especially if I don't want them to.
     
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  8. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    Besides pearl millet Buckwheat also grows on poor soil and is a great soil builder. Sunn hemp is a good soil builder too. But these three are all warm weather crops that won't do well in early spring. White clover grows on extremely poor soil and is a early spring planting, along with oats. So many choices, so little time. Maybe make your own mix. Just watch the soil temperature and make sure every component in your mix is compatible for the time of year that you are planting.
     
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  9. THE LLC

    THE LLC Well-Known Member

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    Deer will hammer those two though.
     
  10. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    Oats and clover can outgrow deer if given a chance.
     
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  11. THE LLC

    THE LLC Well-Known Member

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    Was talking about buckwheat and sunn hemp
     

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