Regenerative Plotting

Discussion in 'Food Plots for Wildlife' started by MarkDarvin, Aug 30, 2019.

  1. Jon

    Jon Active Member

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    Location:
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    Hardiness Zone:
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    I’ve crimped a variety of plants but I tend to stick with a high percentage of grass in my plots mostly due to the fact that they provide a solid weed mat, degrade at a quick rate making those nutrients available sooner to the next or future plant generations and can adapt well to a throw and grow type scenario. However I have rolled and crimped over brassicas which you’d not normally think of but trust me you can terminate some percentage of those plants by crimping. Essentially you are chopping the plant which works... so to your question in the summer time I’m using a higher percentage of oats and legumes and fall Into spring I’m relying on rye or wheat (triticale this also an option). Figuring out percentages of these verse your other plantings is a bit of a preference thing. In the summer I’m trying to just allows my plantings to proliferate the area to minimize unwanted plants. Summer plantings I’m sticking with several broadleaf, grass, legume brassica. I know I’m not getting to specific on types varieties of each but that’s solely up to your area soil type and what you see deer utilize.


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  2. MN Slick

    MN Slick Member

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    Good stuff thanks.
     
  3. Baker

    Baker Well-Known Member

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    I toured my farm Monday with Dr. Allen Williams from Understanding Ag to look at farm wide regenerative approach. Candidly I was blown away by the visit, his knowledge, and how overlapped our philosophies are. I have hired him and his company to develop a farm wide program utilizing multi level animal/fowl additions, crop strategies, infrastructure needs, marketing strategies...all things to make a farm wide program work.

    I'm excited. Time to go big or go home!
     
  4. catscratch

    catscratch Well-Known Member

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    Ha "go big or go home"! You went big decades ago by my standards, now you're going hugely big. Congrats on the new adventure and as always keep us updated.

    ps - when can I expect a pond thread? ;)

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  5. MarkDarvin

    MarkDarvin Well-Known Member

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    I had to go four pages deep to dig up this thread. I thought the movement might have died out. Hopefully it hasn't. Big news outta my camp this weekend.

    I pulled off the unthinkable. I have succeeded at intercropping fall cereals into stout, healthy, and well established (2018) white clover. No drill, no sprayer, no disc or plow, no death or man-made pause of any kind. There is maybe a month to go yet, so I've got high hopes to catch some more tonnage as the days still hit 60-70 degrees for highs.

    I'm not currently doing any press. I am preparing for a book tour and taking meetings regarding a spotify deal to take the regen movement to the podcast universe. Big Ern is finally above the law!

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  6. KSQ2

    KSQ2 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Hardiness Zone:
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    Sorry! I've been posting all of my updates on the throw and mow thread. We broadcast into established clover plots without any spray this fall as well. I'm very excited after seeing your success! Ours has only been on the ground a week tomorrow; and the rye is already popping up in some of the more bare spots. We broadcast wheat, rye, oats, radishes, and winter peas. I'm going to "top dress" it with a frost seeding of more clover and chicory this-coming February.
     
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  7. jlane35

    jlane35 Well-Known Member

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    Now I’m upset i turned down the 250 pounds of rye that the coop double ordered for me. Next year I’ll be giving this a shot!
     
  8. Drycreek

    Drycreek Well-Known Member

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    Mark, could I have your autograph ? Asking for a friend............:)
     
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  9. MarkDarvin

    MarkDarvin Well-Known Member

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    Honestly, the only thing I did was mow when the clover was most vulnerable and summer stressed. It's quite possibly the most ill advised thing we've been taught to do. I put down a 4 bushel rate (half forage oats, half forage barley) right after mowing and then ran my packer over it. The only reason I ran the packer was to try to help push the seed a little closer to the ground and to try to crimp some of the things that were already laid down and didn't mow as well.

    Still, very pumped to see it. Next year, I've got a new idea to try to get pumpkins up through it. You'll have to wait and see if I can pull that off.
     
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  10. MarkDarvin

    MarkDarvin Well-Known Member

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    The new plot I built (flattened all brush and trees and buried them with 1-2’ of new dirt) is coming in well. It got a little bit of nearly everything. This one has had zero amendments of any kind.

    [​IMG]

    Near as I can remember, I planted rye, beans, clovers (white, red, med red, mammoth red, crimson, Berseem, fixation), chicory, alfalfa, flax, birdsfoot trefoil, and hairy vetch.

    [​IMG]


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  11. KSQ2

    KSQ2 Well-Known Member

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    Looking great! Did you haul in some topsoil?
     
  12. MarkDarvin

    MarkDarvin Well-Known Member

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    No. I just dug a shallow hole right next to it. Took a wet spot with no water and turned it into a dry spot with a shallow pond next to it.

    [​IMG]

    It was really full right after I dug. I picked up about 5” of rain in a couple weeks.

    [​IMG]


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  13. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    That's genius! No matter what NRCS would say, you have taken low value land and improved it for wildlife.
     
  14. MarkDarvin

    MarkDarvin Well-Known Member

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    Thanks man. It was a fun project. I started working on it last winter when I did all the cutting. That was a nasty spot. Ruts from logging, holes from uprooted trees long rotted away, newer stumps, other stumps I dug up the pushed in there, brush, and full sized ash trees. Some of those pale spots you can see are from ash log chunks I piled in holes to help level it before we filled it. May have to back fill a spot like that years from now.
     
  15. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    Did you have a mini excavator in there to move the dirt?
     
  16. MarkDarvin

    MarkDarvin Well-Known Member

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    We did that with a 75HP tracked skid steer.
     
  17. Drycreek

    Drycreek Well-Known Member

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    That’s next level thinking Mark.
     
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  18. MarkDarvin

    MarkDarvin Well-Known Member

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    I've got another spot that needs some terra forming next year. Gonna be much of the same. I'm lucky my place doesn't have any wetlands, but maybe I will after I make them. Who knows?

    This spot has a center area that is too wet for white clover to live. It'll hold up to 6 inches of water as late as June 1st and longer if it's a monsoon summer. I'm planning to dig a trench on each side of the low spot and throw all the spoils into the center of the plot to raise it up. It won't take too many inches to get it to keep clover alive.

    The trench on the right will connect to a small pond I'm going to dig. That elbow area is also low, so I'm gonna dig it down as far as I can and pull all that dirt into the plot as well. The trench on the left will get connected to the pond with a length of 4" tile down maybe 3'.

    That holding pond really seems to help dry things up. I wonder if it's because it exposes the water to evaporation vs being held in organic matter protected by living mulch? That's the current idea anyway.

    new dig.jpg
     
  19. MarkDarvin

    MarkDarvin Well-Known Member

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    It’s pretty, but it ain’t good happening a month earlier than normal. Everyone please release some carbon tomorrow so my deer can eat before winter. I’ll pull it back down with barley in the spring. Promise.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


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  20. TX-Aggie

    TX-Aggie Member

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    Location:
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    Good morning everyone. I have been working on some plots using the Throw n Mow method for the past 2.5 years. This past summer we finally bought a tractor, so no more riding mowers and weed eaters for these plots. Now that we have a tractor, I have been thinking of ways to improve my process, and thought I'd run them by this group to get y'all's thoughts.

    Due to the tractor size my father and uncle decided on, we are limited with the size of the 3 pt hitch no till drills. We would have to look towards a pull behind, or fill the drill in the fields. Per my conversations with RTP Outdoors and our Tractor salesman, our tractor can handle an empty 3pt drill up to about 60-70% filled. I would really like following the No-till drill and roller crimp process that many on this site, and Dr Woods uses. Our property is about 45 mins east of Dr. Woods and due to his success, I fully expect the process to work on our farm. Also, I can show his videos to my father and uncle to make an easy sell vs their work the ground and then work the ground some more thinking.

    One other option that I'm not sure if would work as well as I would think is do a modified Throw n Mow, where instead of mowing - roller crimp. Basically, we would spread the seed like Throw n Mow process, then roller crimp the existing crop over top. My fear on this would be the roller crimping over the seeds would lead to suppression of the seed similar to how crimping suppresses weeds. Has anyone tried this method? I saw Jeff Sturgis do something similar with buckwheat, but just seems contrary to my brain's workings on weed suppression.

    Another option I have thought about would be to use Throw n Mow, but complete the mowing with a flail mower instead of brush hog. I currently do not like the windrowing we are getting with the brush hog due to uneven coverage and bare spots. I felt like the mulching riding mower did a better job at even coverage as compared to the brush hog. I have also thought about a sickle mower to do the same, but leaning towards the versatility of a flail for all the other uses we have around the farm.

    For reference here are the food plot seeds we have utilized over the past few years : Warm Season Plots - Buckwheat, Sunflowers, Cowpeas, Milo, Millet, Sorghum/Sudangrass, etc; Cool Season Plots - Cereal Grains, Peas, Clovers, Radishes, Turnips, etc.
     

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