Regenerative Plotting

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

  1. KSQ2

    KSQ2 Well-Known Member

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    If we ever move to the Massey, I’ll go to work on eliminating fescue a little at a time, I think I’d enjoy doing a little of your experimenting myself.
     
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  2. George

    George Well-Known Member

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    Kill it all and you will be amazed. Late summer early fall application of glyphosate.

    G
     
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  3. MarkDarvin

    MarkDarvin Well-Known Member

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    I first saw jewelweed on my place a couple years ago. I dropped a bunch of ash trees in the center of my property to start thickening my sanctuary from the inside out. Where the trees were knotted up really well, jewelweed popped up in the center. I think I've always had it, but it low enough densities that the deer cleaned it all up. It's an awesome summer native browse.
     
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  4. MarkDarvin

    MarkDarvin Well-Known Member

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    In my experiment plot, things are looking great and not. Ive got 2’ tall dandelions. Never saw that before. They are growing right where I had some broomstick brassica stems (you can see a couple there on the left) last summer. Maybe they hit a vein and were able to go deep.

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    I’ve got burdock and brome grass coming. I’m not worried about the burdock. The brome has me concerned. That may test my values.

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    Despite the challenges, my clover and alfalfa are knee high already. I’ve never had knee high clover. Now I don’t remember what it was. Must be ladino.

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    I’ve got volunteer hairy vetch everywhere. I’m a fan of it. It seems to keep the brome occupied.

    [​IMG]


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  5. Native Hunter

    Native Hunter Well-Known Member

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    That looks good, but someone would have to tie me up with chains to keep me from spraying that grass with Clethodim......:)
     
  6. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    There speaks a man after my own heart. Tillage or herbicide are about the only good answers to grass infestations in deer food plots, and it's much easier to kill the first blades of grass that appear with clethodim rather than trying to get rid of big established clumps of fescue. A lot of people don't get the fact that deer are browsers who eat fungi and forbs, and never eat grass if they can avoid it because lignin-carbohydrate associations are stronger on grass and they have difficulty digesting it. I bite my tongue when I see people posting pictures of grass and calling it deer food.
    P.S. Is it true that fescue was invented in KY :)
     
  7. MarkDarvin

    MarkDarvin Well-Known Member

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    That whole site was a cleanup job from a couple projects. There was a big pile of topsoil mixed with rocks and debris from an old barn. It was also a burn site for a bunch of brush and stumps I had piled up.

    I went to work and cleaned up the stumps and moved the dirt pile. I mixed all that together and off to the side and then leveled the site, beat it up with the chain harrow and planted it. I mowed bigger than what I had to try to square it off.

    I never really had a handle on that little brome patch. I just wanna keep it from creeping in. I switched this plot to winter wheat, and I think that’s why the grass is creeping in. The wheat just ain’t coming fast enough. I’m gonna flip it to a blend of rye and triticale later this summer when I mow it.


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  8. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    You have got to be the small grain guru of deer plots!
     
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  9. MarkDarvin

    MarkDarvin Well-Known Member

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    I have spent an outrageous amount of time trying to figure out max tonnage, palatability, throw and mow ability, and weed prevention with cereals. I most recently scored two bags of surge triticale from a guy that grows it right on the canadian border. I've tried throwing oats for fall tonnage. They go if there's bare soil and I can hook a rain, but otherwise they don't. I did spring wheat throw and mow in clover in the fall last year. That worked but I planted too soon and it dropped all it's leaves before prime bow season.

    This year, improved awnletted spring forage triticale is the next candidate. That is my tonnage candidate. Also gonna throw in some spelt in places. I really need to write all this down to keep it straight, but there's gonna be a more complex set of trials going on all over my place. This is what the blends will look like. There will be a spring forage paired with a winter forage. I'm also planning to broadcast spring forages again in the early spring. I've got an issue with winter forages not making it on certain soils that I'm trying to figure out.

    SFB - spring forage barley
    SFT - spring forage triticale
    SPT - spelt
    RYE - rye

    Blend 1: SFB/RYE
    Blend 2: SFT/RYE
    Blend 3: SFB/SPT
    Blend 4: SFT/SPT
     
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  10. MarkDarvin

    MarkDarvin Well-Known Member

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    I tried to get some of the new Red Rock forage barley out of Montana, but the drought in 2021 knocked their seed crop yield down to 20% of what they were planning. They had some, but everything in bags had a neonic coating on it, and that's a non-starter with me.

     
  11. KSQ2

    KSQ2 Well-Known Member

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    I had no luck with barley and oats in spring last year. I might have access to a no-till drill next year to try again, but that barley was hard to get ahold of, I might just stick to oats.
     
  12. MarkDarvin

    MarkDarvin Well-Known Member

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    Here’s a tale of two spots only 100 yards apart.

    This spot is full of grass. It’s also full of clover and chicory, the grass just happens to be so much taller. The biomass is outstanding. Last year, it snapped back to solid food after I mowed it. This is a pure clay, no-topsoil spot.

    [​IMG]

    This spot is also mostly clay, but has a boatload of wood buried just below the surface. They’re a year apart in age since construction. Not nearly as much grass here. It’s also got some topsoil, but not much.

    [​IMG]


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  13. KSQ2

    KSQ2 Well-Known Member

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    Looks great, rain does wonders! Unfortunately, no rain for a month and consecutive 100 degree days doesn't...
     
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  14. MarkDarvin

    MarkDarvin Well-Known Member

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    I never imagined I'd catch up on moisture as fast as I have. I went from driest year on record in 2021, right back to 'it's only getting wetter as the summer rolls on'. That creates a whole other set of challenges, but I'm not complaining. Too much water is far easier to deal with than no water.
     
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  15. MarkDarvin

    MarkDarvin Well-Known Member

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    It’s full on bug season now. I have started seeing monarchs. The milkweed is just starting to open up, but the monarch’s aren’t on it yet. I did find them working over my tiny patch of Canada thistle though.

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    The hairy vetch is full of bumble bees.

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    And the chicory is getting worked by a smaller looking bug which I also think is a bee, but I’m not sure.

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    I’ve got a really strong stand of chicory this year. Best I’ve ever had, and it should triple by this time next season. The rest are showing well too: buttercup, clovers, trefoil, Daisy, fleabane, alfalfa, vetch, and flax.

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    Flax. Plenty of grass to go with it, but the later summer mowing has done well getting those off the plate for fall.

    [​IMG]


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  16. MarkDarvin

    MarkDarvin Well-Known Member

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    I tried to catch this little pig face down in that chicory flower, but he jumped just as I hit the button. First mid-air bee pic I've ever gotten.

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


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  17. Native Hunter

    Native Hunter Well-Known Member

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    There is not a plant eaten more than chicory on my farm....
     
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  18. jlane35

    jlane35 Well-Known Member

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    Last year my plot was loaded with chicory flowers, this year it’s a different story.

    Very cool picture!
     

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