What to plant....power line right of way?

Discussion in 'Food Plots for Wildlife' started by readonly, Dec 2, 2017.

  1. readonly

    readonly Member

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    My property runs along a busy 2 lane road. The Highway right of way is 50' from the center of the road....which is big considering it's only 2 lanes. Then property fence, which is brushy and over grown. Then there is a power line right of way that runs most the property. It is 20'-30' wide. For 2-3000' it runs along a section of planted pine. Most of this is up a steep bank from the highway. There is one entry point from the highway, a culver the electrical workers use to access. It would be brushy and overgrown except every so often they nuke it with herbicide. So basically it is over an acre of waste at this point.

    I am in the process of moving to the property, the house where I grew up. I am doing a lot of improvements and so forth. This wasted right of way has caught my attention. There are a couple of washes that would need a culvert pipe and then dirt pushed over so a tractor can run the length of it. I am thinking of having a dozer clear it, put in the pipes, and then plant a food plot. Across the road there is a 20 year cutover. Not a lot of deer crossing at this point...10 years ago there were a crazy amount of deer dying on the road here...now not as many are crossing and they are crossing elsewhere. So I don't think me planting this close to the road will encourage a hazard.

    Due to the pines, the ground is I'm sure very acidic. I can counter that some with lime but it would be hard to make it high PH. I am looking for a plot that will help me keep the deer on the property when they acorns are not doing well. Full season would be great. Any suggestions on what would be good to plant?
     
  2. FarmerD

    FarmerD Active Member

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    Get a soil test done now, which will answer a lot of questions. When you send the sample in, indicate that you want to plant clover. I am assuming there's lots of shade.

    I don't know where you are located but a perennial clover plot, with some TLC can last a very long time and relatively easy to grow, however you need to make preparations for it today, to plant next year. Getting the soil ph up, is your first job. My soil takes 4 tons to the acre to move from 4.8, up to 6.5, but it's the best a cheapest investment you can make. If you have other areas that need lime, getting a truck in and having AG lime spread, might cost you $500. One of the best investments you can make.
     
  3. readonly

    readonly Member

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    Soil test going in out in tomorrow's mail. Made arrangements to have it bush hogged as much as possible this week. Then I'll take stock of whether any dozer work needs to be done. I can tie this in to some existing clover plots that are 5+ years old and have not gotten proper attention the last couple of years. I may put some of that in corn and let it stand through winter, would only be about a 1/4 acre though. But would give cover an element I've never had before.
     
  4. Semisane

    Semisane Active Member

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    Location:
    River Ridge, LA (Suburb of New Orleans)
    I agree with FarmerD. That sounds like the ideal location for a long lived plot of Durana, with a light scattering of Daikon radish broadcast every year in late summer. Since you own the property, you might consider planting crabapple trees - one about every each 50 feet along the border. Even if you can only get in three or four trees a year the long term benefit would be well worth it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
  5. Triple C

    Triple C Well-Known Member

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    With each passing year I become a bigger and bigger fan of perennial clover. Deer use it almost year round. And once established, it can last for several years. When I thinned my pines last year I had the logger remove rows from each side of one of our main interior roads in order to provide additional planting space. Not a right of way but similar in width. I've got it growing in durana and ladino clover with wheat as a nurse crop I planted in late September. Deer will be using this for the next 3 to 5 years.

    Here's a pic taken Nov 3 about 5 weeks after planting. Since then the clover has really popped with our mild fall temps.
    Interior Road.jpg Clover.jpg
     
  6. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Huntingdon Co. PA
    Hardiness Zone:
    6a
    I agree with the clover idea. If you have grass spray roundup before you start, grass suppresses clover and is never a deer food. Then you should plant a nurse crop to help start the clover, thin-stemmed perennial clover doesn't start easy on its own. Oats, wheat, rye, sorghum, millet, or buckwheat makes a good nurse crop and all of these are easy to terminate by mowing or terminate on their own. Clover is the most amazing deer plot there is, does great in partial shade, makes its own nitrogen, and grows on relatively poor soil, is persistent, and can be interseeded with brassica and small grain to extend it into the winter. I personally like Regal Graze ladino. You should plan to spray it with clethodim twice a year for grass control for best results.
     
  7. farmhunter

    farmhunter Active Member

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    Location:
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    Good advice -

    7-10 yds is pretty narrow. Understand that if the brush/trees adjacent have some height - the right of way will be shaded much of the day. I find in these situations - clovers grow but don't make tonnage like in a field. Same with most other plot choices - brassicas do particularly poorly if shaded. I like fall planted grains with clover - because as the foliage becomes less (if you have pines maybe not as much so) - the cereal grains can flourish. The clover in it is like candy - and will be around next spring/summer.

    Then I think weeds can get a leg up - and I would spray and replant in August/Sept.
     
  8. readonly

    readonly Member

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    I got it bush hogged, will have the soil results soon. Expect it to require a lot of lime. Do I need to do any other prep before liming such as disking? Disk right after liming? Should I do the lime now for a summer planting? Much appreciated.
     
  9. buckdeer1

    buckdeer1 Well-Known Member

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    Before you spend alot of money you might want to talk to electric co.The R/W that runs through mine we got them to let us plant NWSG but we have to keep all saplings out of it.We also got them to put up No spray signs
     
  10. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Huntingdon Co. PA
    Hardiness Zone:
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    Lime works slowly, so sooner rather than later is better. And tilling it in helps it work much faster. However, turning up bare dirt in midwinter may not be a great idea, with much greater chances of soil erosion and minerals leaching away. Having tilled soil lie fallow for any length of time generally is not a good thing. You could lime it now, but I'd wait till spring to work the soil. Any mower mulch, root systems and dormant vegetation that's there now helps conserve soil and nutrients over winter.
     
  11. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Huntingdon Co. PA
    Hardiness Zone:
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    Good idea. Most powerline companies and their rightofway land clearing people like food plots and respect them because they increase their profits due to less brush cutting work for them. And if it's a true rightofway where the power company doesn't actually own the land, by law they are required to respect the owners crop plantings on his own land, provided that they meet their height restrictions, whether notified or not, just like any farmers fields under the powerlines. The things that we posted nospray signs for in the past were berry bushes that weren't easily identifiable.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017 at 4:05 AM
  12. j-bird

    j-bird Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Decatur county, IN Zone 6a
    My only concern is having a food source that close to the highway......that is a 365 day a year deer killer. I was thinking of a NWSG planting for cover.....maybe a winding clover trail thru it, but not a significant food plot. I'm not saying clover is a bad idea....I just hate planting food next to roads. It is just asking for trouble with accidents and poaching. I would still consider a visual screen between this area and the road if you plant the ROW in clover.....I would lean toward MG. Last thing I want to see is you put in a great clover plot and the number of deer pile up along the highway!
     
  13. readonly

    readonly Member

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    This is something that I have considered a great deal. However, the deer do not cross the highway along this right of way. Due to the topography and the brushy fence line, the right of way is not visible from the highway. The deer do not now nor have they ever crossed along this right of way. There are crossing up the road and down road. Straight across the road are guard rails and a steep drop to an abandoned road bed (asphault). There is some deer traffic at the crossings but there is an immense 20 year cutover across the highway and deer crossings are nothing like they were 10 years ago when literally dozens of deer were killed throughout the year where they cross, not unusual to see 2 in a night then. Now that the forest has grown up to an intermediate stage that property is not holding deer as much.

    If I thought this was going to increase deer on the highway, I wouldn't consider planting it, not even for a second. As it is, this right of way gets a lot of deer traffic as deer use it to move up and down my property, and as a staging area before they move into hay fields and open oak woods. However they are coming from recent clear cuts on this side of the road.
     

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