What's the point of buckwheat?

Discussion in 'Food Plots for Wildlife' started by MarkDarvin, Mar 8, 2022.

  1. MarkDarvin

    MarkDarvin Well-Known Member

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    I watch a lot of Sturgis's videos because he does a good job. But one thing I can't wrap my mind around is the summer buckwheat-only plot. I don't understand the point of going out of one's way to plant only buckwheat for the summer.

    Genuinely curious, can anyone help me understand the idea behind summer buckwheat?
     
  2. catscratch

    catscratch Well-Known Member

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    I've grown it for quail seed. It doesn't do anything for my current plot or soil management goals.

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  3. catscratch

    catscratch Well-Known Member

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    Should restate... doesn't do "enough" for my goals.

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  4. cutman

    cutman Administrator Staff Member

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    I think the main purpose is it will grow anywhere, so it’s a good first crop in a new food plot with crappy soil.

    1) Will grow anywhere
    2) can double or triple crop in the south.
    3) birds love it.
    4) scavenges nutrients from the soil is
     
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  5. Buckly

    Buckly Well-Known Member

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    Here’s my experience with buckwheat. In the North like I am it’s just a waste of time as a summer plot. The growing season is just too short to really do any good except waste time and money. If you plant it in June or July and keep it until it seeds out you can have a food plot in early Archery. It won’t grow here until at least June when soil temp is higher. In the North my fall plots go in anywhere from late July to late August so what’s the point of a summer plot at all, especially buckwheat. Summer plots are confined to my perennial clovers and deer can eat on them all year.
     
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  6. DocHolladay

    DocHolladay Well-Known Member

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    I use it in a mix for soil health and it gets eaten well. We also learned that you need a few acres of it or the deer wipe it out about the time it starts to flower, when planted in a monoculture. That’s the good thing about plotting. You can figure out what is best for you, your deer, and your soil. I will say that it is like rye and will grow on a flat rock if enough moisture is available at the appropriate time.


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  7. MarkDarvin

    MarkDarvin Well-Known Member

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    That's kinda where I was at on the idea. If Sturgis is planting rye in the fall, and buckwheat in early summer, he's gotta have to spray gly on that plot twice in one season, which has got to raise hell on his dirt. I'm about as far north as anyone, and I can span the entire 12-month growing cycle with winter rye or winter wheat.

    I have thrown it in some mixes on my place as well, but it never seemed to do real well. It also never got to see top quality soil though either. It was usually a first crop on some excavated dirt.
     
  8. BoneCrusher20

    BoneCrusher20 Active Member

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    surprised at the hate.....not sure on complaints about short growing season, i'm in 4a and i find i have too much time to grow it as i'll actually wait until early june to plant and then terminate early august, planted too early and goes to seed and competes w/ fall planted plots i look for roughly 7-8 weeks of growth out of it.

    Main purpose for me is weed suppression during summer months and keep soil covered and great fertilizer and lot of soil benefits associated with..come fall you can broadcast brassicas right into it and smash it down and never even have to till up the ground. Which is why you see it in sturgis videos as he sticks to no-till methods and having a crop to smash down in fall is part of that process and buckwheat very easy to plant in spring soil doesn't need much for it to take.

    I could really care less about if deer like it or not for nutrition, deer have more than enough food during the summer and that is not its purpose at all. turkey poults love it i find that my best give back to nature as they can be hidden in there and be picking bugs off plants.
     
  9. RGrizzzz

    RGrizzzz Administrator Staff Member

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    5) Pollinators love it.

    All of this. It's very easy to grow. For some guys, anything growing is good. (Some morons plant rye GRASS)
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2022
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  10. TreeDaddy

    TreeDaddy Well-Known Member

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    Bees!!!!!!

    bill
     
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  11. KSQ2

    KSQ2 Well-Known Member

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    Last year was my first with buckwheat. I fertilized it with urea and p&k (p&k mainly for the clover that would follow). While I did have to spray the buckwheat with cleth to eliminate Johnson grass, I didn't have to do anything else to it. I let it mature and mowed it down right on top of our cereal/clover mix in September w/o adding any fertilizer. It did GREAT! I should say we put in a small area of brassicas each year in our 2 acre plot area, rotating them around, and that is where we will again put the buckwheat this summer.

    Quick update, I just looked at our property tour and saw that we didn't fertilize the buckwheat at all last year. I guess I'd forgotten, thank goodness for journals! We DO hit the brassicas hard with urea since we plant so few of them, so I'm guessing there was some surplus nitrogen left in the soil.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2022
  12. Buckly

    Buckly Well-Known Member

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    I just can’t justify all the work and expense to plant it for only 2 months. Also this is the lowest stress time of year up North so they just don’t need it. Planting in June and leaving it for a fall plot will work however, I have been burned several times by no rain. July and August are our driest months and I’ve had the whole planting get 4-6 inches and burn off in the sun. It needs a good amount of moisture. My opinion, waste of time and money for just summer in the North. In the South you can certainly get it in early and get 2 crops and use it for some soil building. I tried it for many years and now I just use better options.
     
  13. MarkDarvin

    MarkDarvin Well-Known Member

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    I take it you're not using winter cereals where you're using buckwheat?
     
  14. catscratch

    catscratch Well-Known Member

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    No hate here. Gave it a shot but it just doesn't fit right now. Pollinators are very important to me but I've got a whole seed bank ready to help the bees. I might do buckwheat again. I'm into throwing curveballs at her and routines are not natural, so I might do a midsummer burn and follow with buckwheat. Ya never know what she will like until you give it to her.

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  15. BoneCrusher20

    BoneCrusher20 Active Member

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    Still use cereals.... about 4-5 weeks after spread brassicas (early-mid sept) then i topdress with winter rye. by the time they eat through the brassicas in that novemberish time frame the winter rye is mature enough and ready for winter and then subsequent is first thing to green up next spring.

    Next year - Come spring(early June) i will let the winter rye pop up and get 1-2 ft tall and then spread buckwheat in with the rye and then smash the rye down on top and gly spray that way know got good termination on rye and any early season weeds trying to take hold. Not sure if necessary, but sometimes right after first rain i'll go behind with cultipacker to make sure that the buckwheat got good contact, i've noticed buckwheat doesn't get as good of germination in comparison to brassicas.

    Maybe one day have a nice crimper to do the work for me
     
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  16. BoneCrusher20

    BoneCrusher20 Active Member

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    yes he's likely twice, other option would be to mow it, as soon as you mow winter rye in the following spring won't come back...downfall of that would be mowing normally leaves wind rows versus nice laid out even carpet like smashing/crimping does.
     
  17. KSQ2

    KSQ2 Well-Known Member

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    The more I read about cover crops, the more I see regenerative deer plotters being ahead of the game for the most part. It seems everything I've been instructed to plant by you folks, and Paul Knox before I knew any of you, is good for the soil and brings multiple nutrients to the surface to be used -- from brassicas, to rye, and now to buckwheat. And that's not even touching on the tremendous benefits of the staple of clovers and other legumes. I just wish I'd known much of this earlier, I did so much work in vain, and the majority of it wasn't good at all for the soil.
     
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  18. BoneCrusher20

    BoneCrusher20 Active Member

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    Probably stems from a lot of us truly care about land we are on and want to see it move onto the next generation in better shape......i think we all are guilty of really enjoying putting that disk on and getting that dirt turned over...that is one bad thing about regenerative route is less tractor time ha and to truly ween off of fertilizer/spray i will admit i got plenty to go, but i want to get there
     
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  19. KSQ2

    KSQ2 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah at this point, I just can't see going without spraying, but who knows as the soil gets healthier? Unfortunately, the stuff I battle most with the spray wasn't a part of the natural ecosystem in our area anyway.:mad:
    I do still turn a little soil each year, but only at our farm. A small portion gets turned to put in brassicas, but the way we have it set up each individual "spot" will only get turned once about every 6 years.
     
  20. swat1018

    swat1018 Well-Known Member

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    Don't want a doe factory, LOL!
     

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