Chufa.....tell me about it


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Considering planting a small area in chufa here soon but don't have any experience with it at all beyond heading its great for turkeys.

I am a little leery of it in the clay soils we have, but potatoes grow they should work too I imagine.

Lets hear it.
What is your reason for wanting to plant it? If it's to draw in turkeys I know buckwheat does a nice job pulling in turkeys. Buckwheat should improve your clay soil as well.
Not trying to talk you out of chufa just an alternative for the thunder chickens. I know very little about chufa.
Chufa is crack to turkeys. They LOVE it, and it will draw them in from a long way off.

It does best in sandy, well drained soil. Doesn't like weed competition so if planting in the spring you need to use a pre emergent. If planting later in the summer you can usually get away with no chemical weed control as long as you are starting with a clean field.

I broadcast 50 lb per acre and apply 300 lb of 15-0-15 at planting. I top dress with 100 lb/acre urea one month later. I plant around July 4.

My preferred planting order is:

1) fertilize
2) disk
3) drag to create even seed bed
4) broadcast 50 lb per acre of chufa gold from nwtf
5) lightly disk (try to get seed 2" deep so set disk 4" deep)
6) cultipack

I might experiment with using my 2 row planter this year, but chufa seed size is very erratic so the meters may struggle with it.

I've heard that hogs will wipe out a chufa plot, so I wouldn't mess with it if you have a bad hog problem. Coons have also been known to eat it. Deer don't mess with it at all.
Thanks for the info cutman. I would like some crackhead turkeys running around! The past few years it seems the turkey population has gone done on my property. I know I need to step up my trapping game, but will Chufa actually attract turkeys or will it just keep the ones I have sticking around more? I used to see a few dozen each time I went out, now Im lucky to get any on camera, even over bait (when/where it's legal).
It will attract turkeys. Generally what happens is one turkey finds it, then a week later there are 3 turkeys, then 10, etc. The most I ever saw in my one acre plot was 38 at one time. Those turkeys were not roosting on my property, but they travelled directly to the plot at first light then several times throughout the day.

If your turkeys have never seen it before you might have to disk a strip or two to expose the nutlets/tubers.
Thanks for the heads up. What size Chufa plot would you recommend putting in? Or is there a minimum you'd suggest based on the birds hammering the plot down? I had set aside 1ac for Chufa (haven't planted yet) but was wondering if that was too small or not. Property is mostly managed for whitetails but I miss having a reliable place to hear/hunt birds in the spring mornings.
I plant a 1 acre plot and two 1/2 acre strips on a 122 acre property. That typically lasts until the following spring turkey season. It's a 90 day crop so if you plant in July you will have tubers by October. Turkeys will hammer it throughout the winter and following spring, at which point it typically reseeds.
Had good luck with chufa first year we tried it, then not so good the next. the year it did well the turkeys found it, plowed it like hogs. The game warden checked the field at least twice because it was visible from the road and every turkey in the neighborhood was there!
Come to think of it, I might just give it another try this year, because our turkeys numbers are way, way down.
43 turkeys in my chufa this afternoon.


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Seems like I have heard some negatives about chufa as well, possibly that it can spread or be difficult to get rid of?

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Nutsedge is the devil, and it’s a very close relative of chufa. People very often get them confused.

Nutsedge spreads through tillage and can be very difficult to get rid of. I’ve never experienced that or heard about people having that problem with chufa.
Great turkey attractant no doubt. We’ve had turkeys “plow it like hogs” as has been described already. Turkeys will leave craters in the field from scratching. It can be finicky to grow and does better on sandier soil. I currently have a one acre patch that turkeys have not “found” yet. I am anxiously awaiting for this to happen. Another downside to chufa, so I am told, is that hogs are attracted to it as beware of that. If you have hogs in your area, the last thing you need is anything to encourage rooting.

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I have planted it a number of times in heavy clay. It definitely doesn’t do as well as it does in sandy or loam soils, but you should be able to get enough production to make it worth the effort.

One thing I try to do is move my chufa plots around the farm each year. If I plant back in the same spot the turkeys will wipe out a new planting before it can germinate and get up and going.

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