Spraying regime


New Member
Hey, first time posting. I'm Tony in NE NC and last year was my first shot at a food plot. Things were not terrible given my resources and available time and the deer have mauled it. I had almost 4 acres to work with which had been fallow for at least 8 years. I was able to bush hog it, lime it, spray it with Gly and broadcast tillage radish and crimson clover. Once it finally rained I had a decent stand but I had some serious weed competition. I had a mixture of broad leaf and grass weeds.

Now for this year I can get a disc. These are my plans, but I'm asking for some input

I want to turn it under, burn down what pops back up, and get some buckwheat on it this summer. Once that flowers I want to mow that and probably turn it under too, burn it down again, and then follow with radish, clover, and wheat/oats. My question is: I'll probably need to spray something selective so should I plant radish/clover and hit it with cleth before the cereal grains? Or should I do clover/cereal grains, hit it with 2-4D B and follow that with the radishes?

Thanks for taking the time.
Welcome to the forum! And congratulations on the successful plot last year, it sounds like you have some expertise in growing stuff, and a disc is a great tool for deer plots. Broadleaf weeds are not all bad for deer food plots, but while grasses such as switch are good for bedding areas, other grasses are the enemy of food plots, because #1, deer don't eat grass, and #2, crops such as clover and radishes don't compete well with grasses. While it's somewhat a matter of preference, I like your option #1, plant the radish and clover, spray grass, then plant the grains. I personally haven't had great success with 2-4D B (Butyrac 200), plus it's a broadleaf control, which IMO isn't your biggest enemy, although some broadleaf weeds can be big trouble. Good luck with your plantings.
Thanks for your input. I wouldn't use expertise at all. But I've done as much research as I can do and tried to get the most bang for my buck. My budget is pretty tight so I wanted to make sure I did whatever I did right, at least somewhat.
Last fall/late summer, hemp dogbane became a concern. My weed eater took care of it before it got too pervasive. It shot up over the radishes. Once I knocked it back, the radishes crowded it out so that worked. This time anyhow. This year I'll have a weed wiper.

Anyhow, my biggest competition came as it cooled off with the fescue coming in strong. Two questions regarding that: Is it reasonable to expect buckwheat to limit the cool season grass competition even though that will be summer grown? And is it too late to wait and overseed cereal grains after the fescue starts and I can knock it back with Clethodim?
Working food plots on a budget is language that I understand, that's how I was raised, my late father would have had a fit at money I waste on deer plots now... Anyway, my buckwheat usually isn't seeded tight enough to suppress weeds, I feel small grains are much better at suppressing grasses, a lot of them have allopathic qualities that keep grass from growing. I'd do a combination of herbicide and small grains to suppress your cool season grasses. When planting crops you have to roll with the punches a lot, depending on the prior and predicted rainfall, current weed and soil conditions, and on your work schedule, you might find that doing one or the other makes better sense at the time. If you end up planting small grains too early that they get too tall and unpalatable for hunting season, just mow them back to obtain new grow. Just don't wait to long to mow, after they cross a certain stage of tillering mowing can kill them. Whether you plant brassicas first, or grain first doesn't really matter, but as soon as you mix the two all of your herbicide options are off the table for the rest of the year.
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