Undecided, but leaning !😁

Drycreek

Well-Known Member
I went to one of my leases today to check a camera and eat breakfast with my best friend, (there’s a country store nearby that makes killer breakfast burritos). I looked at my Green Cover plot, the rye is fairly tall, I’d say 18” to 2’ average. There are at least two annual clovers in the blend and they are coming on strong. Better than I had expected. From my cell cam I don’t see a lot of useage by deer, but my camera is at the top of the plot and I doubt it will trigger much beyond 60 yards. The plot is probably 120 yards long, it’s a little over a half acre, so I’m sure I’m missing some of them. Our deer density is fairly low, so I’m not gonna see many even if they are in there every day. I wish I had taken a couple of pictures of the clover but I didn’t think about it. I do have a cell cam pic though, but you can’t see the clovers. They are reaching for the sun but the rye is shading them out. I’m leaning toward mowing it about 8” to a foot high to help the clover. My original plan was to catch the rye in the dough stage and broadcast buckwheat, sunn hemp, and possibly a little milo in it and crimp it. I’m thinking the crimping will terminate the clover, but since this is new to me I’m not sure. I can mow it, let the clover go until the last of May and still plant my original crop I think, but I will miss the dough stage of the rye. What will happen if I mow the rye ? Will it come back and grow ? Help me out here guys ! Thanks !IMG_4358.jpeg
 
Last edited:
The rye needs to have seed heads with anthers on every plant (yellow pollen tubes visible all over the seed head that shake off) to successfully roll or mow to terminate it. Anytime before that it will keep coming back and continue to grow. Nothing that you do at this point will kill off the clover, it's having a great time being sheltered by the rye and will do very well just like it is. Mowing the rye will release it, but also expose it to your Texas heat which will take a toll on the clover. Be careful if you decide to mow, there could be fawns in that rye!
 
I SO miss the days of seeing clover peek up through the cereals. Droughts suck!
That said, YOUR pic looks great!
 
Last edited:
The winter rye will die on its own in the summer. You could use the same technique we use to establish perennial clover. We plant winter rye as a nurse crop with the clover in the fall. The following spring, each time the WR hits a foot to 18" we mow it back to 6"-8" depending on the type of clover we planted. This releases the clover and gives it sunlight. The WR is long done as a food source for deer. Letting it go to seed may provide some food, but not nearly as much as the clover. This technique keeps the WR alive and combatting summer weeds until it dies naturally in the summer. It allows the clover to get light and take over the field.

I think a similar technique would work in your situation. Just mow it and release the clover. How low you mow will depend on a few factors. You want to mow above most of the clover. So with a tall growing clover you may want to mow higher. With a drought tolerant, low growing durana, I mow as low as 6". If you are in a drought period, I'd mow higher than with rain in the forecast.
 
I know the rye will die on its own, but those annual clovers will too as soon as it gets hot and dry, and that could be as early as June depending on what kind of weather we get. There’s a reason for the saying “If you don’t like Texas weather, just wait a minute”. It probably applies to lots of states but it could rain several times in June or it could stop in mid-May, we just never know. If a crimper won’t kill the clover then I might as well stick to the original plan, which was to broadcast buckwheat and sunn hemp into the rye at the dough stage and see what happens. My throw and crimp didn’t turn out well in my home plot last fall but I think it would have done better if I had fertilized it. The damn hogs didn’t help any either, they were destroying the brown top millet as fast as they could and that was my crimping material for the most part. I have no idea how long it will take to get that rye to the crimping stage, but my conundrum right now is that the deer have stopped utilizing the plot even though there’s lots of clover in it. I don’t think they want to bury there heads in the rye, but I don’t really know.
 
Tough situation. I guess it depends on what you are trying to accomplish. The WR is done providing deer food except for heads. Clovers are providing food not. However that may not be you objective. Crimping the WR over seed will provide a mulch for the seed helping hold in moisture.

In my experience, when there is no pressure and deer stop using a food source, it is because they found something better.
 
In my experience, when there is no pressure and deer stop using a food source, it is because they found something better.

Yep, it happens every year when things green up. Food plots are not natural deer food, browse is. My rye plot on another place is about a foot tall, just a couple weeks ago it looked like Astroturf. I was down there today building a pen around my protein feeder and the deer have stopped using it or at least slowed way down. That particular plot is straight Elbon rye, but it has some burr clover in it so I think I’ll be terminating it with gly and doing the minimal till routine on it.
 
I don't have a crimper and terminate with herbicide as well. I find that flattening the WR with a cultipacker before termination helps lay it down as mulch over the seed.
 
Crimping rye will not kill the clover
That’s good to know Rusty, after thinking on it some more, I think I could mow it high, and let it start growing again. That way I could possibly time my seed and crimp routine a little better. Right now I’m afraid I’m gonna need to crimp before I’m ready to plant. I want to give the deer time to eat on that clover for as long as I can before it goes dormant.
 
If you mow now even hitting the clover a little bit it will only invigorate the clover and the rye will only grow so much before seeding out. Shouldn't be a problem to drill thru. My rye is just starting to seed now. I've grazed my clover fields tight twice already this spring and it simply fires up the clover!

Off to Sedona...in a Boeing:)
 
Last edited:
If you mow now even hitting the clover a little bit it will only invigorate the clover and the rye will only grow so much before seeding out. Shouldn't be a problem to drill thru. My rye is just starting to seed now. I've grazed my clover fields tight twice already this spring and it simply fires up the clover!

Off to Sedona...in a Boeing:)
It’s all ok, just don’t sit by the door!
People on the ground need to watch for falling wheels !😜
 
Let the rye go. It will not affect growth or browsing of clover , if anything encourages it. Shades clover form heat and sun, keeps soil moist and cool/warm. Self Terminate/ roll/ mow when it matures and plant your summer crop if you must. But in the other hand your abuse will not kill the clover. Heat and drought perhaps. Good luck


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Well, I didn’t mow the plot, but today I seeded it with sunn hemp, peradovik sunflowers, buckwheat, and IC peas. I crimped it and it looked pretty good. I fertilized it too since this is the first time I haven’t done my usual disc, plant, and drag, (per Dr. Wood’s recommendations). My only worry is…..is it gonna work ? It was thick ! I hope the seeds get next to the ground ! We’re supposed to have some rain this weekend so maybe that will help. If it works it will surely be a time saver. If I hadn’t done it this way I would have had to spray it, mow it, disc it several times, then plant. I’m wanting this to work !IMG_4439.jpegIMG_2790.jpeg
 
You should be fine. All the seed you mentioned except for the sunflowers will do well with this method. At my place sunflowers want to be planted a little deeper. I don't know if that is unique to my soil and seed predation factors or not.
 
Holy crap, your plot looks good! Must be nice to not live in a desert.
The last good rain we had, a couple weeks ago, was nine inches in two days. It was a pond filler. A desert, it is not ! But wait……we were predicted a good rain Tuesday last, and not even a sprinkle. Supposed to rain a couple inches Saturday, but I’ll believe it when I see it. They get it wrong so often I don’t even know why I watch the forecast. When it rains this much in April I’m always looking for none in May, June, and July. I’m a self made pessimist !😝
 
Back
Top