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Clover

Discussion in 'Lickcreek' started by Dbltree, Oct 13, 2014.

  1. Dbltree

    Dbltree "The Expert"

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2014
    Location:
    Birmingham, Iowa
    PDF files are available at the bottom of Dbltree's post showing the pictures he posted

    White clover is one of the most dependable, easy to grow food source's we can plant and it's easy to establish.

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    Small odd shaped areas such as corners, remote hard to get to places and the perimeter of our food plot's are all great place's to establish clover.

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    White clover will grow on most soils but does not grow well, if at all on dry sandy soils.

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    White clover may go dormant during hot, dry summer months but this summer was cool and wet here which also encouraged a flush of weeds. That bothers us but neither the clover or deer are affected and annual grasses and weeds are easily controlled with periodic mowing.

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    Perennial grass can be controlled by spraying 12-16 ounces of Clethodim and 1 quart of crop oil per acre. Flowering clover attracts a plethora of insects poults and chicks need in the early days of life. Keeping the clover clipped is not necessary but it helps keep the clover flowering and fixing nitrogen in between.

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    White clover is highly palatable and contains 22-25% protein which is more then whitetails can use. Typically lactating does and bucks in velvet use 11-15% protein per day, so white clover producing from April to November provides for a whitetails daily needs when combined with native browse.

    Anyone with a backpack sprayer and a lawn grass seeder /broadcaster can plant and grow clover. 4-6# per acre can be frost seeded, planted with oats in the spring or with the Dbltree rye mix in late August.

    Clovers of all kinds play an important part in our habitat program to hold whitetails, provide free nitrogen and build soils. White clover however plays the most important role by linking the other crops in the rotation which together insures year around food source's. Because of this whitetails quickly adapt and create habit's that make them predictable and easier to kill.

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    Lastly remember that clover or any planted crop is not important to a whitetails survival, thick cover and native browse is. Spend more time enhancing your timber and then combine year around food source's to bring it all together and create a outstanding whitetail management program.


    Paul Knox proud recipient 2014 QDMA Al Brothers Game Manager of the Year award

    Many thanks to chickenlittle for rescuing Pauls pictures.

     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 1, 2017
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  2. Steve Bartylla

    Steve Bartylla 5 year old buck +

    Joined:
    May 1, 2014
    As I've mentioned other places, clover is a real workhorse for me. Drop a state below WI, MN & MI, and I have deer digging through the snow for it all winter long. It's pretty much a 365 food source, at low cost and low effort. In WI, MI & MN, I don't get the feeding after a snow that I do 1 state south. Still, it's good for 8ish months of the year.

    For me, frost seeding is the way to go, and I barely worry about weeds at all that first year, only cutting when the weeds are so thick they'll choke the clover out. Now, that has a lot to do with using rape as a first year cover crop, as I cherish the tonnages of forage it produces for the 1st fall/winter. That said, not stressing the 1st year clover from cutting also helps it come on like crazy that second year.

    I posted these 4 pics on the other site to show that, even on a 100 acre piece, in an area not known for producing good bucks, surrounded by heavy hunting pressure, midday movement can occur all day, IF your property is setup and hunted right. However, they also give a feel for how weedy I'll allow a fist year plot to get. For as "ugly" as this looks, it's filled with clover and rape, and is already getting hit hard. Next year, a fter a mowing and spray, it will look like a golf course.

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    The cam is placed on the upper right corner of this plot, where a natural gap between the woods and corn dumps the deer in and out. the weeds you see to the right are a pretty fair representation of how weedy it is where the Rape hasn't choked out the weeds.

    This next pic is from the lower left corner of the plot. It shows the type of tonnage the plot is producing. There's also a lot of clover underneath, that will come on like crazy next year.
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    P.S. This is in C WI. I merely frost seeded clover/rape into the corn I bought back from the farmer last year. Frost seeding works great after corn, soybeans, brassicas, or cereal rye/oats. I do 5-10 new clover plots a year and very rarely break soil for them. They're almost all frost seeded. I'll often also mix in 2-4 lbs of alfalfa per acre (rate depends on what I project for germination rates/conditions). That comes with a risk, as the alfalfa can germinate and then freeze out, but it works at least 8 out of 10 times for me...and doesn't cost much on a small scale when it doesn't
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2014
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  3. scott44

    scott44 5 year old buck +

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2014
    Location:
    Mid Michigan zone 5b
    Good looking plots Steve! thanks for sharing. The more I get into this the more I believe that it was me that wanted the perfect looking plot and the deer don't really care, in the past I always wanted a weed free plot but now so what they don't care.
     
  4. Steve Bartylla

    Steve Bartylla 5 year old buck +

    Joined:
    May 1, 2014
    Actually, the weeds (and old corn stalks, in this case) seem to help the deer feel safer. Heck. between the 3' tall rape, corn stalks and weeds, that plot has more cover than many of the neighboring wood lots. the difference is that it is probably providing 10,000 times the forage per acre as those wood lots.

    I think most of us have or are going through what you did. At first, the inclination is to try to produce plots that would make cash croppers envious. Then, you start realizing that deer eat most weeds and having some taller weeds in a plot can help deer feel safe. Like most everything, it's a balancing act. Too many weeds truly can be a bad thing, but nothing wrong with nudging it to the edge a little. So long as it isn't having a significantly bad impact on forage production, weeds can actually be our friends.
     
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  5. scott44

    scott44 5 year old buck +

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2014
    Location:
    Mid Michigan zone 5b
    Thanks!
     
  6. Dbltree

    Dbltree "The Expert"

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2014
    Location:
    Birmingham, Iowa
    1
    1Pretty is as pretty does they say, weeds themselves provide food, cover and green manure. They can cause detrimental competition to some crops and tree plantings but clover gets along just fine. Thanks for posting Steve :)
     
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  7. dipper

    dipper Guest

    Not many bluffs like that in central wi Steve. It's hilly but the glaciers leveled many of those deep ravines type features. I'm guessing the area is west of what I'd call central wi. There is terrian like that north east of Wausau, but that's getting more northern wi.
    Clover is a weed.
     
  8. phil@thesidehill

    phil@thesidehill 5 year old buck +

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2014
    Location:
    Sullivan County, PA
    Definition of the word weed "a wild plant growing where it is not wanted and in competition with cultivated plants."

    That definition doesn't seem to fit for clover as it is discussed in this thread.
     
  9. Steve Bartylla

    Steve Bartylla 5 year old buck +

    Joined:
    May 1, 2014
    The cam angle grossly exaggerates the topography. Those aren't bluffs and there aren't anything close to ravines around there. It's rolling, but nothing close to the bluffs and ravines of the counties that boarder the Mississippi River. The pic is taken just shy of the top of the one ridge that runs through the property (pointing towards the ridge on the neighbor's). All that said, you're in E WI, not C WI ;)
     
  10. dipper

    dipper Guest

    I apologize, for the sake of this conversation-clover grows like a weed! Cool season grass control is the biggie.
    Hey Steve-your not one of these guys who's property is always growing by a foot or two each year. Haha always nice to have bucks on their feet mid day, you know you have it going on when that is happening.
     
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  11. Steve Bartylla

    Steve Bartylla 5 year old buck +

    Joined:
    May 1, 2014
    I always took the opposite route. minimize the size of your "property" and they may be pleasantly surprised by how painfully average it is. Exaggerate it and they just point and laugh. I never got the exaggeration thing. If all goes as hoped by the exaggerator, they are going to find out eventually and they'll be disappointed, knowing you BSed them. Minimize it and, if they ever get a look at that ground, they are thinking more along the lines of, "wow, that's bigger than I thought it'd be." I find in most everything in life, one is better served to set expectations low and exceed them than set them too high and disappoint.

    I always do that on bucks, too. If it's a 140, I get a better end response by saying I just shot one that should break 130. When they come to help get it out, they are impressed, rather than thinking, "that ain't no 150."
     
  12. Steve Bartylla

    Steve Bartylla 5 year old buck +

    Joined:
    May 1, 2014
    I try not to mention it often, as I don't have any desire to come off as an infomercial, but I pro staff for Antler King and use their Trophy Clover (and their Honey Hole brassica mix, just adding 2-4 lbs of radishes to it myself and then top seeding with 3 or 4 parts cereal rye and 1 part oats). I don't have a seed tag in front of me, but I'm pretty sure it's "Antler King Brand Rape." I believe the rape and Alsike are the two that they bought the naming and production rights for. It's DER, but I have no idea where they get it from. In my field trials (I actually worked for a seed dealer back in college for 3 years developing new lines and use those same field trial methods), I haven't been able to come up with another DER that matches it in both tonnage and deer usage. I get a lot of early feeding on this DER and, even frost seeded, get less than 10% to ever seed out on me (that pic was from 9/6). That can be an issue with some DERs sold. I'm not trying to push anyone to buying their products. Just be sure that the DER isn't early maturing. That stuff is pretty much worthless if frost seeded.

    Another thing I should point out is that if one is using Trophy Clover and doing much less than a half acre or it's back in the woods (where feeding pressure will be higher), the rape is at a high risk of being wiped out over summer. The pics I have of dragging weeds down over clover in the Sample Plan thread (http://habitat-talk.com/index.php?threads/sample-plan.355/page-6 towards the bottom) is about a 2.5 acre plot, completely surrounded by woods, 400ish yds from the nears ag or food plot. It had germinated and growing as thick as in the pic above, but deer completely wiped it out over summer. That happens more than you'd think in in-woods or smaller plots.

    Where the combo of frost seeding clovers and rape is a God send is situations like you see in the pics above, where there is generally enough food to keep deer happy over summer. Now, because of the tonnage of rape produced on that property, I don't have to spend my client's $ on planting or buying back corn or beans from the farmer on that property this year. Between the 3 new clover plots I established, the rape will feed them most of winter and the timber work I've done can easily carry them to the finish line, if the rape runs dry before spring melt (based on past history with this method, the volume I've produced shouldn't run out until some time in Feb).
     
  13. wiscwhip

    wiscwhip 5 year old buck +

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2014
    Location:
    West Central WI(LaCrosse and Juneau Co.)4b
    AK Honey Hole has a good % of rape in it to begin with, so be careful how much extra you throw on, if that was what you intended by your last post. Very thick brassicas will tend to shade out other stuff, produce smaller bulbs and smaller plants in general=less tonnage even if you used more seed. There is a point of diminishing returns when it comes to seeding most stuff and brassicas are an easy one to overdo it with due to the small seed size and never thinking you have enough on the ground.
     
  14. Steve Bartylla

    Steve Bartylla 5 year old buck +

    Joined:
    May 1, 2014
    Great advice, Whip. IME, there is a very high tendency for people to plant brassicas too thick and land in that diminishing returns zone.

    That said, if I understand correctly, Badger is talking about adding DER to clover during the planting process. You don't need much doing that, either. The Antler King stuff in the pic has less than 1 lbs per acre. Go over 2 lbs per acre and I'd see a risk of choking out the clover. Now, various strains/lines (I always get the 2 messed up) are likely to vary in germ rates, but DER generally establishes fast and at a high percent. So, I could see most trying to put it on too thick in clover, as well.
     
  15. Patrick

    Patrick Yearling... With promise

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2016
    So, let me ask a question to make sure i'm getting the proper application. I have a field an acre in size that has been fallow for many years, just weeds, almost no clover. Are you saying that you would not even spray gly on it this next spring? You would just burn it off, disk it and broadcast clover? Then the next year maybe apply gly? thanks
     

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