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Native Warm Season Grass

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Dbltree

Guest
PDF files are available at the bottom of Dbltree's post showing the pictures he posted

Native Warm Season Grass we planted 3 years ago and we will burn it next spring under CRP MCM (mid contract management) which means we get paid to enhance our habitat ;)



If you are seeding prairie grass this winter or spring you should be in the process of killing existing CSG (cool season grass ). Hopefully you mowed it 3-4 weeks ago and spraying right about now.



We use 2 quarts glyphosate (roundup )and 1 quart of crop oil per acre. Depending on the grasses being sown there are a few option's to add to get some pre-emergant control the following spring



Plateau/Panoramic can be used to get additional control of fescue in mixed NWSG such as Big Bluestem and Indiangrass. Check label for compatible species, fall spraying will allow sufficient time for many species yet give some control into spring.



Switchgrass preparation is essentially the same but we can add 1 to 2 ounces Oust XP/SFM75 per acre to the glyphosate. Do NOT use this combination in the spring the seeding year.



Native prairie grass makes outstanding whitetail buck habitat, especially on hilly ground. Ideally highly erodible crop land can be enrolled in CRP but any fields not required for feeding areas would be better off in native grass on farms managed for whitetails.


Many thanks to chickenlittle for rescuing Pauls pictures.

PDF's of the this thread with Dlbtree's photobucket images included.
 

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scott44

5 year old buck +
Great to see you posting here Paul! Glad you figured it out.
 

Native Hunter

5 year old buck +
Paul, I'm really glad to see you posting here and especially glad you started a thread on native grasses. I look forward to your future posts.

Thanks - Steve
 

Freeborn

5 year old buck +
Agree with your assessment of NWSG. I walked my 50 acres of NWSG about 3 weeks ago and would have walked right past a 2 yr old buck if my Male Vizsla (Trapper) would not have winded him. I was expecting a rooster or a hen but Trapper had to almost get on top of him before he got up. I frequently find deer beds on the NWSG and it is very good quality cover on decent soils.

One thing to keep in mind is what mix will work best for your soils. On my poor soils (sandy) my mix of NWSG has not done well and I plan to replant and amend my soil so I get a thicker planting and better cover. In particular, the switch grass has underperformed on my poor soils while grasses like Indian and big blue stem have done better.

FB
 
D

Dbltree

Guest
Agree with your assessment of NWSG. I walked my 50 acres of NWSG about 3 weeks ago and would have walked right past a 2 yr old buck if my Male Vizsla (Trapper) would not have winded him. I was expecting a rooster or a hen but Trapper had to almost get on top of him before he got up. I frequently find deer beds on the NWSG and it is very good quality cover on decent soils.

One thing to keep in mind is what mix will work best for your soils. On my poor soils (sandy) my mix of NWSG has not done well and I plan to replant and amend my soil so I get a thicker planting and better cover. In particular, the switch grass has underperformed on my poor soils while grasses like Indian and big blue stem have done better.

FB
You bring up a great point, our heavy soils are perfect for NWSG but light, sandy soils may not be suited for many species. Best buy seed from local growers if possible, there are switch variety's that are adapted to northern timber soils, CIR is not one of them.
 

John-W-WI

Administrator
Paul,

Why the roundup and crop oil mix? I've never used crop oil with roundup. Maybe I'm missing something?

Thanks,

John
 

sandbur

5 year old buck +
You bring up a great point, our heavy soils are perfect for NWSG but light, sandy soils may not be suited for many species. Best buy seed from local growers if possible, there are switch variety's that are adapted to northern timber soils, CIR is not one of them.
Agree with your assessment of NWSG. I walked my 50 acres of NWSG about 3 weeks ago and would have walked right past a 2 yr old buck if my Male Vizsla (Trapper) would not have winded him. I was expecting a rooster or a hen but Trapper had to almost get on top of him before he got up. I frequently find deer beds on the NWSG and it is very good quality cover on decent soils.

One thing to keep in mind is what mix will work best for your soils. On my poor soils (sandy) my mix of NWSG has not done well and I plan to replant and amend my soil so I get a thicker planting and better cover. In particular, the switch grass has underperformed on my poor soils while grasses like Indian and big blue stem have done better.

FB

Jerry-Have you tried any cuttings of sandbar willow in those areas of wetter sand? I used diamond willow (maybe it is Bebb's) but I should have tried sandbar for stem density from what I have seen and quicker growth.

I'm just not impressed with NWSG on lighter soils for deer cover. It's pretty to look at. Indian grass and big blue are OK, but I'll take willows that stand through winter and provide browse. And I'll have a few spruce in there, also.
 

sandbur

5 year old buck +
Paul-can you make any statements about bucks or other deer bedding in standing corn versus NWSG?

Is one or the other better under certain conditions?
 
D

Dbltree

Guest
1
Paul,

Why the roundup and crop oil mix? I've never used crop oil with roundup. Maybe I'm missing something?

Thanks,

John
 
D

Dbltree

Guest
We only use crop oil on hard to kill fescue and brome John, otherwise it is not necessary
 
D

Dbltree

Guest
1
1

Here in Iowa mature bucks usually choose NWSG on hilly ground over brush or corn until snow, then they move to either one
 

Freeborn

5 year old buck +
Jerry-Have you tried any cuttings of sandbar willow in those areas of wetter sand? I used diamond willow (maybe it is Bebb's) but I should have tried sandbar for stem density from what I have seen and quicker growth.

I'm just not impressed with NWSG on lighter soils for deer cover. It's pretty to look at. Indian grass and big blue are OK, but I'll take willows that stand through winter and provide browse. And I'll have a few spruce in there, also.
Jerry-Have you tried any cuttings of sandbar willow in those areas of wetter sand? I used diamond willow (maybe it is Bebb's) but I should have tried sandbar for stem density from what I have seen and quicker growth.

I'm just not impressed with NWSG on lighter soils for deer cover. It's pretty to look at. Indian grass and big blue are OK, but I'll take willows that stand through winter and provide browse. And I'll have a few spruce in there, also.

I do have quite allot of willow in my low areas, ill take a photo of it next weekend. Hard to beat NWSG when covering a large area. I do find allot of beds in mine often. I agree with Paul, if you have elevation deer can bed in it and wind check affectively.

I would like to see how the grasses perform after burning as it may stimulate deeper roots and better performance on sandy soils.
 
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sandbur

5 year old buck +
1
1

Here in Iowa mature bucks usually choose NWSG on hilly ground over brush or corn until snow, then they move to either one
Does flat ground or rifle zone versus shotgun zone have any influence?

It seems to me that rifle hunting could easily pick off the bucks in NWSG in our area. Bow season has deer using some of our NWSG on flatlands. Bow hunting pressure is down for this year at present.
 

sandbur

5 year old buck +
I do have quite allot of willow in my low areas, ill take a photo of it next weekend. Hard to beat NWSG when covering a large area. I do find allot of beds in mine often. I agree with Paul, if you have elevation deer can bed in it and wind check affectively.

I would like to see how te grssses perform after burning as it ma stimulate deeper roots and better performance on sandy soils.


The neighboring Wildlife Management area was burned this spring and with the wet summer, there is decent cover. Just not very many deer or pheasants to use it. I walked a switch grass stand with my dog and found very little deer sign. (Few tracks on the gravel road, either) The Indian Grass and Big Blue stands look OK.
 
D

Dbltree

Guest
We don't have rifle season here but during shotgun (early Dec. ) bucks evade hunters by sticking to NWSG stands no one wants to stumble through large fields of 7' high grass just to get a fleeting glimpse of a rack and no shot.

A December shotgun season and hundred's of thousand's of acres of CRP are why Iowa is world reknown for record class whitetails ;)
 
D

dipper

Guest
Also because guys aren't motivated enough and the amount of hunters. In wi there would be 5 or 6 guys for every 40 acres with rifles, x bows and grenades if they could.
I haven't ruled out cir switch on sandy soils in central wi just yet. It has survived 3 years of consistent droughty conditions, and it's hanging in there. Some is 7' tall some 6". I'll give mine 2 more years and I might have some nice grass
 

Freeborn

5 year old buck +
Does flat ground or rifle zone versus shotgun zone have any influence?

It seems to me that rifle hunting could easily pick off the bucks in NWSG in our area. Bow season has deer using some of our NWSG on flatlands. Bow hunting pressure is down for this year at present.

Not easy at all. The deer blend into the grass very well and unless you have extreme elevation it can be very hard to see deer and even harder to determine what they are. Most of the public land I see around here is simply Dakota switch which performs poorly. I have Dakota in my mixes and it might be good for the soil but it is not very good for cover. With a little effort developing a mix I think you could get a good stand that would have deer bedding in it. Like all cover, the more secluded it is the more likely it will be used.
 

sandbur

5 year old buck +
that Dakot switch mightbe why I am not impressed with what I see on our public lands-light soil.
 

Freeborn

5 year old buck +
that Dakot switch mightbe why I am not impressed with what I see on our public lands-light soil.

I think so. Unfortunately planting large tracks of NWSG with proper seed mixes is very expensive. If you are planting an acre or so it does not matter as should be able to get a very good grass mix with a couple forbs done for $120-$150 that will last years.
 

Freeborn

5 year old buck +
My NWSG looks great this year, amazing the difference rain makes.

Based on the diversity of my soil and how the same mix includes grasses that are performing differently on different soils I do think you can tailor a seed mix to maximize cover. I still need to determine exactly what I am going to do when I partially reseed my existing grasses but I have some good ideas. I will be reseeding (over-seeding) when I do my mid-term grass maintenance in a few years.

When I planted my mix I planted what the NRCS office recommended and I have come to realize they don’t know my soil well enough to tailor a mix nor did they go out of their way to determine the best mix. I have allot more resources to talk to now (Like Milborn Seed and others) and plan to tailor my reseed mix based on my needs, my observations and their recommendations.

It’s interesting, I have a short grass mix in a small area (6 acres) on poorer soils that include short grass varieties that have performed better than taller grass varieties on the same soil. Sometimes observation and not general guidelines is the best teacher.
 
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