Clover outcompetes my efforts for diversity??

Foggy47

5 year old buck +
Background: (I know this is bit long winded....but I need to set the stage)

Started my no-till journey in August of '21. My first seeding was 100 lbs of rye and 34 lbs of a mix of clovers, brassica and peas. I have four clover varieties of Durana, Alice, Ladino, and medium red clover. I had a pretty good start in fall with frequent rains after drilling into nuked attempts of spring / summer failed crops. Was very satisfied coming into '22 Spring with great rye and clovers and in June I planted GCC Summer Release mix. I got some reward for that into July and August with some sorgum and beans in my now very well established clovers. 8 acres worth.

In late June I used my roller crimper to lay a very nice Matt of rye over all my plots........and watched the clover emerge through the rye. Perfect!

After mid-July I planted some GH Radish, Forage Collards, PT Turnips to get some growth for fall. Not much reward for that effort but now when I get to August I do see a "fair" mix of some of these brassica leaves in my plots. Not great.....but hoping for more. I'm in zone 3 in Northern MN......so In late August it was time to get my winter rye and another mix of clovers and brasica drilled into the now very lush clover plots.

During the summer I did a few applications of (edit) Clethodium where I had grasses and mowed over the top of my clover to control broadleaves. These efforts were timely and seemed to do the trick.

I did mow a few strips to the "nubs" in my August efforts......but otherwise drilled these seeds into the standing lush clover. The areas where I mowed short did a bit better than the un-mowed.....but that clover I mowed came back like gangbusters. The rye planted in late August, has come in well in the 7.5" strips thought my plots and I feel certain I will get a decent stand of rye for weed control and mulch again for fall and into next spring.

Now my concerns and how to fix it?

I should not complain as I have about 8 acres of beautiful clovers that are reasonably weed free and some mixture of brassica forage intermixed through most of my plots. My issue is......that I do not have good brassica stands to attract the deer once that clover diminishes due to the onset of cold weather......which is just now starting here. We getting some nighttime freezes now.......and that clover will be mostly gone come our rifle season.....where I will need to rely on the rye to feed the deer. I don't think I have enough decent brassica to draw and basically no turnip bulbs or radish bulbs.

I suppose it's too late this year to get a great result and I will "limp through" with the clover and rye and meager brassica's I have.....but there is always a better way to do things. So my question for next year becomes: How should I set-back my clover to establish a better brassica result for fall of 2023? Should I do small brassica plots via nuking or mowing areas?.....or what do you guys do??

The pic below may be the best of my brassica in the clovers......not a horrible situation.....I just want to learn how to do better next year. Those pics are now a month old....that sorgum is brown and the clovers are beginning to diminish. Thanks for considered input to my questions above.
 

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yoderjac

5 year old buck +
To my ay of thinking you chose the wrong clover for the application. When you mix annuals and perennials, you will generally have perennials dominate over time That is because the have an established root system and get a big jump on annuals unless suppressed. If you plan to plant spring and fall, or just fall, I'd separate the perennial clover from my annual rotation. I'd grow some fields that I would maintain in perennial clover (you have that now). I always establish them with a nurse crop of WR and plant in the fall. You can mix other non-legume perennials like chicory or small burnet. I would take other fields and do your annual rotation mixing legumes for N. If you want clovers as part of your legumes in the mix, I'd choose annual clovers. I like Crimson in my area, but you may want to look at something that works better in your areas. I don't use berseem, but I think some guys up north like it. I think there is even a "frosty" version for further north. Check with folks in your area for specifics, but this is my general recommendation.

Thanks,

Jack
 

Bill

Administrator
I experimented this year. In Early August I drilled brassicas and clover into established clover. One section the clover was mowed to the ground. The other section I hit with gly. Neither did well so I over seeded rye in September. It looks terrible but it’s next to plenty of beans that also got rye in September also. Last year I just broadcast into the above experiment with similar results. ????

Next year I’m going to drill earlier. Like early July. I want a nice brassica field damn it! Never have had one.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
I experimented this year. In Early August I drilled brassicas and clover into established clover. One section the clover was mowed to the ground. The other section I hit with gly. Neither did well so I over seeded rye in September. It looks terrible but it’s next to plenty of beans that also got rye in September also. Last year I just broadcast into the above experiment with similar results. ????

Next year I’m going to drill earlier. Like early July. I want a nice brassica field damn it! Never have had one.

Interesting. I've had good luck whit both mowing flat and suppressing established perennial clover with 1 qt/ac gly. Timing is important. I've generally done it just as we are moving into cooler night with rain in the forecast. But, different locations, different issues...
 

Foggy47

5 year old buck +
I experimented this year. In Early August I drilled brassicas and clover into established clover. One section the clover was mowed to the ground. The other section I hit with gly. Neither did well so I over seeded rye in September. It looks terrible but it’s next to plenty of beans that also got rye in September also. Last year I just broadcast into the above experiment with similar results. ????

Next year I’m going to drill earlier. Like early July. I want a nice brassica field damn it! Never have had one.
Yep.....I thought I could get some of my brasica to compete well against my clover. Has not been a good result. I do have some weak forage brassica....but little in the way of bulb development. I will have a plan in place for next year......and I suppose it will involve both giving a buzz cut to my clover and hitting it with a dose of roundup at planting time. May have to try a few methods......and then everything is weather dependent.

As Jack says.....I do wish I had planted more annual clovers. Alas. One thing for certain....is that I do feed allot of deer all summer long.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Yep.....I thought I could get some of my brasica to compete well against my clover. Has not been a good result. I do have some weak forage brassica....but little in the way of bulb development. I will have a plan in place for next year......and I suppose it will involve both giving a buzz cut to my clover and hitting it with a dose of roundup at planting time. May have to try a few methods......and then everything is weather dependent.

As Jack says.....I do wish I had planted more annual clovers. Alas. One thing for certain....is that I do feed allot of deer all summer long.

Maybe it is possible, but I've only had it work by suppressing the clover.
 

Diesel5610

5 year old buck +
I experimented this year. In Early August I drilled brassicas and clover into established clover. One section the clover was mowed to the ground. The other section I hit with gly. Neither did well so I over seeded rye in September. It looks terrible but it’s next to plenty of beans that also got rye in September also. Last year I just broadcast into the above experiment with similar results. ????

Next year I’m going to drill earlier. Like early July. I want a nice brassica field damn it! Never have had one.

We finally received our new drill in July and I did the same with 2 clover plots in early August, sprayed both with gly. They both came up but did poorly but we had a pretty substantial drought this year and they didn’t get a good rain for about the first three weeks. We have a lot of clover plots that I would like to rotate into brassicas occasionally so I will be following this thread with interest.
 

Foggy47

5 year old buck +
Maybe it is possible, but I've only had it work by suppressing the clover.
With having a relatively new stand of clover on eight acres.....I was a bit reluctant to do a big dose of roundup on those clovers in order to plant my brasica. I was surprised how aggressive clover came in ss the summer came to a close. I put ALLOT of seed down this summer with (1) the summer release seeding.....then (2) an "early" brassica seeding.....and then (3) more brassica when I drilled my rye into the clover.

Good thing is....the rye seems to grow pretty well in the clover......so at worst.....I have lost a season of "good" brasica.

My plots are not "bad'.....rather they are kind of like "son-in-law plots". Not QUITE what you had expected. Grin.
 

SD51555

5 year old buck +
Background: (I know this is bit long winded....but I need to set the stage)

Started my no-till journey in August of '21. My first seeding was 100 lbs of rye and 34 lbs of a mix of clovers, brassica and peas. I have four clover varieties of Durana, Alice, Ladino, and medium red clover. I had a pretty good start in fall with frequent rains after drilling into nuked attempts of spring / summer failed crops. Was very satisfied coming into '22 Spring with great rye and clovers and in June I planted GCC Summer Release mix. I got some reward for that into July and August with some sorgum and beans in my now very well established clovers. 8 acres worth.

In late June I used my roller crimper to lay a very nice Matt of rye over all my plots........and watched the clover emerge through the rye. Perfect!

After mid-July I planted some GH Radish, Forage Collards, PT Turnips to get some growth for fall. Not much reward for that effort but now when I get to August I do see a "fair" mix of some of these brassica leaves in my plots. Not great.....but hoping for more. I'm in zone 3 in Northern MN......so In late August it was time to get my winter rye and another mix of clovers and brasica drilled into the now very lush clover plots.

During the summer I did a few applications of Buterac where I had grasses and mowed over the top of my clover to control broadleaves. These efforts were timely and seemed to do the trick.

I did mow a few strips to the "nubs" in my August efforts......but otherwise drilled these seeds into the standing lush clover. The areas where I mowed short did a bit better than the un-mowed.....but that clover I mowed came back like gangbusters. The rye planted in late August, has come in well in the 7.5" strips thought my plots and I feel certain I will get a decent stand of rye for weed control and mulch again for fall and into next spring.

Now my concerns and how to fix it?

I should not complain as I have about 8 acres of beautiful clovers that are reasonably weed free and some mixture of brassica forage intermixed through most of my plots. My issue is......that I do not have good brassica stands to attract the deer once that clover diminishes due to the onset of cold weather......which is just now starting here. We getting some nighttime freezes now.......and that clover will be mostly gone come our rifle season.....where I will need to rely on the rye to feed the deer. I don't think I have enough decent brassica to draw and basically no turnip bulbs or radish bulbs.

I suppose it's too late this year to get a great result and I will "limp through" with the clover and rye and meager brassica's I have.....but there is always a better way to do things. So my question for next year becomes: How should I set-back my clover to establish a better brassica result for fall of 2023? Should I do small brassica plots via nuking or mowing areas?.....or what do you guys do??

The pic below may be the best of my brassica in the clovers......not a horrible situation.....I just want to learn how to do better next year. Those pics are now a month old....that sorgum is brown and the clovers are beginning to diminish. Thanks for considered input to my questions above.
Welcome to the front lines of my battle.
 

Foggy47

5 year old buck +
Welcome to the front lines of my battle.
One of the reasons I dont like to plant chicory (other than seed cost) is that it wont take any treatments with cleth or roundup. Hard to find compatible crops at times.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
With having a relatively new stand of clover on eight acres.....I was a bit reluctant to do a big dose of roundup on those clovers in order to plant my brasica. I was surprised how aggressive clover came in ss the summer came to a close. I put ALLOT of seed down this summer with (1) the summer release seeding.....then (2) an "early" brassica seeding.....and then (3) more brassica when I drilled my rye into the clover.

Good thing is....the rye seems to grow pretty well in the clover......so at worst.....I have lost a season of "good" brasica.

My plots are not "bad'.....rather they are kind of like "son-in-law plots". Not QUITE what you had expected. Grin.
Yes, I only do that on a well established aging stand to give me a few more years of life before I rotate.
 

omicron1792

5 year old buck +
I know it’s become persona non grata here but what about discing it some for fall planting. Then drill summer crop then drill again next fall and start over. One discing every couple of years seems not so bad.
 

SD51555

5 year old buck +
One of the reasons I dont like to plant chicory (other than seed cost) is that it wont take any treatments with cleth or roundup. Hard to find compatible crops at times.
I gotta have the chicory. Still standing at the idea board puzzled, but a few ideas rattling around in the noggin.
 

Foggy47

5 year old buck +
I know it’s become persona non grata here but what about discing it some for fall planting. Then drill summer crop then drill again next fall and start over. One discing every couple of years seems not so bad.
I did set my flail mower real low and scalped the clover in some long strips ( I actually did this the day after drilling into the clover). That did give a bit of a head start to the Brassica.....but the clover came back very strong in the weeks to follow and look pretty much the same as adjoining crops now.

Been thinking about shallow-tilling strips first......or maybe some larger plot areas but not sure what that does to my strategy next Spring when the brassica is gone. I suppose I would be relying on the winter rye to suppress the weeds and need to replant when I roll the rye. Not sure I want to go down that rabbit hole......
 

omicron1792

5 year old buck +
I did set my flail mower real low and scalped the clover in some long strips ( I actually did this the day after drilling into the clover). That did give a bit of a head start to the Brassica.....but the clover came back very strong in the weeks to follow and look pretty much the same as adjoining crops now.

Been thinking about shallow-tilling strips first......or maybe some larger plot areas but not sure what that does to my strategy next Spring when the brassica is gone. I suppose I would be relying on the winter rye to suppress the weeds and need to replant when I roll the rye. Not sure I want to go down that rabbit hole......
I feel you foggy.

I’m thinking more and more that trying to make every plot a diverse mix is not the path I will take. I think every plot needs some diversity, but not 18 different things.

Im thinking these days my main feed plots in center of property will be diverse mixes similar to fall and summer release.

My smaller plots around edges will be more traditional clover plots with perennial clover and a few things like chicory and alfalfa mixed In.

I’ve been watching a lot of Baker videos on here lately. If I had one or two plots only I would def throw 20 things out a season. But Im planting close to 20 acres now. I think having a dedicated brassica plot is cool. Some Durana plots. Next summer I’m gonna try alyceclover and deer vetch mix.

Im just not sure I can try to do everything In every plot and have good results.

For you, maybe keep most of the plots in perennial clover and just drill rye every winter. Then disc a strip or two and plant pure brassicas. You could alternate the strips every season back to clover keeping soil healthy.
 

Foggy47

5 year old buck +
One thing that really stood out for my efforts this summer......was that I never dried out my ground due to tillage. Keeping the soil covered is a huge benefit. I got very sandy ground and in 7 to 10 days I can go from super wet .....to powder dry. We did have some timely rains this summer......but even when others were complaining about drought.....my plots remained lush and green. Keeping the ground covered made a huge difference!

The other thing is ....I seem to have resolved my problems with pigweed.....by out competing those weeds for the space they need to grow. I was amazed at how my plots remained relatively weed free. I did have some grasses that I took care of with cleth.....and mowed some broadleaves.....but all in all I am doing good in my pigweed battle. Which is part of what got me going down this no-till drill path.

^^ Those things I am not ready to give away easily. I think Jack hit on a good consideration......that of using more annual and biannual clovers. Also I wonder if shallow tillage wont allow the clover to rebound the following year (or season). That shallow tillage.....coupled with the spreading nature of clover from the adjacent areas may allow those tilled strips to be viable in my plans.

As I go to Arizona in winters.....and dont get back until late May......I'm focussed on remaining relatively weed-free in spring from the winter rye and clover plots. Tough requirements.....I know. lol I'm not asking for much? Grin.
 

Bill

Administrator
I know it’s become persona non grata here but what about discing it some for fall planting. Then drill summer crop then drill again next fall and start over. One discing every couple of years seems not so bad.

I've done that also. But it always seems to not rain again and the dirt drys out. yet somehow the brassica seed I spill in the yard grows nicely?? which is why I tried drilling this year, hoping some of the moisture in the clover roots would help.
 

SD51555

5 year old buck +
One thing that really stood out for my efforts this summer......was that I never dried out my ground due to tillage. Keeping the soil covered is a huge benefit. I got very sandy ground and in 7 to 10 days I can go from super wet .....to powder dry. We did have some timely rains this summer......but even when others were complaining about drought.....my plots remained lush and green. Keeping the ground covered made a huge difference!

The other thing is ....I seem to have resolved my problems with pigweed.....by out competing those weeds for the space they need to grow. I was amazed at how my plots remained relatively weed free. I did have some grasses that I took care of with cleth.....and mowed some broadleaves.....but all in all I am doing good in my pigweed battle. Which is part of what got me going down this no-till drill path.

^^ Those things I am not ready to give away easily. I think Jack hit on a good consideration......that of using more annual and biannual clovers. Also I wonder if shallow tillage wont allow the clover to rebound the following year (or season). That shallow tillage.....coupled with the spreading nature of clover from the adjacent areas may allow those tilled strips to be viable in my plans.

As I go to Arizona in winters.....and dont get back until late May......I'm focussed on remaining relatively weed-free in spring from the winter rye and clover plots. Tough requirements.....I know. lol I'm not asking for much? Grin.
You may stumble into a good experiment this year. If you've got a thin crop of brassicas now, they should be long gone before gun season. What I'd be watching for is if your plots without brassicas still bring in good deer numbers in November. If they do, I'd consider eliminating the brassicas. I still fart around with brassicas every year, knowing they likely won't compete. But I still do it because it costs me about $6 to throw a couple pounds into the fall seed blend.
 

Foggy47

5 year old buck +
You may stumble into a good experiment this year. If you've got a thin crop of brassicas now, they should be long gone before gun season. What I'd be watching for is if your plots without brassicas still bring in good deer numbers in November. If they do, I'd consider eliminating the brassicas. I still fart around with brassicas every year, knowing they likely won't compete. But I still do it because it costs me about $6 to throw a couple pounds into the fall seed blend.
Well....that was my situation last fall.. I had some good clover because we had an abnormally mild fall, and I had winter rye and the deer really liked the rye. Same after a long hard winter....the deer were really on that rye in the spring. I'm not sure what the fall weather will be.....but if my clover is still viable.....it draws deer. But if we get a series of 20 degree and colder days....that clover goes down fast. That is when brassica shines......and why I want some. Cant rely on luck like last year each fall.
 

Catscratch

5 year old buck +
Foggy... didn't someone tell you Palmer (pigweed) was pretty easy to get rid of a couple of years ago. Grin!
 
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