Food Plot Plan

West Branch

5 year old buck +
I just wanted to see what people though of my food plot plan for this year. We have hay fields with clover and alfalfa so I want to focus on some fall food that will help fatten up the deer for our winters.

We have a few larger plots of .75-1.5 acres. I will be spraying with gly and then I will broadcast the following and go over with a roller. I won't be doing any tilling.

Per acre planting rates:
Winter Rye: 100 lbs
Groundhog Radish: 4 lbs
Dwarf Essex Rape: 3 lbs
Purple Top Turnip: 1 lb

Hopefully I will also do a couple <.25 acre kill plots. For those I was thinking the following for a .25 acre plots:
Winter Rye: 25 lbs
GHR: 1 lbs
Ladino Clover: 1 lbs
Med Red Clover: 1 lbs

I hope to plant these all around July 15.

What do you think of mixes and planting rates and the sound of the plan?
You're only spraying? Be prepared to battle grasses, is it fescue?
You're only spraying? Be prepared to battle grasses, is it fescue?

Yes, most of it will get sprayed twice. I also plan on dragging it with a coil tine harrow before rolling to get a little better seed/soil contact and then just hope for rain.

It is mostly grass hay with clover mixed in. I am hoping the gly knocks the grasses back and I don't mind if some clover sticks around. Even if I had the time this spring it would have been and still is very hard to till with how much rain we have been getting.

We do have some reed canary is some areas. Last year we used a moldboard plow on a spot when it was dry enough not to get stuck, disced it and then seeded it heavy with winter rye at 150 lbs an acre. I wanted to do that again in two spots but things have been too wet.

One of the kill plots I want to do has reed canary that I hope to have sprayed twice and then seed heavily with the winter rye.
I just sold everything on your list to a guy from Siren WI. Only other thing he added was Peas and Oats.
Looks good WB!

I thought about oats and decided not to, but I hadn't thought about peas. Did that guy get regular field peas or some winter peas?

Once I finalize lbs needed of each I plan on contacting you for your current prices.

I did forget to mention that my dad has 2 bags of soybeans that are a year old that I was thinking about adding to one of the plots. Might as well try to get them on the ground since it will be better than having them sit until next year. Turkeys will eat them if nothing else.
WB, on your first mix, you may want to cut back on the lbs a little in areas that will provide good germination rates, such as moist bottom ground. Your radishes, rape and turnips do best when not planted too thick. When planting mixes including them alone, I never exceed 6 lbs an acre. When planted with cereal rye and oat, I trim that down to 3-4. That's what I've found produces the best results. When it comes to rape, turnips, radishes and I suspect sugar beats (going to experiment with them this fall), less is more. I don't hesitate to overdo clover, alfalfa, corn, soybeans, peas, cereal rye or oats, often to the tune of planting at 150% suggested rate. I've learned the hard way not to do it with rape, turnips and radishes. the only time I'll go heavy with them is in areas I'm not working the soil (like you are proposing) AND it's a generally drier or sandier spot that I believe I'll get poor germination rates.
Thanks Steve, that makes sense on the brassicas. Last year was the first year we planted any and we did it way too thick. We have a neighbor a few miles away that plants a couple acres of brassicas, he was over after ours germinated and said it was too close together.

I will shoot for about 4-5 lbs/acre by reducing the radishes and rape depending on the plot. None of the areas are dry/sandy but only one smaller spot would be moist bottom ground. The rest is somewhere in between.
I just sold everything on your list to a guy from Siren WI. Only other thing he added was Peas and Oats.
Looks good WB!

Mobuckchaser - did you see my conversation message to you, or do you have some other contact information I could talk to you about an order with?

Got things planted this past Monday-Tuesday. I remembered to take some pics to. It keeps the wife happy to see updates so she knows I am actually doing something ;).

Here was my planting set up. Minus the backpack sprayer for kill plots and the 4 wheeler sprayer for larger areas.

First field is just north of my cabin. It is along the road so we started screens this year with spruce and hybrid poplar.

It was a clover, timothy, and other hay grasses field. I broadcasted beans on July 6, and the hay was cut and baled in the next week. Beans were now up. I sprayed with gly and then broadcast rye, radish, rape, and turnips and then rolled.

The clover will likely bounce back from the gly, but hopefully it gives everything else a good head start. There should a be big mix of food here. Pics of the young beans:

South end of the field looking north. Road and screening is to the right.

Also overseeded a 1.5 acre field of the cattle pasture as an experiment. Cows have been off of it for a little while. White clover was coming back up thick in spots. Instead of doing the brassicas in the solo spreader separately, I mixed the brassicas and rye all into 3 pt spreader. I had the roller on while spreading but did not roll the whole thing. Hopefully the cattle work the seed into the ground when back on pasture and that there is still green stuff for hunting season.

Also did a 3/4 acre plot out back in the woods. Only picture of took of that.

Also broke ground on a new plot. It a 1/4 acre opening that was full of reed canary. Cut it with the brush chopper back on 4th July weekend and then this past weekend I took the brush disc to it.

I made many passes to break up the sod.

I also dragged after disking to get rid of the larger clumps but forgot to take another picture. I think I can get back up on Aug 9 and try spraying any weeds that come up and then broadcast rye very heavily and roll. Then next spring we will decide what to do depending on how much reed canary comes back.

This plot is also surrounded by bur oaks that are from 2 feet tall to 30+ feet tall.
Here is one of the big food plots. The deer don't seem to be hitting the alfalfa and clover fields as hard this year with all of the browse in the woods. Once September rolls around there are usually a lot of deer in these fields. Or there used to be until we shot them all and then had two hard winters in a row :oops:.

Nice looking plots! I also like the set up you have on your tractor, one pass broadcast and cultipack. I alway enjoy seeing others rigs and getting ideas, thanks.
So I never got things fertilized, I was never up at the right time and just hoped it would turn out. Brassicas came up but are pretty weak. There will be forage but roots will be spotty. Good thing I had planted plenty of winter rye, it has come in strong and should be tall for winter food!