My internal debate on implements . . . need advice

SwampCat

5 year old buck +
The seeding is the easy part, knowing your land and soil condition is a whole different story.

The OP's land may require a chisel plow to break up compacted soil and allow for aeration proper drainage.

Having a well knowledged person with a farming background would be a good thing. Understanding soil chemistry, OM, & prep requirements, along with fertilizer & herbicide requirements, based on seed types could save some frustrations ... contact your local feed mill and get some assistance.

Actually, the seeding and soil conditions can be very closely related. In some cases, the seeding can be the hard part. I have three food plots that I have not been able to seed in over two months because of soil conditions. If I wasnt retired and living on my place, I would rarely catch seeding conditions just right. Because of the highly variable planting conditions, I have a hand seeder, a tow behind for sxs, a 400 lb capacity 3 pt spreader, and an 84” woods seeder. I have used them all in the past two months.
 

Tree Spud

5 year old buck +
Actually, the seeding and soil conditions can be very closely related. In some cases, the seeding can be the hard part. I have three food plots that I have not been able to seed in over two months because of soil conditions. If I wasnt retired and living on my place, I would rarely catch seeding conditions just right. Because of the highly variable planting conditions, I have a hand seeder, a tow behind for sxs, a 400 lb capacity 3 pt spreader, and an 84” woods seeder. I have used them all in the past two months.

You validated my point ... there is no one size fits all answers ... learn your ground, be prepared for unpredictable weather, and keep your old stuff.

While I plant with large tractor and implements, there are many spots I still use my ATV and 48" drag & cultipacker. I still hand seed multiple acres every year. Transition plots, trails leading to destination food sources etc. all require different soil prep & seeding flexibility. In some areas, I never till the ground, I spray and broadcast plant only.
 

SwampCat

5 year old buck +
You validated my point ... there is no one size fits all answers ... learn your ground, be prepared for unpredictable weather, and keep your old stuff.

While I plant with large tractor and implements, there are many spots I still use my ATV and 48" drag & cultipacker. I still hand seed multiple acres every year. Transition plots, trails leading to destination food sources etc. all require different soil prep & seeding flexibility. In some areas, I never till the ground, I spray and broadcast plant only.

I wish I could validate your point about the seeding being the easy part - but not on my ground.:emoji_wink:
 

Tree Spud

5 year old buck +
I wish I could validate your point about the seeding being the easy part - but not on my ground.:emoji_wink:

I understand, we are fortunate to have this mineral rich soil ... adds a bit of excitement when discing ... :emoji_relaxed:

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Dukslayr

5 year old buck +
I have a jd 790 - 28 hp - running five ft implements. I was planting 30 acres a year with it. Millet, wheat, brassicas, clover, sunflower, and beans. You do not need to row plant beans and sunflower for a good stand. No way would I spend the kind of money you are talking about unless I had it to burn or was going to be bush hogging 40 acres, too. Two years ago, I bought a 65 hp jd. I plant around 60 now. I kept the 790. I still use the 790 a lot. I dont have to have a highway to get it back in some of the remote plots. I use the little tractor for spraying, spreading fertilizer, planting in hard to get to areas, etc. The 65 hp gets used for disking, big bush hogging jobs, and pulling an 84” woods seeder. My opinion, I am planting food plots, not making a living from row crop. If there is a weed or a bald spot - it is not life altering. Everything about the bigger tractor costs more. Costs me $600 round trip just for them to pick it up and bring it back for service because I dont have any way to get it there. I pull my smaller tractor everywhere on a trailer. If I was planting only ten acres, and had to plant corn - I would look for a two row planter used or buy a one row Covington planter new. I could plant four acres in a couple hours with my one row covington planter I use in my garden.
What’s your method for planting sunflowers and how big of a plot do you plant in order to get some to maturity? I’ve got an area of about 4-5 acres by my shop that’s not enrolled in CRP and I can do whatever I want there. I’m thinking about planting it into sunflowers for some good dove shoots in September but I’m wondering if I’ll be able to get any of it to maturity on a 4-5 acre plot.
 

swat1018

5 year old buck +
I think new, they can be had for $7500. We bought a one yr old used for $6000. It is not a no till drill - at least for pure ease of planting. But, it does a pretty decent job if the vegetation where you are planting isnt too thick. Our county rents no till drills - but they wouldnt rent one to me because of all the trees and roots in my food plots. Said it would tear up the drill. Woods seeder has never missed a beat. I plant an acre in 20 minutes - but it needs light to little vegetation on it. Does a pretty good job planting big and little seed at the same time. When I jumped from 30 to 60 acres - I had to do something different.

So $7500 for your planter, plus tillage equipment, plus 2 trips across the field, at least. Not sure your tools are any cheaper than my no-till. Plus my soil health continues to improve. To each their own....
 

SwampCat

5 year old buck +
What’s your method for planting sunflowers and how big of a plot do you plant in order to get some to maturity? I’ve got an area of about 4-5 acres by my shop that’s not enrolled in CRP and I can do whatever I want there. I’m thinking about planting it into sunflowers for some good dove shoots in September but I’m wondering if I’ll be able to get any of it to maturity on a 4-5 acre plot.

I have two different five acre plots. Have planted them both for about five years. I broadcast and then pull a drag over them and they have done fine. This year, I used my woods seeder with all but three of the holes blocked and was not impressed.

Prior to planting, I put down a pre emergent and 200 lbs per acre 19-19-19. I plant about 7 lbs per acre peredovik seed. I spray cleth as soon as I see grass starting to show - and then again, if needed, right before they get too tall to drive over. I also spread 150 lbs per acre 34-0-0 at this time.

I have only one time had pretty severe deer damage - and that was during a flood that ran all the deer out of the bottoms up onto me. I do have a five acre bean patch close by and most of the deer stay in it. I would not say I have a high deer density

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SwampCat

5 year old buck +
So $7500 for your planter, plus tillage equipment, plus 2 trips across the field, at least. Not sure your tools are any cheaper than my no-till. Plus my soil health continues to improve. To each their own....

I agree. But also consider I bought the implements over 15 years - 13 years without a tractor big enough to use a no-till. I just bought the 65 hp tractor and woods seeder within the last two years. I cant even get in some of my plots with the 65 hp tractor. Also, the county would NOT rent me their no-till drill for fear of damage around all the exposed tree roots. I use every seeding implement I have - every year. I dont use my hand seeder, my small tow behind seeder, or my three pt spreader because I like to - I use them because I have to.

I am not in ag ground and only managing for deer where it is easy. I plant for deer, doves, turkeys, and ducks. I have plots my 28 hp jd 790 barely fits down the access trail. I have ground that has to be just right or the little tractor sinks out of sight. I have plots where I have to load all the equipment up - including the little tractor - on a 16 foot trailer and haul it over there to plant.

Please dont make the mistake of thinking your ground is my ground.
 

MRBB

5 year old buck +
ok sorry I didn;t read every response above,
BUT IMO, a larger tractor is a huge improvement for you, it will save you time, allow larger implements to be used, get less wear and tear doing small field work
and possibly the chance to RENT equipment rather than BUYING it, to plant your corn and beans, and a larger brush hog to chop it all up, which honestly if your planting corn and NOT combining it down, your left with a LOT of debris on the ground to deal with that should be disked up after mowing a few times, and a larger disc behind a larger tractor, does a better job,a 6 ft tiller will take forever to do a few acres, great for small plots, but very time consuming IMO<
your 200 acres is an investment, and as such I think a larger tractor is worth the investment as well
NO one says you have to buy NEW here either
a LOT of older larger tractors are out there for decent prices if you look!
people very easy today get caught up in marketing and feel they need NEW things, when honestly a LOT of the OLD stuff was built BETTER less junk to fail, easier to work on and parts are still out there!
many OLD tractors were made to be worked on by unskilled farmers, built OVER sized for there HP
as a food plotter, your NOT making a living off your tractor, it doesn't have to be NEW you will log a LOT less hours on one than a full time farmer buy a HUGE amount of difference!
treat things right, do PM's and they can last you yrs on smaller investments!

70-90 hp, is a LOT of tractor and will do so much more than the one you have now,m Ideally, you would want TWO, smaller one and larger one! and use each based on task at hand!
 

SwampCat

5 year old buck +
ok sorry I didn;t read every response above,
BUT IMO, a larger tractor is a huge improvement for you, it will save you time, allow larger implements to be used, get less wear and tear doing small field work
and possibly the chance to RENT equipment rather than BUYING it, to plant your corn and beans, and a larger brush hog to chop it all up, which honestly if your planting corn and NOT combining it down, your left with a LOT of debris on the ground to deal with that should be disked up after mowing a few times, and a larger disc behind a larger tractor, does a better job,a 6 ft tiller will take forever to do a few acres, great for small plots, but very time consuming IMO<
your 200 acres is an investment, and as such I think a larger tractor is worth the investment as well
NO one says you have to buy NEW here either
a LOT of older larger tractors are out there for decent prices if you look!
people very easy today get caught up in marketing and feel they need NEW things, when honestly a LOT of the OLD stuff was built BETTER less junk to fail, easier to work on and parts are still out there!
many OLD tractors were made to be worked on by unskilled farmers, built OVER sized for there HP
as a food plotter, your NOT making a living off your tractor, it doesn't have to be NEW you will log a LOT less hours on one than a full time farmer buy a HUGE amount of difference!
treat things right, do PM's and they can last you yrs on smaller investments!

70-90 hp, is a LOT of tractor and will do so much more than the one you have now,m Ideally, you would want TWO, smaller one and larger one! and use each based on task at hand!

I agree - if you you can swing the money. I have a 65 and 28 hp tractor. I put twice the hours on the larger tractor that I do the smaller tracter. I get on the smaller tractor four times as much as I get on the larger tractor. When I bought a new tractor two years ago, I had people telling me “get the biggest tractor you can afford - too much horsepower never hurt anything”. Based upon their comments, I decided on a 75 hp tractor - there was a pretty good jump in price between a 75 and 85 - and the 85 was a good bit bigger. When I went to buy, the JD salesman asked me what size implements I would be running. When I told him nothing over 8 ft wide - he said the 55 hp would do everything I needed, and would save $6k. I compromised and bought a 65 hp and used the savings to buy a bush hog. The salesman was right. I have never even had my tractor grunt with anything I have ever used it for. Bigger equipment for bigger tractors costs more. It costs more for service on larger tractors. It is logistically more difficult to transport them. It costs money for someone else to transport them. They use a LOT more fuel. It is much more difficult attaching implements. Bigger tractors sink deeper and quicker in soft ground.

Buying my bigger tractor was one of the best things I ever did - but just be aware of what you are getting into. It is great being able to leave your primary implements on two tractors. If you are lucky, sometimes you can enlist someone to operate one while you operate another tractor. I usually get on the little tractor with the spreader, putting out fertilizer, and my son follows me with the big tractor and woods seeder, planting. We get twenty acres of food plots planted in a day doing that.
 

swat1018

5 year old buck +
I agree. But also consider I bought the implements over 15 years - 13 years without a tractor big enough to use a no-till. I just bought the 65 hp tractor and woods seeder within the last two years. I cant even get in some of my plots with the 65 hp tractor. Also, the county would NOT rent me their no-till drill for fear of damage around all the exposed tree roots. I use every seeding implement I have - every year. I dont use my hand seeder, my small tow behind seeder, or my three pt spreader because I like to - I use them because I have to.

I am not in ag ground and only managing for deer where it is easy. I plant for deer, doves, turkeys, and ducks. I have plots my 28 hp jd 790 barely fits down the access trail. I have ground that has to be just right or the little tractor sinks out of sight. I have plots where I have to load all the equipment up - including the little tractor - on a 16 foot trailer and haul it over there to plant.

Please dont make the mistake of thinking your ground is my ground.

I never said anything about your ground, I was speaking to the OP, who is in my region. You are the one that criticized spending money on a tractor and drill, so I made a comparison to your equipment costs. Its money well spent in many situations, I'm 6 hours from the farm, I arrive and plant. I don't have time to get in line at FSA to rent when everyone else is, I have a short window of time to get things done.
 

SwampCat

5 year old buck +
I never said anything about your ground, I was speaking to the OP, who is in my region. You are the one that criticized spending money on a tractor and drill, so I made a comparison to your equipment costs. Its money well spent in many situations, I'm 6 hours from the farm, I arrive and plant. I don't have time to get in line at FSA to rent when everyone else is, I have a short window of time to get things done.

I apologize my confusion. You did not mention my ground. It is just that I can not plant all my ground with a no-till drill - so even if I had purchased one, I would still need my other implements. I am not intending to criticize someone who is spending the money to purchase equipment. As one who has purchased a lot of equipment, I would hope, before buying anything, they understand what they are getting into. I didnt on some of my purchases - and found out the hard way, later.:emoji_wink:
 

Turkish

5 year old buck +
I have two different five acre plots. Have planted them both for about five years. I broadcast and then pull a drag over them and they have done fine. This year, I used my woods seeder with all but three of the holes blocked and was not impressed.

Prior to planting, I put down a pre emergent and 200 lbs per acre 19-19-19. I plant about 7 lbs per acre peredovik seed. I spray cleth as soon as I see grass starting to show - and then again, if needed, right before they get too tall to drive over. I also spread 150 lbs per acre 34-0-0 at this time.

I have only one time had pretty severe deer damage - and that was during a flood that ran all the deer out of the bottoms up onto me. I do have a five acre bean patch close by and most of the deer stay in it. I would not say I have a high deer density

View attachment 21381
so you till/disk before planting your sunflowers?
 

SwampCat

5 year old buck +
so you till/disk before planting your sunflowers?

Yes. I don't plant corn ( I have hogs). Sunflowers are my most labor intensive crop. Weeds are the problem. Doves like clean ground under the flowers - mine usually aren't super clean. I spray gly on the field end of March. I spread fertilizer end of Apr and disk around first of May, spread seed, and drag in. Usually, within about three weeks, I see a little bit of young grass coming in. I spray cleth. At about six week - I may spray cleth again if I see any grass. That is about when they are getting too tall to drive over. I also spread 100- 150 lbs 34-0-0 per acre. They are on their own from that point. Doves will actually feed on the heads before bush hogging. Some fall over to the ground just from the weight of the heads. With a May 1 planting - I usually have doves starting to feed on them early Aug - so I usually try to plant the first two weeks of May. I bush hog a couple strips middle of Aug. A couple more towards the next week. I bush hog it all a few days before season. At my place, there are usually a few clumps of Johnson grass in the field. I leave a few of those as a place to hide.
 

Dukslayr

5 year old buck +
Yes. I don't plant corn ( I have hogs). Sunflowers are my most labor intensive crop. Weeds are the problem. Doves like clean ground under the flowers - mine usually aren't super clean. I spray gly on the field end of March. I spread fertilizer end of Apr and disk around first of May, spread seed, and drag in. Usually, within about three weeks, I see a little bit of young grass coming in. I spray cleth. At about six week - I may spray cleth again if I see any grass. That is about when they are getting too tall to drive over. I also spread 100- 150 lbs 34-0-0 per acre. They are on their own from that point. Doves will actually feed on the heads before bush hogging. Some fall over to the ground just from the weight of the heads. With a May 1 planting - I usually have doves starting to feed on them early Aug - so I usually try to plant the first two weeks of May. I bush hog a couple strips middle of Aug. A couple more towards the next week. I bush hog it all a few days before season. At my place, there are usually a few clumps of Johnson grass in the field. I leave a few of those as a place to hide.

This is exactly my goal. Would love to have a great dove field and I’m going to give it a shot this year and hope that I can get them past the deer.
 

swat1018

5 year old buck +
This is exactly my goal. Would love to have a great dove field and I’m going to give it a shot this year and hope that I can get them past the deer.
You're going to need a fence to get you're going to need a fence to get sunflowers to survive, probably. Unless, you have a huge field.
 

Dukslayr

5 year old buck +
You're going to need a fence to get you're going to need a fence to get sunflowers to survive, probably. Unless, you have a huge field.
4-5 acres is probably going to be the size of the field. If that’s not enough to get them through then I’ll just be SOL for sunflowers. Unfortunately I don’t have the time to deal with fencing out the plot. I’m in an area heavy with ag so hopefully beans and other stuff with preoccupy them. Won’t know will I give it a shot I guess!
 

SwampCat

5 year old buck +
This is exactly my goal. Would love to have a great dove field and I’m going to give it a shot this year and hope that I can get them past the deer.

I wouldnt try it the first year until I saw if the deer demolished them - but there is a sunfield calles Clearfield that is somewhat similar to roundup ready. I think you spray Beyond over them. Everything about them is expensive - but it does help keep them clean. As long as I have my beans available - the deer usually dont hurt the flowers. Every area is different. What state do you live in?
 

Dukslayr

5 year old buck +
I wouldnt try it the first year until I saw if the deer demolished them - but there is a sunfield calles Clearfield that is somewhat similar to roundup ready. I think you spray Beyond over them. Everything about them is expensive - but it does help keep them clean. As long as I have my beans available - the deer usually dont hurt the flowers. Every area is different. What state do you live in?
I’m in northern Missouri. We have a pretty high deer density.
 
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