sandy soil options

kabic

5 year old buck +
I know people talk about their sandy soils quite a bit. I ran across this article about using millet as an emergency forage an thought some of you may be interested.


http://hayandforage.com/mag/getting-more-from-millet-0501

After several years of serious winterkill to alfalfa, University of Wisconsin Extension specialists set up field trials to evaluate annual forage options, focusing on which worked better on sandy soils in the central part of the state. In a 2005-2007 study, they compared a wide range of annual crops, including 110-day corn, multi-tillering corn, oats, forage sorghum, sudangrass, a milo-soybean mix, soybeans, Italian ryegrass and three types of millet – Japanese, German and hybrid pearl.
 

bueller

Moderator
That is very interesting, thanks for posting it. Has anybody planted millet for deer? I wonder how much and when they would use it? I think I remember hearing about millet being grown for doves in Missouri.
 
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dipper

Guest
Nothing wrong with ole rye, oats and clover on sandy soil. Clover can get so so in the middle of a dry summer, if you grow it as a monoculture and bail it. I wouldn't think deer would eat the millet too much, but I've never planted it.
 

huthut

5 year old buck +
Millet sounds like a good experiment for some or the sandy soil i have in central Wi. As dipper stated - rye, oats, clover do quite well on some of my very sandy sites. One of my very sandy sites is about 3 acres and all i put in it has been rye and clover the last 5 years. I think s strip of millet will be part of a trial on this particular field. Definitley interested in hearing other member experiences
 

wiscwhip

5 year old buck +
You couldn't keep clover alive into the middle of August on our beach sand, most years it burned off much sooner than that. We had next to no OM in that sand and full sun exposure from 7am till 9pm on areas of those plots, due to us not setting up the layout properly.
 

huthut

5 year old buck +
Our clover is also a challenge during most summers - the last 2 years have been particularly bad. We only lightly disk the sandy fields enough to get the seed buried by the cultipacker. Like you we try to maintain our OM. Years ago we would put a moldboard plow in the ground, disk, drag. Didnt know any better as that is what we were taught by grandpa who farmed our land for years. Our sandy fields are now always green with winter rye and we have learned to plant with rain in the forecast anytime after july 4th. That is changing this year as rye/clover is going in May/june based on testimonials regarding earlier planting of winter rye. Clover is thrown in my mix but rye carries the day!
 
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dipper

Guest
You couldn't keep clover alive into the middle of August on our beach sand, most years it burned off much sooner than that. We had next to no OM in that sand and full sun exposure from 7am till 9pm on areas of those plots, due to us not setting up the layout properly.
My sand isn't much different, it's all about the management, and what is growing with the clover. I used to see your same results, until I started thinking and applying the things Doug talks about.
 

wiscwhip

5 year old buck +
We were on our way in that direction when the old man got rid of the place. I miss not having a place of my own to do habitat work on, but I don't really miss doing it in the sand so much. It would be really interesting to see where it would be now if we had kept it and continued with our plan.
 
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dipper

Guest
You guys didn't just put in a high capacity wells, and sterilize the soil with massive amounts of water, and synthetic fertilizer? You just aren't a good farmer...ground water???who needs it?
 
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dipper

Guest
I'm with you dipper...watching trout streams and ditches that had perennially run year round disappear...not good. Why on earth those sands are now growing corn is beyond me
This is what I have to deal with: high nitrates in my well water, my creek completely dried up in 2012-used to catch brookies in there, my lakes are drying up or dried up-one lake fed the creek-used to have brookies in there, 20" bass, 16" crappies, etc. There isn't a high capacity well in almost a mile, but those babies can still suck that water.
An irrigation hits my lawn. It has killed 2 apple tree, 2 pear tree, 4 cherry trees, and my strawberries. The irrigation contacts all these trees, I've never lost a tree anywhere else. They still crank out 200 bushell/ acre corn on that field. Outside the irrigation it never gets over my waist. Central WI agriculture is not sustainable, it's abuse. I'm not a hippie or anything, but something ain't right.
 

huthut

5 year old buck +
I couldn't agree more. Irrigation has taken a greater and greater toll on our water supply in Central wi. Ditches and streams are drying up regularly now. Something has to change.
 
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