Warm season plot ideas for next year - help!

j-bird

Moderator
Dipper has got me thinking and looking at different ways to accomplish my plotting goals but reducing tillage and seat time on the tractor. My main issue is I DO NOT HAVE A DRILL or access to one.

What I want to do is combine/overlap my summer and fall annual plots - right now they are seperate because my summer plots are typically corn or soybeans that I then let stand all winter. These are great and work well for me, BUT they take alot of tillage and work. My fall plots essentially grow weeds all summer and then get put into service around Labor day. These are typically AWP, radish, turnips, and cereal grains. When I can I sometimes broadcast turnips and cereal grains into my standing beans, but I don't get alot of growth on them as my beans typically don't dry down until around 9/15.

I am toying with the idea of using my annual plots and simply letting my current fall plots grow and then broadbast something into them come spring and then mow the wheat and rye to help hold moisture. My thing is that I will need plants that have small seeds but provide good summer forage for deer. I am not familiar with things like sun hemp, vetch and or buckwheat.

What "holes" do you see in this plan? Am I missing any other good options for the summer food perspective? I have a low deer density and have lots of soybeans and corn around all summer long. Anybody else do something like this on a year round/rotational basis?
 

SD51555

5 year old buck +
Blend em. My plan is still in the idea phase but here's what I'm looking at.

Plot 1: Currently in radish/rye. Memorial day I'll look to knock it out, either by mowing or spraying. Then about 3 weeks later, broadcast and drag in a blend of 1/3 cowpea, 1/3 wgf sorghum, 1/3 BOB brassica. Seed to soil is gonna be the challenge, so I plan to seed the larger ones on the heavy side.

Plot 2: New plot next year. Spray memorial day. 3 weeks later, 1/3 soybean, 1/3 diakon radish, 1/3 rye.

The idea behind my plot blend is that there'll be summer forage in there in the beans and cowpeas, then come fall/winter, they can have at the rest of it.

I think sunn hemp and vetch can overtake your plots and become residual problems if they go to seed. Double check the book on that one. They are probably great if you can control them, but that may require tillage, spraying or mowing. If you can get your thatch dry and disconnected from the ground, you may be able to rough it up enough with a drag to get the seed down there. What I learned this year is that the time from spraying to planting is critical. I spread my seed the day I sprayed and not a single one germinated. I tried again a month later by simply spreading seed again, and it came gang busters and clean as a whistle.
 

j-bird

Moderator
Seed size and seed to soil contact was why I was looking or a summer planting that would have smaller seed sizes. Smaller seeds tend to require less tillage to germinate well in my experiance. I can spray or mow to terminate the plot - just trying to avoid turning dirt (it's just time consuming). I don't have to plant a warm season food, but I figured I might as well use the dirt for something before I plant the cool season annuals. I could just let the deer eat the weeds - that's what happened this year (but it was because I couldn't get out this spring and do the normal routine).
 

Freeborn

5 year old buck +
One thing to keep in mind is the amount of yield you need to satisfy your food plot goals. Dipper has allot of acres in food plots and he has a no-till drill.

I have been overseeding my soybeans and now also corn with rye late in the summer and then in the spring I lightly disc and then plant my next years summer plots (Corn/soybeans). I have had very good success with the rye re-emerging after I plant my summer crop and after it gets 18" or so I terminate it as part of spraying my RR plots.

With Indiana's mild winters you might not need to maximize your yield but here in Minnesota I want to feed my deer as far into the winter I can so I am focused on yield. One thing I know Lickcreek likes for fallow ground is to plant Berseem clover in the spring and then tilling it in when you plant your fall plots. Terminated Berseem provides good nitrogen for the following crop.
 
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