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By cwensk
#259653
The guys in our club are wanting to put out something
for a spring foodplot. Clover doesn't do well in our soil
unless we have a really wet spring/ summer. We usually
do fall plots and oats do well and the deer love em!
What would be some good options to try for early season?
The plot is already worked up and lime/ fertilizer
applied.
Thanks
Carl
By Sodbuster
#259676
Have you tried chicory. It's more drought tolerant and my deer will hammer it Sept-Oct. If you plant it I would mix some red clover in with it.
User avatar
By scoot1252
#259681
antler kings trophy clover has chicory in it with four types of clover and rape seed, even with drought last year it did pretty good and deer where in it into November. Scoot
By yoderj@cox.net
#259684
The guys in our club are wanting to put out something
for a spring foodplot. Clover doesn't do well in our soil
unless we have a really wet spring/ summer. We usually
do fall plots and oats do well and the deer love em!
What would be some good options to try for early season?
The plot is already worked up and lime/ fertilizer
applied.
Thanks
Carl


Perennial clover is best planted in the fall with a cover crop. The problem with spring planted clover is often weeds. If drought is a problem for you consider planting Durana in the fall with a winter rye cover crop. You won't get much clover production that year, but the rye will be the attractant. The next spring, each time the rye hits a foot, mow it back to 6"-8" to release the clover. Durana is slow to establish but is quite drought tolerant.

Most warm season annuals are tough to grow because of weed competition. Buckwheat is quite aggressive but it is only a 60 to 90 day crop. Deer use it but rarely abuse it. It is good for the soil and lets you get weeds under control for a fall clover plant.

Another option I'm experimenting with this year for the first time is Sunn Hemp. I can't recommend it yet, but is also aggressive and can be mowed tall to get a second crop.

Both Buckwheat and Sunn Hemp are frost sensitive and will die at the first hard frost.

Another warm season annual I like that extends into our archery season is Eagle Forage Soybeans. They are the only forage bean I've found that is roundup ready. This makes them much easier to grow because of the weed control. They are a late maturity group and stay green into the middle of our October archery season in VA.

Good Luck,

Jack
Last edited by yoderj@cox.net on Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By cwensk
#259775
We have tried several of the mixed forage, clover and brassicas mixes without much luck. Our deer seem to turn up their noses at them or we get too much rain and it washes it all away. I can't remember what the biologist called our "soil" but it ended in Dust! It settled on the high spots in a layer of 36" or so and tapers down to hardpan and rocks. Not the best to try and grow some plants. Its almost like a fine sand, will not hold moisture. Our ground is poor at best, with the minerals still in rock form, if you know what I mean.
One year we had an outstanding growth of red clover. It was calf high so we decided to mow it to get some regrowth. Then the drought hit and it all burned up.
We tried a corn and bean mix with limited success. We also tried rye one year to no avail, deer ignored it.
They mowed down the buckwheat and some type of pea before it could get a start one year.
We had always tried small plots, 1/4 acre and up to an acre. Either they wouldn't touch it or it was mowed down as soon as it came up. This time we have 1-5 acre plot ready, hopefully whatever we plant will have a chance to get to a stage where it can take some browsing.
We are considering soybeans.
Jack, when do you plant the Eagle Forage beans? That would work great if they were still green into Oct. And then still have bean pods for late season food. Can they stand a lot of browsing? If we have a failed acorn crop the foodplots get hit hard!
Thanks,
Carl
By yoderj@cox.net
#259826
Soybeans can be an issue if you have high deer densities. It took me quite a while to get ahead of my deer population. I moved up to 7 acres of beans before I could get them to mature and develop pods. Here is my thread with my Eagle Bean experience: http://www.qrgc-forums.org/QRGC_Forums/yaf_postst50_Eagle-Forage-Soybeans.aspx

It has lots of detail with pics. Bottom line for planting in high deer density areas is this:

1) You have to wait until soil temps are high enough for soybeans.

2) You also want to wait until you have enough native foods green and attractive before you plant.

3) You want to plant early enough that your beans have time to establish before the native foods start to dry up. Once the do, deer will be all over the beans.

4) If you have the ability to protect them with a Gallagher style E-fence until they are established you won't have an issue.

Even when I was starting with 3 acres, even though the deer kept the beans naked all summer, they did not kill them. They kill ag beans. The Eagle beans just kept growing leaves and the deer kept eating them. I also found a light mix of RR corn has some protective value. The thread will answer a lot of questions.

One more thing that seems odd to me is you statement that deer either wipe out or ignore you planting. Are you using exclusion cages? Sometimes, deer are using plots a lot more than we think.

Here is another thought for consideration. Make deer food secondary and soil building primary. My soil is also poor but very different from yours. I've had success rehabilitating old logging decks with the topsoil removed to the point where even weeds would not grow there. I did it by using a double crop buckwheat followed by a winter rye/GHR mix each spring and fall for several years. These fields are now growing clover like a dream:

Image

Image

By the way, deer seem to use all the soil improving crops pretty well and that is a bonus.

Thanks,

Jack
User avatar
By hazelvillebucks
#259843
We have tried several of the mixed forage, clover and brassicas mixes without much luck. Our deer seem to turn up their noses at them or we get too much rain and it washes it all away. I can't remember what the biologist called our "soil" but it ended in Dust! It settled on the high spots in a layer of 36" or so and tapers down to hardpan and rocks. Not the best to try and grow some plants. Its almost like a fine sand, will not hold moisture. Our ground is poor at best, with the minerals still in rock form, if you know what I mean.
One year we had an outstanding growth of red clover. It was calf high so we decided to mow it to get some regrowth. Then the drought hit and it all burned up.
We tried a corn and bean mix with limited success. We also tried rye one year to no avail, deer ignored it.
They mowed down the buckwheat and some type of pea before it could get a start one year.
We had always tried small plots, 1/4 acre and up to an acre. Either they wouldn't touch it or it was mowed down as soon as it came up. This time we have 1-5 acre plot ready, hopefully whatever we plant will have a chance to get to a stage where it can take some browsing.
We are considering soybeans.
Jack, when do you plant the Eagle Forage beans? That would work great if they were still green into Oct. And then still have bean pods for late season food. Can they stand a lot of browsing? If we have a failed acorn crop the foodplots get hit hard!
Thanks,
Carl

with a 5 acre plot i would try roundup beans and corn again,the corn may not be able to withstand the pressure from the coons but 5 acres does give you a fighting chance. or you could use a mixture of the roundup ready soy beans and the rr ready forage soybeans. to get the pods you would want regular beans the eagle brand things are designed to keep giving new green growth untill frost. with either mix after you hit the plot with round up use buckwheat to fill in any weak spots, buckwheat ;from my experience will sprout on concrete when it gets some water and it is supposed to be able to build soil. i have found that the forage from it to be ice cream to the hazelville herd. with either of these mixes one can add a clover, wheat ,turnips in the early fall as the leaves begin to yellow and the prospect of rain looks good. usually if i am doing a bean corn mix i will run a cultipacker or disk thru it and add the fall mixture there with much success. most of my plots are prone to flooding and being wet so i rely on wheat [cereal grains ,clover and a little alfala to provide most of the springtime attraction.] another option for your soil would be to check if you can find peat moss in bulk that could be worked into your soil and will help hold some water. being that sandy some type of irrigation if feasible could save you to. lots of times if the deer have never been exposed to a crop it may take them a couple years to figure out how good it is. if you were to try corn bean mix i would follow jacks recommendation for doing it without spending a fortune on fertilizer. if i were not so stupid i would follow his directions also. foodplots can be a challenge when mom nature throws some of her fits but it does take the game to a new level.
User avatar
By cwensk
#259849
Thanks guys!
I agree with you about the different food getting
Ignored. We were trying different types of annuals
and perrinial type commercial blends with not much
success. Prograze,I believe, came up looking good!
We had tried it in a 3/4 acre plot, the next week we
went out to put up exclusion cages and it was gone.
Dirt! The deer had mowed it to the ground.
Like I said earlier oats have been our best bet yet.
We stopped putting out the small plots a couple years
ago. This is a field next to the farm house that we have
been bush hogging for years. Finally convicted the others
that it had no value to deer and was wasting our time
and gas keeping it mowed. It was either plant trees or a
foodplot. Foodplot won!
Our deer density is pretty high in our area.
Irrigation isn't an option.
We are tossing around the soybean idea.
May have to spring for a e- fence.
Thanks for advice!
Carl
By scdeerslayer
#259864
An electric fence will definitely keep them out but I've never tried a solar model. You've got to keep an eye on it though because the first one to discover it will tear it down, then it's pretty much useless. Another thing that will somewhat work for less money is instead of electric fence, just string up some old/cheap fishing line. The theory is that they walk against it and feel it but can't see it so they won't jump it. When I've tried it it works for a while but they eventually test it out and get into it. It usually gives enough time for the plants to get some growth on them though.
User avatar
By bowhtr1
#260580
For a spring summer plot I use Alyce clover and American Joint Vetch. They both grow well and work great and can take alot of grazing. One of the best summer plots I have. The other ones are in Whitetail clover that has to be planted in the fall. I do overseed the whitetail clover with Joint Vetch.
By GTOHunter
#263222
Cwensk,we planted the the new Durana Clover by Pennington this Spring,it is suppose to be more hardy,drought resistant and stands up to heavy browsing!We planted 4 small food plots in the thick woods and spread some granular lime in with it for now,we planted in the middle of march and got it in perfectly timing to rain a few light snows and now all this Spring rain and it is doing very well so far.We even frost seeded some in our larger 1-1/2 Acre Food Plot to see if it does any good in there also.

I also put some out in 2 small food plots on our Farm and its doing well in there also.We also planted some foraging oats,sunflowers and I had the daughter spinkle a little milo along the edges of the 2 food plots to see if it will help give the Deer some cover to feel more confident to venture out in the food plots during day-light hours a little more?

In the Fall around the middle of Aug or the first of Sept we put out Brassicas,Rape,Turnips and Grounghog Raddishes and the Deer really hit them hard in the months leading up to Deer Season and into the colder months of Dec,Jan and Feb!
User avatar
By cwensk
#263411
We decided on the Eagle Forage Beans. Gonna give them a try this year.
User avatar
By bowhtr1
#263550
We decided on the Eagle Forage Beans. Gonna give them a try this year.


Good luck with the beans. They work too good for me. If you dont have enough land to palnt they eat it all up in no time.
Lab Lab and Joint vetch will keep coming back. Joint vetch even made it through our last few dry years.
User avatar
By Jake
#264629
Good choice on the Eagle Beans. Please keep us updated.

Dont forget if the plot is grazed down pretty heavy, end of summer broadcast some brassicas before a rain. Worth a try! I have not heard of anyone do this broadcast method with Eagle Beans though as they usually stay green longer then regular AG beans. I have broadcasted brassicas into AG beans with decent results, but the Eagle beans stayed green two weeks later then the Ag beans so this method would not have worked. But if the plot is grazed down pretty hard and the ground is exposed let the brassicas (or winter rye) fly :)
By yoderj@cox.net
#264690
Good choice on the Eagle Beans. Please keep us updated.

Dont forget if the plot is grazed down pretty heavy, end of summer broadcast some brassicas before a rain. Worth a try! I have not heard of anyone do this broadcast method with Eagle Beans though as they usually stay green longer then regular AG beans. I have broadcasted brassicas into AG beans with decent results, but the Eagle beans stayed green two weeks later then the Ag beans so this method would not have worked. But if the plot is grazed down pretty hard and the ground is exposed let the brassicas (or winter rye) fly :)


Jake,

Check out the documentation thread I posted on Eagle beans I put in the previous post. Surface broadcasting cover crops into Eagle beans worked great in the first couple years when the deer kept my beans naked all summer. Once I got enough acreage planted that the beans were able to get ahead of the deer (or protected them with a Gallagher fence), they became too thick to use traditional methods for a cover crop. They don't start turning yellow until mid-October for me which is in the middle of our VA archery season. They are still too thick to walk through to broadcast the cover crop. By the time you can walk through the beans and broadcast it is too late for brassica, but you can still get WR to germinate in VA.

This year, I'm trying some non-traditional techniques. When I planted the beans/corn mix this year, I left 4' unplanted strips about every 30' across the field. I have a small ATV with boomless sprayer that covers 30'. I will still use the traditional boom sprayer when the beans and corn are young, but once the corn gets too tall for the boom sprayer, I'll use the ATV sprayer and these lanes. I also plan to bushhog shooting lanes through the beans near any stands. I will then walk through both the herbicide lanes and shooting lanes and broadcast the brassica component of my cover crop with a narrow broadcast pattern. Later in mid-October when the beans start to yellow, I plan to walk the same lanes and use a wide broadcast pattern to broadcast my WR and Crimson Clover components. My hope is to have brassica in the lanes themselves and WR and CC in the rest of the field. I plan to update that thread to let folks know how it works.

Thanks,

Jack

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