Pat Lefemine's Link
Regular ag beans, deer loved them. Plenty of pods, used from start to finish. Hard to mess beans up. Broadcast rye grain into them at leaf turn, hard to beat it for a late season food source.
Nice plots Pat, thanks for sharing.
Would love to see you test out some of the newer high diversity blends using regenerative techniques like roller-crimping. I know you’re always looking for possible tweaks to your soybean plots- would be great to see you try the buffalo method of planting the beans into crimped rye or one of the new “crimp ahead” seed blends that are popping up more and more.
Using a lot of the varieties that worked well for you in the past, I made the switch to no-till organic plotting last year and was amazed by how well some plants did that I had struggled with in the past. I could never get brassicas to grow decent bulbs using conventional ag practices and even when I did the deer didn’t eat them- but last year using the hancocks deer greens overseeded into standing beans, peas, and oats, I had phenomenal success with brassicas and they browsed heavily from October-January.
Considering how hard your plots get hit now, I can only imagine what kind of results you would see at the farm if you went to high diversity no-till and how much insight we could gain into these methods if you tested reported the findings.
I planted less than 3 acres last year and feel I was right at the outer limit of getting by without a legit roller crimper. I used a combination of foot crimping board (looks like the thing used to make crop circles), the smooth side of a chain harrow, quad tires, and a lawn roller. Best results came from smooth side of a weighted chain harrow but I also didn’t really care if some of the spring planting stood back up.
Knowing that I was working with rocky silty soil with very low organic matter, my plan was to try and get as much biomass as possible in the spring and summer ahead of the fall planting that I relied on thru hunting season.
I attached a picture of the fall grains and greens that were broadcast into what was left of the summer beans. After just one round of spring and summer plantings that were terminated and left in place, the soil was already much darker and richer than it was the prior fall when my brassicas didn’t produce at all.
It was normal to see 8-10 deer in this plot for 6-7 hours out of the day.
In addition to heavy use from the deer and more than one visit by black bears caught on camera, a flock of turkeys moved on to the property for the first time in 20 years according to the landowner.
Didn’t end up harvesting a buck off of this lease last year but had several nice bucks on the property.
Really looking forward to seeing how things progress this year!
Besides suppressing weeds with allopathic plants or canopy you are also not turning the soil to bring up weeds in the seed bank.
I think I am all set on equipment as my father in law has all of the equipment that I might need in the way of a bunch of tractors tractors between 25 and 75 horsepower, and numerous grain drills, sprayers, plows, cultipackers, etc. Plus, he is always willing to work together on farm projects so I don't think getting him to help will be an issue.
Thanks again for the great information. I hope to add some photos this summer/fall.
Here’s an 8’ crimper. It’s only $4,800! You can get a 6 footer for about a grand less. I saw a “MacGyvered” homemade 4 footer atv one, that a guy built out of a salvaged oxygen tank, on YouTube as well. Might be a fun project to try building out in the shop for next winter.
Lots of ag around me and little snow this year or they would have been stripped by now.
If you want to see the Goliath Crimper being used in conjunction with a Genesis No Till Drill Growing Deer TV on You Tube with Grant Woods uses it in what they call the "Buffalo system". Some of their ground in Missouri is very rocky but with a cover crop I don't think it is an issue. I would guess that if you don't have a drill you could Throw and Crimp if you have a cover crop.
And if the plot is small or it’s a blend with a variety of seed sizes, I still just walk around broadcasting.
Please keep all of us posted. Thanks.
What I would really like to see you guys test on the deer builder property is the attractiveness over time of some the newer high diversity mixes compared to monocrops- something like drop tine reload mixes or eagle seeds smorgasbord.
After my results last year, I’m a believer that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts when it comes to the attraction of high diversity plots but would like to see if others experience the same thing and no one does it better than you guys.
I highly recommend the practices and ideas on this thread. They work wonderfully on our place, is good at building soil, and is really a cheap way of doing things. I love not having to buy fertilizer anymore!
This also helps to not over seed plants like brassicas.
Pat, have you ever thought of doing a side-by-side test plot on GMO vs nonGMO varieties to determine if there is a preference?
I am curious of what other think?
Seeding with lime applications would tend to be accurate, in my opinion.
This is a 1/4 acre ridge top plot on a 65 year old strip mine spoil pile. pH going in 4.9. Made on application of 1000#'s pellitized lime in Sep 2019 and 1000#'s spreadable pulverized ag lime in Feb 2020 (month of this picture) aka 2 tons per acre split apply.
This is the plot in Aug - I mowed in Jun and Aug, no other herbicides applied.
I plant multi species plots rather than mono cultures. BFT in my experience is sharecroppers alfalfa.