Contributors to this thread:
Ever planted Chufa?
We have turkeys everywhere and I have been considering a 2-acre field that is close to the camper and trying a chufa plot there. I have no experience with this crop.
Has anyone here planted it? How easy is it to get established? Longevity, utilization? - etc.
i'm going to plant this year, i have 50lbs in the shop.
i plan on planting mine with a planter on 36" rows or so.
Broadcast 50lbs - acre Rows 35-40lbs - acre
the key is to have good loose type soil where the turkeys can dig it up easy, it also needs to be well drained soil. if its wet, it will rot over the winter and not come back in the spring.
I planted it in Oklahoma once and it did okay, it does much better planted in rows than it does broadcast. on this particular place the turkeys did not winter there, only showed up during the spring. only planted 30lbs (1/2 acre or so) and it was gone in 3 weeks after they found it, and they were there every week.
it takes alot of fertilizer to get it established and growing well, but once established it can last several years providing the critters don't eat it all.
if you have turkeys and chufa in the spring, its a LOCK - they will be there ! plant the full 2 acres if you can.
Coons love it also, but we do alot of trapping to try and keep the coons at bay.
If you got hogs, don't plant it.
i'll get pics when i plant. I plan to plant mine the 1st or 2nd week of june here in MS. Prepare Fertilized seed bed, Plant in rows, then spray with pre-merge, may add some glypho if i have many green weeds left.
it needs 100-120 days before a frost.
I've had this same question for about a 3/4 acre plot....thanks for all the insight Olebuck! Buy the seed where?....NWTF?
i got my local feed store to get me a 50# bag.
it was $87.88
(edit: I intended to add, "olebuck has it right".
Chufa seed is expensive, perhaps $2.50-$3.00/lb. Do not buy it from the subsidized NTWF program. It is full of invasive weed seeds like Morning Glory, Loosestrife, Johnson Grass and Cuckleburr. I learned this the hard way.
Plant chufa in well-drained loamy/sandy upland soil, preferrably in rows so you can control the weeds with cultivators. Weeds are a problem with chufa, and there may be oversprays available for that will kill broadleaf plants, but be careful. Any herbicide that will kill grass will kill chufa. Pre-emergents work pretty well.
Chufa is in the Yellow Nut-sedge family, and is essentially a grass. "New" ground makes the best plots since weeds are not yet established. Planting with a planter is ok if you have a seed plate that will not crush the large seeds.
With 30" spaced rows, about 35 lb. per acre should do it. Use 17-17-17 fertilizer, and pray for rain. Chufa requires around 90 to 110 days growing season to mature.
Turkeys will find chufa and scratch out the tubers in the fall. However, I have never known turkeys to eat all chufa tubers in a plot, and it will come up voluntary the following spring.
In my experience, chufa is the wild turkey's favorite food. They will walk past whiteoak acorns on their way to a chufa patch. Chufa will hold turkeys on your property.
Some people will disc chufas lightly to expose the tubers for turkeys. This may be illegal, and considered baiting in some states.
Sorry this got a little long. Hope it helps.
nutsedge is not a grass ........ 8^)
Not that it matters, but Yellow Nut Sedge is colloquially called "Yellow Nut Grass".
Technically, Chufa is not grass, but the leaves have a very similar appearance to some grasses.
The average turkey hunter probably does not care, so long as the birds show up to eat it.
Wow, thanks for all the great info!
I may start working on this project this weekend.
What type of planter are you guys using to plant it? How big is the seed-tuber? Would a corn or soybean planter plate work for it, or are they a larger seed than that?
How about some pics of the seed, the plants, etc.
Chufa seeds are not very uniformed in size. corn plates will work on the smaller seeds, but will crush the larger seeds.
soy bean plates will generally work but will drop more than one seed every now and then, peanut plates will work also.
I'm using bean plates
I'll get some pics of seed.
Thanks for all of the info Ole.
We use a two-row John Deere 71 with the bean plates. The seeds range from 1/4 inch to 3/8 inch, and some of the bigger ones get crushed, but it's not a big problem.
After trying broadcasting and hand planting, we've found that the planter works best.
Chufa plants grow about 12 to 16 inches tall, and turn golden brown and get curley in the winter. Turkeys will scratch out the tubers thru a couple of inches of snow.
The tubers are delicious and taste like almonds. In Spain, where Chufa originated, they crush the tubers and make what they call Chufa Milk from the juice.
At the risk of offering T.M.I............
The Spanish chufa drink is called Horchata. Good stuff.
Muchas gratias, sundowner!
You bet. Good luck with the chufa plots.
If turkeys are around, they WILL find it.
Got my location clipped yesterday.
gotta get it a little cleaner to try and No-Till Plant the chufa.
Pics coming soon.
Been growing for years with great results I always get my seed from Cypress Knee chufa in N.c. Great people to deal with and Ameeican grown.good luckLewis
Got mine in the ground this week. My seed was very uniform in size.
About to pop put of the ground
Olebuck, keep the updates coming....a great thread!
Thanks for all the help and info you guys.
Sorry for being late on the info, but one important thing is to control competition grass with herbicide. The best thing I have found is to spray preemergent Prowl as soon as you ge the seed covered. Post can be used as post emergent for grass and 2 4 d for weeds. Weeds don't sem to be the problem that grass is and chufa is a nitrogen producing legume...deer relish any weed that is that well fed. Another thing not mentioned is chufa love new ground. A fresh pushed logging loading ground is perfect. Plant at least 3 acres if you have lots of turkey...chufa will draw them from the surrounding 3000 acres and hold them like nothing else.
Ok, I just talked to two guys With the NWTF about planting chufa in west central MN. Their recommendation was that we are too far north......and to stick with corn.
Anyone have experience with chufa in a "MN type climate?"
Here is some good info on Chufa. Typically it requires 110 days growing season. Not sure about growing it in MN, but apparently it is being tested.
From Link: "Extreme northern range, such as northern Minnesota, may not be suitable for chufa because of short growing seasons and limited use by turkeys during the winter."
And here I thought Horchata was made from rice. No telling what you'll learn on Bowsite.
I'm kinda envious of all the plot stuff you guys get to do during the summer, it sounds fun and rewarding. All I get to do is climb up 2k ft and stare through binocs for hours on end.
I know a bunch of guys who would gladly swap you for that privilege. Although I would love to see what I could do with Soybeans given your growing season!
I guess we always just want more.
Don't get me wrong, I love hunting mulies, but I hate the summer. I enjoy my scouting, but having something productive to do during the summer just seems like it'd make the summer go quicker.
The tubers are real sweet and good to eat. Deer will dig them up too. A good field of chufa will looked like a plowed field once the turkeys and deer get done with it. Mike
all mine came up, I had a part wear out on my planter towards then and it was skipping a row.
but it rained 1" or so the day I planted, every where there was a slight low spot the coons hammered it! they must have dug up 10 rows so far.
I replanted some yesterday, put out 150lbs of 13-13-13 and sprayed witn 1.5 pints/Acre of poast + .5 pints of 24D/acre and 1 pint of surfactant
we will see how it does, struggling right now.
Coming up. This pic was from 8-10 days ago.
Will hit it with 150lbs of ammonia per acre soon.
Did you spray Poast and 24d on bare ground?Lewis
this is the cleanest area, and this pic is take a week - 10 days after I sprayed it.
one areas of the chufa was no-till planted and had a good bit of grass there.
another area is where I plowed up some clay and iron peas to grow the chufa and I needed to hit them with s some 24-D
Every year while I'm turkey hunting I think about planting Chufa again. I still have not done it. Any updates from you guys who planted it back in 2013?
Pat been planting a couple acres ever yr.for over 10 yrs.herein Tn and I'll be doing it many more you could plant up there probably till the end of June I gent my American grown seed from Donnie at Cypree Knee chufa always had good luck.Some planters will not plant but I broadcast mine anyway.Our birds love it and the yield is incredible hogs sometimes give me a fit but we have a remedy.Hope this helps if can assist you just let me know.Good luck one day I want to pop one of those N.Y. Birds Lewis
I planted it last year in Virginia. Weeds were a problem (sprayed clethodim) but the worst part was that the crazy turkeys still haven't found it. It's grown up well and I've pulled a disk through some of it to help the turkeys find it. They still haven't found it.
Crows eat it. I've pulled the "nuts" out of the ground. After washing them off they taste really good raw - about like sunflowers but of course much bigger.
Maybe Virginia turkeys are just slow to learn?
They have to be able to dig them. So plant them only in sandy soils for best results for the turkeys using them. But sometimes it does take a little while for the turkeys to find them. But if soil is hard or claylike they won't stratch them very good. And if u have a feral hog problem no need to bother planting them!
I just planted my Chufa plot yesterday. We'll see how well it works.
Wanted to bring this to the top.... What were your results pat? And my main question for anyone with info, how hard is it to get it thru to spring? We have turkeys, not a ton but we have em. They use our ground probably due to the ample clover and thick nesting areas. But there really isnt a singular place to draw them to in the spring, and id love to create one. Without a draw to a singular place, our ground is much more suited for gun hunting than bow. Id LOVE to change that....
I planted it and the hogs ate it so that can be a big issue
TTT. Gotta make a move here soon so I can get it in plenty soon enough to give it enough time to mature and still beat the frost. Pat, mind sharing your how your 2016 experience went??…..
Anybody who has planted, where do you prefer to get your chufa seed. I checked with John t Grandpa Ray's and he does not sell it. Obviously, there are tons of options, but does anybody have a certain brand/place they get from for one reason or another. I know generally the "big buck" brands have a lot of weed seed, so I wasn't sure if that would be the case with chufa since it isn't a smaller seed or not.
Any help is greatly appreciated
Cypress Knee chufa been getting from them several years good luck Lewis
I planted a single, 6' strip that ran 400 yards.
I planted a single, 6' strip that ran 400 yards.
Here's a flock working that small strip
Here's a flock working that small strip
It came up great and everything left it alone until the following spring thaw, then the turkeys hammered it. I never needed to dig any of it up, they found it on their own. The only downside was it was a major PIA to control weeds. There was no spray that I could use over the chufa so the pigweed and every other invasive moved in. It did not affect the chufa at all, but I was having a hard time keeping it from going to seed and creating more problems for me.
Pat I’m sure I have used clethodim and butyrate 24db on my chufa for premerge prowl works.many times I have disked the existing chufa fertilized it and got a season or two from the volunteer seed.Good luck Lewis