Established September 2016 with annual cereal grains and clover Alfalfa mix. Put in Frost seed Alfalfa Clover chicory mix late February looking at what type of maintenance recommended. 100 acres Woods ponds 4 Acres in six plots. Thanks for any advice haven't seen any Alfalfa clover chicory food plots in the Forum so think I might have screwed up LOL.
I planted an alfalfa/clover/chickory mix last year. Mowing kept the weeds out but the chicory didn't like the mowing either. Also sprayed the plot with a generic for slay called "thunder" and sprayed clethodim. Although I do think spraying helped during the dry summer months when I didn't want to mow I think the mowing helped the most. The alfalfa and clover are both coming back strong! Good luck with your plot!
Hi Bob, I saw the plots and they looked familiar so I check who it was. This is your neighbor. There sure are a lot of turkeys in the area. I am going walleye fishing tomorrow and hope to have fresh fish for turkey season. I am planning on hunting the first week of season. I can bring some fish and single malt. Your plots look good. Cliff
Pat, a couple of thoughts for you to ponder. For a full season blend with alfalfa, ladino clover might perform much better than red clover in the summer months, especially if the weather is hot. Ladino clover does not lignify like red clover and alfalfa, this makes it much more palatable in the summer heat. Secondly, I would not underestimate the benefits of chicory in a food plot blend. One of the biggest benefits of chicory is its ability to bring minerals to the deer. I run a small grassfed beef farm and my pastures have chicory blended into them, it has reduced the mineral supplements I feed by a tremendous amount. I don't think we always recognize the total benefits of individual plants in a mix, nor do I believe that we reap the full benefits of most plants when they are planted in a single species plot.
So fellas what I was wondering 1) is there is a herbicide that will work on a Red/White clover, Alfalfa, and Chicory mix plot? 2) If not then a mowing schedule to keep the weeds at bay?
Twanger - Howdy partner! I plan to bring some of the wild boar I got this winter and it definitely goes well with single malt. If you get lucky fishing I'll wip up that Walleye Marsala again. I will be there the first week as well.
Here is early stages of plot I planted 3 yrs ago. Like Pat, the clover took over. One mistake I made... I waited to long to mow and lost all my chicory. It seemed like it was to mature and never grew after I mowed it. Hoping the the roots will produce new chicory this year. Good luck!
OK, looks like a spot spray of Clethodim 26.4% Herbicide for the plots with Clover (red/white mix), chicory, and alfalfa to knock back grasses, as well as regular mowing. This is what it looks like late Apr. Will spray in mid-June after mowing. Thanks for the input and advice, new to the plot kabuki dance - just learning the steps.
Drycreek - the stems you see are the nursery crop of cereal rye and oats from last fall. I jsut established the plots in Sep '16 those oats and rye they will die off in the next few weeks and make some mulch for the somewhat poor soil in the plots.
So many people don't realize that many of the broadleaves in your new food plots are annuals. If you clip them, they might regrow but the 2nd time you clip them they pretty much are gone. How do you think organic farmers make a living without the use of chemicals?
A firm seed bed that allows your perennials to germinate fast, getting ahead of weed canopy is essential.
This is the field Sep 10, 2016 at in initial planting, the neighbor organic farmer that disc'd it did it three times over the summer to kill all native grasses / veg - not a drop of herbicide on it to date.
Same field in June with the cover crop of cereal rye and oats up, we cut the grains after seeding (as you can see) to provide a straw mulch and to put the grains where the poults and other critters could get at them.
How short do you all cut the clover chicory plots? I cut mine about 3 weeks ago with my brush hog up about 8-10" but afterwards thought I should have cut shorter. I think I could mow again this weekend with all the rain we have gotten.
Cut it 7 inches high roughly but it was the first cutting actor the cover crop went down so we felt it could take it and it's responded very favorably. Note that there is chicory and Alfalfa in it as well.
Lewis based on my limited experience Plant in early fall with a nursery crop of annual rye and oats, frost seed it in Feb - if you have woods near - blow the leaves before frost seeding for best seed/soil contact...
Stressless, I can see that grain now that I look at it again. I'm gonna try that myself in about a month. I'm planting Granpa Ray's Mass Builder on a 3/4 acre plot and using wheat as a nurse crop. Hoping to get something in there that the deer can't outrun.
Good stuff, Rob-VT - glad it came in thru summer. The clover here in Ohio is fading some in the heat but the alfalfa and chicory is doing well. All are producing good root systems helping push N back into some poorish soils. Here the utilization, chicory is getting beat!
I'm South of Millersberg, Coshocton county. Def mow before they go to seed, also make sure your soil samples are up to date and follow the agronomists advice for your plots. Also Ohio DNR has a Private Lands Biologist program where they will come out to your farm and review your management plans for the entire farm, ponds, woodlands, food plots... for free.
Very happy with 6-7 of the 8 plots I put in last fall, got this pic almost to the day a year since I plowed the ground to establish the plots. The tire marks are the winter wheat overseed, 11-52-0 and 0-0-60 fertilizer I put on three hours earlier then this pic.
Epilogue: All 8 plots, 6 disk and plowed, 2 natural worked REALLY well. We took all 4 deer off the plots and saw/had GREAT hunts on them almost every sit. Making access trails this year to get-in /get-out better. My second P&Y - I'm hooked on the plots and the sound management. Thanks for the help/tips I'll be back over 2018 for maintenance questions on the plots.
AWESOME. Soil test now and keep PH above 6.3 and get your base saturation K above 4% (6 or 8% is even better) Alfalfa really pulls out the K, and evnthough you are not taking hay, heavy grazing removes most of the forage (and the deer droppings mostly elsewhere) Keep building the soil and the deer hunting and deer quality will improve in kind.
All my plots growth -> winter wheat and rye was grazed chin high - and remained grazed that way until early May '18 when the growth overtook the pressure. This is from Mid Apr '18 just prior to OH turkey season.
Harvested 2 mature toms off those plots, opening day and the 2nd day of the season. P&Y last fall 2 mature toms this spring. Thanks Bowsite and Youtube, and Twanger and all the rest. A small town county bumkin can read and listen and learn. Stay tuned for the 2018 season.
Love the turkey pic with the flowers I always have flowers in my turkey pics you can't have a funeral without flowers.So are you frostseeding wheat and rye over your clover and alfalfa.That I have never done but I commend you on your plots been doing it a lot of years probably 45-50 and yours look great congrats.Lewis
Update, I went in with "what I wanted" not fully appricating how much effort and delicate Alfalfa is, so a bit more then a year into it I've already headed to integrated Birdfoot Trefoil into the plots to replace diminishing alfalfa. https://extension.psu.edu/birdsfoot-trefoil -> Birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus L.) is a forage legume that is more tolerant of these adverse production conditions. and when you're not there to love and protect alfalfa that can happen fast.
So, without starting a new thread (I'll see if I can change the title) I've moving the summer and later fall legume in the plots to Birdsfoot Trefoil (BFT) - my plots aren't pH perfect and don't have loamy soil, most are 60 y/o old weathered spoil banks from strip-mining. I need something that will take those conditions and produce.
Here's the plot mid summer, doing well and a decent mix although the BFT is still young and not robust, but it's there.
Had a great season and let some nice ones walk, all the stands are now in relation to the plots, once again the only thing green in whole lot of brown woods. I overseeded winter wheat and oats in Sept and the light freezes haven't killed the clover.
SMILES! here's of the plots (in the background) update once I frost seed the Birdsfoot Trifoil.
For plots that aren't in a "woods" it's obviously not necessary but all of mine are circled by mature woods and the leaf matter chokes out a large % each year. For spring green up (see the turkeys in '18 above) I think it is deal maker.
T-Roy -- I count on a windy day and "blow with the wind" and usually in Feb they aren't dry - I hope to do it in early Dec next year following a 3-4 dry spell wet and wetter well, it's a PITA but seems to be worth it - I have 4.5 acres in food plots and takes most of one day. I'll tell you that it working them a foot or two at time, you'll know exactly where you need to frost seed the bare spots.
Year three on the plots - sprayed one last year - def saves $ just cutting the weeds - but I have two plots that are getting taken over so in '20 I'll prolly burn them down. Just did the last AgLime for prolly 6-8 years. all should be right about 6.7 ph...let it all winter and check again spring '20/ anything growing will be much more palatable then what was pushing up prior.
After some experimenting in the last two-three years I've found a crop combo that is as low maintenance as possible to produce the highest yield, stands up to the high browsing pressure in our local area, has multiple crops, has the same blend of legumes and cereal grains across all plots to spread the pressure and lasts thru the hunting season.
To kickoff the bare dirt/poor soil I split apply 2T of Lime and I use the pulverized AgLime that will flow thru a ATV multre spreader. Having a good friend/neighbor (Goyt) to loan a 2nd spreader makes quick work of it between two bikes helps!
This is applying 1500#/acre of gypsum to loosen the clay and leach some Magnesium I got too high by spreading pellitized dolomite lime for the first couple years.
All the plots are in perennial legumes: 15# total live seed/acre 40% Birdsfoot Trefoil 20% White Clover 20% Red Clover 20% Chicory
One application of IMOX in mid Apr One Application of Butyrac mid summer Overseed tillage radish 6#/acre ~1 Aug One spot spray of broadleaves ~ 1 Aug Overseed 150#/acre cereal rye ~ Labor Day weekend
They love it and it keeps growing unlike brassicas and buckwheat that I've tried. This is a summers growing season inside and out of the UT cage. All plots experienced about the same browsing pressure.
That's the growth tuff over on the left in the UT cage
Greenbrier that half was sterile clay/shale after work last year. The light stuff is 2T/acre Aglime from the Moultre spreader.
Dam Plot (this doesn't get any herbicide only overseeding and mowed)
Pine Plot (this doesn't get any herbicide only overseeding and mowed)
APauls, They seem to love it and dig it out from under the snow. Only time they don't get after it is when it ice crusts over and they can't actually get to it.
This is Bottom Plot from this winter, '22, same legume mix overseeded with 150#/acre of cereal rye. Didn't put tillage radish in last fall so they're after just what's still green under the snow.
Which brings me to good story from last year on the plots and that fits at this point of the thread on plots - and who doesn't like a good story!
So, on Bottom Plot I snuck in on 27 Oct and picked up a card.
That was my #1 hitlister Dutton and so with the right wind forecast I got into the stand on Bottom mid afternoon the next day.
He came out and He hit the licking branch at 30 yds - but looked like he was just gonna keep heading up the plot - and it was a quartering to shot - which is a no-go for me. Bow in hand and hooked up, he continued up Bottom Plot, stopped and looked back at the licking branch= I drew back, he started back up the plot and passed the 20 yd mark I had ranged.
To "Baaaa" or not to "Baaaa" that is the question - kinda screaming in my mind as he got parallel with me. good form, good sight picture, 20 yrd pin right where it needed to be, watching him walk and he took that front foreleg out for another step - release. Saw the arrow hit true and thru and thru.
My first thought was That's a dead deer running. Second was that's the first deer I shot walking - arrow was buried in the ground on the far side of him at 18 yards.
I heard him run in the dry leaves for about 2 seconds - he ran outa sight and stopped, 5-6 seconds later - seemed like a week passed - I hear a step - then crash. Rain was about 30-45 mins out so I made the call to trail after only about 5-10 mins just in case -
I dint think there was any doubt... and there wasn't// ran about 40 yrds and stopped in a thicket... died right there.