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Hay Field to Food Plot?
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Hunt98 05-Jun-19
BWBOW 05-Jun-19
RIT 05-Jun-19
RIT 05-Jun-19
Franzen 05-Jun-19
APauls 05-Jun-19
crowny 05-Jun-19
Hunt98 06-Jun-19
Franzen 06-Jun-19
BullBuster 06-Jun-19
darralld 06-Jun-19
Hunt98 07-Jun-19
hitmanatgym 07-Jun-19
Hancock West 07-Jun-19
darralld 07-Jun-19
Ambush 07-Jun-19
From: Hunt98
05-Jun-19
I want to make a one acre (part of land that I just bought) field that’s been in Hay, into a food plot. The field runs north and south with mature trees surrounding it. So it won’t get full sun.

I currently have two other food plots, approximately one acre each?

I don’t have the equipment to plant corn or beans.

Is there a recommended plant (clover, rye, turnips, etc...) for transitioning a hay field to food plot?

From: BWBOW
05-Jun-19

BWBOW's embedded Photo
Photo shows clover in middle and just planted wheat along edge
BWBOW's embedded Photo
Photo shows clover in middle and just planted wheat along edge
When I bought my farm all the fields where grown up hay/ceder/ not touched in years. I cut anything to big for a Brush hog to the ground. Mowed it, then sprayed with roundup. Have it a few weeks, and ready to plow plant and disc. I have very good clover plots chickory and plant winter wheat every year. The wheat does very well in shadier areas imo

From: RIT
05-Jun-19
I turned part of a 9 acre hayfield into a food plot. I fall killed the existing alfalfa and broadcast Winter Rye, clovers, and tillage Radish into the standing dead vegetation then mowed it down. Plot turned out great.

I will be on planting year 3 in this field and I have kept that same crop going. If your field is anything like mine it was low on nutrients and had a little compaction issue because of the years of harvesting equipment. I have a decent amount of clay though. I have been using the radishes to break that up.

I’d get a soil test and initially add the requirements needed but WR is a soil builder.

From: RIT
05-Jun-19

RIT's embedded Photo
RIT's embedded Photo
Here is the 2nd year of the plot. I broadcast buckwheat into winter rye to add a different root structure into the soil. I would advise against any tillage or discing.

From: Franzen
05-Jun-19
Why not just keep haying it if it is decent hay? Probably one of the better food plots going.

From: APauls
05-Jun-19
Franzen if his field is hay like we have up north here it's basically a thin low nutrient grass that deer only eat once all other options are off the table. They don't like it very much.

From: crowny
05-Jun-19
with a one acre field why not split it and do half perennial plus from deer creek seeds and the other half a fall winter mix like autumn buffet or hog radishes or winter rye, this would help build the soil up and then in spring put spring green in that half and the perennial plus will come back on its own. the spring greens could be tilled in in august to put the fall winter mix back in. works great here in NY.

From: Hunt98
06-Jun-19
RIT- how did the tillage radish do when you just broadcasted them?

Franzen- I have around 15 acres between the three different hay fields. I want to have early, mid and late season food plots and rotate them as needed.

From: Franzen
06-Jun-19
Sounds good, it was just a thought. I don't buy it APauls; the grass is ALWAYS greener on the other side. ;^)

From: BullBuster
06-Jun-19
I assume forage radishes and WR Would be good for breaking up dense Clay soil. Is there anything else to break up Clay? I have applied gypsum on one plot.

From: darralld
06-Jun-19
Kill it off & mow it close to the ground. Broadcast clover right before a good rain & it should come up great. I never need to disc mine.

From: Hunt98
07-Jun-19
What type of clover would you suggest?

From: hitmanatgym
07-Jun-19

hitmanatgym's embedded Photo
hitmanatgym's embedded Photo
Love clover!! Our plots are always a mix with some corn for screening , but most will have clover in the mix. This photo is from a second year plot with clover.

Hitman

From: Hancock West
07-Jun-19

Hancock West's embedded Photo
Hancock West's embedded Photo
old pasture with thorny locust converted to apple, pear & persimmon orchard. Chicory & clover mix below.

From: darralld
07-Jun-19

darralld's embedded Photo
darralld's embedded Photo
I planted Ladino. Here is a pic I took last weekend before I mowed it. 8" tall outside the cage. About 20" inside. We have had a bunch of rain. Plot looks great this year.

From: Ambush
07-Jun-19

Ambush's embedded Photo
Just giant raccoons!!
Ambush's embedded Photo
Just giant raccoons!!
Is there anything that will choke out dandelions? I have one end of my plot that grows nothing but weeds, grass and prolific dandelions. I was there today and sprayed everything with Roundup, and of course there’s a bear feasting on them. I had my bow to do some long range shooting but no broadhead. Argh!!

Right now my plan is to wait for the kill, throw in some fall rye then run the disc over the standing dead grass and weeds. It’s a small disc pulled behind an ATV so not much soil penetration with all the detritus.

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