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Tractor implements for new Food Plot
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
JM 03-Jan-20
Tennhunter 03-Jan-20
t-roy 03-Jan-20
JM 03-Jan-20
Catscratch 03-Jan-20
t-roy 03-Jan-20
BOHUNTER09 03-Jan-20
JM 03-Jan-20
JM 03-Jan-20
JM 03-Jan-20
Habitat 03-Jan-20
bfisherman11 03-Jan-20
drycreek 03-Jan-20
Tlhbow 03-Jan-20
JM 03-Jan-20
t-roy 04-Jan-20
Tlhbow 04-Jan-20
JM 06-Jan-20
JM 06-Jan-20
t-roy 06-Jan-20
JM 06-Jan-20
BOHUNTER09 06-Jan-20
JM 08-Jan-20
JM 24-May-20
JM 24-May-20
JM 24-May-20
t-roy 24-May-20
JM 24-May-20
t-roy 24-May-20
buckhammer 24-May-20
JM 25-May-20
Fuzzy 27-May-20
Junior 27-May-20
flyingbrass 30-May-20
JM 07-Jun-20
From: JM
03-Jan-20

JM's embedded Photo
JM's embedded Photo
On my property in Oklahoma I currently have multiple small 0.10 acre to 0.70 acre food plots that total a little less than 3 acres. I planted them by mowing, spraying glyphosate, spreading seed followed by cultipacking. This worked reasonably well despite how dry it was at the end of September and early October. The problem is that even with the huge acorn crop that we had this year the deer keep the food plots mowed to the ground so I know I need to establish more acreage in food plots.

My best location to establish a new 2.5 acre food plot is an upland location that is covered with some sort of bunch grass that is very dense. I don’t think spraying it and bush hogging it will be sufficient to open the ground up to broadcast and cultipack. My question is what implement is best suited for clearing this area for planting, Disc Harrow, tiller, or something else? By the way the soils are sandy with not a lot of rock and I own a Kubota L6060 tractor.

John

From: Tennhunter
03-Jan-20
John I live in East Tenn much more rocky here it sounds like but we use a Hvy disk it’s 12ft wide usually two passes and I’m done but also this past year we were pressed for time and drought condition our ground was very hard I rented a 8ft tiller from our local rental place I disked while my buddy ran it and it seemed to be trick I’m currently in search for one on Craigslist.

From: t-roy
03-Jan-20
I’d agree, a tiller would probably work best. Any pics of the grass?

From: JM
03-Jan-20
I don't have any pictures of the grass but it is kind of like a tussock, very bumpy to drive a 4 wheeler through. I am planning to go up there tomorrow and I will get some pictures. You can actually see the bumps from the grass in the picture above, look how much smoother the grass is on the right side of the picture across the fence in the cattle pasture.

Renting a tiller may be a good Idea, I am not sure I really would use it that much, what I really want is a no till drill :)

John

From: Catscratch
03-Jan-20
I would reconsider the spray throw n cultipack method if it's working for you. Sandy soil and dry summers need as much organic matter as it can get. Tillage is a great way to destroy the mechanisms that build OM.

From: t-roy
03-Jan-20
It sounds like Lovegrass. You might be best off burning the grass off before tilling. That way you won’t have as much problem breaking up the soil vs trying to incorporate the grass into it. What part of the state? Lots of Lovegrass in western Oklahoma.

From: BOHUNTER09
03-Jan-20
If you have a lot of grass and debris, the tiller may get wrapped up, especially if it’s long grass. Disking and letting it lay to decompose a bit might work. The no-till drill would be best if you can get one. They are pretty pricey in my area.

From: JM
03-Jan-20
Catscratch,

I plan to use the Spray/throw /Pack method for the established plots as you suggest. I was able to use that method on a new plot I established last fall but that location had native grass and smilax so it was relatively easy to get seed to soil contact. This bunch grass is way thicker and I am thinking that I will not get good seed to soil contact, I am not sure how long it will take to decompose.

John

From: JM
03-Jan-20
T-roy,

I am in south central Oklahoma just across the Red river northwest of Dallas/FortWorth

John

From: JM
03-Jan-20
bohunter09,

The no till drill would be the way to go but they are very expensive, just hoping to run into a good deal sometime.

John

From: Habitat
03-Jan-20
You may want to burn then spray then no till,check with your local usda office they may have a no till to rent or maybe a farmer around there would do it

From: bfisherman11
03-Jan-20
Although I have never burned that would be my suggestion. I will 2nd that a tiller can over work the soil. I like to lightly disk then plant and roll in. Of course get a soil sample before planting.

Bill

From: drycreek
03-Jan-20
Like Troy said, sounds like love grass. We used to have lots of it in East Texas, you can barely walk through the stuff. I’ll second the spray, then burn too. If you can get a tiller, you don’t have to till any deeper than necessary to destroy the roots. A disc will do that too. I’d wait 10 days or so after a good gly treatment, that will rot the roots and make for better, easier tilling.

From: Tlhbow
03-Jan-20
Wouldn't hurt to look around and see how the agriculture practice is in the area and have coffee at the quick stop to visit with the local farmers on recommendation. I had a plot around 600 yards long north of you on the south Canadian and didn't till very deep. Turns up sand with no value

From: JM
03-Jan-20
The Ag around me is mostly Cattle, Hay , and Pecans. The cattle farmers plant winter wheat for grazing by discing the fields but they plant late October.

John

From: t-roy
04-Jan-20
If you DO burn it off, be very cautious. Here in Iowa, burning off CRP is a relatively safe procedure. Not sure what conditions are like in South central Oklahoma, but I have a good rancher buddy in NW Oklahoma that burns his pastures off in the Spring, and things can get out of control in a hurry if not careful.

From: Tlhbow
04-Jan-20
JB are you in the cross timbers limestone formation range ?

From: JM
06-Jan-20

JM's embedded Photo
JM's embedded Photo
JM's embedded Photo
JM's embedded Photo
JM's embedded Photo
JM's embedded Photo
Here is what the grass looks like.

John

From: JM
06-Jan-20
I am a little leery of burning, but early spring it can definitely be done.

I am in the Crosstimber region but I don't think its the limestone region, soils are sandy and acidic ( I am about 20 miles west of Marietta).

From: t-roy
06-Jan-20
That’s definitely Lovegrass, John.

From: JM
06-Jan-20
I am thinking that I can kill the love grass with glyphosate, then a couple of weeks later mow it. I don't want to plant until at least mid-September so if I kill the grass in the summer and mow it it may give it enough time to start breaking down. If there is too much ground cover I guess I could disc/till or drag it with drag harrow.

From: BOHUNTER09
06-Jan-20
Can you disk a perimeter fire stop? That’s some really thick stuff that you are dealing with.

From: JM
08-Jan-20
Bohunter09, I could disk a fire stop and burn it. They just had a control burn get away from them on a WMA not to far from me just this week.

John

From: JM
24-May-20
This Love grass is a pain in the back side! I mowed it back in February and then a couple of weeks ago I sprayed it with glyphosate, it looks like I got a good kill except where I missed spraying. I tried to disc a strip on the edge of the plot to plant an Egyptian Wheat screen but after 6 passes it is a no go. I think I am going to have to scrape the grass off on the boundary then disc a buffer and just burn it while everything else is still green.

The good news is my switchgrass looks like it is growing well.

From: JM
24-May-20

JM's embedded Photo
Love grass after spraying
JM's embedded Photo
Love grass after spraying

From: JM
24-May-20

JM's embedded Photo
border disc area
JM's embedded Photo
border disc area

From: t-roy
24-May-20
Burning it now would definitely be a bit safer now that the other stuff has greened up. Burning all the dead lovegrass would go a long way towards being able to get the field disced up as well, although the root clumps will probably still be a pain until you get them completely broken up. It might take several passes.

If you can, try to back burn it into the wind. That seems to burn up the thatch more thoroughly (on our native grass CRP at least) plus you can control things a little better...unless the wind switches :-( Discing up a firebreak around the perimeter will also help.

From: JM
24-May-20
Definitely going to try to back burn the area. It is supposed to rain every day this week so I hoping to give it a try in a couple of weeks. I think if I can get it burned off soon, by the end of September I should be able to plant with no problems.

I also would like to get the Egyptian Wheat planted as soon as possible because the switch grass won't be much of a barrier this year.

By the way the horns are growing fast already up to the brow tines on some bucks and I am also getting a few pictures of fawns. Fun to watch it happen.

From: t-roy
24-May-20
Egyptian wheat will grow very quickly as long as it has plenty of nitrogen. Good luck with your project, and stay safe if you burn it!

From: buckhammer
24-May-20
You can do whatever you feel is best but I think you are going to be disappointed in the results from just disking your ground. Even after a burn down it is going to be hard to get that ground worked up with a disk no bigger suited than for a 60h.p. tractor. A disk for that size tractor isn't going to be heavy enough or have the gangs at an angle that will cut thru the hard soil.

If it was me I would hire a neighbor that has a tractor and a moldboard plow or buy a good used 3pt. 3 bottom plow for your tractor and plow it first. Then you can disk the ground till it is fine as sugar.

Just my experience from living on a farm that disking with a 50 to 60 horse tractor and a 8 to 12 foot disk just doesn't work on soil that hasn't been plowed first.

From: JM
25-May-20
Buckhammer,

The soil is not very hard it is kind of sandy, I planted probably 3/4 of an acre in switchgrass on the outside boundary of the field back in February. I had to scrap all the grass off with my bucket but once I did I was able to disc with no problem. I am going to keep the idea of to hiring a neighbor in mind if I can't get this worked myself.

From: Fuzzy
27-May-20
sandy, few rocks, few stumps= tiller

From: Junior
27-May-20
We definitely don't regret our tiller purchase.

From: flyingbrass
30-May-20
A regular disc and a sprayer is best. Tillers don't like any rocks. I would say you need a culitpacker since nobody mentioned it. It is great for getting seeds to the correct depth. For clover I disc, cultipack then sow the seed. For big seed like soybeans I disc, sow seed then cultipack. I used my cultipacker on my chicory stand this year and it's the best I've ever planted.

From: JM
07-Jun-20

JM's embedded Photo
JM's embedded Photo
JM's embedded Photo
JM's embedded Photo
I decided to give burning a try as you can see the whole field is burned off plus a bonus 1/2 acre. I found out that green love grass burns like an S*B.

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