Moultrie Products
Buckwheat- Best Time to Plant?
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Hunt98 29-May-20
BullBuster 29-May-20
Scrappy 29-May-20
Huntcell 29-May-20
t-roy 29-May-20
APauls 29-May-20
RIT 29-May-20
t-roy 29-May-20
RIT 29-May-20
Kydeer1 29-May-20
t-roy 30-May-20
RIT 30-May-20
Pat Lefemine 30-May-20
RIT 30-May-20
t-roy 30-May-20
RIT 30-May-20
Kydeer1 30-May-20
RIT 30-May-20
gobbler 30-May-20
BullBuster 30-May-20
Kydeer1 30-May-20
Hunt98 31-May-20
RIT 31-May-20
RIT 31-May-20
Hunt98 31-May-20
Kydeer1 31-May-20
Hunt98 31-May-20
Hunt98 01-Jun-20
RIT 01-Jun-20
Scott in Camo 03-Jun-20
RIT 03-Jun-20
Scott in Camo 03-Jun-20
Scott in Camo 03-Jun-20
Fuzzy 04-Jun-20
drycreek 04-Jun-20
RIT 07-Jun-20
Fuzzy 08-Jun-20
Shawn 09-Jun-20
t-roy 09-Jun-20
Mark Watkins 10-Jun-20
t-roy 10-Jun-20
Fuzzy 11-Jun-20
lewis 13-Jun-20
Fuzzy 15-Jun-20
From: Hunt98
29-May-20
When is the best time to plant Buckwheat?

From: BullBuster
29-May-20
They say soil temp at 65, but mine growing at 57 degrees.

From: Scrappy
29-May-20
I think that stuff will grow on snow.

29-May-20
Middle of May for me here in KS/MO, but can go earlier down here.

From: Huntcell
29-May-20
Great seeing a field buckwheat in full bloom!

Bees go crazy over a snowy white field of blossoms. the result is a very dark honey, that can sometimes have too strong a flavor, and can be a bit much for some.

An old time crop, because it grows in colder conditions and matures quickly . Wife just made buckwheat and smoked turkey leg soup.

From: t-roy
29-May-20
What is your intended purpose for planting it, Hunt98? Building the soil, weed suppression, etc? It is very fast growing and works very well for those applications. Be aware that if you let it go to seed, it can be an issue, depending on what you are wanting to plant in that plot in the future. As an example, I planted it in a plot in the spring last year. I ended up letting it go to seed, before discing in, then planting brassicas in early August. The buckwheat seed sprouted as well as the brassicas, and it quickly outgrew my brassicas and severely stunted their growth, due to shading them out. Fortunately, you can easily avoid this issue by simply mowing/discing them before they go to seed.

From: APauls
29-May-20

Jeff talks a lot about buckwheat in here and when and why to plant it.

From: RIT
29-May-20
The best time to plant Buckwheat is 7-9 weeks before you are putting in a fall crop. 9 weeks is pushing it because it will be setting seeds. Depending on why you are planting it that may not work. Once it sets seed you will lose all the extracted phosphorus. I have let it go to seed and I did get a second crop but it wasn’t nowhere near as heavy as the first crop. I am in zone 6a and I will be planting in the neighborhood of June 5-10th because I want to plant into it the first of August.

From: t-roy
29-May-20
How do you terminate your buckwheat, RIT?

From: RIT
29-May-20
I have planted it twice. Both years I mowed it after seeding into it. I was late both times and it went to seed but the first year I was really late. This year I am hoping not to mow it. I am in the process of trying to make a roller crimper to pull behind my UTV. If I can’t get that right I may try to roll it with a cultipacker. Timing with be key and I am 0-2.

From: Kydeer1
29-May-20
Will crimping alone kill buckwheat?

From: t-roy
30-May-20
RIT probably knows for sure, but I’d bet that it probably does, Kydeer. It seems to have a somewhat hollow stem, and the entire plant discs/chops up very easily.

From: RIT
30-May-20
When buckwheat gets near maturity in addition to the hollow stem I have found that it breaks really easy. I’d bet you could just run it over to knock it down and terminate it but I have not tried it. If you tried it before maturity I am sure it would stand back up but there is no mistaking when it becomes brittle. You could also flatten and then spray it depending on your objectives. Some may just disc it into the soil. I leave it on top and broadcast into it.

From: Pat Lefemine
30-May-20

Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo
My 2018 buckwheat planting. Deer never touched it. Turkeys went crazy over the seeds the following spring thaw.
Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo
My 2018 buckwheat planting. Deer never touched it. Turkeys went crazy over the seeds the following spring thaw.
I planted buckwheat two years ago and it came up wonderfully. And the deer barely touched it. I won't plant again.

However, it produced millions of seeds that fell to the ground and were covered by snow. The following spring thaw the turkeys devoured it. So not all bad.

From: RIT
30-May-20
Buckwheat is a soil builder not deer food. They will occasionally nip it but not much else. It’s meant to be an 8 week cover crop that extracts mostly P from the soil. The fine roots stay in the soil and improve water infiltration and OM.

From: t-roy
30-May-20
If you’re trying to capture the most P and utilize it for the next crop, when is the best time to terminate it, RIT?

From: RIT
30-May-20
Before it goes to seed.

From: Kydeer1
30-May-20
So for us newbies when you say 8 week cover crop I assume that is the time frame when it usually tends to seed. Is that time frame from when it was planted, germinated or a certain height? Just trying to see how to gauge the timeframe of fall planting/terminating the buckwheat.

From: RIT
30-May-20
So a ton of variables but I can tell you what has happened for me. Soil conditions, moisture, climate etc will affect what happens to you. I have a medium clay soil. I have planted buckwheat the last two years. It germinates really fast. Usually within 3-4 days. I plant into winter rye residue so this may help with the moisture. The book on buckwheat says 70-90 days from planting to maturity. The math is 10+ weeks. Not in my soil. Seems I get flowers at 4-5 weeks and about 3 weeks after I see it starting to form seeds with a hard seed visible a week after. That puts me in the 8-9 week range. It has went to seed on me twice and the secondary crop wasn’t all that thick and the stalks were much shorter as colder weather set in. I imagine further South than zone 6A you could see a big difference for the second crop. Ideally I want to plant into 3’ buckwheat that hasn’t set seed. Before buckwheat I was just using WR to plant into but it was more like straw and didn’t break down fast enough so I have been trying BW the last few years.

From: gobbler
30-May-20

gobbler's embedded Photo
gobbler's embedded Photo
Deer will definitely eat buckwheat. Note that’s mostly stems left on most plants

From: BullBuster
30-May-20
Here’s a pretty good primer although much has already been covered by the smart farmers above. http://www.hort.cornell.edu/bjorkman/lab/buck/main.php

From: Kydeer1
30-May-20
RIT, so you are planning to drill into the standing buckwheat before it seeds and then crimp it over? I assume that it all dies after the first frost so what is the negative if it does go to seed? Also you mentioned the WR being really thick and straw like. For that would you say you can build up your soil organic matter with it vs the buckwheat?

From: Hunt98
31-May-20
I planned on using BW as weed control and soil builder. Then kill and no till plant brassica. I want to plant brassica mid July. I cut (weed whipped) and gly yesterday a few test areas. Am I to late in the game to plant it this year?

From: RIT
31-May-20

RIT's Link
Hunt check your soil temp here. Buckwheat will establish fine and you will still get 6 weeks of growth.

From: RIT
31-May-20
Kydeer I’ll try to answer your questions.

I won’t be drilling into the BW. I will be broadcasting into the standing buckwheat. I’ll then roll, crush, or mow the BW over the seed. I don’t like to spray but sometimes it’s necessary. I will see how well the BW smothered out any weeds.

Depending on your planting zone a few negatives of letting it go to seed is one it will burn up any P that it mined from the soil putting out seeds. Two you will get a second crop of BW that competes with your fall crop. My second crop has not been as vigorous as the first but others have experienced issues.

Yes WR will provide a lot more thatch and build up OM faster. In fact BW breaks down really fast and doesn’t contribute very much to soil OM. I want to use it to suppress weeds and nurse the fall crop along but not interfere with the growth.

The difference between the two crops WR and BW boils down to soil biology. The perfect carbon to nitrogen ratio or C:N ratio in healthy soil is 24:1. This is the optimum ratio for crop residue to break down. So for every 24 parts of carbon it takes one part Nitrogen to break down the residue. The higher the C:N ratio the longer it takes to breakdown and the longer available N is tied up breaking down the residue. This can and will cause issues when you fall plant Brassicas into residue heavy plots.

So BW has a C:N ratio of 34:1 where as Mature WR which is more like straw come August is almost 80:1. So when you broadcast brassicas into the standing WR which for me is usually about 6’ tall and mow it down all the soil Nitrogen is tied up breaking down the WR. That’s bad news unless you like yellow Brassicas. This is where BW will breakdown faster and not cause N issues. Plus I just like stuff actively growing as much of the year as possible and who doesn’t like to plant? I have two types of terrible soil. I do wish I could disc, broadcast, cultipack, and walk away. But the truth is when I do this I am 100% at the mercy of the weather and too many failed plantings to count. I needed to find a way to improve the soil. I have medium to heavy clay and light limestone laced soils. Both are terrible for things like water infiltration and soil moisture. My clay is either drenched with water or dry and crusted over from lack of water. But if I take a 10x10 black piece of plastic and put it in the field with bricks on it today. I could come back in August even if it didn’t rain from now until then and it was 95 degrees. Then pull the plastic up and I would have damp cool soil with worms and all kinds of soil biology at work.

This is what the cover crops and thatch do for me. They keep my soil cool and moist. Over time my soil will improve and I’ll be less dependent on the weather. I know guys love their disc and have success and if it works for them great. I am trying to get maximum output with minimum input. If you have some time to burn google soil biology videos from guys like Ray Archuleta, Gabe Brown and Dave Brandt. Fascinating stuff.

From: Hunt98
31-May-20
I planned on using BW as weed control and soil builder. Then kill and no till plant brassica. I want to plant brassica mid July. I cut (weed whipped) and gly yesterday a few test areas. Am I to late in the game to plant it this year?

From: Kydeer1
31-May-20
Wow, thanks for the input. I've tried to do a ton of research on the topics and even just this year purchased a drill and crimper with plans of adopting the buffalo system (Grant Woods) type rotation. However, I've picked up a few nuggets of info along the way. It seems like having the buckwheat in the summer to early fall and then maybe at the end of the year broadcasting the WR into the fall blend might be really beneficial to the soil until maybe doing the buckwheat again next spring/summer. That's my plan as of now anyway. Again, I appreciate the time explaining that. There is definitely a lot of trial and error with new food plots.

From: Hunt98
31-May-20

From: Hunt98
01-Jun-20
How many pounds of Buckwheat per acre do you plant?

From: RIT
01-Jun-20
50

03-Jun-20
RIT, I'm in the SE corner of KS. If I plant buckwheat on 6/20 then seed my brassicas on 8/8 for my 7 weeks, is that about the right timing?

From: RIT
03-Jun-20
Just curious what Kansas looks like on 6/20? Really hot and dry? You will still need moisture but that’s right in that 7-8 week range. Ideally terminate it before it produces seeds.

I need to get mine in the ground soon. I am looking at early August also.

03-Jun-20
June/July weather is fairly similar in my opinion. Both are hot and can be dry. I'm doing similar to you with seeding, cultipacking, then am going to spray it. I have a plan, I'm just unsure of best planting time for the buckwheat. I could always spray a tank of water over the plots (1 acre) if it gets too dry.

03-Jun-20

From: Fuzzy
04-Jun-20
anytime after last frost is O-tay!

From: drycreek
04-Jun-20

drycreek's embedded Photo
drycreek's embedded Photo
This was planted about three weeks ago. Zone 8

From: RIT
07-Jun-20
Nice stand of BW there! What’s the endgame? I’d say 4-5 weeks that will start to form hard seed. Brassicas early July?

From: Fuzzy
08-Jun-20
I haven't planted buckwheat in over 25 years. I'm planning to seed a small plot with buckwheat and pearl millet for wildlife and soil cover on a newly cleared area (mixed hardwood timber with rhodo/laurel understory) "raw" soil pH is 5.4 with adequate P and K. I plan to lime heavily with ag lime when I finish clearing and burning brush. Has anyone had issues with low pH and "new ground"?

From: Shawn
09-Jun-20
I have planted it a few times in early June and after it flowers and before it turns to seed tilled it under around first week in August, than fertilized and planted clover. Clover got established and the following years I had the best clover fields ever. They lasted a good 5 years and all I did was now the tops off after it flowered. Shawn

From: t-roy
09-Jun-20

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
I planted 5 different plots of it this past week. (total of approximately 4 acres) My plans are to interseed a brassicas mix into these plots the first week of August, then roll it flat with my cultipacker, then spray it with glyphosate to make sure I have killed the buckwheat (as per info from Jeff Sturgis videos). The prepped plot in the pic is on the east end of one of my bigger plots. Planted the buckwheat on the 8th and hopefully seeding the brassicas into it the first of August. I am planning on frost seeding a 20’ wide strip of switchgrass (in January-February) across the end of this plot to close it in somewhat, and also to be able to slip into the stand undetected hopefully. I should end up with pretty much, bare ground in it by mid winter.

From: Mark Watkins
10-Jun-20
Very informative thread guys!

Thanks for all the details.

Mark

From: t-roy
10-Jun-20

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
The buckwheat I planted last week is up!

From: Fuzzy
11-Jun-20
I planted (broadcast) buckwheat and pearl millet on my newground yesterday. I', gonna lime heavily and hit any bare spots again next week. I am working on clearing another section that will get red clover and oil sunflower

From: lewis
13-Jun-20
Got a great buckwheat story.Back about 15 years ago my neighbor planted a plot of buckwheat and the deer weren’t destroying it.His solution was to tie one of his hog dogs which is a mountain cur at the plot.Sounded like a good idea what possibly could go wrong. I went with him to check the plot and the deer had returned and hammered the buckwheat to within a foot of the chain. I have not grown any in many years but I think I will this year.Lewis

From: Fuzzy
15-Jun-20
lol Lewis that's great. I still tell people about the drought year in the early 1990s when there were lots of deer and there wasn't much green in the woods. They hammered my garden. I tell people they ate everything, even potato vines, pepper vines, tomato vines, squash, stuff they usually don't touch. I tied my dog in the garden and they even ate the dog. (joke)

  • Sitka Gear