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No Till Advice
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Bauda180 29-Jan-21
Kydeer1 29-Jan-21
t-roy 29-Jan-21
One Arrow 29-Jan-21
drycreek 29-Jan-21
Huntskifishcook 29-Jan-21
Pat Lefemine 29-Jan-21
One Arrow 29-Jan-21
standswittaknife 29-Jan-21
One Arrow 29-Jan-21
t-roy 29-Jan-21
t-roy 29-Jan-21
Bauda180 29-Jan-21
craigmcalvey 30-Jan-21
lewis 30-Jan-21
Hans 1 30-Jan-21
One Arrow 30-Jan-21
Loprofile 30-Jan-21
Catscratch 31-Jan-21
RD in WI 31-Jan-21
Shiloh 31-Jan-21
Kydeer1 31-Jan-21
Sand man 31-Jan-21
Loprofile 31-Jan-21
RIT 01-Feb-21
Stressless 23-Feb-21
Stressless 23-Feb-21
BullBuster 24-Feb-21
From: Bauda180
29-Jan-21
Seeking some wisdom from the No Till food plot folks. We have made several strides in our food plot program on our lease and have already seen the fruits of that labor. A few of the members are interested in really utilizing a no till method however some questions I have are. Note We have access to a cultipacker, however we do not have a no till drill implement.

Can the no till method truly be effective without the use of a crimper device to terminate the previous forage?

By seeding a fall blend into the standing spring and summer mix do you have to increase seeding rate in order to account for the seed not coming in contact with soil, or would you recommend the broadcast rate but roll over the crop with the cultipacker to aid in seed to soil contact?

Do most people utilize buckwheat in the spring to get the no till method rolling and seed into it that fall?

I can go on and on with questions but that is all I can think of right at this moment. I really appreciate any advice!

From: Kydeer1
29-Jan-21
Yea, you don't need a crimper. You can always do rye or buckwheat for a summer crop then broadcast your fall seeds then terminate with chemicals. I'd consider running a brush cutter over it too if it's too tall.

From: t-roy
29-Jan-21
Agree with Kydeer1, above. I haven’t done very much no till stuff yet, so I’m still learning as well. One thing I’d point out about buckwheat is, It can be pretty invasive if you let it mature. Depending on what you are planning on planting for a fall crop, it could possibly cause you some issues. I planted brassicas into a plot that was buckwheat earlier in the summer. I didn’t terminate the buckwheat and it went to seed. I disced the plot up and planted the brassicas. They came up fine, as did a ton of buckwheat plants. Buckwheat grows very quickly and shaded the growing brassicas and severely stunted their growth.

From: One Arrow
29-Jan-21
I’ve done a lot of no till food plots over the years. Found a used UFT 10 foot no-till drill about 13 years ago and completely went through it. Replaced openers, bearings, etc. It works great, but no till can be tough. Conditions need to be right and hopefully the local weather stations are accurate for planning purposes.

Used it for beans, wheat, and oats so far. Chemical is your friend and I would not recommend a late summer broadcast without a burn down. I like to plant beans in the Spring and then no till wheat/rye in late Sept... leaves a lot of bean plants still standing and you have greens as well.

From: drycreek
29-Jan-21
I tried no till, as in throw and mow, but the hogs ate it all overnight. I mean they ate 100 lbs. of wheat seed overnight. I have now adopted what I call “minimum till”. Your soil may not permit it, but the soils I plant in are easy to get an inch to an inch and a half penetration with my disc gangs almost straight. My personal opinion is that this is not enough turning of the soil to destroy your microbes, earthworms, and other various and sundry things that might be beneficial to your soil. It works for me for seeds like wheat, iron clay peas, soybeans, etc. My clovers or radish seed I just plant on top after I drag the others in. Hogs can’t pick those little seeds up and the bigger ones are buried. That evolved over the course of about 15 years of food plotting and as I said it works for me. YMMV

29-Jan-21
Alot of no till farms use a 2x6 with a rope attached to each end. Two guys work, each holding a side of rope and putting a foot on the board. Then they walk stomping down each step as they go. It looks like once they get a rythm down a cover crop can be knocked down pretty quickly before its tarped to smother and fully kill the crop.

From: Pat Lefemine
29-Jan-21

Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo
My Ohio soybean plot
Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo
My Ohio soybean plot
The soil conservation guy in Ohio told me that I had to continue with the previous farmers no-till method because it was superior to traditional disking. I don’t have a drill so I followed the method I used for years of tilling then row planting my 18 acres of soybeans. No soil erosion issues and I had a spectacular result.

No-till is a great option for planting, and so is traditional tillage IMO. I caution hunters who follow these habitat guys on YouTube to keep an open mind.

My 2c.

From: One Arrow
29-Jan-21
We’ve got guys trying 100% no-till farming in my area... not impressed. We’ve had some really wet/cool years and it has been pretty difficult to get the crops in. Hard to get the ground to warm up and dry out if it’s not cracked open. As stated above it can be done, but conditions have to be right. I prefer tillage of some kind... I believe you get a better, more even stand.

29-Jan-21

standswittaknife's Link
Jeff Sturgis is pretty good at explaining it...

From: One Arrow
29-Jan-21
We’ve got guys trying 100% no-till farming in my area... not impressed. We’ve had some really wet/cool years and it has been pretty difficult to get the crops in. Hard to get the ground to warm up and dry out if it’s not cracked open. As stated above it can be done, but conditions have to be right. I prefer tillage of some kind... I believe you get a better, more even stand.

From: t-roy
29-Jan-21

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
This was going to be a no till brassica plot this pst year. I tilled and planted buckwheat on this field and got adequate moisture to get it to this point. I then seeded brassicas into the standing buckwheat on Aug. 1st, rolled down the buckwheat, sprayed the flattened field with glyphosate to make certain that the buckwheat was definitely dead. We got .3” of rain a few days later and the brassicas sprouted. Then it didn’t rain again until September. We were super dry all summer, so there was basically zero subsoil moisture. The brassicas stalled out and produced very little forage. I overseeded it with rye in early September, and we finally got some decent rains, so it wasn’t a total bust, but pretty disappointed with the results. It definitely wasn’t a case study on wether the no till will or won’t work. I’ll probably go the same route on this plot again this year, and hopefully we will get adequate moisture this time. I will probably seed the buckwheat thicker as well. It did do an excellent job on weed control in this plot.

From: t-roy
29-Jan-21

t-roy's embedded Photo
t-roy's embedded Photo
I’m definitely not strictly a no till guy. In fact, I’ve pretty much been exclusively a tillage plotter, but I’ve got a few plots that are definitely good candidates to try the no till applications on. Experimenting with new techniques and plantings is half of the fun!

From: Bauda180
29-Jan-21
Thanks to all for the input. Reading about burning down the previous crop was encouraging because I really thought no till could only be done with extensive equipment and absolutely no chemicals. This of course is me alluding to some of who Pat referred to in his post as habitat guys on youtube. I do get a ton of ideas from them and we try to implement what we can from some of the social media deer habitat folks. I appreciate everyone's input and photos. We will see what we can get done this spring.

From: craigmcalvey
30-Jan-21
I didn’t have good luck no till planting brassicas. Did ok with rye.

From: lewis
30-Jan-21
My grain sorghum and w rye and buckwheat did great I have not decided what I’ll do this year.I’m not brave enough yet to try it on my soybeans.Good luck Lewis

From: Hans 1
30-Jan-21
I would get a good sprayer even if it is only a 4 wheeler type. Learn the chemicals and the timing to manage weeds this is crucial to success. I would then find a small John Deere 4 row planter with no til coulters and heavy down pressure springs. I have had great luck with these no til planting corn, beans, sorghum, radishes and sugar beets. They make different seed units that allow wheat, rye and oats although I haven’t tried them. My little planter is set up to plant with liquid fertilizer but that isn’t needed but really nice for corn.

From: One Arrow
30-Jan-21
Check out the F/S line of UTV sprayers... high quality.

From: Loprofile
30-Jan-21
No til has some tremendous soil building benefits if you are starting with marginal soil. It also conserves moisture-again more important if you have marginal soil. If you have Midwest farm land and reasonable rains good results are relatively easy regardless of method

From: Catscratch
31-Jan-21
If you want to throw-n-mow it's very simple; spray gly, spread seed, mow, pray for rain (and no hogs). Broadcast heavy. Mowing isn't necessary, I've had it work just as well without knocking the dead vegetation down. Packing isn't necessary, done many side by side tests and not once has packing showed better results than not packing.

Disclaimer - I am on several habitat forums. I've come to the conclusion that each region responds differently to throw-n-mow. Weather patterns, seed predators, soil structure/health, and seed choice all have an effect on success. What works for one might not work for another. I've been doing it since the mid 90's and have my area figured out pretty well. Even so, I had a plot failure last yr.

From: RD in WI
31-Jan-21
T-Roy - that picture looks like a beautiful postcard for hunters. Very nice

From: Shiloh
31-Jan-21
Is there a good food plot forum dedicated more to the southeast??

From: Kydeer1
31-Jan-21
I've researched this topic to death over the past few years and decided on no till plantings as to improve my soils over time. It's probably overkill for my situation and land but it makes me happy so there ya go. I got a Genesis 5 light drill on a 3 point connection. I went from mature timber to a cleared plot for plantings. However the dozers did a number on my topsoil. Year 1 I feel was a success and here are a couple thoughts for what its worth. Get a soil analysis and it all optimized before planting. #1 thing to do IMO. Lime and fertilizer. Second get a good kill on any residual weeds. Chemicals are a necessity especially early on. Maybe after a few years you can cut back if you want. Third no till makes a ton of sense. Keeping roots in the ground year round and even when they die you get that rotting goodness right in the zone you need it for future plantings. I'll agree that traditional tilling sure looks pretty when it's all fine powder and smooth but long term it can hurt drainage, promote compaction, interfere with bacteria and other soil fungi. I didn't have an issue with drilling buckwheat as a summer plot with the drill. Its a great smother crop and will grow on just about any soil. Make sure to terminate it before it seeds though as you can run into issues with your fall crop. Jeff Sturgis has some great videos on it. I terminated it and did a cereal mixture on half and brassica mix on the other and it all came up great. Fertilizer on the brassicas really made a difference. The drill was pretty straight forward with use. Most seeds don't need to be planted deep and those cutters don't have to dig deep even it harder soils. Obviously easier with a heavy drill though. Good thing is just getting a little dirt to cover will increase chances of survival from the environment and most importantly critters. Consider using seeds that are easy to grow and manage as well. Buckwheat, soybeans, and especially cereal rye are your friends. All those are easy to grow----soybeans can be demolished by deer though early on. Its been done for years either way, however I do believe that in the past few years there has been a ton of research trying to preserve farming for years to come. Decreasing farmers overhead and increasing production with soil management. No till fits that bill, however like I mentioned it may be overkill but does make me happy to improve the land and leave it better than when I purchased it.

From: Sand man
31-Jan-21
2X STANDWITTAKNIFE!!!

A lot of other GREAT RESOURCES within Jeff’s videos...

From: Loprofile
31-Jan-21
No til has some tremendous soil building benefits if you are starting with marginal soil. It also conserves moisture-again more important if you have marginal soil. If you have Midwest farm land and reasonable rains good results are relatively easy regardless of method

From: RIT
01-Feb-21
A little rain at the right time will make everyone look like a genius.

From: Stressless
23-Feb-21

From: Stressless
23-Feb-21
Q) "Can the no till method truly be effective without the use of a crimper device to terminate the previous forage?"

A) "Note We have access to a cultipacker"

So you have a crimper. Answered your own question.

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Watch how to do it, step by step. Doing this this year as well.

I'll never disk another plot after doing the No-Till method. You need a cultipacker, a harrow/drag is also a force multiplier for germination.

From: BullBuster
24-Feb-21
A little off subject but also not. Can buckwheat be terminated without chemicals? Can you just cut it down low before it goes to seed? And when does it generally go to seed?

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