Contributors to this thread:
Pheasants Forever Seed.
I have a gas line right-a-way that is about 50' wide and a half mile long. The gas company cleared it last fall so I decided to make some food plots on it. The gas company agreed to provide enough seed for 3 acres. They get seed from Pheasant Forever, www.pfhabitat.com. I requested legumes with oats as a nurse crop. They sent me something they call OH Firebreak mix with Jerry oats. The recommended seed rate is 6.5PLS/Acre for the legumes and 23.5 #s/acre for the oats. I spoke with them briefly. They seemed very knowledgably and although they did not share the details of the mix, they assure me that it was good for my application and was the correct seed rate even if I was broadcasting the seed. They seem to be very precise and follow formulas. The legumes mix comes out exactly for PLS and the total application rate is specified as 30.76#s/acre. I am not being critical of PF. I do have some questions once I say the details of the mixture.
The legumes consist of 2# alfalfa, .5# alsike clover, 1# ladino clover and 3# crimson clover. There are 3.5# of perennials and 3# of annuals in the legume mix. I am not sure if I should use the mix as an annual or a perennial. The oat seed rate is lower than anything I have ever seen recommended as a nurse crop. Everything came premixed. I checked the seed and it is not coated but they assured me that it is inoculated.
The seed was shipped free to my door so I am happy to have it No complaints here. I am just not sure what to do with it. I have a number of other food plots so I do not even have to use it on the right-a-way. I can buy something else. Here are some of my thoughts. I can plant it as it is at the recommended rate. I can increase the rate. I can add to the mix. One idea is to add about 7#/acre of tillage radishes and treat it as an annual and pump some nitrogen into the soil. I could add additional crimson clover and treat it as an annual. I could add some additional alsike and ladino clover and treat it as a perennial. Additional oats can be added. The options are endless. I have not taken a soil sample yet due to the high moisture at this time but I think that the pH is around 5 and I will not be able to get a lime truck on it until late June due to the demand from farmers for the equipment which is reasonable. Of course I can use this mixture some where else. All of my existing plots have a pH between 6.7 and 7. I am interested in thoughts on how to use the seed.
Also if the seed is inoculated but not coated, what is the shelf life for the inoculant to stay active if anyone knows.
Is both sides of the R/W on your property or is it on the property line?If you have both sides then you could always plant it this year. We planted our electric R/W in switch since it was on the line my neighbor and I both agreed this would be better.
The R/W goes through the property a long way from any property line. It is interesting that you planted SG. The gas company did not want me to plant anything over 3' tall but they also said that it was okay to farm it which I think includes planting corn. At one end there is a fantastic bedding area full of rubs that the R/W cuts through. Plus there is an abandon gas well access road that cross the R/W just above the bedding area which provides great access with any west wind. I have opened the road and there are some great stand locations.
With the oats in the mix I was thinking of an August planting date to use the oats as a fall food source.
My dog and I would like to throw some 6 shot through it :)
This is my fourth year using Pheasant Forever seed;very good stuff and the price is right. I primarily plant for uplands but the deer really like it.Mostly sorgum mixes.We also plant corn and soybeans purchased local. Also very fast delivery.
As a Upland guy, thank you!
goyt, interesting that the gas company does not want anything over 3’ planted. I have multiple oil lines under my property in west central Ks. They mow the pipeline right of way and fly it I believe once a week looking for evidence of an oil leak. However some of my food plots cross through the pipeline right of way and they do not mow them. I plant milo and forage sorghum, both will be over 3’ tall.
Dale06, I think that it may be a matter of who you ask. My contact is new to the position. The followed a guideline for planting shrubs and trees. I checked the easement agreement and it gives the landowner a lot of lieu way and I think that I am within my rights to plant SG or Egyptian wheat but they have the right to cut it down if they need to. I can even put down stone and use the area as a parking lot as long as I do not pave it. I saw no benefits of arguing. I will do what I feel is within my rights and if they want to cut something down we can address it then. If they can not see the ground it does not matter how high the plants are. They have been good people.
I think that they monitor line pressure seeing that it is a NG line. The fly overs are to find excavation activities and the like. We put in a swale to divert some water and they were at our door within days to see what we had done and to let us know that we should have called them. We got a gift package out of the deal. They try hard to be nice. Their program is to mow the R/W once every 3 years and to cut it back every 6. I would guess that within one growing season after moving, they cannot see a leak from the air. I think that anything that we plant will be just fine.
I personally would double the oats but otherwise let her fly as is. You can always overseed the following year with whatever grows best.
BullBuster, that is pretty much where I am a right now. I spoke with my local food plot supplier and they recommended planting the mix as it is and the door was wide open for them to try and sell me some seed. I plan on adding some forage oats and see what happens. The pH is too low on the R/W for the alfalfa to do well. I have some ground that had brassicas in it last fall with a pH of around 7 where I can plant the PF seed. I am thinking of planting tillage radishes and crimson clover on the R/W and then over planting with cereal rye to draw deer a month or so later. I can not get a lime truck on the R/W until June/July and radishes, crimson clover and rye should all do well in the lower pH.
If the oats are a nurse crop the lbs look good. If it was a cover crop then yes I’d double it...
My Key takeaways:
50'x 2800'(ish) available, ~ 3 acres
The options are endless.
GC did not "want" me to plant anything over 3' tall.
How long the inoculate lasts without coating.
Alfalfa if planted will not grow in 5 pH. (agreed) - 2# out of 31#(ish) pounds not a great deal of loss -- add 2# of Birdsfoot Trefoil (poor mans alfalfa) - you have 10's of acres in other areas with Alfalfa
It's Free... ;)
Now or when it's dry enough to navigate:
Start with w stand locations and access - Put the PF blend + BFT in the areas you want the draw for movement - Put +20' x 50' blocks of SWG on either side of the PF Plot sections you want movement to, --- make the SWG wider (+20')for more "buffer" where you don't want food to draw deer --- that also is benefit for upland bird/small game cover --- so what if SWG gets mowed every three years --- SWG from my reading should be mowed/harvested about that rate or more
June: Amend the soil, take a couple samples along it use the https://websoilsurvey.sc.egov.usda.gov/App/WebSoilSurvey.aspx and https://websoilsurvey.sc.egov.usda.gov/App/WebSoilSurvey.aspx to locate the different soils (if there are any) along the 1/2 mile to pick your different samples.
Or use your Woodland Stewardship Plan soils map
Sep: Overseed the plots areas with Cereal Rye
Next Feb/Mar 2023 - Evidence based research - look at your PF plots and SWG blocks, adjust boundaries, prep and frost seed as necessary with whatever seems/seemed to work on the soils and what the deer and small game favored. ================================================
I hope to be there to help!
;) You asked!
Thanks for the responses. I appreciate them. Here is where I am at right now. The legumes in the PF mix is where the value is IMO and the alfalfa and the Ladino clover will struggle in the low pH on the R/W. I will test the soil as soon as it dries out and put down lime. I plan on planting a mix of crimson clover and tillage radishes on the R/W before a major rain event around August 1st. Both will do well at a low pH. I can broadcast cereal rye on the plots in September for an added draw. This should leave the soil in great shape for 2023 and attract deer this fall. There is a hidden portion of the R/W that drops to the north off of a hay field which drops off to the south. The last two times I have gone to this section there have been deer feeding there mid day on what has grown from just mowing. By swinging wide through the hay field during the day, deer in the R/W will not be able to see me until I have some cover from the woods. Hopefully the deer will move to the high quality hay field at dark so that I can stay low in the R/W to avoid detection. Looks like it should be a good set-up.
I have some food plots with pHs around 7 that I split in half last year and planted brassicas in half in August and planted the other half in September in other things. This did not work out as well as I had hoped because the deer kept the brassicas from getting established. The deer did feed on the brassicas through most of the season and even in the snow but there just was not much there due to all of the pressure. When I checked the brassica plots this spring there were half eaten bulbs in the ground and root penetration so all was not lost. I plan to plant the PF mixture in last years brassica areas and plant brassicas in the other half all at the same time. By doubling the actively growing space I am hoping that the brassicas will do better. The legumes and oats in the PF mix should be able to withstand heavy browsing. I can broadcast cereal rye into the PF mix in September to fill it in if necessary and to add to the late season attraction. Next year I can see what sort of stand I got out of the PF mix and proceed accordingly. With this approach I will be planting and utilizing the PF mixture as it was designed; as a legume plot with oats as a nurse crop.
so informative discussion, Thankyou guys...