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Author Topic: Help with new foodplots  (Read 2222 times)

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Offline Jeff

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Help with new foodplots
« on: July 23, 2022, 08:09:41 AM »
We had a Forestry Mulcher  in to create some new foodplot areas on our Eastern Upper Peninsula property. In Just 2 hours our property took on another transformation.  

Now to figure out how to get rid t about 4 to 6 inches of Canary Grass thatch. It just rolls around with a landscape rake. I've been using a brush hog to try and chop it up, hence, the old 8n ford tractor in the video for scale. 

Can I plant clover and Brassica diectly into that much mulch?  there are just to many tag alder roots to disc the grass into the soil so I don't know. 

What you think eh? Wait a year? I dont want to!

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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2022, 08:41:16 PM »
How about direct seeding some rye ,  turnips and maybe radishes  this first go and let the mulched cover breakdown a year.  Rye works pretty good here and will likely overwinter.  The would give the canary grass some competition  in the spring. 
We winter a few cows on them.

Offline Jeff

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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2022, 09:18:24 PM »
But will the seeds sprout in that mass, and make ot up before the kazillion canary grass seeds that are probably in there?
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2022, 11:51:24 PM »
The good news is you don't have to worry about those Reed Canary seeds, the bad news is because Reed Canary spreads by rhizomes.  

No luck with a disc?  Got access to a moldboard plow so you can bury the duff? 
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2022, 02:08:13 AM »
Spray it with roundup. Then go back and plant your stuff in a couple weeks 

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2022, 02:56:56 AM »
Can you windrow the hay with a rake? Get it dry and burn it? Then roundup and then seed the next week.  Burning is difficult up here because you'd need a permit and a burn plan filed with DNR. I can guess that the grass is heavy on that ground so pretty dense coverage.

Another option is to see how it looks dried a little bit. It will help hold ground moisture if the grass can be retained, and if it doesn't look to be cutting off the light too badly, giver the round up and plant the next week or two.
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Offline Don P

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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2022, 05:49:44 AM »
I don't see a need to roundup what is there now. If you are going to do that wait to see what comes up and hit the new green.
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2022, 05:53:18 AM »
Unless the ground was plowed and worked up, the grass is there in stubble form.
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2022, 08:27:02 AM »
If there is anything growing its going to kill it. Most of the various types of food plot seed barely need to be be covered to grow.

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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2022, 08:48:55 AM »
We have issues very similar with Bermuda grass, which is a foot high, and a solid mat of roots that a disk just rolls over and can't get to the dirt.

A good, old school, moldboard plow will cut through it easily, roll out over and put it all about 10 inches under the dirt.  Basically, it will just flip it dirt side up like a pancake.  

I use a 3 bottom, 18 inch Ford turning plow.  I would guess even a smaller one would work, but the key is to get the points deep enough where it just rips out the strip of vegetation, flips the the dirt side up, and the debris side down.  It will also pull up, flip and expose any remaining root balls there may be in the ground.  

After that, once the dirt is exposed, it can be run over with a disc and broken up easily.  

I have do this every year for our winter crops and food plots.  Put the tractor in low 4, turn on the radio, flip on the air conditioner, sink the plow into the green mat, and instant dirt.


 
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2022, 09:01:45 AM »
 

 
I use a single tooth subsoiler each year to break up the soil.


 
After that the disc does an easy job.  A single pass and ready to seed.
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Offline petefrom bearswamp

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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2022, 09:17:24 AM »
This is a nice video of your little piece of heaven Jeff as well as your others.
My disastrous experience with a food plot wont help you in your case.
The guy that cleared my little plot about 9 years ago removed most of the topsoil and I now have a mess.
Been meaning to move the topsoil back, but it is full of aspen stumps.
Are the dead trees that show up on the video Aspen?
I am not familiar with canary grass.
Topsoil on my property is about 4 inches deep, lots of rocks, but not as many as in Maine.
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2022, 01:41:44 PM »
My problem with a plow I think would be the tag aldar stumps that is under the mat. I tried to get a couple pics this morning.



 

 

 
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2022, 01:57:48 PM »
If someone around has an offset disc it will take care of that with no problem.  Would be a decent sized farm operation and say 150+ HP tractor that you are looking for.  
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2022, 02:09:56 PM »
Did you watch the ariel video?  :D
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2022, 02:18:29 PM »
Remember, its clay not far down too.
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2022, 02:52:16 PM »
I think the mold board plow would go through the stumps pretty quick, if it was pulled by a strong enough tractor.  I did a whole field of sapling sweet gum several years ago with a 70 hp.  The plow just cuts the roots and flips them over.  

I think clay is good, (we have Alabama clay)  because it will hold the turf strip 
together and help roll it over like a ribbon.  

Burning would also work, if it didnt get away and into the woods.  

Nice video, those will be great food plots.


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Offline Jeff

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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2022, 03:44:37 PM »
We just got close to another 1" of rain. I went out and took some pics of the east field that had far less grass and I was able to rake. I think ill have no problem with soil contact there. So here is what Im thinking. Let both fields go a few days, and ill bet they will be very green. They may be green tomorrow.  Spray both fields, but only plant the east with a brassica clover blend. Early september over seed with winter rye. The clover should then grow pretty good in the spring. Spray the other field again after spring green up,  and if it looks like I can get some soil contact, plant buckwheat there next june.


 

 

 
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2022, 04:19:23 PM »
Have you ever thought about buck forage oats. Thats a really good one for deer. Many guys that have food plots that have planted everything will tell you its one of the best. Great for fall! 

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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2022, 09:28:15 PM »
buck forage oats, sounds good. 
I just claimed back the back field. Have a lot of wood on top of the grass. I limbed the trees and ran the bush hog through the pine limbs. 
Will need urea and lime to make things grow good.
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #20 on: July 28, 2022, 03:31:15 PM »
Whatever you decide to plant, you should do a soil test first otherwise you may be throwing away your time and money. Local Ag colleges usually do it for a slight fee. 

If you go the bottom plow route, go slow. Those things grab something solid and they'll flip you on your backside pretty quick.

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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #21 on: August 01, 2022, 06:42:58 PM »
Yes, always start out with a soil test first.
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #22 on: August 07, 2022, 01:45:04 PM »

2 days ago I planted and sprayed glysophate on 4 food plots, 2 the brand new ones from the mulching, totalling about 1.5 acres, all clover and then half brassica mix from northwood whitetail. I had two days of hot sun before today. Its cool and has been a near steady soaking rain for about 10 hrs. And its still raining I hope its enough, as its going to be dry for a week.
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #23 on: August 07, 2022, 06:00:08 PM »
If I could guarantee a nice soaking rain like that Id be putting in about 20+ acres of cover crops right now. We cant seem to catch a sprinkle here, absolutely bone dry. 

Willing to bet your plots will do well getting started, the timing getting them in just before a nice soaker is what I prefer. Once the sun hits there off and running. 

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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #24 on: August 07, 2022, 06:28:55 PM »
My first planting from 7 days ago, got a big storm the next day, but was seeded under the buckwheat I crushed and poisoned over it. This rain was just in time. It was getting dry out there. This morning I went out and checked and I am getting bigtime germination. Now, if it just grows!!



 

 
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #25 on: August 07, 2022, 11:04:02 PM »
Absolutely fantastic you had the rain after you had it in!!

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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #26 on: August 07, 2022, 11:08:53 PM »
Did you broadcast the seed? 
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #27 on: August 08, 2022, 07:44:22 AM »
Yup, crank spreader, with seed measured per acre. I know not to overseed the brassicas, and wanted to know what the spread was, because the seeds are mostly so small its hard to tell, so I found a great way to pattern it. Walk up to the pond!
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #28 on: August 08, 2022, 09:30:36 AM »
Small brassicas...turnips?

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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #29 on: August 08, 2022, 10:03:14 AM »
forage rape, kale, tillage radish, and 3 varieties of turnips.
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #30 on: August 08, 2022, 06:02:49 PM »
Down here the biggest obstacle to getting the food plots in is hot and dry weather. We don't usually get them in until early September and then pray for some rain and cooler nights.

I'm a bit late to the party but I run a 7 shank scarifier after mowing what's there about two weeks later. Then disc well, broadcast a blend of wheat, rye, oats and clover then lightly disk it in. Then hope for some rain😁.

Our deer season opens in September for archery then primitive weapons then rifle mid October. Season ends 02 January.

Have had really good luck with buckwheat but the deer mow it down about as quick as it comes up. Sunflower works great too if it's the short variety.Perdovic seed if I remember correctly. Also brings in the turkeys.

Best of luck, and waiting to see pictures of that monster buck😁

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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #31 on: August 08, 2022, 07:19:51 PM »
I'd be happy with a Doe permit and 40lbs of boned venison
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #32 on: August 08, 2022, 07:35:48 PM »
I bet you would!!! Love that blackstrap 💪

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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #33 on: August 08, 2022, 08:21:27 PM »
Down here the biggest obstacle to getting the food plots in is hot and dry weather.
Our biggest obstacle is Fall Army Worms.  I have planted in September and totally lost the entire planting.  I must wait until mid-October and hope for the best.
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #34 on: August 08, 2022, 10:31:08 PM »
I do not yet know what pitfalls await. I sure can't afford fertilizer, so I hope earth provides.
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #35 on: August 08, 2022, 10:31:45 PM »
It can quit raining now.
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #36 on: August 09, 2022, 12:19:01 AM »
Send it to newwoodguy, I am sure he would appreciate it.  
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #37 on: August 09, 2022, 09:41:12 AM »
Ill take every drop youre willing to spare

 
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #38 on: August 09, 2022, 10:37:07 AM »
   Dad used to plant big patches of greens (Turnips, mustard, collards, etc) and open them up to the anybody in the community who wanted to pick them. He used one of those seed spreaders like you describe above and he'd mix the tiny seed with grits so he could see how much coverage he had everywhere. He could see the grits on the ground but not the tiny black or brown seeds. I think the seed people suggested mixing with dry sand for the same purpose. I guess you could use cornmeal or any other coarse ground grain that would fit through your spreader and that you could see.

   I remember Dad went to buy some grits to mix with his seed from our community store and told Miz Elsie Davis, the old widow lady who owned/ran it, if she had any old buggy grits they were just as good as he was just going to plant them with his turnips. She said she never heard of planting grits and he told her "Oh yeah, the grits come up first and shade the little turnips and keep them from getting sunburned and they grow a lot bigger." I think she about chased him out of the store with a broom.
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #39 on: August 09, 2022, 11:28:44 AM »
@thecfarm hey Ray there is a good use for grits after all  :D :D

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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #40 on: August 09, 2022, 04:21:28 PM »
That's what you say.  ;)
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #41 on: August 09, 2022, 11:01:05 PM »
This is a simple test kit Ive used from Whitetail Institute. They send you a kit and then mail your sample back and then get your report. Quick and simple 

 

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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #42 on: August 10, 2022, 06:24:40 AM »
I actually come across by accident the kit paperwork that was sent back. This is what it looks like. I did four different areas and this was paperwork for one area. 

 

 

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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #43 on: August 10, 2022, 07:14:52 AM »
5.7ph in NE? Is this old crop land?
I doubt it matters much for this but our extension soil reports are a bit deeper.
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #44 on: August 10, 2022, 10:13:35 AM »
Many farmers lime fields around here

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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #45 on: August 10, 2022, 11:02:49 AM »
Interesting, you are running as acid as we are on granite soils.
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #46 on: August 22, 2022, 03:13:31 PM »
How is that buckwheat doing? Im guessing well 

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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #47 on: August 22, 2022, 10:26:24 PM »
I have it all run down now. Im hoping the last portion reseeds, but we have not had any appreciable rain here now in over a week. 2 small short showers that has allowed my foodplot germinations to hold on. I can see it though. Maybe good rain Wednesday and I hope something takes off. I plan on over seeding next month with winter rye, and try oats on one small area. 
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #48 on: August 22, 2022, 10:33:46 PM »
 

 

 
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #49 on: August 22, 2022, 10:58:24 PM »
Have you ever thought about buck forage oats. Thats a really good one for deer. Many guys that have food plots that have planted everything will tell you its one of the best. Great for fall!
Tried the Buck Forage oats, and planted 2 weeks ago. Think the turkeys enjoyed some when they found the tilled-up dirt to scratch in and then the oat seed. But oats are growing, now will see if deer have any interest in the four patches planted.




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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #50 on: August 22, 2022, 11:02:37 PM »
WOW!! That looks Awesome 💪💪. Very nice!!!!!!.  You got me pumped! Cant wait to get my oats in!!!

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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #51 on: September 01, 2022, 08:20:06 AM »
I had the mulcher out again yesterday. It just amazes me what he accomplishes in 2 hrs. I spent a whole week locating and whacking out a new trail that would gain me access to the back of my property, that turns out is pretty decent. Cutting and hacking and dragging. I had the mulcher come in to make it passable for my tractor and brushhog. It took him about 20 minutes! The balance was spent creating an isolated food plot buried over a quarter mile back on the west edge of my property.  

The new plot is completely different soil. No clay. He spent some time tilling it with the mulcher to really get the roots out. I had the tractor back there last night and ran over it with the brush hog, and hopefully today ill hit it with the landscape rake, and throw some winter rye on it and see what happens.  :)



 

 
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #52 on: September 01, 2022, 08:26:57 AM »
Looks good! And thats with a Skidsteer mulcher that everyone says cant do this and that 💪. Lots of boys with skids working everyday day in and day out! And yes they have big Prentice and steel tracked units. Its going to feel good when you get a deer after all the hard work you been doing 👍💪

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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #53 on: September 01, 2022, 08:38:40 AM »
I would plant oats in there mixed with clover and some of the others that will come up in the spring. Oats will be good deep into late then do a light inner seeding in the spring or over the snow late

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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #54 on: September 01, 2022, 09:38:39 AM »
I may do just that! :)
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #55 on: September 01, 2022, 10:44:39 AM »
Do I see where your "Wheel House" might visit?  ;)
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #56 on: September 01, 2022, 12:10:30 PM »
No need for it back there. This one is more like the straw house.. I took petes blind and cut windows in the back. Ive been out raking. Here is a couple of pics.



 

 

 
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #57 on: September 01, 2022, 01:17:28 PM »
Guess that you could name it "Pete's Back House".
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #58 on: September 01, 2022, 01:55:23 PM »
Interesting, you are running as acid as we are on granite soils.
The trouble with the calcium is it weathers and goes away with the rain or soil water. Even if you're sitting on calcareous formations, which we are up here on the potato belt, the calcium is beyond the rooting depth. It would be nice if calcium rose to the top, but it don't work that way with water and gravity unless your submerged. Been a few million years since these hills were under water. :D And yes they were.
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #59 on: September 01, 2022, 02:01:01 PM »
Deer love oats up here. I've seen a few 10 pointers over the years coming out of oat fields and crossing the road in the headlights of the truck. :D Most of those buggers seem to be nocturnal. Day time it's just does and fawns around in plain view. These days not many of any of them to see.
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #60 on: September 01, 2022, 07:31:43 PM »
Planted to mixed clovers. We shall see. Ill over seed with oats if I can get some. Not near as much tractor time needed on this one.


 
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #61 on: September 02, 2022, 07:28:48 AM »
DanG @Jeff , you will have the Eastern UP Deer Buffet there before long....

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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #62 on: September 02, 2022, 08:17:59 AM »
This is the 4th time I have had the mulcher to my property, and each time the transformations are like magic. Things like trails and foodplots and even ponds appear or reappear that didn't even exist earlier, in just a couple of hours. Machine time can seem expensive, but the results have saved dozens and dozens of man hours. It really is a great bang for your buck. I made a video showing how a quarter mile long foot trail was made tractor friendly and a 1/2 acre food plot constructed by hiring a Forestry Mulcher for just 2 hours@ $200 an hour, so all this for $400 bucks.


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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #63 on: September 02, 2022, 08:26:18 AM »
If I did not have rocks every 10 feet. I would hire one of them. And that's the rocks that can be seen. Many more just under the leaves, needles on the ground.
Yes, I big time saver. I've been doing that here for more than 40 years. Probably the money you spent on it this year would have done what I have done in 40 years.  :(
I do have a few acres that is not covered with rocks. Then right beside it, I could not even drive my tractor through that piece because of all the rocks.
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #64 on: September 02, 2022, 08:55:17 AM »
Yea, rocks are not good for a mulcher.
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #65 on: September 02, 2022, 10:50:06 AM »
Hey Jeff, The whole time that I've been watching your progress on the food plots I kept thinking....he is making perfect Grouse habitat and then there hey are! Good on you for investing in the habitat👍🏻. You will also enjoy some fine Grouse meals as a benefit 😁.

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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #66 on: September 02, 2022, 11:54:18 AM »
Ya know, If given a choice between a grouse breast, and a venison tenderloin, and I love venison, ILL TAKE DA GROUSE! 8)
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #67 on: September 16, 2022, 08:36:31 PM »
Love it when a plan comes together. Tonight I was going to walk down to the pond to feed the bullheads. I Got to my sunflower and switchgrass screen, and that is where I noticed her, feeding in the recent blush of clover. I turned back to the house and got my phone, and she paid me hardly any mind, she had had(tom) to hear us talking up at the cabin, we are on the screen porch alot.


 

 
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #68 on: September 16, 2022, 09:16:43 PM »
Get a tractor and you will see even more.  ;)
I have just started to see them here.
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #69 on: September 17, 2022, 04:41:03 AM »
Mother said she saw deer tracks in the garden. That is pretty rare up here. But down in Grafton it was a daily event. :D
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #70 on: September 17, 2022, 06:51:51 AM »
If I did not have rocks every 10 feet. I would hire one of them. And that's the rocks that can be seen. Many more just under the leaves, needles on the ground.
Yes, I big time saver. I've been doing that here for more than 40 years. Probably the money you spent on it this year would have done what I have done in 40 years.  :(
I do have a few acres that is not covered with rocks. Then right beside it, I could not even drive my tractor through that piece because of all the rocks.
The FAE rock crusher for a big skid is being used by some for food plots. It wont chew up the roots underneath the soil as good as a subsoiler but it chews them up, makes a nice seed bed and any rocks are chewed up as well. 

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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #71 on: September 17, 2022, 08:00:21 PM »
I am talking rocks here 3-4-5 feet across and some 3 feet high. And that is what can be seen.





I can count about 10. 
There are plenty more just over the horizon!!!
This was all woods. 
Was a field many years ago.
Any trees you see are red oak.
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #72 on: September 17, 2022, 09:05:45 PM »
Im doing no til, but that will be a challenge next year with the price of glysophate. I seeded clovers in everything everywhere in hopes that at least mowing might maintain some sort of plots.
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Re: Help with new foodplots
« Reply #73 on: September 20, 2022, 07:21:37 AM »
Frost seeding may be a good option , lets Mother Nature do the work for you 


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