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Cereal Grains and cover crops

dbltree

Super Moderator
I know a lot of you are getting ready to plant fall grains like wheat, rye and oats. I'm getting ready to plant some myself so here's a few thoughts and links.

My favorite can't fail fall mix:

Fall rye 50-80#'s per acre (Fall rye grain, Winter Rye, Cereal rye)
Spring oats 60-100#'s per acre (any oats are fine )
Austrian Winter Peas or Field Peas at 20-100#'s per acre
Ground Hog Forage Radish 5#'s per acre
Red Clover at 8-12#'s per acre (I prefer Alta Swede Mammouth RC for a plow down

Sow large seeds first and lightly till or disc in roughly an 1" deep to cover. Use 100-200#'s of urea (nitrogen) if you expect heavy grazing and cultipack to cover.

Then broadcast the small radish and clover seeds and cultipack again to cover

Plant late August to early September....earlier in the north, later in the south

If you cannot locate seeds locally Welter Seed carries everything you need.

Ground Hog Forage Radish Seed

Pea and rye seed

Clover seeds

Rye and triticale would be my favorites for fall and winter feed. Rye is cheap but triticale (a cross between wheat and rye) is a leafier version with the attributes of both.

Cereal rye is always my first choice over wheat or any other grain because it is higher in protein, requires no fertilizer, will grow on low PH soils, has alleopathic chemicals that discourage weeds, is a nitrogen scavenger and a root system that breaks up soil hardpan and improves soil.

Make sure you ask for RYE not ryegrass seed! Rye seed is around $10-12 per bag.

Wheat works fine but doesn't have the "weed inhibitor" abilities of rye which affects next springs food plot, whatever it might be. Wheat sucks up nitrogen and has none of the soil building attributes that rye has. Wheat is lower in protein so unless it's all you can find, DON'T plant it!

Oats work well also but have a limited time frame because of frost. An early frost means it may be long dead well before the 1st of November. I use regular oats which are about $10-12 a bag versus "brand name" oats which cost considerably more and the deer mow them!

Rye and tricticale seeding rates can be from 80-100# per acre

Wheat 90-120#

Oats 80-120#

Plant cereal grains anywhere from 1/2" to 3" deep with 1 to 1 1/2" being the norm which puts the seed in the moisture zone.

Grains like winter rye can even be broadcast on bare soil and will germinate with adequate moisture so planting depth is not extremely important.

Cover by discing, dragging, tilling lightly or just cultipack to cover.
They all love nitrogen so a 100# of 46% urea (or more) would certainly encourage growth.

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Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="19" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Emphasis"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="21" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Emphasis"/> <w:LsdException 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font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} </style> <![endif]--> Seed sources

Albert Lea Seed Company

Welter Seed (check under "other grains")

Adams Briscoe Seed Company

Cooper Seeds

Hancock Seed

Greencover Seed

Fall Rye Grain

Austrian Winter Peas

Frank Forage Oats

Alta-Swede Mammoth Red Clover

PM nannyslayer on this site if your in the mid west southern Iowa area

Winter Rye

Cereal Grains include winter rye, winter wheat, spring and fall triticale, barley, buckwheat and oats and are perhaps one of the least expensive and easiest food plots that we can plant.

Of those listed winter rye (fall rye grain NOT ryegrass) is my favorite as it has a host of attributes not found in other grains. Rye is the most winter hardy, surviving the most brutal winters, grows on a wide range of soil Ph from acid to alkaline, is a nitrogen scavenger (compared to wheat that sucks up N like a sponge!! :shock: ), is one of the ultimate cover crops because of it's allelopathic effects on many types of weeds and it's ability to break up hardpan soils and is one of the highest in crude protein.

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Locked="false" Priority="31" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Reference"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="32" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Reference"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="33" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Book Title"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="37" Name="Bibliography"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" QFormat="true" Name="TOC Heading"/> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} </style> <![endif]--> Recycle Nitrogen? Rye is one of the few plants capable of taking up nitrogen and then re-releasing it when tilled under the following spring! Not going to happen with wheat, when it use nitrogen it's gone!!

A rye cover crop and manure applications are mutually beneficial. Manure nutrients aid in decomposition of the rye, offsetting any potential yield drag, and rye captures and recycles the manure nutrients effectively to the future corn crop, reducing commercial fertilizer needs.

Rye is one of the best scavengers of nitrogen and reduces leaching losses on both sandy soils and tile-drained land. The fast growing, fibrous root system can capture 25 to 100 pounds of soil nitrogen per acre. Seeding rye in late summer or early fall will allow it to scavenge nitrogen. When organic N (from manure or legumes) is still available. Rye can capture this nitrogen and recycle it to the following season. The actual amount of nitrogen that is recycled is highly variable. A preside dress soil nitrate test can help determine the amount of nitrogen credit to take for the upcoming corn crop.

Rye should be allowed to grow over the winter to continue taking up N in the spring.

Rye is the hardiest of cereals and can be seeded later in the fall than other cover crops, and it provides top growth and extensive root growth. It will germinate at cold temperatures—as low as 34 degrees F—and it will resume growing at 38 degrees in the spring. This makes it possible to seed rye after corn, sugar beet or bean harvest until the ground freezes.

It is relatively inexpensive to plant, and the seed is readily available or easily grown.

Easy to establish, rye can be aerial seeded in standing corn/silage and before leaf drop in soybean. Rye can be broadcast alone or with dry fertilizers, can be added to manure tanks for slurry seeding or drilled (which provides the most consistent stands).
It outperforms most other crops on infertile, sandy or acidic soil. It is also tolerant of a variety of soil types and grows well on both poorly and well-drained soils.

Rye can recycle potassium from deeper in the soil profile for future crop use.

Rye is effective at suppressing weeds. It competes with winter annuals and inhibits growth of spring weeds. As rye residue decomposes, it releases allelopathic compounds that are harmful to the growth of weeds.
The rapid fall and spring growth can stabilize sandy soil, trap snow and improve infiltration.

Rye is utilized for many cropping systems, including fruits and vegetables, where it can be left in narrow strips to reduce wind erosion.

Rye, and all cover crops, build soil quality over time by adding organic matter. Long-term benefits include improved soil structure, tilth, water infiltration and water-holding capacity
.
Why cereal rye?

More about Rye

Attributes of Rye

High on Rye

Winter Rye for Extending the Grazing Season

Cover Crops: Cereal Rye

CEREAL RYE - Secale cereale

Cereal Rye for Cover Cropping

These links show that rye has higher crude and digestible protein then all other cereal grains such as wheat, triticale and oats.

Forage Dry Yield
(ton/acre) CP (%)* NDF ( %)* ADF ( %)*
Rye 1.7 b 19.4 a 48.6 b 26.8 a
Early-cut wheat 2.6 a 16.2 b 59.1 a 30.6 b
Late-cut wheat 2.7 a 14.0 c 59.8 a 31.6 c
LSD 0.2 1.0 0.9 0.8

* ADF = acid detergent fiber; NDF = neutral detergent fiber; CP = crude protein.
Winter Rye for Extending the Grazing Season

Managing Small Grains for Livestock Forage

Understanding Forage Nutrition for Ruminants

Interpreting Forage Quality Reports

I usually mix oats with my winter rye but oats like wheat is consistently lower in crude protein:

Cereal Forages for Spring Planting

Oats compared to wheat and triticale

Whitetails absolutely love rye and will dig thru deep snows to get at it during winter months and even the highest deer densities can not destroy it. I often hear people touting winter wheat but wheat cannot hold a candle to the many positives of rye and in fact has to many negative attributes to even consider it unless rye seed is not easily obtained.

Less than 50% of the rye grown in the U.S. is harvested for grain, with the remainder used as pasture, hay, or as a cover crop. About half of the amount harvested for grain is used for livestock feed or exported, and the remainder is used for alcoholic beverages, food, and seed. In the Midwest, rye is primarily grown for grain, but occasionally for hay or pasture.

It can also be grown as a cover or green manure crop. In addition to contributing organic matter, rye reduces soil erosion and enhances water penetration and retention. Furthermore, due to its allelopathic effect, some evidence suggests that rye could be exploited for weed control. It has been widely reported that residues of fall-planted, spring-killed rye reduces total weed biomass by 60% to 95% when compared to controls with no residue. Rye residue which remains at the soil surface can potentially modify the physical and chemical environment during seed germination and plant growth.

Rye matures earlier than wheat or triticale and has the highest crude protein levels. From a forage quality standpoint, winter rye will have a higher crude protein percent than winter wheat. Winter rye crude protein concentration usually is between 13 and 14 percent if adequately fertilized with nitrogen

Rye generally provides more forage than other small grains in late fall and early spring because of its rapid growth and its adaptation to low temperatures.

“Rye is widely adapted when compared to the other small grains,” Ransom says. “For instance, rye is not affected
by the very acidic soils like wheat can be. It will grow in many places wheat won’t.”

Rye - Longer Grazing, fewer weeds!
Triticale is a cross between wheat and rye making it a great option but it often is not readily available without expensive shipping.

Oats are a great fall food source but even the most winter hardy oats will be killed when temps plunge into the 20 degree range.


Austrian Winter peas 50# per acre

Hairy vetch 20-40#

AWP won't survive the winter but will stay green for awhile and are just a cheap "deer candy"

Hairy vetch produces a tremendous amount of nitrogen the following spring and I'm only planting it because I will follow it with corn again. I hope to no-till the corn and beans into the growing cover crops and then kill it all with roundup.
Don't let HV go to seed and stick with peas if you aren't following it with corn.

I also encourage including a red clover for plowdown with your cereal grains although it can be frost seeded later on.

Plant 8-12#'s per acre... Alta-Swede Mammoth Red Clover seed source

You can overseed most any of these combimation into standing corn, soybeans and brassicas if they are not to thick. Just before a rain would be best.

Rye and Hairy vetch

Winter rye

Triticale

Seed source

Hairy Vetch

Hairy Vetch I.D.

Hairy Vetch info

Hairy Vetch as a Cover Crop

Austrian Winter Peas seed source


Getting ready for rye, AWP, hairy vetch and red clover right after Labor Day



Oats already seeded and fertilized. I'm going to plant some rye plots next to the oats, and both are along side alfalfa and brassicas...we'll see which they prefer and when.

 
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dbltree

Super Moderator
I didn't mention planting dates for fall grains but for winter varieties of wheat, rye and triticale, timing is fairly important.
Often it's more important for grain yields than forage in a food plot, but basically planting at least 10-14 days before the average first frost date is the latest and somewhere around the first of Sept. for the earliest planting.

Oats can be planted a little earlier because they are not going to survive the winter.

AW peas can be planted a little earlier for more growth since they are not susceptible to the same problems that grains are. Some AWP's have survived the winter down here in the "garden belt" and if allowed to produce seed, came back up again this fall when disked under.

Winter Wheat Planting Dates

Fly Free

Average Frost Dates

I planted a couple very small plots of oats where I can observe and compare with rye and brassicas.

This little patch is oats and white clover after about 10 days. I hand fertilized with urea at planting and I'll most likely give it another dose in a couple weeks.



Notice the deer tracks in it
 
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dbltree

Super Moderator
I planted my last fall plot the other day, so you won't have to put up with much more of my ramblings

Planted 100# per acre of rye and about 20# each of both Austrian Winter Peas and Hairy Vetch as well as a couple #'s per acre of Red Clover. I had about 40# of oats left so I thru that in the mix also.

If not for my adding the HV one would be better off to plant the AWP at 40-50# per acre so they can keep ahead of the deer.

AWP Source

Inoculant

AWP Info

Cover Crops

This field will be going back into corn so I'm looking for as much nitrogen and soil building as I can get in addition to the deer feed.

I disced the field a couple times 2 weeks ago and then fitted it down with a harrow.



I had too much pea and vetch seed to inoculate prior to heading for the field so I took a long a small cooler, an ice pack, inoculate and a little jug of water.



Mixed it by hand in a bucket. This happens to be AWP seed.



Used one of these to seed



Poured in the different types of seed and mixed them up in the seed hopper.



I spread the seed while my son followed behind with the cultipacker to press seed in. That type of seeder is a little tricky to adjust and we had to close it while filling. I would get in place and my son would open it and I'd take off...otherwise the small rye seed just runs out on the ground.



Finished field, fitted and planted. Calling for rain this weekend

 
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dbltree

Super Moderator
Here's pics of rye, peas and brassicas planted in a small plot that are about 10 days old.

Some warm fall days will have the rye thick and lush in a few more weeks, but it gives one an idea of growth/time frame.



Close up:



These oats were planted 3-4 weeks ago and deer are really hitting them now, of course we are flirting with frosts already...so they look good now but how long will they last?



Rye can be seeded anytime to mid-October but looking at the pics will give you an idea of how much growth you will end up with.
 

dbltree

Super Moderator
Checked out my bigger rye planting today....lookin good!

"Green" is good!


Close up of an Austrian Winter Pea on the left and a Hairy Vetch to it's right:



This field is right beside my brassica plot and they are already grazing the rye and it's only a few inches high!

Hoping they give the "baby peas" a chance before they devour them!



Lot a feed there....but then I have a big "herd" to feed...
 
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dbltree

Super Moderator
Here'a a pic of the rye and AWP field at one month. I can't believe as big as this field is how the deer are literally mowing it!

Now you know where the saying "eating themselves out of house and home" comes from



We could sure use a nice rain...90 degrees and a brisk breeze is sure drying things out
 
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dbltree

Super Moderator
Looks like we are in for a serious freeze with temps in the upper 20's a couple mornings.

Going to be interesting to see how much the oats can take and if "plain old oats" last as long as the more expensive "brand" oats.

Keep an eye on your plots and let's compare "notes" as the weather get's colder.

August oats as of 10/07 being grazed hard..



Rye, AWP and brassicas planted first of Sept. It's been very dry up until today which limited growth some.

The rye is doing fine and grazed about the same as the oats, but the brassicas planted that late don't have enough growing time.



Close up of Austrian Winter Pea, like brassicas if it was the main source of fall feed it would be better planted in mid-August. Still...very tender "pickins" for this fall!




At least I know the rye will be there...hell or high water /forum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif
 

dbltree

Super Moderator
We had some pretty darn cold temps last week but never saw any real frost Never killed our flowers here in the yard so I guess it's not a real test of the oats yet.

Some of the small plots they have eaten completely to the ground, so I might not be able to tell when they freeze off anyway

These were 6-8" high a month ago (guess they like "plain ole oats" too!)




The rye is nice and green and seems able to withstand the heavy grazing, but I'd say this is as tall as it's going to get..between the deer and the weather

Notice how tiny the brassicas are (planted first of Sept.)



Compared to July planted

 
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dbltree

Super Moderator
Since we have talked from time to time about just how late one can plant rye or wheat...

A farmer down the road from me just planted wheat 11/09 on ground he harvested soybeans from.

Obviously it's not going to "deer feed" anytime soon, but since it's next door I'll keep an eye on it and see how it turns out.

Those of you that planted your rye or wheat in Otcober...how's it looking?

Did you get any "grazable" growth yet?
 

dbltree

Super Moderator
Pretty good field of rye on good ground, fertilized heavy for corn. Mixed oats, AWP and Hairy vetch...and it's all grazed to the nubs! /forum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/crazy.gif



Nothing left but the rye either



Rye compared to what's left of the brassicas



They have runways beat to a pulp coming into the rye...so I guess they like it



Rye, wheat, winter triticale and oats are all a big draw but forget the oats for late season hunting...

You can see BFO oats on this thread...still froze off just like any regular oats.

Oats are Toast

My oats 12-12:



Rye plot planted right beside the oats...pic also 12-12:

 

dbltree

Super Moderator
I already posted some of these in the Field Report thread but I wanted to add them here as it's now nearly the New Year and many often wonder about "late season" food plots.



My son and I drive in one way and out another mostly on "dirt roads" a.k.a. MUD so runways stick out like a sore thumb.

Deer are coming from every direction to this rye! Some are actually coming from cover a mile away

I noticed the runway one day and the other night we saw small herd skylined heading towards the rye. Nothing but bare pasture where they came from and that they were crossing...amazing!



This is the first time ever...in over 10 years that I have watched this food plot, normally I hunt runways leading to it...but the wind situation forced us to try something different.

When we got there deer were in the field at 2:00 but they were behind a small knoll. I snuck out there and took this picture closeup. I couldn't believe it...not a spot in that field that wasn't covered with "fertilizer"



Rye obviously is a great all winter draw. Winter wheat and fall triticale in the same category. Cheap and easy I think for most people it's a "no-fail" foodplot.

The drawbacks for me are...as you can see, compared to being hidden from poachers in corn...these deer would be easy pickins with a poachers rifle.

In my case the field is hidden from roads and only accessable by foot.

On another note in my particular case, "controlling the deer herd" is all but impossible. I can shoot as many as I can but because no one else does on surrounding land (which involves thousands of acres of heavy cover)it's like trying to eliminate carp from the Mississippi River...by myself

I can see it will only get worse so I will be forced to plant plots that will withstand the heavy deer pressure.

Rye certainly passes the test
 
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FarmlandQDM

New Member
On another note in my particular case, "controlling the deer herd" is all but impossible. I can shoot as many as I can but because no one else does on surrounding land (which involves thousands of acres of heavy cover)it's like trying to eliminate carp from the Mississippi River...by myself

I can see it will only get worse so I will be forced to plant plots that will withstand the heavy deer pressure.

Rye certainly passes the test




We have a similiar situation Paul, our farm is in a good area because of the relative lack of hunting pressure which helps us grow quality bucks but at the same time the lack of hunting pressure makes it difficult to have a big impact on our doe population. It seems like every year we start the fall with more food than we had the previous fall, but by Jan. our plots are just about wiped out. I believe part of this is due to our deer density but hopefully another factor is that our habitat management is making our property a preferred destination for the local deer population ... and I am sure that is part of what you see on your own property.

Food plots are a great supplement for deer but managing natural food sources is an important part of habitat management that is too often overlooked. In high pressure areas, prescribed burning, TSI cuts, edgefeathering, strip disking, and spot spraying can all improve quantity and quality of natural food sources. I think you know the method I prefer ...
 
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dbltree

Super Moderator
Just another plug for rye and/or wheat...

I pulled into my field to drive back and do some frost seeding and this rye was literally coverd up with deer

The hauled outta there before I could get a pic but it's still green even in March! (albeit short...as in grazed to nubs!)



On the way out I drove up the other side and...



Just another reason to have some later winter feed in your managment program!

(not to mention being very cheap and easy to plant!)
 
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dbltree

Super Moderator
dbltree,
do you have any alfala plots? your pics and post are great! After seeing first hand what has happened to your plots, I am getting sort of worried that based on the heard size just on our small farm, I am getting the feeling that our paultry 7-8 acres of food plots: 6.5 alfalfa and 1.5 clover are going to get mauled even before archery season will roll around this year. I see roughly 17 to 20 deer regularly and we do not have a plot in yet as we just bought the place last year.

What size, if you don't mind divulging are the plots you have in this post and what kind of results have you had with Clover and alfalfa?

Thanks N9BOW

Yes I have both alfalfa and clover plots.


About 8 acres of alflafa on one farm and about 2 acres of clover on the farm where you see the rye. I don't have alfalfa there because a farmer has a large field of it right across the fence.

Despite my high deer densities, I have never seen them eat either clover or alfalfa to the ground.

In fact we bale the hay and the clover I have to mow repeatedly.

The problem with clover is that it is dead and gone by December.

Alfalfa is better because they fed in it until Jan. but even it can't stay available as long as rye.

Each has it's place...no one food source is perfect nor right for everyone. That's why I prefer a combination that will hold deer nearly year around despite droughts or wet weather.

Rye is cheap and easy to plant but it doesn't have the high protien content of alfalfa.

The combination of corn and alfalfa is near perfect for the same reasons cattlemen rely on them...but everyone doesn't have the option.

Here's my alfalfa and my clover
 
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dbltree

Super Moderator
DBL,
Thanks. In your estimations, do you think 6.5 acres of alfalfa and 1.5 acres of clover will keep up with 20+ deer feedng daily? Until I can reduce the numbers this fall with some agressive doe harvests I am going to have to feed the group I see daily and more than likely the ones around the bend that I do not see.

We still have snow on the ground and I have several pounds of Imperial Whitetail clover to go in. I have a bag spreader. Should I frost seed or just wait till I get the drill rental this spring when the prairie planting and the alfalfa go in?

Thanks again for the tips.
N9BOW



I think that much legume can handle the pressure. One thing that affects usage dramatically is hidden fields.

Mine are hidden between good cover and natural travel routes. Plenty of feed over the fence but after being shot at from the road for so many years...they stay where it is safe and "the livin is easy" :)

Here's the thing about Imperial Clover...it contains a high percentage of Berseem clover which is an annual meaning it won't come back next year and it cannot be frost seeded.

The other clovers in their mix can be frost seeded but if you want to get your money's worth...I would drill it in this spring when you do the alfalfa.
 
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dbltree

Super Moderator
Dbltree- Which was a better draw in October and November, your oats or the rye?Thanks

I have tested all kinds of cereals side by side including winter rye and oats and it makes not one whit of difference to the deer. They will walk from one to the other and eat them all evenly so there is no real reason to choose one over the other based on deer preference.

Winter rye will last all winter whereas oats of course will not and winter rye is generally the highest in crude protein ,making it the most desirable choice for most landowners managing for whitetails.
 
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dbltree

Super Moderator
This time of year many people ask "what can I plant in the intermediate time between spring and when I plant my fall plots"?

Excellent question and there are several options that will provide some spring to early summer feed sources as well as building your soil

If you had a previous fall plot of brassicas, then following it with a short term spring crop like buckwheat would be an excellent choice.

Buckwheat is a great soil builder and will help hold down weeds.

Oats or spring triticale mixed with field peas or Austrian Winter Peas is another great short term food source and soil builder.

Peas have the ability to put a substantial amount of nitrogen in the soil for your fall plot of brassicas or cereal grains.

Berseem clover is an annual clover that can provide spring/summer feed that will also contribute high levels of nitrogen for your next crop.

If you don't plant something, your plot will be overrun with weeds (which if plowed down will also act as a soil builder). While weeds are great for small game they often contribute little for deer and if allowed to go to seed.....

Oats/triticale and peas can be planted asap in the spring...remember to inoculate the peas!

Berseem clover can also be planted early and could be planted with oats, then clip the oats before they get mature and rank.

Buckwheat is best planted later after soils have fully warmed and all danger of frost is past. Late May or early June is generally better.

For best results plow or till under any of these before they go to seed or while they are green (hence "green manure" crops)

You can purchase oats locally and perhaps buckwheat and peas.

Welters is sold out of buckwheat and Frank Forage oats already, so I paid the couple bucks more and ordered organic buckwheat and a standard "grain" oat.

These Welter links will give you basic planting rates and attributes of each:

Buckwheat

Pea Oatlage

Pea Tritlage

Berseem Clover

Frank Forage Oats

4010 Field Peas

Austrian Winter Peas

Inoculation

It's easy to see why I'm partial to rye:




Rye, wheat, triticale and barley are all very comparable in feed value as one can see in this study taken from this link

One can clearly see however that rye is higher in CP and TDN's making it an excellent choice for a fall/winter/spring food source.


Quote:
Table 1. Relative Differences in Growth Stage Development, Yield and Nutritive Quality of Various Small Grain Species1
Species Average Date for Growth Stage
Boot Headed Bloom 1/2 Seed Milk Soft Dough
Barley2 4/19 4/22 5/4 5/11 5/18 5/26
Rye 4/29 5/2 5/9 5/17 5/23 6/1
Wheat 5/13 5/19 5/23 5/31 6/6 6/11
Triticale 5/15 5/21 5/26 6/3 6/10 6/14
Oat 5/21 5/28 5/31 6/5 6/12 6/16
Yield T/Ac @ 35% D.M.
Rye 7 8 9 10 11 11
Wheat 7 8 10 10 11 12
Triticale 8 10 11 12 13 13
Oat 4 5 6 8 8 9
Crude Protein %
Rye 13 11 9 7 6 5
Wheat 10 10 8 9 7 6
Triticale 11 9 8 7 6 5
Oat 12 10 9 9 8 7
Total Digestible Nutrients %
Rye 63 52 46 45 47 50
Wheat 60 59 53 54 56 56
Triticale 56 46 46 45 50 52
Oat 65 60 53 53 56 57





Crude Protien levels:
Rye 13
Oat 12
Triticale 11
Wheat 10



Total Digestible Nutrients %

Oat 65
Rye 63
Wheat 60
Triticale 56


All of these grains would no doubt have higher TDN's if tested at the point when they are at the grazing stage.
 
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dbltree

Super Moderator
Even after being grazed to nubs all winter...give it a little warm weather and the rye takes off like gangbusters!


It's already growing faster then they can eat it:



Even a small patch of rye or wheat will attract a lot of attention:



Here's a field of wheat that was planted in early November...much to my surprise it germinated and is growing great!



I'm just waiting for the monsoons to stop so I can plant my oats, spring triticale, field peas and berseem clover, all of which will be spring feed/cover crop/plow down for fall food plots.

The combo of small grains and peas or berseem is a great way to add nitrogen for a fall plot or next springs plot.

Make sure you plan a nitrogen "user" such as brassicas or small grains this fall or corn, sorghum/milo next spring.
 
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dbltree

Super Moderator
Paul,
Are you planting the rye by itself?
Rye is a perennial correct?

The wheat is it also a perennial?
How many years do you usually get out of these?

oats, spring triticale, field peas and berseem clover


These must be only annuals?

I am just thinking how to separate and plant my plots. If the farmer has beans and corn what is your thoughts on putting either of those in a plot. To me they are already there and the coons would devour it?

Thanks again. A lot of information and I am just trying to figure out which is best.



They are all annuals, rye, wheat, oats, peas and berseem clover...all last only one growing season.

Rye, fall triticale and wheat are planted in the fall and overwinter to produce grain the following year.

If left to mature the grain might cause it to reseed itself but the orginal plant will be long dead.

You can plant any combo of those grains in late August for winter feed, except berseem clover which being an annual should be planted in the spring for summer/early fall feed.

Oats work well but will freeze at the first heavy frost.

Field peas can be mixed with any grains but may need to be planted in late July to make "peas" which the deer will feed on come fall.

The small grains are cheap to plant and you can get by with little fertilizer and it's something "different" which makes it a good draw for deer.

Obviously rye can take a hammering and still draw deer all fall and winter! :)
 
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dbltree

Super Moderator
Re: Cereal Grains/ spring oats and field peas

You know how there's always got to one guy in the field before everyone else?

Well that would be me :)

First dirt 2007!



I wanted to get some oats, spring triticale and 4010 field peas in the ground...so I braved the bitter cold temps and gale force winds and got started.

I came home at the end of the day, face raw, eyes blood shot, fingers froze muttering to my wife...who informed me..."hey...your supposed to be having fun...if it's not fun, don't do it!"

I know when I've been beat /forum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/crazy.gif

The ground was a little to wet, then a little to froze but with my sons help we got at least some of it planted.



Got out the planting supplies, seed, bag spreader, bucket to mix inoculant with the peas and a coffee can to dip seed.



Field peas and a 4 dollar bag of inoculant:



Only takes just a dab of water to make the inoculate stick...and a 9/16 box end wrench to stir it /forum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif



Stirred:



I just mixed the oats and peas right in the bag spreader:



I also planted some spring triticale and peas:



We tilled, broadcast about 80# of oats and 40# of peas per acre and then cultipacked the seed in.

I'm planting this mix partly for spring feed to keep the deer busy and away from my corn (what are the odds of that working)

I also want to test the field peas before planting them for fall feed. Will the deer eat them off as they come up...or leave them until the peas harden?

Is there any difference between oats and triticale as far as preference by deer or ability to stand up to heavy grazing?

Part of this I will till under as green manure in mid summer for a fall repeat when I will try rye, fall triticale and oat plots with field peas and Austrian Winter Peas for comparison.

The peas will add nitrogen to the soil and the grains...will build soil oragnic matter.

When it warms up a tad I will seed oats and berseem clover that I will till under for fall brassicas.

Very late spring I will sow buckwheat in some other spots...all of it will be deer forage and soil builders.

Welters were out of Frank Forage oats so planted WSO5M Oats

Spring Triticale

4010 Field Peas

Peas or Vetch Inoculation

Our previous thoughts on using Field peas

Everything I planted should be planted early and peas are very frost resisitant.

We'll see what happens...if the deep freeze ever ends. :)
 
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