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Cereal Grains and cover crops

Scott

Active Member
A local seed dealer told another friend..."I never sell red clover cause deer don't like it"...oh really? Guess someone forgot to tell the deer!

I would believe that, my deer wont touch the red clover. They will only feed on the white clover.
 

dbltree

Super Moderator
Maybe you just need more deer Fred...:D

They graze both heavily at all of the farms where I plant both clovers but since deer are adapted to feeding in those areas, they would probably eat saw dust there now...;)
 

Nontypcl1

Member
Has anyone tried drilling cereal grains into existing clover? I would like to try it this fall and will have access to a truax drill just wondering how well it would work
 

dbltree

Super Moderator
Has anyone tried drilling cereal grains into existing clover? I would like to try it this fall and will have access to a truax drill just wondering how well it would work

A few folks have tried it with mediocre success because the clover is too competitive. If you give it a try, mow the clover as short as possible before no-tilling the cereals into it...;)
 

IQDM

New Member
Has anyone tried drilling cereal grains into existing clover? I would like to try it this fall and will have access to a truax drill just wondering how well it would work
I have tried this once and it seemed to work well for me. We harvested our last crop of clover in the first week of Sept., cutting it very short. I then no-tilled in soybeans. It rained the next day and 2 weeks after the soybeans were 6"tall and growing at the same rate as the clover... It turned out to be a very attractive spot until the first frost! The next spring, the clover came up with no ill effect from the fall planting. If I were to try this again, I would maybe try planting a mix such as Dbltree does. (oats, peas, forage radishes) I would leave out the rye and clover seeing as you already have clover established.:)
 

Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
I did it with oats and winter wheat a while back, worked decent actually. Planted it late into short mowed clover.
 

Nontypcl1

Member
sounds like I should give it a shot. I plan on trying it with rye, oats and peas. I'll make sure to post the results this fall.
 

dbltree

Super Moderator
If your going to use clethodim to kill your winter rye...now is the time!

CIMG2711.jpg


Don't wait until it's 2' high and expect to kill it easily but if it was sown at 50#'s or less killing it isn't even necessary and the red or white clover will thrive regardless...the winter killed oats are obvious here.

CIMG2712.jpg


I prefer to allow the rye root systems to develop because that is where the nitrogen scavenging/potassium mining is done. I just mow it off after it's developed or even allow it to fully ripen and fall on it's own.

CIMG2695.jpg


Meanwhile the red clover is growing rapidly, fixing nitrogen for the brassicas that will follow in July.

CIMG2694.jpg


If you are just joining this thread and are curious about the mixes planted in the strip plot shown...here they are

I mix the following:

Winter rye 50-80#'s per acre (56#'s = a bushel)
Spring oats 80-120#'s per acre (32#'s = a bushel)
Austrian Winter Peas 20-80#'s per acre (4010 or 6040 field peas will work fine for 1/2 the price)
Red Clover 8-12#'s per acre or white clover at 6#'s per acre
Groundhog Forage Radish 5#'s per acre


Plant seeds roughly 1-2" deep, and then cultipack to cover, broadcast clover seed and re-cultipack

Plant fall grains no earlier then the last week of August through mid September, earlier is better when adding peas and clover
The other strips are planted to:

Dwarf Essex Rape Seed 1#
Purple Top Turnips 1#
Appin forage turnip 1#
Barkant Forage Turnip 1#
Barnapoli Rape Seed 1/2#
Pasja Hybrid Brassica 1/2#
GroundHog Forage Radish 5#

or and economical and very productive mix might be

Purple Top Turnips 3#
Dwarf Essex Rape 2#
GroundHog Forage radish 5#


Plant in mid to late July in most midwest states, or 60-90 days before your first killing frost.

Till ground, cultipack or firm soil, broadcast 5#'s per acre of brassica seed and re-cultipack.

Do NOT mix other crops (especially cereal grains) with brassicas!

Use 60-90#'s of actual nitrogen (150-200#'s of urea per acre) and 200-400#'s of 6-24-24
and the third element is this:


6-8#'s of Alice white clover (or your favorite white/ladino clover)
400#'s of 6-24-24 (soil test to avoid using more or less then required)
400#'s of pel lime

Sow in late August with the rye combo
Divide any size plot or field and plant 80% to the brassica and rye rotations and only 10-20% in white clover and those combination's will attract, hold and feed whitetails year around and...lower your fertilizer and herbicide inputs to boot.... :way:
 

dbltree

Super Moderator
May 8th, 2011

When and how is the best time to kill winter rye in the spring or do we even have to bother with it? I'll try to show not only plant growth but root growth at various stages to allow individuals to understand what options might work best for them regardless of when my be best as far as improving the soil.

This view gives us an idea of rye height compared to white clover in the foreground

IMG_0053.jpg


Winter rye is starting to grow quickly now and rising above the red clover planted with it last fall.

IMG_0055-Copy.jpg


The red clover is lush and totally unimpeded by the rye and deer have still been munching on the rye

IMG_0054.jpg


I didn't have a shovel so did the best I could to work the roots out of the soil by hand, so I'll use a shovel next time to provide a more accurate picture but the rye could easily be tilled under at this point.

IMG_0056-Copy.jpg


Growth of course is going to be different in different areas of the country but at this point the rye can be easily killed with clethodim but if mowed it is going to grow back at this stage. Now some folks tend to worry about it "growing back" but winter rye is a cereal grain and it will absolutely mature and die by mid summer even if you never touch it so nothing worry about.

If the rye was planted at excessively high rates it can compete with the clover so this is why I keep rates on the low side and use oats to fill in for fall forage. I'll try to post pics weekly and compare spraying, mowing etc at different heights so everyone has an idea what to expect and what will work best for them.... ;)
 

KSHUNTER

PMA Member
Dbltree- Good info, just thought I would add a little. I hade 5 acres of rye in SE Kansas with one acre of it being put to clover this spring. I was going to spray with select, but then work obligations set me back a couple of weeks and by that time the rye was to big to get a good kill. Right now my rye is over 4 feet tall. I run a few head of cattle so I waiting another week and thenIm going to square bale it. It is crazy how tall this stuff gets.

My point is whenever your rye reaches a point of needing to get something done, get it done. It (or atleast mine) exploded with growth and got tall in a hurry. I am use to wheat, it does not grow as tall as rye or nearly as quick.

One a side note the clover looks great underneath the rye, and it looks like I have no other competing weeds at this time.
 

dbltree

Super Moderator
May 11th, 2011

Winter rye on higher ground here in SE Iowa that had crimson clover planted with it last fall

IMG_0020-1.jpg


IMG_0023-1.jpg


The crimson in places is almost outdoing the rye!

IMG_0022.jpg


In no case however is the impeding the growth of the crimson clover

IMG_0021.jpg


The rye is mature enough at this point that it is unlikely to grow back if mowed but at the same time isn't hurting a thing if just allowed to grow and mature.

IMG_0019.jpg


With very small equipment the taller rye gets the harder it is to deal with but this rye could be easily mowed with the average bushog type mower/brushcutter. if you have a small pull type ATV mower it will still probably not be too challenging but it's something to be aware of.

The annual crimson clover will be allowed to grow until July brassicas are planted and more rye in August but eventually we'll clip it and the rye to keep the crimson flowering and fixing nitrogen.... ;)
 

waylonb19

New Member
I have a couple plots that still have the rye standing. Going to be planted into soybeans. Should I spray the rye or just till it under?
 

dbltree

Super Moderator
I have a couple plots that still have the rye standing. Going to be planted into soybeans. Should I spray the rye or just till it under?

Either way is fine but I would just till it under.

Interesting picture of winter rye where I spread urea a little to far over while spreading it on my corn. The rye on the right is lush and dark green compared to that on the left. No difference of course in the white clover in the foreground. I have no-tilled soybeans into both rye and clover but rain prevented me from getting it sprayed, thankfully it's protecting the sprouting soybeans because rain has also prevented me from finishing the electric fence.

IMG_0016-2.jpg


Mid May growth of fall seeded red clover with winter rye...well established and already feeding deer and fixing nitrogen while spring seed clovers are scarcely out of the ground.... :way:

CIMG2806.jpg


I have found that winter rye is excellent to no-till soybeans into as it does help protect then beans from marauding deer for a while at least.... ;)
 

dbltree

Super Moderator
May 25th, 2011

The winter rye has reach it's maximum height here in SE Iowa and if cut at this stage is unlikely to re-grow. It's also not hurting anything if left standing however...

IMG_0046.jpg


Plenty of room for the clovers to grow

IMG_0047.jpg


The Alta Swede Mammoth Red Clover is being heavily grazed despite plenty of white clover and even tender baby soybeans,

IMG_0034-1.jpg


I rarely have any red clover in the fall because it all gets turned under as green manure for the next crop of brassicas.

IMG_0033-3.jpg


But they certainly graze it heavily through the spring and summer

IMG_0032-1.jpg


Rather then have a "lifeless" cereal grain plot the following spring, be sure to add clover to your fall cereal planting to both feed deer all summer and fix free nitrogen for either more cereals or the next crop of brassicas. :way:
 

ksbooner

New Member
Thanks Paul!

I didn't do the clover last year on the plots and what a mess. That is the only way to do it.

Paul,
I disk my plots, then drill in my rye, oats and peas with a grain drill.

Can I just broadcast the clover onto the soil and not cultipack the clover again?

Thanks alot!
 

dbltree

Super Moderator
I didn't do the clover last year on the plots and what a mess. That is the only way to do it.

Paul,
I disk my plots, then drill in my rye, oats and peas with a grain drill.

Can I just broadcast the clover onto the soil and not cultipack the clover again?

Thanks alot!

You can...but I have had poor success compared to a firmed seed bed. I till in the larger grains, cultipack, sow clover and radish seed, then re-cultipack and the results are outstanding.

You can broadcast clover on a firm, settled seed bed but on loose fluffy soils it may not always work well...;)
 

ksbooner

New Member
Paul,

This year I will be using this tool that I found on craigslist to get soil ready before I use my grain drill for my peas, rye and oats.

http://www.towncountryltd.com/Freedom/seedbedfinisher.htm

2 questions:

1. How much earlier before I drill would you tear up the ground? (2 weeks?)

2. After I drill do you think I can just broadcast the clover and be done or would you do something different?

Thanks alot!
 

dbltree

Super Moderator
Paul,

This year I will be using this tool that I found on craigslist to get soil ready before I use my grain drill for my peas, rye and oats.

http://www.towncountryltd.com/Freedom/seedbedfinisher.htm

2 questions:

1. How much earlier before I drill would you tear up the ground? (2 weeks?)

2. After I drill do you think I can just broadcast the clover and be done or would you do something different?

Thanks alot!

You can till ahead of time or till and plant...either way is fine as long as any sod grasses have been killed previously. I always till/plant...same day.

Broadcasting clover on loose soils sometimes doesn't work so hot, it's better if possible to cultipack, spread clover seed, re-cultipack.

In the absence of a packer, try dragging a heavy plank, bed springs, or run back and forth over it with the ATV tires...before and after broadcasting clover seed...;)
 

turkeyriver

PMA Member
Nice little field cultivator ksbooner. Did you get the rolling basket attachment? I can only speak concerning larger field implements, but those rolling baskets really do a nice job of finishing the seed bed. They break up clods much better than a drag/tooth harrow.
 

dbltree

Super Moderator
One of the greatest assets of winter rye, at least for soil building, is it's root system. True the tops feed deer all fall, winter and spring but the roots are where all the action is...the allelopathic chemicals, the nitrogen scavenging, the potassium mining and improved soil tilth...all happen in the roots. For most people, the roots are "outta sight, outta mind" and little thought is given to what is going on below the surface.

Our soils are literally sopping wet so when i took these pictures it was impossible to crumble the soil away from the roots but the pics at least give one an idea of the size in mid spring.

CIMG2863.jpg


Once the rye has reached maturity and headed out root growth will begin to slow and eventually stop

CIMG2864.jpg


Once the plant dies or is killed the roots will begin to decompose and the "mined" nutrients will be available for the next crop. There is a great deal of biomass in the root systems alone, not to mention the tops so regardless if the plants are chemically killed, plowed under or clipped off...there has already been a great deal of soil building accomplished.

CIMG2865.jpg


By adding clover when the rye is planted in the fall, we just continue on with the soil building only now we're going to be adding nitrogen when those plants are killed. The crimson clover has now gone to seed and hopefully things will dry out so we can get it clipped soon...together rye and clover make a great combination to make tremendous gains in soil building as well as making a very attractive food source for whitetails to boot.

CIMG2848.jpg


Those of you who must make a long trek to your property and/or are on a limited budget, will find that the rye/oats/pea/radish/clover combination planted in late summer/early fall will make your life a whole lot easier.... ;)
 
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