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Cereal Grains and cover crops

dbltree

Super Moderator
September 23rd, 2014


Jesse notill drilled oats and annual clovers Berseem and Crimson clover into this plot this past spring. In late August he killed the clovers with 1 quart glyphosate and then drilled the Dbltree /LC cereal grain mix into the killed clovers.







The clovers can provide 70-100 # or more nitrogen per acre which is plenty to keep the winter rye, oats and forage radish growing. Note grazing of oats, winter peas still growing





Nitrogen keeps the plant's lush, green and very palatable which is important when competing with surrounding crops. Forage radish with baby red clover



Everything has been notill drilled leaving residue on top to slowly break down and increase organic matter. The drill places large seeds roughly an inch deep and small seed between 1/8 and 1/4" deep but with good moisture the larger seeds can be much shallower. With the exception of oats the rest can even be broadcast on the surface with plenty of rain. Rolling or mowing a cover crop after broadcasting seed will help increase germination.




This mix shown here creates an irresistible salad bar that will keep deer fed from mid September through early May. Each crop species contributes in a different way at different time's to both whitetails and soil building.
Hairy vetch evident here and some burnt crimson clover from spring planting



The cool thing about this is no tillage and the longer Jess can use this planting method the faster he can build soils. The down side is using herbicide but it may be possible to mow the clovers close, notill drill the seed and allow fall freezes to kill the annual clovers. I encourage each of you to experiment with your equipment and these crop rotations and see how you can minimize both use of tillage and herbicides.

Plant ALL in one plot in strips or blocks

Alice, Kopu II, Durana (or comparable) white clover 10% of plot, sow at 6#'s per acre with the rye combination in the fall or in the spring with oats and berseem clover. Correct Ph and P&K with soil tests

Brassicas in 45% of plot

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, Use 200#'s of 46-0-0 urea and 400#'s of 6-28-28 per acre. Follow the dead brassicas with oats and berseem or crimson clover in mid spring at 60#'s oats and 12-15#'s berseem clover and/or crimson and/or 50#'s of chickling vetch)

Cereal Grain combo in 45% of plot...we use 50# each rye, oats and peas along with radish and clover seed all planted in half of each feeding area

Winter rye 50-80#'s per acre (56#'s = a bushel)
Spring oats 50-120#'s per acre (32#'s = a bushel)
Frostmaster Winter Peas or 4010/6040 Forage peas 20-80#'s per acre

Red Clover 8-12#'s per acre or white clover at 6#'s per acre (or 20-40 pounds hairy vetch and 20-30#'s crimson clover on sandy soils)
Groundhog Forage Radish 5#'s per acre

Plant in late August to early September, if following well fertilized brassicas use 100 - 200#'s of urea, if starting a new plot add 400#'s of 6-28-28 but for best results soil test and add only what is necessary.

Rotate the brassicas and rye combo each year
 
Based off of reading all this stuff and trying to adjust for NC weather and soil, my spring plantings were going well but then I got trapped in school worked and lost the plots to weeds. Lesson learned. Did a lot of weed control leading up to this fall and did an abbreviated version of your mix.
Planted winter peas, cowpeas, and crimson clover. Unfortunately our county has one of, if not thee, the lowest deer densities in the state. So hopefully with the warmer than IA weather and low deer pressure the clover and winter peas can make it through to Dec. We have a 10 ac ag field planted in soybeans right now but as soon as the farmer takes those I'm going to thrown down an acre or two of winter rye and crimson. It'll depend on when he takes them and how the weather is looking.

Thank for all the help!

Tim
 

dbltree

Super Moderator
If you can get a trail cam up it will be fun to monitor usage, and give us a look at NC and habitat. Thanks for sharing and please keep us posted :)
 
Think I'm losing my first food plot to deer. Checked on one of my bigger one, about 1/4 acre, and a lot of sign and very little green left. :( If it ends up getting trashed, I still have time to plant clover and winter rye. Plus it's right next to a really nice brassica strip. ;)

Will the winter peas keep growing if they get munched while they're still only an inch or two? Imagine the cowpeas they ate are toast.

As for the cam, most of my plots don't have good camera trees near them and without them locked, they like to walk. :mad: I'll see what I can move around this week though.

Tim
 

Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
You have plenty of time for Winter Rye, especially since you're in NC. You could drill in some winter peas & oats down there if you have access otherwise broadcast rye heavy and you'll add to it very nice.
 
You have plenty of time for Winter Rye, especially since you're in NC. You could drill in some winter peas & oats down there if you have access otherwise broadcast rye heavy and you'll add to it very nice.

I wish I had access to a drill. I'll probably give it a couple more weeks and then plant the rye/clover if the plots cleared by then. Have a smaller, about 1/10 acre, plot not 100m away and it hasn't even been touched. Sure they'll be hammering it soon enough.

Thanks,
Tim
 

hillrunner

PMA Member
Even though this ridge has never had food on it, the deer took to it very quickly.
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dbltree

Super Moderator
Andy sent me pictures from his farm in PA and another in Ohio, he is planting the "Dbltree rotation" both place's. The PA farm has been receiving plenty of rain and the crops look great.

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The Ohio farm however has received little if any this past summer and fall and the soil looks pretty sandy to make things worse.

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This is what we all will experience eventually but we would like to avoid, and those with very sandy soils will find plotting frustrating at best.

The Dbltree rotation is designed to not only grow on poor, dry soil but improve them as well. Most landowners do not give soils a second thought, until there plots look like Andy's. Even then they have no idea that over time they can improve soils simply by planting and rotating crops that whitetails love!

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These same crops a high degree of drought resistance naturally, brassicas and rye both send root's deep and thrive when other crops fail.

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The exception is clover which does not like dry sandy soils, over time we can improve soils enough to grow clover however.
God has blessed us with the tools, we just have to be aware and use them to manage our land and whitetails wisely.

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Paul Knox proud recipient 2014 QDMA Al Brothers Game Manager of the Year award



Plant ALL in one plot in strips or blocks

Alice, Kopu II, Durana (or comparable) white clover 10% of plot, sow at 6#'s per acre with the rye combination in the fall or in the spring with oats and berseem clover. Correct Ph and P&K with soil tests

Brassicas in 45% of plot

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, Use 200#'s of 46-0-0 urea and 400#'s of 6-28-28 per acre. Follow the dead brassicas with oats and berseem or crimson clover in mid spring at 60#'s oats and 12-15#'s berseem clover and/or crimson and/or 50#'s of chickling vetch)

Cereal Grain combo in 45% of plot...we use 50# each rye, oats and peas along with radish and clover seed all planted in half of each feeding area

Winter rye 50-80#'s per acre (56#'s = a bushel)
Spring oats 50-120#'s per acre (32#'s = a bushel)
Frostmaster Winter Peas or 4010/6040 Forage peas 20-80#'s per acre

Red Clover 8-12#'s per acre or white clover at 6#'s per acre (or 20-40 pounds hairy vetch and 20-30#'s crimson clover on sandy soils)
Groundhog Forage Radish 5#'s per acre

Plant in late August to early September, if following well fertilized brassicas use 100 - 200#'s of urea, if starting a new plot add 400#'s of 6-28-28 but for best results soil test and add only what is necessary.

Rotate the brassicas and rye combo each year
 

Ajh1027

New Member
Hey Paul thanks for sharing my pics above, our Pa plots are doing even better by the day, and hoping our ohio plots will surprise us in a few weeks when we make a trip out. We have been getting some rain on them finally and some good chances for more rain this week. We actually decided to broadcast an additional 50# of rye per acre two weeks ago. Last year it was the opposite, our ohio plots received plenty of rain and our home in PA was drought like weather and the plots were very slow and spotty germination. Then late sept. - early oct. received some favorable growing weather and they really bounced back, so we are still crossing our fingers for the same situation this year just in opposite states. Never the less we are still drawing some nice bucks to nibble at our dirt plots :) thanks again for everything you have really helped in speeding up our understanding in plotting and I am sold on your mix.
 
What is the smallest acreage you would convert into the dbltree mix? I have a great secluded area I put into clover this year but am wondering if I could maximize the space more effectively with your mix. It is surrounded by woods/slough and is steps away from an ag field. I think it is around 1/5 acre right now but think I can get about 1/3-1/2 acre out of it. We already have 2.8 acres in the mix on the other side of the farm...thanks for your input!
 

dbltree

Super Moderator
What is the smallest acreage you would convert into the dbltree mix? I have a great secluded area I put into clover this year but am wondering if I could maximize the space more effectively with your mix. It is surrounded by woods/slough and is steps away from an ag field. I think it is around 1/5 acre right now but think I can get about 1/3-1/2 acre out of it. We already have 2.8 acres in the mix on the other side of the farm...thanks for your input!
.
We have done spots the size of a garden (pictures in this thread) making three 8' strips (size of equipment ) and it worked great for many years. I placed a cam there and learned a lot about what they ate /preferred at different time's.
 

MO-APE

Member
New Cleared Timber Ridge Foodplot - Dbltree Mix

Picked up a new place this summer and instantly got to work, I hired an excavator and cleaned up about 2 acres of timber on a ridge adjacent to a 200 acre bean field. The guy did a world class job by neatly stacking the trees, cleaning up old roots and leveling the plot. It surprisingly had great soil, albeit very acidic from being in timber for 100's of years.

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Being early September, I didn't have time to do the brassica side of the dbltree mix; so I limed, fertilized and planted the cereal grain mix and threw in a few forage radishes to help tillage next year. I hit some timely rains and had amazing growth within a week.

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I planted the new heavily shaded access road he cut to get to the clearing in winter wheat and red clover, had amazing germination and will be a natural staging area before they hit the plot & ag fields

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The 40 yard timber strip left between the new plot and the existing ag field instantly became a natural travel corridor

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There isn't a cedar tree in that corridor that isn't shredded, already seeing scrapes along the edge as well.

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It didn't take long for the local heard to realize the new groceries were in the ground

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I don't have an updated pic from the past few weeks, but the plot is rocking thanks to Paul's amazing and gracious coaching! The prescriptive advice he provides makes us weekend hacks look like old pros. God Bless and thank you Sir!!!
 

DE2IA

Active Member
"
Picked up a new place this summer and instantly got to work, I hired an excavator and cleaned up about 2 acres of timber on a ridge adjacent to a 200 acre bean field. The guy did a world class job by neatly stacking the trees, cleaning up old roots and leveling the plot. It surprisingly had great soil, albeit very acidic from being in timber for 100's of years."


That plot looks great!!! You have a killing field there!
 
Forage peas not being touched

This is my third year of planting Dbttree's mix I am wondering if I am the only one that has deer which totally ignore eating lush forage peas? This happens to be in an area where the deer turn their noses to brassicas (which I continue to plant annually anyway), and only lightly graze the rye and oats mix until late winter. Could it be that having corn and bean fields close, in adittion to a lush clover patch next to the cereal grain plot that keeps them from trying new vege's? I went so far as to plant a 20 x 20 yd test plot within the larger plot of just oats and peas in late Aug to allow for some tall growth of the peas. They look so tasty, but none are being touched. This is very suprising to me since the number of deer using this plot has substancially increased over the past two years after surrounding it with 4 acres of CIR switch.
 

dbltree

Super Moderator
That is a new one for me? I would put up some exclusion cages and trail cams to see what is going on my? How many deer are using how many acres?

How many acres of timber?

Pictures would help, if you wish you can email to me [email protected]
 
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