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Cereal Grains and cover crops

Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
This talks about the short vs long term affects of clover nitrogen.. (via practicalfarmers.org)

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That’s a really good article. IMO- bottom line: avoid tillage & to maximize benefits…. Do cover crops ongoing so you have continual break down of biomass & N release with little to no soil loss. Which is common sense: we are here for long term game & almost anyone out there is trying to build soil back, especially on erodible ground.
I’d also try for spring termination on clover since above says no difference. Only If you want the benefits of deer feeding on it all fall, winter & just into spring. Huge benefit to deer.

I need to get with FSA & carbon credit folks to see what cost share on cover crops is and deadline for them. Anyone dive into this?
 

jlwdvm

Member
I had some dozer work done in June to push back a few acres of old pasture with locust trees that were creeping out. The first 1.5 acres that I prepped with a tiller and then drilled with cereal rye with a little left over oats looks ok (planted mid-July), but has some bare spots. The second area was prepped the same way and drilled the first weekend in August. That stand is nearly non-existent. The only areas that seemed to get some stand are areas next to the timber that get some shade. It did get some sporadic rains on it, but it seemed like a lot of the rains in August were tracking north. My farm is south of Iowa City about 25 minutes. Not sure if it was something to do with my planting method, or just didn't get enough rain. I planted when I did because I wanted some erosion control. I'm planning on replanting, but wondering if there is anything else I should check out. I thought rye was a little tougher and easier to grow than what I am getting. The 2 acres I did last fall turned out well, but that was creek bottom soil. These areas aren't quite as good. Thoughts?
 

Bassattackr

Active Member
Not sure if it was something to do with my planting method, or just didn't get enough rain.

It's all in timing. Planting cool season grains during the warm season will be tough for them to establish.

You're not too late to replant cereal grains, but I would get on it ASAP. If you have access to a drill, I would drill them as soon as you can. Typically, for cereal grain plantings we shoot for around Sept 1 in southern Iowa down thru most of Missouri. A touch earlier if you are in the northern part of the state.

Your 2 acre plot last fall was planted at the right time period (cool season grains during cool season), hence your reason for success.

FWIW - Millet and Buckwheat both make great summer alternatives for a shorter season. Both are "warm season" crops and do much better during summer months. Any of the Millet varieties are a better alternative than Buckwheat if erosion control is your primary concern.

Good luck!
 

Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
Redoing…. Do rye & oats & winter peas with them. I’d do all 3. & I run 50-60 lbs of each per acre for deer (& do clovers, etc) All 3 are excellent for erosion control & can drill all 3 mid September. Agree on all of above…. I’d also do very soon- especially for deer value.
 

Bassattackr

Active Member
September 18th, 2021

Dbltree mix in main center plot coming in nicely. Can see the peas, radishes here and there. Most browse evident on the oats, can't find too much on the peas yet (surprisingly!).

Fall is finally coming here in central MO! Staying out of most areas for now.

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Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
It’s actually a rare year that everything from spring alfalfa, then corn & beans to “fall plots” all succeed perfectly. I did not have one of those rare years ;). Corn & beans great & existing clover & alfalfa clearly fine.
Regionally dependent- this year is a mixed bag for sure on anything planted.
MY FAILURE:
1) later brassicas that missed the heavy rains. Early planted (pre big rain) was fine but after that- pretty much toast. My plan B on those areas and then the “go to dbltree mix” as part of regular rotation was my next failure….
2) most looks like THIS…. Peas hanging in there but oats, rye, clovers- nope- toast. So thankful to have lots of other things planted plus back up plan yet. It got so hot & dry in September- cooked.
THIS pic is bare soil on side of my driveway at farm where kids tore up the lawn. I always run the drill through part of my lawn & any bare areas so I can see how it’s doing… this year… Not good. How it goes!!
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SOLUTION…. Bare bones minimum: broadcast rye. Ideal: load drill again with rye, oats & maybe some more peas- redo it. Worth the work especially if that’s the go to plot. Still time. At least get rye down. Can frost seed clovers in late winter. Send some rain please. But - always be prepared for failures. Here’s mine.
 

jlwdvm

Member
I just replanted all of the rye that I drilled in too early (the last week of July). Some of it popped, but then got fried. I knew I was getting the rye in a little early, but live and learn. The high temps and lack of rain at my farm didn't help. I had about 25# of oats still in the drill..They did great. Hopefully, more seasonable temps and rainfall will get what I just drilled up and growing. I am using it mainly as erosion control and a nurse crop for some clover fire breaks that i broadcasted as well. Some of it will be drilled with switch this spring.
 

Rous14

Active Member
Sorry, not sure why two pictures posted above instead of just one.
Rye plots are doing pretty good considering we didn’t have hardly any rain in September. Planted this during Labor Day weekend. Rye and clover.
My first time trying rye, in your guys experience does it become more attractive as it gets colder or not really? Have another plot that had existing clover in half of it and the new rye is coming up in the other half and it seems that at least so far they prefer the clover over the rye for sure.
 

Bassattackr

Active Member
October 3rd, 2021

Hard to believe it's October already. Slightly cooler a couple days this week before we go back into the 80s for the highs. Patiently waiting those October cold fronts.. Dbltree mix looking great, just got another inch of rain a couple nights before.

Going to have to talk to the idiot (me) who started to drive the tractor through the wet food plot..

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Still no browsing on the radishes and peas yet. But the oats and rye are being kept well "mowed."
 

Hunter Brunk

New Member
Maybe dumb to be even considering this... But considering broadcasting rye in the next few days. Anyone ever tried it this late? Central Iowa ish.

I wasn't planning on it but we have a new lease this year and the only food we had on the property was corn, which got harvested obviously. But then a few days ago was disced under so absolutely no food. Plenty of natural browse but thinking of trying a few acres of rye as a last minute effort. I would plan on going super heavy (like 300 lbs an acre)
 

Daver

PMA Member
Maybe dumb to be even considering this... But considering broadcasting rye in the next few days. Anyone ever tried it this late? Central Iowa ish.

I wasn't planning on it but we have a new lease this year and the only food we had on the property was corn, which got harvested obviously. But then a few days ago was disced under so absolutely no food. Plenty of natural browse but thinking of trying a few acres of rye as a last minute effort. I would plan on going super heavy (like 300 lbs an acre)
I don't think you are likely to get enough growth yet this fall to benefit the deer much...but if you get that seed in the ground now then I believe you will see good growth "early", in late Feb/early to mid March, which is a prime time for rye to be available for the local herd. Many farmers nowadays plant rye right after they harvest their beans and I saw a field this morning that is greening up already...I think just about 5-8 days after it got planted. FWIW.
 

Bassattackr

Active Member
October 23rd, 2021

Dbltree mix still looking great, has completely filled in now. Droves of deer in here nightly, holding up to the pressure quite well!

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Starting to get "acquainted" with the radishes and peas in the mix, browse on those here and there..

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