anyone ever planted chuffa for ducks?

Discussion in 'Habitat Forum' started by pentail, May 11, 2002.

  1. pentail

    pentail Administrator Moderator Flyway Manager

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    Folks around here plant lots of chuffa(also seen it spelled chuffas) for turkeys. Since it is just a larger version of nutsedge, and the ducks will eat that, stands to reason that they would eat the chuffa as well. never have tried it in standing water, just wonderin if anyone else had?
     
  2. silvermallard

    silvermallard Elite Refuge Member

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    Pentail, see my post on Half-breed's thread from today. I go into great detail about Chufa for waterfowl. A few years ago, this was kind of "my little secret." Ag Chufa has a FAR greater average yield and higher nutritional value, but retains ALL the benefits of Nutsedge. The key factors are temperature, turbidity and depth of water, and soil Ph. Think hot, clear, shallow, and Ph in a range of 5-8. Very similar to growing peanuts from an ag perspective, and just like Nutsedge in a marsh.
     
  3. Half-Breed

    Half-Breed Elite Refuge Member

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    about the chufa, will my farmer have any problems getting rid of the chufa when it does come time to plant rice again in a year or two?

    I want to help the ducks but I dont want impact the farmers livelyhood negitivly.
     
  4. silvermallard

    silvermallard Elite Refuge Member

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    It will die just like any other weed if he sprays. However, remember what I said about shallow disking? That only stimulates reproduction exponentially. It depends on his farming practices. I assume he's used to controlling sedges, so he should not have a problem. But, if memory serves, you said he has that field on something like a 1/4 rotation...meaning it's in rice 1 out of 4 years. If that's the case, I'd plant Chufa the year it comes out of crops, then you'd have it for 3 years. I wouldn't plant it on the last year before being cropped again.

    BTW...ducks and geese feeding heavily in Nutsedge/Chufa plots and/or cattle grazing it will have much the same net effect as shallow disking. The result is broken tubers, which create thousands of rhyzomes, thus tens of thousands of new shoots.
     
  5. Half-Breed

    Half-Breed Elite Refuge Member

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    thats how it works in my garden for sure! I think for everyone I till or pull, 10 take its place!!!!

    My main problem seems to be this fall there will be no landing area for the ducks if the nutshedge is so thick.

    The water level for at least half of the field stays from 2 to 10 inches, maybe 12 at the most except for the combine ruts which can run 3 ft. deep! haha.
     
  6. silvermallard

    silvermallard Elite Refuge Member

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    The truth of the matter is that it is not a matter of the ducks having a place to land. They'll land in emergent sedge grasses with no problem. BUT...you need a place for you DECOYS to show up! ;) and/or a landing area in front of a fixed blind.

    Here's the answer:

    1. While the field is dry, go out there and spray your landing area with Roundup, Kilz-all, etc. That'll do it. Since this is "naturally-occuring vegetation," manipulation is legal. However, this will kill the plants in that area...permanently. If this is the last fallow year in the rotation, I'd do it this way.

    2. Cut your hole(s) open with a mower right before reflooding for duck season...this would be the only reason to keep the water off. If it is not the last fallow year in the rotation and I had no problem with Cockleburs, Morning Glory, etc., then I'd do it this way.

    3. If it frosts down there prior to duck season, I'd leave it alone and just stomp a big hole for my dekes (or 4-wheeler) a couple days before season. Nutsedges' emergent parts will die on the first frost and decompose fairly quickly.

    Make the hole big enough that there is about 10-12 yds. of open water outside the furthest decoys. Make it an irregular shape.
     
  7. pentail

    pentail Administrator Moderator Flyway Manager

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    there is a chemical on the turf market specifically for nutsedge control, called Manage, that should also do a fine job of opening a hole. will not affect other grasses or broadleaf plants, just sedge and its close cousins. I know the turkeys around here do a fine job of working the top few inches of soil around the chuffa. always looks like its been gone over repeatedly with a disk.
     
  8. silvermallard

    silvermallard Elite Refuge Member

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    Pentail, that's good to know! Wonder how that one slipped under my radar screen. Thanks!:D
     

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