Best Bang for the Buck (Planting)?

Discussion in 'Habitat Forum' started by GLS, Dec 22, 2016.

  1. GLS

    GLS New Member

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    Lincoln County, MO
    I've been doing some research and have taken what information I can find from multiple sources or generated some numbers based on limited information but here's what I'm coming up with. This is based on unharvested fields and my planting (or maintenance) numbers for Millet and Moist Soil are educated guesses at best. I don't consider managed moist soil as free if you choose to fertilize, disc, mow, weed control, etc. Doesn't take a lot of fuel, fertilizer or herbicide to kick up the $/acre to maintain.

    Based on my simple math, for every dollar spent, the most Duck Use Days would be from Sorghum (98 DUD) with rice second (87 DUD). I'm not disputing that corn is king for duck food.

    If someone has better numbers, please add to the list or update. Thanks

    Planting Cost - DUD/acre - DUD/$​
    • Corn $383.76 - 25,669 - 67
    • Soybeans $196.64 - 3,246 - 17
    • Rice $337.66 - 29,364 - 87
    • Sorghum $166.25 - 16,269 - 98
    • Millet $75.04 - 3,292 - 44
    • Moist Soil $60.04 - 1,386 - 23
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
  2. DagoDucks

    DagoDucks Senior Refuge Member

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    I don't want to seem like I know more than I do but I can assure you that a math calculation is not what I would be relying on. In my 33 plus years of duck hunting in Missouri and Illinois (the last 10 of which I have owned and managed my own duck property) I would never plant Sorghum! Not sure where these guys are hunting that swear by it but that has always been the least preferred or used field any place I have hunted. Corn and moist soil would be my preferred combination.
     
  3. DisplacedDuck

    DisplacedDuck Senior Refuge Member

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    Southeast Missouri
    With the utmost respect, I will dispute your values for moist soil management. The value of 1,386 DUD per acre for moist soil is typical of "average-at-best" moist soil management units. If you were to truly fertilize, mow, disk regularly, etc, I would expect the DUD per acre to lean more towards the "good" or "managed" moist soil values of 3,983 or 8,562 DUD/acre, respectively.

    These additional values for DUD/acre would change the DUD/$ as follows:

    Type - DUD/acre - DUD/$
    Average Moist Soil - 3,983 - 66.38
    Managed Moist Soil - 8,562 - 142.60

    My source is found on page 3 of this doc: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/nrcs142p2_016986.pdf

    Again, I intended nothing but respect with my rebuttal. I appreciate the lengths with which you went to create such a metric using arithmetic. I just wished to state my case as to why I believe moist soil management should be quite higher up on the totem pole for DUD/$.
     
    stevena198301 likes this.
  4. GLS

    GLS New Member

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    Displaced...your reply is exactly the type of response I was hoping to receive. I really appreciate you citing a source. As I stated above, my numbers on moist soil were loosely based on minimal data I was able to find.

    I'm hoping individuals that keep detailed records of land management would chime in with some historic numbers for crops and MS comparison. I'm not a farmer nor completely new to moist soil management but trying to learn all I can.

    Thanks again, your reply was anything butoffensive
     
    stevena198301 likes this.
  5. laughing mallard

    laughing mallard Elite Refuge Member

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    What kind of fertilizer do you use for moist soil i.e. Smartweed and watergrass? And when do you apply it?

    What is buckwheat and when do you typically plant?
     
  6. knees

    knees Elite Refuge Member

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    I'll give corn the "best bang for the buck" simply because it attracts better than anything else we've planted the past 10 years, bar none. Yes, it's the most expensive to plant too. I'll never ever plant milo/sorghum again. Buckwheat did really well for us the few times we planted it, but it only attracted mallards on our place after we got a very hard freeze, which for us meant it was used for about the last 2-3 weeks of season.

    If I didn't plant corn then I would lightly disc and encourage natural vegetation like smartweed & barnyard grass.
     
  7. cam

    cam Elite Refuge Member

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    why not on the milo ???
     
  8. knees

    knees Elite Refuge Member

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    We've done it 2x without any real success. Had a lot better luck with buckwheat & just natural smartweed and barnyard grass than with milo.
     
    cam likes this.
  9. JFG

    JFG Elite Refuge Member

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    Let me ask this question knees, what type of milo are you using? I believe most grain milos used for livestock feed consist of high amounts of tanic acid, which birds don't like. Wild game sorghum (milo) is different and birds actually like this stuff. Just curious to what milo you've been using.
     
  10. KSU86

    KSU86 Senior Refuge Member

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    kansas
    I have spent the last 11 years "experimenting" with food plots. I have experienced minimal "harvest" success planting both Grain Milo and WG sorghum. The plant is well suited for Kansas, very drought resistant and 90 day head out. The Blackbirds consume a high percentage of the crop and I don't believe ducks rank it high on their preference list. I do much better with Japanese and Brown top millet. The key to any crop is to fertilize. Corn is King, but rarely works, in my spots, because of early seasonal flooding.
     

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