fertilizing brown top millet

Discussion in 'Habitat Forum' started by duckin'jones, Jul 30, 2004.

  1. duckin'jones

    duckin'jones New Member

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    Need some help please!

    Have 2 spots where I've planted brown top millet for dove season. It is now 6 weeks old. We've had unusual rain in that for the last month is goes for a week or more w/out rain and then 2-3 days of thuderstorms. The millet is very light green but is coming in very well. It just looks like it should be a little farther along than it is. It is now about 4-5 inches high.

    My question is: Should I fetilize? If so, when? Any suggestions on what to use to fertilize?
     
  2. PaulinKansas

    PaulinKansas Elite Refuge Member

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    light green is a sign of nitrogen deficiency.

    i would add about 20-30 lbs actual nitrogen per acre. that's about 40-60 lbs worth of urea. around here, you can go to the co-op with a 5 gallon bucket and 5 gallons worth is 5 dollars. it'll weigh around 45 lbs.

    spreading it may be a hastle. don't even think about using one of those hand crank spreaders, even if your plot is small. most people would advise you to fertilize it when it's knee high. did you put out any fert when you planted?
     
  3. Heflin

    Heflin Senior Refuge Member

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    You should fertilize it before it starts to boot (when the seed head starts emerging from the shoot).

    Fertilizing after boot doesn't do a whole lot of good, but I reckon it'll help a little.

    If you see seed heads emerging, then you've probably waited too late, in my opinion. And at 6 weeks, you've probably got heads already. Fertilizing it now won't do much but make greener leaves, but it's gonna die in another 2 or 3 weeks anyway.

    My unofficial advice would be to fertilize between planting and 4 weeks, because millet is normally a 60 day crop.

    My browntop is between knee and waist-high, at about 6 weeks old. Could be a soil thing.

    Hef
     
  4. StrmChzr

    StrmChzr Senior Refuge Member

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    As usual, Hef and Paulie have given ya' great advice. Although I have no working knowledge as to soil quality in north Alabama, my experience in S.E. Kansas has taught me the valuable lesson of maintaining proper soil pH.
    My understanding of soil pH is this: without a pH of 7(or close to) a plant cannot efficiently obtain nutrients from the soil.


    (Copied from North American Hunter Feb/March 2003)
    Soil ph is a measure of the soil’s acidity based on a 0 to 14 scale, with 7 being “neutral”. Simply stated, a soil ph of 5 is 10 times more acidic than a soil ph of 6, and 100 times more acidic than a soil ph of 7.

    This chart shows the percent of fertilizer – nitrogen (N), phosphate (P), potassium (K) – wasted because of soil acidity. Notice how a soil ph of 7 wastes no fertilizer, while a soil ph of 4.5 wastes for more than half of it.

    Soil Acidity---Nitrogen----------- Phosphate------------Potassium
    4.5 ph.............70%.......................77%.........................67%
    5.0 ph.............47%........................66%........................48%
    5.5 ph.............23%........................52%........................23%
    6.0 ph.............11%........................48%..........................0%
    7.0 ph...............0%.........................0%..........................0%

    I have found that if I increase the pH of the soil in my food plots, then there is no need to add fertilizer. I "generously" apply dolomitic limestone (go to local nursery and explain what you are trying to do) to my plots before I plant and again a few weeks after germination. I've been told that you can't "overdue" it, and so far (try as I may) I haven't noticed any detrimental effects with large amount (500+lbs per acre) application.

    FYI- I am no expert, only have a basic understanding for growing crops in my area of Kansas. Here's a great website: http://www.mdwfp.com/forums/ that might help you w/ next years crop.

    Good luck!
     
  5. Swampmouse

    Swampmouse Senior Refuge Member

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    Duckin,
    I had the same problem earlier this year with the corn in my garden. We had so much rain, I believe a lot of the nutrients were leached right out of the soil. I'd get it out there as quickly as possible!

    SM
     
  6. PaulinKansas

    PaulinKansas Elite Refuge Member

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    there's a saying, lime is the poor mans fertilizer.

    you can apply N P K to your ground, but it's going to cost probably 20-40 bucks per acre for the materials.

    lime is $6 per ton, and most soils require 1-2 tons per acre. if the nutrients are already there, lime frees them up to make them available to the plants.

    you can see why just adding lime can be a cheaper route. also, i've read that most agricultural fertilizers tend to make the soil acidic in the long run. and that to counteract this effect, you need to apply about 2 lbs of lime for every lb of fert that you add each year.

    oh, and rain can leach out herbicides too. the low spot in my dove field is about 5' high in smartweed. it would be great if it held water.
     
  7. Heflin

    Heflin Senior Refuge Member

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    If you don't want to guess at it, take a soil sample. Mississippi State charges $1/sample, I think. You get these little boxes, or bring your own, sample the soil from several locations across the field and mix them up in the box. Send it to be sampled and they'll tell you exactly what to put on it.

    If you've got a bad spot in the field, then sample it separately, or you can section your field and take samples labeled from each section.

    Relatively cheap compared to just guessing what to apply.

    Hef
     
  8. jrchip1

    jrchip1 Elite Refuge Member

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    Duckin-Jones- Did you disk the area prior to planting?
     
  9. duckin'jones

    duckin'jones New Member

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    Wow!
    I been unable to log-on in a few days and now I see how bad it looks for me to ask for help, get it, and then not respond to you guys... My apologies..:eek:

    Anyway, thanks to all you guys for the great info! I never expected to get such awesome feedback!

    Okay, firsts things first. Turns out the brown top was only 4 weeks old when I made the original post. My calendar and I weren't working to well together that day... And... we did not fert any at that time. After Heflin's 1st post we decided to take some extra fert already on hand to it on Saturday morning. 90% of the crop was around 6 inches and was not yet heading out.

    JrChip1- we did disc prior to planting.

    We then took a couple soil sample's like Strmchzr suggested (do-it-yourself) and got a 6.0 reading in both places. Being a beginner myself with planting crops and having limited knowledge of food plots that was some good info to have passed along. Will definately help for next season!:tu

    Swampmouse- you should see my garden! Most of my tomatoes are practically dead from the rain.:mad:

    As of yesterday the field was looking better, I have to say. Looks like it got a boost in both height and color. The 90% is now over knee high, beginning to head out, and it is looking a bit more like the color of grass. BTW- is hasn't rained here since we pert the fert out last Saturday...:confused:

    Sounds like we should consider taking some addt'l soil samples to send off since they are cheap and it would be added confirmation to the actual ph of the soil.

    Is it too late to add the lime now?


    One thing I do know! The Jap Millet we put out 2 weeks ago is coming in NICE!:D It is already about 6" tall and looking goood!

    Thanks again!!!
     
  10. PaulinKansas

    PaulinKansas Elite Refuge Member

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    it is not too late at all to apply lime now......




    for what you'll be planting in 2005.
     

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