How much to mow

Discussion in 'Habitat Forum' started by duckbuster5901, Sep 19, 2017.

  1. duckbuster5901

    duckbuster5901 Senior Refuge Member

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    Location:
    maryland
    Planted a third of our impound in Barynyard grass this year that I purchased from River Refuge seed . Amazing growth and amount of seed its produceing. Got lucky late august and got a few weeks of good rains on it. Also have naturally occurring Smartweed and I think a sedge that took off once that rain saturated soil.Otrher 2/3rds of impound are Barnyard grass native to area and some smartweed mixed in. About half the production from that area as compared to newly planted. Problem is I,m afraid newly planted area is so thick and tall its not going to lay down. Would mowing this area be a benefit or would you think mowing debris will cover seed. Once water gets up on impound there would still be 2' height of Planted Barnyard above water level without mowing. Need advice on should I mow or not. Forgot to mention that impound is only about 2 acres so I,m thinking I,ll need to show some water or am I wrong?
     
  2. hhpage

    hhpage Senior Refuge Member

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    Arkansas
    It is considered baiting to mow a planted crop (or manipulate it in any manner) if you will be hunting waterfowl over/around it. You can mow the unplanted areas, but you can't mow the areas that you planted this year. You are allowed to mow or otherwise manipulate those same areas next year if you do no further planting.
     
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  3. duckbuster5901

    duckbuster5901 Senior Refuge Member

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    Location:
    maryland
    well lets just say I have the same issue next year . Should I mow or not?
     
  4. hannibal

    hannibal Senior Refuge Member

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    Location:
    Iowa
    Definitely don't mow the planted crops as hhpage has advised or would be violation of Federal Reg baiting rules. I would mow a good majority of what was not planted to provide some "clean water" areas. I posted an article by Mossy Oak somewhere for a similar question and the research they found suggested mowed or disked areas (non planted/natural growing areas) was ideal and bird usage was higher than on areas where the vegetation was left standing.

    Good luck
     
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  5. hannibal

    hannibal Senior Refuge Member

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    Iowa
    One more thing. Not sure about your impoundment or the area you are in but I'm guessing you can get similar food results by drawing your impoundment down slowly and then disking in the Spring. I think you would be amazed at the amount of food that can be produced from the seed bank already in your soil (no planting required). If you get some undesirable weed growth you can mow those areas late in the Summer and we have found that the wild millet will outrun the weeds and dominate the impoundment areas. We all have the desire to plant, plant, plant but if you are managing a moist soil unit only I would not spend the time or money on planting jap millet or other seed producing moist soil varieties and just manage your seed bank by doing as suggested above. Probably a waterfowl biologist in your area that could direct better than I on timing etc. for your area. By doing this it will give you the flexibility you desire with mowing/disking whatever areas you like……..strips, entire areas etc.

    Good luck
     
  6. duckbuster5901

    duckbuster5901 Senior Refuge Member

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    Location:
    maryland
    Yea, tried jap millet last year. Resident geese eat it up soon as area flooded in sept. We do have barnyard grass to some extent already and smartweed scattered thruout. Was trying to get a much better stand of Barnyard grass which I accomplished in newly planted area. Whole impound was disced when jap millet was planted july of 2016. Will again disc entire area next july to promote seed takeing and may plant rest of impound in b.yd seed from river refuge then. Big difference in variety I,m obtaining from them and what naturally grows in there already. Huge difference in seed output.Trying to keep it growing in something geese won,t devour as they roost nights in there all winter.
     
  7. DisplacedDuck

    DisplacedDuck Senior Refuge Member

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    Sep 23, 2016
    Location:
    Southeast Missouri
    I need to brush up on my rules and regs, but I would look into whether or not mowing and disking/tilling fall under the same umbrella.

    Mowing may not be allowed, but what about disking under? It would serve the same purpose.
     
  8. Porter Bayou

    Porter Bayou Senior Refuge Member

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    Mississippi
    If you plant something, it must be harvested or left standing. Any other form of manipulation is considered baiting. i.e. disking, mowing, rolling, burning, etc. If it's not harvested and you must walk or drive through the standing grain to your blind, you best use the same path every time. This is the number one reason I avoid planting a crop at all costs. Too many opportunities for the man to ruin your day.
     
  9. DisplacedDuck

    DisplacedDuck Senior Refuge Member

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    Location:
    Southeast Missouri
    Thanks for the clarification Porter! I have heard you even have to be careful about how you brush blinds because that too can be considered baiting.
     
  10. Cedarlakeforge

    Cedarlakeforge New Member

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    Aug 22, 2017
    Location:
    Southeast Mo.
    A good friend of mine is a conservation officer who hunts with me in southeast mo. I'm fortunate to have a lot of millet planted befor I bought the ground couple years ago. I mow it and brush up blind with willows. Pump it up and good to go. What Porter Bayou said is true , and if you draw down slow and manage what you have there , in my opinion , is much better and less expensive than planting but it's a long term process. Management skills is a BIG thing.Some times less is best. Know that 2 acres as well as you know where the turn signal is on you truck.
     

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