Plan for next spring/summer

Discussion in 'Habitat Forum' started by Teamjefe, Nov 27, 2017.

  1. Teamjefe

    Teamjefe Refuge Member

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    Well I am located in the south zone in Texas and we are currently in our season split. Our first half of the season was less than stellar and its got me thinking about next years management plan. My duck ponds are about 5-6 years old. One has a significant growth of spikerush. I am going to try to drain this one early and burn it when its dry. The others I was planning on doing controlled draw downs and spraying during the summer. Any advice on "restarting" the moist soil plants that ducks eat?
     
  2. thatguy2

    thatguy2 Senior Refuge Member

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    Get your disc out
     
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  3. DisplacedDuck

    DisplacedDuck Senior Refuge Member

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    x2, and x3.... and x163,672 on the above advice. Most experts would advise that the best thing you can do for true naturally-occurring moist soil vegetation is soil disturbance every 3+ years.
     
  4. Teamjefe

    Teamjefe Refuge Member

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    When do I need to disk? As soon as it’s dry enough? Or wait to time it with a good rain?
     
  5. Teamjefe

    Teamjefe Refuge Member

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    These are large 40-75 acre impoundments. Disking will take some time unless my farmer can assist.
     
  6. DisplacedDuck

    DisplacedDuck Senior Refuge Member

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    No time is a bad time to disk, especially if you can manipulate water readily (and afford to do so).

    In theory if you can only flood once (before the season) you would need to disk in year 0 to have a 'refreshed' stand in year 1. This means that unfortunately you would have to go without that field in year 0. For example, you would have to forgo flooding your field next season, but instead disk it for a refresher, then flood the following year. This is due to the way that the moist soil plants grow and the drawdowns they require for a good, healthy stand.

    That being said there are plenty of workarounds if you can get water off and on easily and economically. For example, if you had a good water control structure in place, you could drain the field bone dry as soon as season ended, disk as soon as possible, then put the boards back in to catch any rain or turn the pumps on to induce a shallow flood. This would essentially be 'getting your cake and eating it too.' You can hunt your fields every year and get a disking in as well.

    The attached link (which can also be found in the newly created sticky-thanks Clayton!) is a handbook containing all you need to know about moist soil management as far as basic are concerned.

    http://www.kestersnursery.com/New_Folder/nrcs142p2_016986.pdf
     
  7. Teamjefe

    Teamjefe Refuge Member

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    I’m thinking about starting to drain one of my ponds and try to dry it out and disk ASAP. It’s not really holding many birds right now at all. It’s a
    So been flooded since 8/26/2017 when Hurricane Harvey rolled thru
     
  8. Teamjefe

    Teamjefe Refuge Member

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    I have the capability to flood but that will depend on my farmer and if he is needing to irrigate or not.
     
  9. DisplacedDuck

    DisplacedDuck Senior Refuge Member

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    Never a bad time to disk up the ground. I wouldn't get too antsy if it were me. Depending on how fast it drains you could always just pull boards as soon as the season ends, disk when dry enough, then put all the boards back in to catch any and all rain and pump if needed. (To promote moist soil plants you will want good saturated soil and a draw down if possible)
     
  10. Teamjefe

    Teamjefe Refuge Member

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    DisplacedDuck,

    I am about to drain one of my ponds. From what I have gathered I should try to get the soil disturbed as soon as I can and get the boards back in to catch any spring rain. Then the plan would be to do a draw down after I have some water collected to encourage the moist soil plants.

    Any recommendation to my plan?
     

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