School me on tractors and such

Discussion in 'Habitat Forum' started by wprebeck, Dec 2, 2019.

  1. Farm4wildlife

    Farm4wildlife Elite Refuge Member

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    Dove field is pretty easy. Can make it as complicated as you want. Do you plan on using herbicide? How do you plant on putting seed down, broadcast, drill, row planter?
     
  2. wprebeck

    wprebeck Senior Refuge Member

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    Probably will need to spray. Lots of briar - blackberry, by the look of it - taking over. Looking to do sunflowers in strips. Should I get soil tested?
     
  3. Farm4wildlife

    Farm4wildlife Elite Refuge Member

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    Soil test wouldn't hurt, I'd definitely plan on adding nitrogen if it's an abandoned field.

    If you are comfortable with spraying you might look into some of the herbicide ready sunflowers such as clearfield. You can also use some grass specific herbicides to help keep it clean and use normal sunflowers.
     
  4. wprebeck

    wprebeck Senior Refuge Member

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    NRCS and some state folks are coming out Thursday to do a walk around of the place; I've applied for CSP and possibly EQIP. Since they'll be onsite, I'll get their opinions.

    Probably rent a sprayer, unless TWRA or NRCS has one I can borrow. I only have three small fields - two are planned for pollinators and then the dove field. Would spraying, tilling, then broadcasting be effective? I'll also try and run electric out there to keep out the deer.
     
  5. Farm4wildlife

    Farm4wildlife Elite Refuge Member

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    Yes. Spraying then disking and broadcasting followed by a drag of some sort and a cultipacker would work. I would plan on spraying more than once however. Generally you will need to kill cool season plants, then do another round of spray right ahead of planting. If you are using a tiller you can probably kill early spring, then till several times as things sprout. However each time you till you will generally turn up another bank of weed seeds. This is why I prefer no til.

    So if you plan to till several times, might just spray once. You will need to be certain of the chemicals you are using and the residuals. I'd recommend a mix of glyphosate and tryclopyr.
     
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  6. Farm4wildlife

    Farm4wildlife Elite Refuge Member

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    I'd just go purchase a cheap 12v sprayer.

    If enrolling in equip they might want you to do invasive species management.
     
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  7. 50yearhunter

    50yearhunter Senior Refuge Member

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    The biggest thing you need to do ASAP is a soil test . The PH is likely very low and sunflowers or any crop that needs a lot of nitrogen will not do well without a lot more nitrogen than is normally required if ph is too low. Nitrogen is also the most expensive component of fertilizer. Lime takes quite a while to change the ph it works faster in the more expensive pelletized form but it still takes a while and is best worked in a few inches.
    I think you should disk plow whatever at least at first to reduce compaction. Then after year or two and with healthier soil go minimal or no till.

    The other thing you need to consider is Preemergent which also works better incorporated in the soil. This year if at all possible I would use clearfield variety . You can likely get this through local Turkey groups or dinners etc. The clearest brand spray will do yours a couple years for around $100 or little more and would do yours more than a year.

    You need to get started ASAP rain etc will greatly affect things. First get it mowed as low as possible and as soon as dry enough get the ground turned over. You may have to disc it 4or 5 times or more to get the surface fairly clean soil. Then like others say get it sprayed with every new round of growth when its low . Do not let it get thick and high or you won't be able to get the vegetation to break down quickly.

    If you can't get a soil test soon then go ahead and put out 1 ton an acre of lime ( you may well need 2 or 3 tons per acre) this a mount is safe to do and you will have a problem getting coop etc to spread it later when farmers get in full swing but they may require you to pay like its a full 26 ton load whether you buy that much or not. Maybe get a farmer near you to lime the plots . There are chemicals that will effectively increase ph quickly for about $80 or more per acre but no lasting benefit. At least the pelletized lime provides fairly quick and long term benefit the AG lime much cheaper takes many months to have much effect but lasts several years.

    Sunflowers in this/your area are best planted by April 15 th and certainly by May 15th to be dead and ready for dove season. I would NOT plant in strips plant the field solid and when mature bush a few wits at a time creating the rows You give the weeds etc a place to start if you don't and you will have less food. I hope you have open area around this field or low growth. The doves won't want to dive bomb down from over high trees though you will get some. You can do a 1 acre dove field but 2-4 acres would be better.

    Another idea you might consider that I do is plant crop in the center of the field where sun etc is better and more consistent. Plant clover etc around the outside say 15-20 yards of the field . It does pretty well in less sun and keeps you from having to fight the inevitable ingrowth around the edges and tree limbs with your tractor etc. A very cheap preemerge though not a do all but adequate if you use clearfield is generic treflan and also does a great job on your lawn as crabgrass preventative. It does stain yellow easily though. Your local Coop etc is usually a good source of advice but may not have some of the things you need in small quantities.

    Ever thought of Sesame seed essentially same process as Sunflower but no clearfield etc. Sesameed seed is not eaten by deer. Dove love it and essentially no one around here grows it and you can mix varieties that mature at different rates for ongoing food source.

    Deer will eat Sunflowers much more readily than I thought they would and let me clue you in an electric fence by itself will not keep all of them out for long! I have tried the tape with chemicals like wintergreen and hydrogen sulfide etc with mixed results and requires spraying the tape every week or two for other plants. What a partner discovered and it has worked well for couple years now is an electric fence with a separate tape fence few feet in with no spray on it . Apparently the deer see this 3 d setup and don't want to jump it. I am sure you can find info on this from other sites on quality deer management.

    So
    1. MOW LOW NOW
    2.Keep it mowed
    3. Turn dirt over to incorporate debris and smooth as possible.
    4. get lime in ASAP
    5. Go back mid to late march turn over again and smooth
    6. Premerge before smooth final time and work preemerge in with the smoothing process(remember this will affect crops plantings for several months you could just use clearcast) don't disturb ground after premiere
    7. Put out fertilizer go by the test or slow release 15-15-15 I would use 150lbs per acre this year at least
    8. Smooth soil with minimal till as possible to incorporate fertilizer preemerge a couple inches
    9. Plant the Sunflowers generally within a week or two after fertilizer etc.
    10. Spray clearclast at appropriate leaf stage of sunflower. Consider overspray with dilute nitogen for a quick growth spurt.
    11. If you plant in rows or you can essentially make rows if needed for inadequate weed control by cultivating.
    12. Sit back after all that and enjoy the view and decide if its worth it:grvn

    Don't take this for gospel especially amounts lime and fertilizer etc.

    Good Luck with your new project.
     
  8. Randy Hoffman

    Randy Hoffman New Member

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    With 3 acres of field and most of will have little work after planted in pollinators I would go with a 30 HP tractor used 4WD with a loader and sprayer and 4wheeler would be handy.Check out deerhunterforum.com or all things habitat.com great sites also for habitat
     

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