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Old 08-17-2020, 08:21 PM   #1
Arrowsmith
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Default S.E. Iowa Micro Food Plots

After finishing our house/shop I finally have a little more time for farm chores. Last year l planted a very small cereal rye food plot and it did well and deer grazed it all winter.

We are very fortunate that our neighbors are farmers. We have soy beans, corn, alfalfa and clover basically surrounding our farm. We have some of the best timber in the area which helps hold the deer. Even though this all sounds great I think I can improve on it. The North Fabius River flows through the middle of our ground. This river bottom is a travel corridor and the soil is very good. The Corn Suitability Rated is 90+.

We have a lot of deer that move thru our place and I will say that during the rut it's awesome. You never know what will show up. With all this being said I want to plant more small plots (our farm is 63 acres).

The first picture is the small winter rye plot from last year. I didn't get this plot planted until after October 1st. I was surprised it did so well. The other pictures are some of my future food plots and some of my neighbors corn, beans and alfalfa/clover fields that adjoin our farm.

I plan to plant a mixture of winter wheat and winter rye in 4 of the small food plots. Yesterday I sprayed a 300'x35' area that I plan to plant a Brassica mix that contains radish, turnip, milo, and I think some clover or rye.

I would appreciate any suggestions from you all.

Here are some videos of the areas that I am going plant.

https://youtu.be/PKNZtf7UhMQ

https://youtu.be/GVW2a30SybE

https://youtu.be/hvIMy6AVrvg

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Old 08-19-2020, 04:31 PM   #2
Clintk
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Beautiful piece of land! Look forward to your live hunts this year
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Old 08-19-2020, 04:45 PM   #3
Low Fence
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Looks good

Why milo in a fall plot?
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Old 08-19-2020, 04:54 PM   #4
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Looks awesome! What part of Iowa?
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Old 08-19-2020, 08:58 PM   #5
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How’s your tractor doing with that workload? I’m looking and trying to decide what size I want.
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Old 08-19-2020, 09:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Low Fence View Post
Looks good

Why milo in a fall plot?
I was wrong on the milo. This is the mix that I am getting from the Amish seed dealer. I went by his place today, but he was out. He has another delivery coming this week.

https://www.prairiecreekseed.com/Lib...on%20Combo.pdf

The Iowa DNR does plant milo/sorghum on some of the WMAs up here. They leave it standing and it looks like it gets hit pretty hard by the deer.

I also ordered this brassica mix today.

https://www.northwoodswhitetails.com...rassica-blend/

I am kinda late on the brassica mixes for this part of the country. It has really been dry here. We had some rain Monday before last when the big storm came thru. No more rain is in the forecast until the end of next week. We have real heavy dew up here, but as dry as it I don't think that is enough to germinate the seed.

I don't have a lot of equipment. I am just going to rough up the thatch with the teeth on my box blade where I have sprayed/mowed and broadcast the seed. I am not worried about the winter rye. I have got some time on the rye plus it will grow pretty much anywhere. I didn't get my little rye plot in until early October last year. I let it go to seed this spring and mowed it down.
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Old 08-19-2020, 09:23 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by JTCinDFW View Post
Looks awesome! What part of Iowa?
Far south. We are 4 miles from the Iowa/Missouri state line between Bloomfield and Moulton.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grayson View Post
Hows your tractor doing with that workload? Im looking and trying to decide what size I want.
It is doing great. It is pretty strong for its size. I have been shredding a lot of multifloral rose (wild rose) with the rotary cutter. I have also been digging up a lot of small sappling hedge trees (Bois d Ark) and Honey Locust. I have a Piranha Toothbar ordered for it. The reviews claim that it makes the little tractors front end loader much more efficient.

https://www.bxpanded.com/piranha-toothbar

This guy has a lot of good videos on the B2601


Hey. I have that buck from Hagerman that hung out on your place hanging in my shop.
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Old 08-19-2020, 09:27 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Clintk View Post
Beautiful piece of land! Look forward to your live hunts this year
I will update on the progress of my little food plots and I will do a season long live hunt like last year. I am probably not going to start hunting until about October 20th, but I will hunt pretty much everyday after that.
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Old 09-01-2020, 03:32 PM   #9
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We have been experiencing a bad drought here in S.E. Iowa. For most of August every time rain was forecast it did not happen.

The forecast looked good for today so yesterday I planted the cool season combo and brassica mix. Fortunately we got almost an inch of rain this morning. I sprayed glyphosate about 2 weeks ago. I don't have a lot of equipment. I just scarified the thatch, broadcast the seed, and dragged it in.

I planted 45 lbs of the cool season combo, and about 5 lbs of brassica mix. I have 100 lbs of cereal rye that I am going to plant in about 2 weeks if these plots fail or in some other areas if these plots germinate.

We are supposed to get more rain tonight.

https://www.prairiecreekseed.c...end...on%20Combo.pdf

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Last edited by Arrowsmith; 09-01-2020 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 09-09-2020, 08:16 PM   #10
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I finally planted around the first of last week. I am starting to get some germination. We have been getting some awesome rain the last two days. Temps have been awesome too.

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Old 09-09-2020, 08:43 PM   #11
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I’ve never had deer eat any brassicas down here, but the guys up north tell a different story. From all accounts, they are really gonna hit those after it turns cold. Rye and wheat goes without saying. I think you have a good plan !
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Old 09-10-2020, 08:26 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Drycreek3189 View Post
Ive never had deer eat any brassicas down here, but the guys up north tell a different story. From all accounts, they are really gonna hit those after it turns cold. Rye and wheat goes without saying. I think you have a good plan !
I am not sure what all is coming up. The oats are easy to identify. The Prairie Creek Seed cool season blend that I planted has these seeds:

Winter Cereal Rye
Winter Triticale
Oats
Pick Axe Radish
Barkant Turnip
Barsica Rapeseed
Red Clover
Crimson Clover
Hairy Vetch

The Sweet Feast Brassica Blend has:

forage rape
kale
tillage radish
and 3 varieties of turnips

I have 3 more bushels (the Amish seed dealer sells by the bushel) of organic cereal rye that I am going to broadcast on any bare spots in about two weeks.
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Old 09-10-2020, 09:02 AM   #13
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I have always had good luck with leaving a layer of thatch/dried straw then broadcasting small seed (clovers, radish's, turnip's etc etc) into it.

I will be surprised if you have many bare spots in two weeks.

Your grounds look great and looking forward to your season updates.

Rwc
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Old 09-17-2020, 08:52 PM   #14
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Food plot progress. My micro plots are starting to fill in nicely. I have 100 lbs of winter rye and 50 lbs of winter wheat that I am going to fill in any bare spots and around the edges of some of my brassica plots. I have 250 lbs of fertilizer that I am going to spread before the next rain. Most of the beans in our area are turning yellow and brown. My neighbors beans are still green and the deer are in them every evening.

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Old 09-18-2020, 04:59 AM   #15
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I tried the whole brassica "thing" for 2-3 years and grew outstanding purple top turnips and daikon radish

My family and friends loved the turnips

Deer?..........not so much

bill
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Old 09-18-2020, 08:56 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by TreeDaddy View Post
I tried the whole brassica "thing" for 2-3 years and grew outstanding purple top turnips and daikon radish

My family and friends loved the turnips

Deer?..........not so much

bill
The deer hammer them here in Iowa. They will eat all the tops then dig up and eat the turnips after they freeze. The cool season mix that I planted is actually about 70% cereal grains and clover and 30% brassicas. By the end of September I will also have broadcast 150 lbs of winter rye and 50 lbs of winter wheat.

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Old 09-25-2020, 08:14 PM   #17
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I added another nice size food plot this week.

We installed a drainage basin or retention pond... whatever you want to call it. I had a creek drainage that was eating it's way across my pasture. We installed 40 feet of 36" HDPE culvert with a 6' riser. We took down several Honey Locust and Willows along the creek. When we created the basin we ended up clearing about an acre. I was going to seed the area for erosion control so I decided I might as well make it a food plot.

I fine graded it, harrowed it, broadcast 3 bushels of organic cereal rye and harrowed it again today. It is supposed to rain Sunday and Monday. It should make a nice food plot.

Click on the link below for a video of the drainage basin/food plot video.

https://youtu.be/gkhbkjnS9W0

[/url]

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Last edited by Arrowsmith; 09-25-2020 at 08:33 PM.
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Old 09-26-2020, 09:03 PM   #18
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You just stepped up your game a tad.

Rwc
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Old 09-27-2020, 09:02 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rwc View Post
You just stepped up your game a tad.

Rwc
I got another addition to the equipment arsenal today.

One of my archery friends up here brought me this beast this morning. It will really help me expand my plots going into next year.

I could not believe the little Kubota could lift it, but it handles it well. It's is an old John Deere disc that was rebuilt many years ago.

My friend said it had been sitting in his pasture for years. He said it might as well be sitting in ours.

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Old 09-28-2020, 10:18 AM   #20
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Yes sir, that will make short work of your plots. I am very surprised your tractor can handle it also.

Best of luck to you this season.

Rwc
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Old 10-06-2020, 06:00 PM   #21
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My food plots are filling in pretty good. Cereal grains and brassica mix.

And getting some results.

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Old 10-07-2020, 07:42 AM   #22
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Great update!
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Old 10-09-2020, 12:14 AM   #23
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Looking good -
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Old 10-09-2020, 10:37 AM   #24
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Looks great!
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Old 10-09-2020, 03:07 PM   #25
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Looking good! Nice typical buck too!
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Old 10-09-2020, 08:51 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by SFAbowhunter View Post
Looking good! Nice typical buck too!
Thanks. The food plots are getting thicker and taller each day. There is still a lot of standing corn, soy beans and clover around so the food plots are not getting grazed down. I pulled the food plot card yesterday and that buck was back on the 7th. It looks like he is making the rounds about once a week. This is about the time last year when he disappeared. I am not planning on shooting him....if I even see him..... I have only had one brief encounter with him one time last year at last light one day.

I think he is 4.5. I think he could be really good at 5.5. There will be other shooters to hunt from late October into early November.
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Old 10-09-2020, 09:09 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arrowsmith View Post
Thanks. The food plots are getting thicker and taller each day. There is still a lot of standing corn, soy beans and clover around so the food plots are not getting grazed down. I pulled the food plot card yesterday and that buck was back on the 7th. It looks like he is making the rounds about once a week. This is about the time last year when he disappeared. I am not planning on shooting him....if I even see him..... I have only had one brief encounter with him one time last year at last light one day.

I think he is 4.5. I think he could be really good at 5.5. There will be other shooters to hunt from late October into early November.

Nice! Im betting once those beans turn brown and the corn is picked, theyll be hitting your plots harder.


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