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Old 10-05-2017, 10:28 AM   #1
txarcher
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Default Large Food Plot Project I'm Working On-Long Read

I work for Bamert Seed Co. and was asked by a customer back in the summer for some help getting his food plots established. This ranch is located in the Edwards Plateau Region and that being said, it is a pretty unique project.

The landowner has approximately 400 acres of cultivated farm land, 100 acres of which are under a center-pivot sprinkler. The irrigation enabled us to plant some species that I might not recommend for that region under strictly dryland practices.

For the past couple of years, the landowner has been planting hard red winter wheat seed, purchased from the feed store, and has not been pleased with the stands that he has had. The main problem has been that he has so many animals (whitetail, axis, blackbuck), that they have bitten the wheat off at the ground as soon as it would come up (a problem that we would all like to have, but a problem nonetheless).

In July, he asked me to meet him at the ranch to come up with a plan to get him a better stand so that he could have food plots that the deer can benefit from throughout the winter. We drove around the place , assessed the situation, and came up with a plan to plant triticale instead of wheat on all of the non-irrigated acreage to gain the advantage of faster growth and added winter hardiness. Additionally, we decided to plant it earlier than he was accustomed to in that part of the world, to try and take advantage of the native vegetation still being green and hopefully taking some of the grazing pressure off of the young triticale. We also decided to plant a fall food plot blend under the pivot in with the idea of being able to get highly palatable forage established, with relative certainty, that would also take grazing pressure off of the young triticale in the event of an extended dry spell.

We shipped him the seed the last week of August and he started planting on labor day weekend. He had done a great job of getting the weeds under control and prepping the fields.
http://discussions.texasbowhunter.co...1&d=1507216751
http://discussions.texasbowhunter.co...1&d=1507216751
http://discussions.texasbowhunter.co...1&d=1507216751

A few days after he finished planting, he got some good rain and he is really excited at how good the plots are looking.
http://discussions.texasbowhunter.co...1&d=1507217204
http://discussions.texasbowhunter.co...1&d=1507217204
http://discussions.texasbowhunter.co...ttachment.php?
attachmentid=875959&stc=1&d=1507217204
http://discussions.texasbowhunter.co...1&d=1507217204
http://discussions.texasbowhunter.co...1&d=1507217204

I really enjoy helping customers come up with solutions to problems and I'm excited to see how these plots continue to do throughout the winter and into the spring!
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Old 10-05-2017, 10:37 AM   #2
kyleseipp
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Nice work. I am with you on this "The main problem has been that he has so many animals (whitetail, axis, blackbuck), that they have bitten the wheat off at the ground as soon as it would come up "... I could deal with that problem...

Thats a heck of an irrigation setup for a plot too.
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Old 10-05-2017, 10:44 AM   #3
txarcher
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Nice work. I am with you on this "The main problem has been that he has so many animals (whitetail, axis, blackbuck), that they have bitten the wheat off at the ground as soon as it would come up "... I could deal with that problem...

Thats a heck of an irrigation setup for a plot too.
Yes sir, it is. That sprinkler was on the place when the current landowner bought it. I'm sure that it was originally put in for watering a hay crop, but my customer has no interest in trying to make a living with agriculture so he has the luxury of using it to water deer feed. It is certainly not your "garden variety" food plot situation. (pun intended)
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Old 10-05-2017, 10:48 AM   #4
SFAbowhunter
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Cool project. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 10-05-2017, 12:39 PM   #5
bgleaton
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What kind of plot mixture would you recommend for that part of the state (Edwards Plateau) without any access to water (dryland farming)? We planted a mixture of elbon rye, wheat and oats this year and top seeded some of the silver river clover to see how it does.

Do you recommend planting any of the native forbs like bush sunflower, engelmann daisy, etc.?
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Old 10-05-2017, 01:45 PM   #6
txarcher
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What kind of plot mixture would you recommend for that part of the state (Edwards Plateau) without any access to water (dryland farming)? We planted a mixture of elbon rye, wheat and oats this year and top seeded some of the silver river clover to see how it does.

Do you recommend planting any of the native forbs like bush sunflower, engelmann daisy, etc.?
I tend to be pretty conservative when it comes to selecting species in areas where rainfall or lack thereof is a likely factor. I would say that you would be hard pressed to find a better mix of annual cereal grains than what you used this year, as they all do well with less than 25" of annual rainfall. If I were to tweak it any, I would substitute triticale for the rye. Trit is a hybrid of winter wheat and rye, so you get a plant that is more palatable than rye and more winter hardy than wheat. In Menard, you're not in any real danger of the cold killing wheat, but trit will continue to grow in colder weather that will cause wheat to go dormant.

I don't think that you'd be happy putting Bush Sunflower in fall plot, as it is a warm season plant and you wouldn't get much growth, if any, before the shorter days and colder temps got to it. Engelmann Daisy is a cool season plant and deer really like it, but I don't know that you'd want to put a perennial in your annual mix. Perennial forb seed is typically more expensive than annuals and you'd only be getting one season out of it. If you have some fencelines around the plot that don't get plowed or shredded, they could be great places to introduce those forbs.
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Old 10-05-2017, 04:59 PM   #7
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Thanks for your input. I was talking about reseeding the native forbs (bush sunflower, engelmann daisy, etc.) in spring time in different openings/fields for deer since they are pretty resilient plants. I was asking about your thoughts on how they perform when seeding them via broadcast to help improve native habitat.
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Old 10-05-2017, 05:49 PM   #8
txarcher
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Originally Posted by bgleaton View Post
Thanks for your input. I was talking about reseeding the native forbs (bush sunflower, engelmann daisy, etc.) in spring time in different openings/fields for deer since they are pretty resilient plants. I was asking about your thoughts on how they perform when seeding them via broadcast to help improve native habitat.


Oh, I'm sorry that I misunderstood. I think that overseeding forbs is a great idea! Illinois bundle flower, partridge pea, and purple prairie clover would be good ones to put in there too. Broadcasting can work great, but you'll typically want to put the seed out at a higher rate than you would need to if using a drill. If you have a tractor, TPWD has a couple of grass drills that they'll let you use, and if they have the manpower available, they'll even deliver it to you. There are some contingencies as far as what you're planting that they'll want to approve, but its free of charge.


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Old 10-06-2017, 07:50 AM   #9
bgleaton
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Wow, I had no idea about the seed drill. Is there someone in particular we should contact?
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Old 10-06-2017, 08:24 AM   #10
txarcher
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Wow, I had no idea about the seed drill. Is there someone in particular we should contact?
Not many people do know about it. Devin Erxleben in Brownwood would be a great place to start. His office number is (254)434-3184.

If you need any seed let me know. I'm going to Menard next weekend and will be glad to take it to you.
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