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Old 02-09-2019, 10:49 PM   #1
tdwinklr
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Who's converted either their livestock fields, hay fields, or crops back to native grasses for wildlife? This will be part of my wildlife mgmt plan, supposedly it takes a couple years to see results, grass-wise.
I would think keeping the weeds down and getting enough rain would be the biggest problems ??
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Old 02-09-2019, 11:28 PM   #2
tex4k
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Check out the Savory Institute, don't know a lot about their methods, just seen some videos of people that used their methods and they were impressive.
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Old 02-10-2019, 12:53 AM   #3
Shurshot
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We have been clearing our black brush and guajillo for a few years now. We have lots of it. A few years ago we bought a gyro forestry machine a few years ago. We clear the brush and leave it. It takes a year before we see any native grass where we cleared but it comes in more and more every year.
Clear what you donít want and the other stuff will come back.


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Old 02-11-2019, 09:20 AM   #4
elgato
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Just read Gabe Browns book Dirt to Soil. you might find it helpful
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:07 PM   #5
El Paisano
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I started that project about 3 years ago on my place in east Texas and a friend in Arkansas is also doing it on his place with the aid of the Game and Fish Commission.
A lot of what you have to do depends on the history of your place.
If your place has been in non-native grasses, such as Bermuda, bahia, etc., you will first have to kill everything on it to keep it from overwhelming your newly-seeded native grasses.
If your place has just grown up, then there is a good chance that you still have native grass seed in the seed bank in the ground. If so, then brush management may be all your need to do, and expose the ground to the sun to get new grass started.
In either case, it will take 2 or 3 years to get them going good. You don't want to mow or burn for the first couple of years.
On my east Texas place, it was in timber since before the introduction of Bermuda and other non-native species. On the last thinning, I had them take more than usual to open up canopy to get more sun to the ground. I was happy to see native grasses come up on their own in those areas. (Native grass seed is very expensive)
On a 3 or 4 acre area that I had cleared and dozed, I was afraid that the seed bank had been compromised by the movement of the soil. I planted sections of that with a native seed mix.

Once you get it established, maintain it to keep the woody plants from taking over again. I like prescribed burning myself.
Going back to native can be a lot of work and cost, but I think it is well worth it. Unfortunately, I had some iron ore brought in for road base and I recently found out that it had some sand burr and Bermuda in it. I am burning those areas and going to try to burn the seed with urea to kill it before it takes hold.
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:14 PM   #6
Drycreek3189
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What are the benefits of native grasses for deer, if any ?
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:16 PM   #7
unclefish
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I planted Alamo Switchgrass on my place to grow a tall screen to shield my food plots from view of the neighbors. It took 2-3 years but it filled in nicely and grew to 7-8 feet tall...very impressive stuff.

Alot of the Native Warm Season Grasses (NWSG) like Switchgrass have a very hard seed coating that requires planting in the fall. The freezing/thawing action in winter helps erode the hard seed coat so planting in the fall is best.
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:30 PM   #8
Dushon
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When I started working on the ranch I work at in Ď11 thatís one of the first things I implemented. We burn a 1/3 of the place a year and it helps with brush control and promotes native grasses all at once. Highly recommend burning. We tried plowing/planting but never had much luck.


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Old 02-11-2019, 01:10 PM   #9
tdwinklr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drycreek3189 View Post
What are the benefits of native grasses for deer, if any ?
I'm just needing to convert over for general wildlife in order to fulfill my wildlife mgmt tax exemption since the previous owner decided to do NOTHING with the land and thus pay high taxes.
I agree strongly on the prescribed burning as well. Kills out all the briars, undergrowth, pests, etc. and allows the land to start over, hopefully with native stuff as well. The native grasses provides cover for most wildlife and food for others, and many types of birds and pollinators.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:11 PM   #10
tdwinklr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dushon View Post
When I started working on the ranch I work at in Ď11 thatís one of the first things I implemented. We burn a 1/3 of the place a year and it helps with brush control and promotes native grasses all at once. Highly recommend burning. We tried plowing/planting but never had much luck.


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Old 02-11-2019, 01:12 PM   #11
tdwinklr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unclefish View Post
I planted Alamo Switchgrass on my place to grow a tall screen to shield my food plots from view of the neighbors. It took 2-3 years but it filled in nicely and grew to 7-8 feet tall...very impressive stuff.

Alot of the Native Warm Season Grasses (NWSG) like Switchgrass have a very hard seed coating that requires planting in the fall. The freezing/thawing action in winter helps erode the hard seed coat so planting in the fall is best.
didn't realize it got that tall..?? I know the native mixes I've looked at will have this in it. Are there types of switchgrass that are shorter?
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:23 PM   #12
El Paisano
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drycreek3189 View Post
What are the benefits of native grasses for deer, if any ?
A good native grass mix will contain plants that deer browse on, but I am not doing it for the deer. I am doing to get the wildlife diversity that used to be there. I am surrounded by thousands of acres that deer can live on. I was to see and hear quail and all kinds of other animals, not just deer.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:25 PM   #13
Puncher51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdwinklr View Post
didn't realize it got that tall..?? I know the native mixes I've looked at will have this in it. Are there types of switchgrass that are shorter?
Yes. Blackwell switchgrass only gets 3-4 foot tall. It also isnít as much of a bunchgrass as Alamo.
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Old Yesterday, 05:37 PM   #14
BrokenJ
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I have helped take a costal field to native, took 3 years. But some fantastic quail hunting in an area that was worthless to wildlife 3 years before.
We spray gly extra strong. Killed everything, burned field after everything died.
Sprayed it over the next year anytime we started to see grasses coming back.
Deep disc'ed the field twice then field cultivated to smooth it back out. Waited another 6 months or so and sprayed whatever grew back after that. Ran a field arerator or some call roller chopper with seed box on top to replant native seed mix. What Alamo switch, plains bristle, Indian grass, blue panic, side oats, ect. And let nature do the rest. Totally different pasture, only thing lacking is brush that will take time to find its way back in so we ran some strips of bundle flower in to give it some taller cover and diversity.
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