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Mar 25th, 2012
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The ongoing food plot story #6900305
09/27/17 04:00 AM
09/27/17 04:00 AM
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OK, hope to make this thread an ongoing experiment in the food plotting on my place. I am not experienced, have no history of doing this, and have only read on multiple sources of what other folks have done, so bear with me, feel free to ask questions or comment or give tips.

My first year food plotting: 2017 fall season

materials: rented zero turn mower, a rented tractor with rotary tiller, a 6x8 drag/spike/chain harrow, a pull behind 31 gal sprayer, and a seed spreader (capacity approx 25#).

area in plot: 1 acre with some small tree islands; 1/2 acre; 1/3 acre with adjacent 1/8 acre 'throw and go'; 1/4 acre 'throw and go'. total in plot approx 2.5 acres. Property is 400 acres so ultimately I would like to have between 25-40 acres in cultivation of some sort. It will take some time to get there. Baby steps. I will need some serious equipment to get to that level...baby steps.

Seed used: whitetail institute whitetail oats as nurse crop for all plots other than no till sections
1 acre plot got whitetail institute double cross
1/2 acre plot got whitetail institute edge
1/3 acre plot got whitetail institute extreme
no till plots got pennington rack master texas complete


Fertilizer used was 17-17-17 from local feed store (they provided a free ground driven buggy cart) for all plots except 1/2 acre and 1/4 acre no till plot. I ran the fertilizer heavy from the buggy so I ran out. Planned on 400#/acre but probably got closer to 600#/acre and then had to use my spreader for 150# 13-13-13 on the 1/3 acre plot and 50# on the 1/4 acre plot.



1 acre plot
This was after mowing down, then two weeks later spraying with glyphosphate. After waiting two weeks, I came in and used the tractor with rotary tiller to turn some dirt and get a soil bed. It was super dry so my effort wasn't great but it did create a soil bed.
I then spread fertilizer and then seeded the oats. I then ran my drag harrow over the ground to work the fertilizer and oats in the soil a bit. I then spread the double cross and hoped for rain.

the drag harrow did a good job of stirring up the dirt and burying the oats and fertilizer as shown from the top of the picture (dragged area) compared to the bottom of the picture (non-dragged area with all the oats and fertilizer still visible)

Repeat process for each of the other "till" plots.


I was asked by a member to try a no till 'throw ad go' plot for experimentation sake....why not. Aside, from the tiller I rented, I simply used equipment available to anyone with a truck or atv/utv, so I figured this would be a good trial as I have a few other spots that would be amenable to such a no tractor plot. I did one of these right next to the 1/3 acre plot to get an idea if it really does make a difference and is the ground prep worth it. (I would post pictures but they keep turning out upside down despite me editing them to be upright)
The other throw and go plot was in a very deer rich area, but would be tough to get a tractor back to with implements, so it is a perfect place for a throw and go plot. Sprayed both with gly, then ran the drag harrow through it several times to get the dirt worked and try to get some of the grass knocked down.

I know it is upside down, but wanted to show what spraying, then dragging a spike harrow through would do. The native grass in this area is 3-4 feet tall. The spray did a good job but dragging made a difference too. Spread the fertilizer and then spread seed. I seeded heavy for the size, and hope to get a good take. The bag of seed used (pennington rack master texas complete) was for a total of 1/2 acre, so it wasn't double the seed rate, but it was a little heavier than recommended.

Couple take aways so far from my experience:
1. a mower is a lousy way to mow native grass/pasture. A tractor would shred the area much quicker and more effortless.
2. a tractor with a cab would be a huge plus. I rented an open station tractor and aside from getting completely covered in dirt, I was blowing dirt out of my nose for two days after using the tiller. Sure, the dryness had a lot to do with it, but a tractor with cab would mitigate the issue altogether.
3. Seed rates are misleading and you almost need to double the actual seed amount to a given acreage. Maybe I am just an aggressive seeder and I am sure it had a lot to do with my inexperience using a seed spreader, but especially with mixes that had larger seed mixed with small seed, in order to get the seed to flow I had to open the seeder up and it allowed way too much seed to fall causing the seed to run out too quickly.
4. Rain. Rain. Rain. Now that the seed is out, I need rain. I initially planned on seeding this thursday, but with the changing weather patterns I saw rain coming before that so i jumped on the opportunity to get it done prior to my plans.


5. I don't know why pictures won't upload correctly. I can't even get them to upload from my phone anymore (iOS 11 glitch?). So once I figure out how to upload pictures, I can send more...

6. I will update as growth/use/kills take place with comparisons between all the plots given as well.

Re: The ongoing food plot story [Re: Texas buckeye] #6900312
09/27/17 04:08 AM
09/27/17 04:08 AM
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Nice looking forward to the pics to come


Originally Posted by bill oxner
I plowed mules.
Originally Posted by Roll-Tide
I did build a cabin. Aka the brokeback shack.

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Re: The ongoing food plot story [Re: Texas buckeye] #6900314
09/27/17 04:09 AM
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Just in case anyone wants to know whats I planted

Seed blends used (would post picture but they turn sideways and upside down...annoying)

WI Double cross: 30% alex berseem clover, 10% landino clover, 10% landino clover (different strain), 9% landino clover (yet another strain), remaining % made up of rape, kale, turnip.

WI Edge: 39% Sainfoin, 21.6% Persist burnet, 8.5% alfalfa, 6% alex berseem clover, 5% triticale, 1.3% chicory.

WI Extreme: 64% persist burnet, 9% alex berseem clover, 5.25% chicory, 3% wheat

WI oats: 89% oats, 9% triticale

Pennington Texas Complete: 39% wheat, 25% oats, 15% austrian winter peas, 4% crimson clover, 4% turnip, 4% rape

Re: The ongoing food plot story [Re: Texas buckeye] #6900560
09/27/17 01:49 PM
09/27/17 01:49 PM
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Where abouts is this located?

Re: The ongoing food plot story [Re: oldoak2000] #6900628
09/27/17 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted By: oldoak2000
Where abouts is this located?


Straight north on 35 up just a smidge past Ardmore Oklahoma.

Re: The ongoing food plot story [Re: Texas buckeye] #6901597
09/28/17 01:59 AM
09/28/17 01:59 AM
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Love this thread already. Please keep us posted on how everything turns out. If you don't mind me asking. How much did all the rented materials cost?

Re: The ongoing food plot story [Re: Texas buckeye] #6901659
09/28/17 02:43 AM
09/28/17 02:43 AM
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definitely curious to see this progress. thanks for letting us in on this.

Re: The ongoing food plot story [Re: HVILLE HNTR] #6901743
09/28/17 04:34 AM
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Originally Posted By: HVILLE HNTR
Love this thread already. Please keep us posted on how everything turns out. If you don't mind me asking. How much did all the rented materials cost?


The mower was a diesel kubota 60 inch zero turn and ran around 175 plus the trailer rental was 210.

The tractor was a kubota 3560 with a 50 inch rotary tiller and combined were 209 with trailer.

I rent them for a weekend which includes 8 hours of use. This allows me to take them up, get some work done and then return them Monday am early.

All were rented from zimmerer kubota Fort Worth.

I donít have a place to keep any equipment so thatís why I am renting right now, hope to have that remedied by spring, but hurricane Harvey may steal all my workers and supplies

Last edited by Texas buckeye; 09/28/17 04:35 AM.
Re: The ongoing food plot story [Re: Texas buckeye] #6902123
09/28/17 03:55 PM
09/28/17 03:55 PM
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It has been a while and I meant to use the Imperial White products this year, just did not get off my butt and order it, please let us know how they produce. Fields look good so far up

When you get a pic that flips, it is because it is too vertically tall, keep cropping down.



Last edited by Stub; 09/28/17 03:59 PM.

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Re: The ongoing food plot story [Re: Texas buckeye] #6902150
09/28/17 04:12 PM
09/28/17 04:12 PM
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Following with interest to learn - I have never planted a plot and am very interested to see how things work out for you.

Re: The ongoing food plot story [Re: Texas buckeye] #6902556
09/28/17 09:11 PM
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I am worried my seed may have been floated off. Had some solid rain Monday after planting, Tuesday some
Mild rain, Wednesday some rain, and today a deluge....I hope the seed got down in the dirt after the couple of decent light rains the previous days. Time will tell.

Re: The ongoing food plot story [Re: Texas buckeye] #6902701
09/29/17 12:01 AM
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Well the good news is it appears the ground absorbs water at my place. Standing water is almost all gone just a few hours after rain stopped, just hope the seed is still there.

Will post pics to see how everything grows up. Should know by early next week.

Re: The ongoing food plot story [Re: Texas buckeye] #6902713
09/29/17 12:15 AM
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Re: The ongoing food plot story [Re: Texas buckeye] #6903016
09/29/17 09:20 AM
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Re: The ongoing food plot story [Re: Texas buckeye] #6903085
09/29/17 12:52 PM
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I wish it would rain on our place........I'm in Live Oak county in Three Rivers...........I've planted a few times and never got rain until late November........waste of money for me..........good to see someone is getting some rain.

Re: The ongoing food plot story [Re: Texas buckeye] #6906039
10/02/17 06:58 PM
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Well it appears all isnít lost yet...I got a pic last night that showed plenty of green coming up at the plot above that was flooded pretty good on Thursday. Donít know what is coming up just yet, plan to update with pics and progress reports this next weekend when I get up there, but for now, fingers crossed.

I hope it isnít all wheat coming up and the other seed got good germination too.

Re: The ongoing food plot story [Re: Texas buckeye] #6906497
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It is amazing to me the difference lighting makes in the visibility of sprouts on camera.

Last edited by Texas buckeye; 10/02/17 11:59 PM.
Re: The ongoing food plot story [Re: Texas buckeye] #6907022
10/03/17 12:50 PM
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Heck yeah! Looking good.

Re: The ongoing food plot story [Re: Texas buckeye] #6907272
10/03/17 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted By: Texas buckeye

It is amazing to me the difference lighting makes in the visibility of sprouts on camera.


Them deer are saying 'Hurry up and GROW!' - heh heh heh

Re: The ongoing food plot story [Re: Texas buckeye] #6915684
10/10/17 06:10 PM
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OK quick update about the plots. They all came up, the biggest one (double cross plot) has some sign of pooling of seed from heavy rain, but the other two didnít have as much and seem pretty uniform. Need some rain on them but overall they are working and deer are using them. Sat at the double cross plot last night and had several doe come in and eat for over 30 minutes. Been getting good pics of deer at the smallest plot (extreme) and it is the best growth so far. The middle-sized plot (edge) has lots of tracks through it and cut leaves so I know it is getting hit just donít know how much or when as no one has sat there yet.

The no till plots are doing surprisingly well. Both plots have visible growth through the stubbly uncut native grass. The plot next to ya extreme plot is growing well. The other plot of on itís own isnít quite as robust but it is showing good signs of use and growth. Overall I would say the only thing I could have done different is mowed the native grass rather than just spraying and using the drag to flatten the grass.

Double cross plot, the areas of bare ground where the seed got pooled and floated a bit. This is more obvious in other areas, but this part was where the deer ate from when I hunted last night as it is the best growth in the plot.


Extreme plot, pretty even growth across the plot. See the pics a couple posts ago to see what the water looked like with the heavy rains we got. I think the level ground here prevented a lot of pooling of seed.


Edge plot. Not terrible pooling and pretty good growth. I am anxious to see this one as it grows.



Last edited by Texas buckeye; 10/10/17 06:17 PM.
Re: The ongoing food plot story [Re: Texas buckeye] #6915708
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No till plots:
First two pics are from same plot, just different views. Can see some good growth and some clumped growth, but it is green and growing. So that's good.



Stand alone plot. A little less vigorous growth but still some good greenery poking through.



All seed were planted sept 25, rain followed within a day or less. So this is Essentially two weeks growth.

Re: The ongoing food plot story [Re: Texas buckeye] #6915740
10/10/17 07:17 PM
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And as I am writing this:



That's the camera overlooking the extreme plot.

Last edited by Texas buckeye; 10/10/17 07:18 PM.
Re: The ongoing food plot story [Re: Texas buckeye] #6915743
10/10/17 07:19 PM
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I did not put in exclusion cages. If I think about it I may do that in the near future. Would answer the question of how much are the plots getting grazed, but didn't do it, yet.

One other thing I may do that Whitetail Institute recommends is putting on about 100#/acre of 34-0-0 fertilizer after about 3045 days. If we get some decent rain between now and then I may go ahead and do something similar.

I also may get some clover seed mix and spread a little in the double cross plot just to thicken it up in the pooled areas. Try to get maximal greenery.

Last edited by Texas buckeye; 10/10/17 07:32 PM.
Re: The ongoing food plot story [Re: Texas buckeye] #6936857
10/28/17 03:24 PM
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Nice frost this am. Got the deer out and moving. Of course I wasnít there. Food plot is looking good. The freeze might kill off some of the native forbs and make the plots even more attractive.

Re: The ongoing food plot story [Re: Texas buckeye] #6936861
10/28/17 03:26 PM
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Next time I am out I will snap some pics of the throw and go plots. They were looking good and if somemof the native green dies back they will really stand out.

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