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Mar 25th, 2012
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Seeding Marathon! #7124342 03/27/18 12:23 PM
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On Sunday evening I finished an 8-day blitz of planting 10 acres in native grasses and 6 acres of food plots. I've been wondering if I would get it done or not as I've been running my wife and dad to doctor appoints for weeks (nothing local), but on the 17th I was told that I didn't need to drive anywhere until the 27th. I checked the weather, and it looked like there would be no rain until the 27th, but a very good chance after that, so I got busy.

The area to be planted in native grasses is my extended yard, from the highway up to and around the houses. Douglass King Seeds had suggested that I turn the soil back in October and plant a cover crop of oats that could be folded back into the ground as when I planted the natives. I think I posted a topic about this work. This area had been nothing but bahia, I was tired of mowing it and wanted something that tied into my work with The Nature Conservancy on the rest of my place. A bit of an intricate project, at least when dragging something in the ground, as I have water and electricity buried everywhere! Back when I had the work done, I specified a minimum of 24" below the surface, but I've had two contractors since, left unsupervised, did less, and that has led to some problems. Anyway, the native project is everything inside the white outlines.



The oats that came up were about 2' tall; I mowed them earlier this month.



I made a run up to Douglass King Seeds in SA, and picked up the seed mix, and used the LandPride seeder to put it in the ground. Before the seeding, I ran the Dirt Dog chisel plow through the stubble, then fertilized with 18-48-0 at 150/acre.







With the completion of that work, I moved right into the food plots. I had both Pogue's Spring Buck Buffet and WI's PowerPlant, similar products, so I blended them; 40 lbs of the Buck Buffet to 50% of PowerPlant. The mix would work out as follows.



Some of my senderos serve as fire breaks, so I take them to earth at the first of every year. These just needed the fertilizer and seed.



This plot had WI's Pure Attraction in it that was playing out, so I just mowed, fertilized and no-tilled the seed into the ground.



Plenty of goodies going back into the soil!



Total tractor time in the last eight days was 40 hours even. 19 hours with the native grasses and 21 with the food plots! I was tuckered out Monday but needed to clean both seeder and tractor.

This forum has been slow so I thought I would give you something to read. Now, I'm taking my dad to the VA Clinics up in AUS.


Re: Seeding Marathon! [Re: Ranch Dog] #7124352 03/27/18 12:30 PM
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nice work


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Re: Seeding Marathon! [Re: Ranch Dog] #7124409 03/27/18 01:16 PM
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Very nice work


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Re: Seeding Marathon! [Re: Ranch Dog] #7124532 03/27/18 03:21 PM
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Thanks, as I was leaving the ranch for Austin it had started to rain!


Re: Seeding Marathon! [Re: Ranch Dog] #7124742 03/27/18 05:55 PM
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up well done


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Re: Seeding Marathon! [Re: Ranch Dog] #7124904 03/27/18 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted By: Ranch Dog
Thanks, as I was leaving the ranch for Austin it had started to rain!
sounds like you timed it perfectly

Re: Seeding Marathon! [Re: Ranch Dog] #7124918 03/27/18 07:57 PM
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I wish I had that drop seeder. I had an old 50ís model brillion and sold it and still regret 18 years later

Re: Seeding Marathon! [Re: Ranch Dog] #7124919 03/27/18 07:57 PM
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I love seeing your progress and projects! Well done, sir!

As you may recall from our thread responses, we've been doing a lot of returns to native grasses and forbs at our place as well. Got 23 acres done last year. Working on creating firebreaks for the next step - controlled burns. My question is what are you using to create such nice firebreaks? Looks awesome! I know once you create them, maintenance shouldn't be as difficult...but for the preliminary work are you disking and then dragging/rolling? What's your go to for getting optimal breaks?


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Re: Seeding Marathon! [Re: BOBO the Clown] #7124921 03/27/18 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted By: BOBO the Clown
I wish I had that drop seeder. I had an old 50ís model brillion and sold it and still regret 18 years later


We have an older (probably 50's) JD Brillion that has been sitting for years that I'm looking to get back to working order this year. Can't wait! They are nice. Hoping ours hasn't sat too long

Last edited by George - w/ Map My Ranch; 03/27/18 07:59 PM.

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Re: Seeding Marathon! [Re: Ranch Dog] #7124958 03/27/18 08:43 PM
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How do you like the WI Pure Attraction? Also I thought about trying Power Plant for this spring, have you tried it?


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Re: Seeding Marathon! [Re: Ranch Dog] #7124960 03/27/18 08:48 PM
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Nice project! I'm working on a native grass project with the NRCS this week. Luckily, I am able to borrow a no-till drill from TPWD to drill in the seed. 10 acres of switch grass, indian grass, side oats gramma, big blue, little blue, maximillian sunflower and sprangletop.

Re: Seeding Marathon! [Re: Ranch Dog] #7125012 03/27/18 09:30 PM
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Thank you, guys, for you comments!

Originally Posted By: George - w/ Map My Ranch
My question is what are you using to create such nice firebreaks? Looks awesome! I know once you create them, maintenance shouldn't be as difficult...but for the preliminary work are you disking and then dragging/rolling? What's your go to for getting optimal breaks?

I started the breaks 13 years ago with a moldboard plow. Since then I disk them every year starting in late December as soil conditions permit. I pull a disk with a tooth harrow. I don't mind forbs/weeds coming up, but if grass appears, they get disced again. Honestly, they don't grow much of anything anymore unless I put it in the soil.



Even though some of the firebreaks are property fences, I going to start planting them in the Spring as food plots. As they play out at the end of the summer, I will reduce them to dirt to avoid fenceline hunters.

My next project is to plant the strip next to the fencelines in native grasses in late August and let them go in order to provide a barrier to the view into my place. The Natives can get up to 3' tall.

Oh, good luck on the Brillion rebuild!

Originally Posted By: Stub
How do you like the WI Pure Attraction? Also, I thought about trying Power Plant for this spring, have you tried it?

I've been using PowerPlant for 13 years, yes I like it. I've always had a good crop with it, but I also follow the fertilizer requirements. I used Pogue's Spring Buck Buffet while in Karnes County, about 30 miles west of me, and it did well. I've tried it a number of times here in DeWitt County, but I've had mixed results. I would say, mediocre to poor. I've followed Pogue's recommendation of not fertilizing but this year will be different as it received the same fertilizer the PowerPlant has. I like the sunn hemp in PowerPlant, excellent cover for quail and fawns plus its food & protein value. On the flipside, I like the LabLab in the Pogue offering. If I get a good crop this year from the Pogue with fertilizer I will probably start using it as it is local, a 30-minute drive, and $1.90/lb vs. the PowerPlant at $2.30/lb.


Re: Seeding Marathon! [Re: Ranch Dog] #7125128 03/27/18 11:44 PM
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You have done very well sir.

Re: Seeding Marathon! [Re: Ranch Dog] #7125231 03/28/18 01:00 AM
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Sweet. My soil temps have not reached warm enough to get the power plant in the ground yet, and it will be a bit before I can now as the plots will be mud pits now with all the rain they have received. But that will also give me a chance to spray them good before playing.

I did get two plots planted, one with extreme and one with chic magnet, really anxious to se how well they come up. Caged those so I will be able to see browse vs failure of plots.

So does your no till seeder handle soybeans well? Is that a extra box that needs to be ordered or is it part of the standard set up. Would really like to get to no till farming, but really want the ability to do soy beans, specifically power plant if it comes in good this year...

Re: Seeding Marathon! [Re: Texas buckeye] #7125440 03/28/18 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted By: Texas buckeye
So does your no till seeder handle soybeans well? Is that a extra box that needs to be ordered or is it part of the standard set up. Would really like to get to no till farming, but really want the ability to do soy beans, specifically power plant if it comes in good this year...


Both of the food plot mixes I used had soybeans in them, seeds went out without issue.



Above shows the three boxes on the NTS2507. The Grass Seedbox, in the middle, has three setups; a high and low range that is easy to switch back and forth to accommodate grass seeds rates (not native grass seeds), and then a "low range reduction" that takes a sprocket change. Changing that sprocket takes about 30 minutes, but with that, the box becomes a "large seed box." The Small Seed Box on the Front handles just that. Being a food plot guy, I had my dealer set up the grass seedbox with the low range reduction gear and haven't changed it. As a note, all the seedboxes have lockouts or all can be used at the same time. For example, both large & small food plot seeds can be put out at the same time and at different seeding rates as each seedbox has there own rate controllers. The small seed box is split and can be used to put out different seeds on each side but they would need to flow at a similar rate.

If you are not going to do native grasses, this seeder would probably not be for you, as there are other models that don't have the native seedbox.

This is also a seeder, not a drill. A seeder just drops the seed where a drill uses disc openers to get the seed to a specific depth. I have owned two drills and wanted to get away from all the parts. Also, drills tend to be better suited for the larger seeds and seeders the small seeds and seed size mixes. Seeders are somewhat limited in seed depth, but appropriate for food plot seeding. Depth can be controlled a bit through the angle of the front spiked rollers. Increasing the agitation to increase seed depth.


Re: Seeding Marathon! [Re: Ranch Dog] #7125599 03/28/18 01:44 PM
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all sounds pretty cool. I'm in Duval Co. i've had some mixed results with food plots in the past. I have a tractor/shredder/disc, i do not have a drill. i've cleared and broke up ground in the past and planted oats and turnips just with broadcast application. usually though if i get enough rain that hte seed does well it gets swallowed back up by the native grass and vegetation pretty quickly. i've invested in a 3-pt sprayer this year. going to try to kill out all the native veg and turn those fields over good and then try again to plant oats/turnips/rye maybe in the fall. see how that works.


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Re: Seeding Marathon! [Re: Ranch Dog] #7125656 03/28/18 02:37 PM
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Sounds like a plan Erich.

This is for all, a good way to actually seed food plots if the shape can accommodate a 50' broadcast width is with a rental fertilizer buggy from your local Farmer's Co-Op. I have used the buggies in DeWitt and Karnes County. They will blend your seed in with the fertilizer mix. Depending on the depth the seed needs to be planted, you can use a disk to get the seed deep or a drag or tooth harrow to keep it shallow. The buggy rental here is $15.

I was taking the 18-46-0 out to where I was going to seed the natives and my dad wanted some for his yard. I told him to bring his spreader out so I could figure out much it held and how many buckets it would need, plus the ladder. My dogs didn't like it, they thought it was stealing!



The buggies are big but I've actually fertilized/seeded on fairly solid soil using my Dodge 2500 4X4. Really fine soil or sand would be tough, same with rough. Just another idea thrown out on how to do things.

It also never hurts to ask. My Co-Op has a rental spreader/seeder and cultipacker on a trailer.



Re: Seeding Marathon! [Re: Ranch Dog] #7126292 03/28/18 10:00 PM
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I have no Co-op in my area that rents equipment, but I have used the fertilizer buggies from two local stores to spread fertilizer on my plots. They do a good job but I always seem to underestimate how much I need for the given throw rate. I need to remember to over-estimate about +1/3 next time.

I called all around asking if anyone had a rental cultipacker and no one does in my neck of the woods (south central OK) so I just used a drag harrow to smooth my plots after discing with a rental tractor and disc. It did a pretty good job and my F250 pulled the buggy around quite easily on the terrain, but it was dry dirt, not wet. Would never try it in wet dirt with just my truck.

Question for ya Ranch dog, I was thinking of just broadcasting my powerplant on the plots after dragging the harrow over to stir up the dirt a bit and spraying with herbicide (if needed and would be done a week or two prior) . Given that you seeded with no real drilling, do you think I would get a good stand of the PP by just broadcasting the seed on stirred dirt or would you recommend stirring the dirt, then broadcasting and then dragging again to "cover" the seed?

I don't want to waste money, but time is limited too...dilemmas

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Originally Posted By: Texas buckeye
Given that you seeded with no real drilling, do you think I would get a good stand of the PP by just broadcasting the seed on stirred dirt or would you recommend stirring the dirt, then broadcasting and then dragging again to "cover" the seed?

I don't want to waste money, but time is limited too...dilemmas

I hear you on wasting time and money! The instructions for planting PP are quite simple; work the soil with a disk while you work in the required fertilizer, broadcast the seed, and lightly cover the seed with a disk or drag. It sounds like you have everything you need. WI recommends that a drill not be used to plant PP. The variety of seed sizes is the problem.

The spiked rollers on my seeder do pulverize the soil at least 3" deep, replacing the need for the disk. Here are some before and after pictures.



The spikes work the soil coupled with the weight (2800 lbs) and speed (3 to 5 mph) of the seeder.



For grins, I planted a strip of ground that was as hard as concrete with cracks. I will see how it does.



What I'm working towards is learning how much debris to leave on top of the plot before I start. My seeder works best with some dry debris on the surface, stalks about 3 to 4", with the ground covered by the dry cuttings. What the seeder guys are telling me is the debris is important to improving the soil but also a big consideration in reducing the heat units on the field especially in South Texas. They would like me to start leaving more trash on top. I saw this in play last year using the FarmLogs app, the heat units on my clean plots (waiting to be planted in the fall) were out of sight (solid red) vs. those with plant matter both growing and dead (still green). The plots with the high heat units failed. All the moisture was cooked out of the soil. I wander.


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Itís the timing of the discing vs seed broadcasting that is the question for me...I already did the disc and fertilizer, now with these rains I know the ground will be more packed. I think I will refresh the dirt with the drag and fhen see how it looks, broadcast if stirred up some, then re-drag the seeds over a little to cover lightly.

Just need the ground to warm up and the skies to stay dry for a little bit so I can dry my plots out. Then rain as soon as I am done 😂

Last edited by Texas buckeye; 03/29/18 01:49 AM.
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I am going to watch my heat units on my plots this year, see how the greenery shades vs open field vs low plots.
I have found my FarmLogs app to be slow to update rain and sometimes doesnít log any rain at all when I know there was some up there. I would like to get a mobile weather station connected to weather underground so I can check it at anytime, but with the pace of the build going on up there it probably wonít be until August before I can get anything running with Wi-Fi and electricity. I like the concept you are working, trying to leave a little trash on top to protect and serve the young plants....

If I remember correctly this seeder is in its first use with the PP is that correct? Anxious to see how it works. May need to emulate your methods there as I like the pulverized action on front and packer action on the back.

Re: Seeding Marathon! [Re: Son of a Blitch] #7126614 03/29/18 02:20 AM
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Originally Posted By: George - w/ Map My Ranch
Originally Posted By: BOBO the Clown
I wish I had that drop seeder. I had an old 50ís model brillion and sold it and still regret 18 years later


We have an older (probably 50's) JD Brillion that has been sitting for years that I'm looking to get back to working order this year. Can't wait! They are nice. Hoping ours hasn't sat too long


If you canít get it to work, Iíll take it off your hands.

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Originally Posted By: Texas buckeye
Itís the timing of the discing vs seed broadcasting that is the question for me...I already did the disc and fertilizer, now with these rains I know the ground will be more packed. I think I will refresh the dirt with the drag and fhen see how it looks, broadcast if stirred up some, then re-drag the seeds over a little to cover lightly.\

It should be fine with a drag, anything to get the seed up to 1/2" in the soil once covered up. Next time, you might hold off on the fertilizer until you know the seed is going in.

Originally Posted By: Texas buckeye
I am going to watch my heat units on my plots this year, see how the greenery shades vs open field vs low plots.

The only place that I'm not willing to give up my bare dirt are some of my fire breaks. They have saved my place three times, two times the fire would have overtaken my house. One from some turd pulling a trailer type bar-b-q pit and the other a sharp tool pulling a trailer with a flat, two miles flat, sending sparks in the dry grass the entire time.

Originally Posted By: Texas buckeye
If I remember correctly this seeder is in its first use with the PP is that correct? Anxious to see how it works.

Yes, first time. This photo is from calibration, it looks like the various seeds from both mixes are dropping fine.



Once the rain passes and the soil dries enough not to cling, both seed outfits (DKS & Pogue) want me to run the Brillion Pulverizer back over everything to seat the dead stuff into the damp soil and seal the top. I will wait until the tractor tires don't leave much of an impression.


Re: Seeding Marathon! [Re: Ranch Dog] #7127252 03/29/18 07:22 PM
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Oh I need to get me some type of packer...the beautiful seed beds they leave are worth the price of admission (for a used one bang )

Re: Seeding Marathon! [Re: Ranch Dog] #7127391 03/29/18 10:03 PM
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Looks great. You hit the rain perfect also. How much did you get? I had 1.3" here and all went into the plowed plots. I am not seeding them this year for at least 3 more weeks this year to try planting later than I have in the past 4 yrs.



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