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No Till Food Plots - So Easy

at1010

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This is an unbelievable resource, for free! Interviews with PhD Christine Jones, Jason Snavely, Gabe Brown, Steve Groff, Ray Archuleta, Mitchell Hora, PhD Dwayne Beck and numerous others.

I’ll be reading this cover to cover - I have skimmed it and it is loaded with information!!!!

Go to Green Cover Seed website and you can order it for free!
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at1010

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Friday night reading


Doe harvest impacting soil health?

This is a chart from the green cover seed booklet. It is specifically discussing cattle grazing but the forage removal, to root regrowth should be the same as it would be for whitetail.

What this chart show is below:

Once 40-50% of a plants forage is removed, root production stops.

Once 80% is removed the plant roots won’t regrow.

Now we want to feed deer but should we be using this as a metric for generating harvest data? As we try to grow better plots, with higher nutrient densities through regen ag ideologies - should we be paying even closer attention to the exclusion fences?

Over browse can not only impact our timber regen but clearly it can also impact our soil health as well.

I had never even thought about how having 50% of a forage removed could impact my soil!

Better soils, will give us better deer!

Thanks all! Happy Friday!!!
 

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giles

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So you should be sure that you harvest enough animals also? Is that what you are talking about here? What the land can happily support? Because this number likely doesn't suffice the hunter. Less is more?

No right answer here, more of a food for thought.
 
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at1010

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So you should be sure that you harvest enough animals also? Is that what you are talking about here? What the land can happily support? Because this number likely doesn't suffice the hunter. Less is more?

No right answer here, more of a food for thought.

yes extremely situational based but just like taking a native browse study, I am suggesting that we can also take exclusion fence studies. If and when our foodplots are being eaten far past 50%, we know that the deer are consuming a lot of tonnage and we are also hurting our soils opportunity to be most effective.

there is no “right” answer just something I found intriguing.
 
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giles

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Just thinking here...so are the small plots these annual bags suggest doing more harm to the soil?
 
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at1010

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Just thinking here...so are the small plots these annual bags suggest doing more harm to the soil?

Well, I wouldn't think that is necessarily the case. I think that some root growth is surely better than bare dirt. I also think that small plots, often referred to as "kill plots", should be removed from your measurements when considering harvest quotas, when basing said quota on browse pressure.

Most Bucks ON BAG (BOB) seed mixes are flat bullshit. Sorry to be blunt but they are overhyped seeds, with major profit margin built-in, heavy coatings, and fancy names for seeds that can be bought at a seed co-op like Meritt. These mixes almost always are lacking a component that would make them FAR more attractive and better for the deer and soil. Often they use a fancy plant name like "sugar beets" and then promote it being seeded in the fall. Well, Sugar beets take 90 days to mature, so often they don't make sense in a fall plot as they will not even be able to get halfway through maturity before frost/snow comes.

With all of this stuff, we need to align our goals with realistic abilities to achieve said goals. So for me, if a plot is small - do I worry about the soil health? Sure I do, but I don't judge my harvesting metrics based on that plot's browse pressure. I will also try to adjust my plant mix the following year to give the deer a more browse tolerant species to eat on. I continue to tweak and adjust my plans based on several factors and this is one more metric I will add to my overall assessment on the farm. One thing I plan to do this year is seed my small plots with fall mixes early, I then plan to seed them heavily again with rye grain and a clover mix. This will be done after my brassicas are established, so as not to choke them out. This will help me to get more "gaps" filled, roots in the soil, and deer-fed quality nutrition.

Thank you for listening to my ramblings and following along. Hope this at-least as clear as mud!! HAHA.

AT.
 
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giles

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I like that you don't take my unique perspective on things in a negative way. I like to be out of the box and you play the game with what you know. 👍
 

at1010

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I like that you don't take my unique perspective on things in a negative way. I like to be out of the box and you play the game with what you know. 👍

Not only do I not take it negatively- I appreciate questions with all sincerity.

I just hope my answers are informative and helpful. I try to stay very true to what I know and feel confident enough to advise on- even if only in an informal setting such as this thread.

I really really really enjoy learning and discussing these things. Not sure I would have ever guessed I’d be passionate about soil health, but funny how life turns out.

Thank you for the continued engagement! Much appreciated.
 
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at1010

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Soil health Saturday!

Quorum Sensing continues to fascinate me

Phd. Christine Jones has done some amazing work on quorum sensing. Essentially, once the “tipping point” (quorum) of the micro-biome population is reached, the soil functions far more effectively and efficiently from a nutrient density perspective, but also additional resilience to biotic and abiotic stressors.

This is an amazing resource - green cover seed 6th edition.

Thanks for following along.

AT
 

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at1010

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So I have been getting a lot of questions in quorum sensing. I wanted to share the below analogy I came up with to help explain the basic ideology of quorum sensing. I am not an expert or scientist - so please take the explanation as it is, from an average dude who loves soil for some reason! Haha


The best analogy I can use is a baseball team. Think of soil as a baseball team, playing the field. If you have 7 or 8 players, the team is working but not very efficiently. As you add players to the field, the team acts and plays more efficiently. Once the entire field is filled with players, the team starts to win games and becomes better defensively, etc. The quorum threshold is 9 players on a baseball team - that is the minimum number of players needed for maximum efficiency to possibly be achieved. Once reached the team can then far exceed the best of expectations based on how great they work together.

Hope this helps paint a picture for you all. Thanks for following.

AT
 
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at1010

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@bowhunter1023 this is what I was talking about, previously in this thread.

Packermaxx is a tough implement, relative to the cost, for food plotters. I have had one for years and have been extremely happy with the beating it took. Today they have wheel kits and all-to help with travel down a backroad.

Below you will see the new crimper attachment that should be available this Spring.

For clarification, the benefit of crimping is to terminate the cover crop (fall food plot crop) by mechanical means vs. herbicides. Herbicide use has been shown to inhibit or tie up microbial activity in the soil, so by crimping crops - you no longer need to rely on herbicides. The crimping process is done in Spring when the plants are in the “dough” stage. This is when the plant (rye grain) is putting energy into hardening seed. The plant is vulnerable at this time and by crimping the plant- you’ll break the circulatory system and turn it into a mulch layer on the ground of the food plot or field. This mulch layer is then fed on by the microbes as the new crops grow up through the mulch layer. The mulch layer also helps to prevent weeds from germinating. Because we are “no filling” we are not bringing new weeds to the surface, so weed mat-like suppression via crimping is highly effective.

I will broadcast my spring mix into a standing rye crop and then terminate the rye crop with a crimper or herbicide depending on my availability to a crimper.

My hope is to have one of these below in the next year or two - and reduce my reliance on herbicides.

Very exciting as this will be under 1K unit I believe and previously the cheapest I could find was near 2500 per unit.
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at1010

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I listened to this yesterday, a very good podcast with a Ph.D. from Penn State. I always enjoy hearing opinions on "food plot tactics" from those who don't give a crap about whitetail deer - talk about facts and no bias!!

This Ph.D. discusses frost-seeding, his feelings on the importance of no-till, why he loves legumes as a primer for soil biology, and how/when legumes actually allow the nitrogen to become bioavailable after fixation occurs - some interesting science that is showing a trend towards some N being bioavailable while the legume is still alive and fixing the N, through symbiotic relationships of the neighboring companion plant species (brassicas) for example. This is fairly new science (to my knowledge) and very interesting, as it was previously thought that legumes would not allow N to be bioavailable until they died or were browsed enough to have sections of their root system die -therefore releasing the N fixed in that section of the root nodules.

Hope you all enjoy it!

 
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