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What herbicide should I use to kill moss?

Question
Dr Woods:

I want to establish a food plot in an opening in a wooded area on my property in Pennsylvania. It currently has a lot of ferns and what appears to be a feathery type of moss that acts as a carpet. Are there any products (e.g. glyphosate, 2,4-D, etc) that I can use to kill off these things down to the root so I can plant my plot later this spring?

Mike

Mike,

Glyphosate should kill the ferns and moss.  I can't say for certain without knowing the species.  

Moss typically grows where the soils are very wet.  Be sure this location isn't too wet to be a productive food plot site!

Enjoy creation,

grant

February 22, 2016

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Can bush honeysuckle be controlled by the hack and squirt method?

Question
Hey grant I wrote you about removing a 11 acre draw filled with old growth honeysuckle. I spent about 10 hours chainsaw ing, herbicide, and stacking and I'm only an acre in. These honeysuckle are literally 15 to 20 feet tall a majority of the trunks are big as my thigh. My problem is the stack piless are ridiculous 4 piles right now are over 10 feet tall 20 feet in diameter aND i cant burn them. I'm almost doing as much damaging limiting access then leaving them standing. Is the hack and squirt method effective on bush honeysuckle? I can't get a solid answer through research online. I just need the canopy to be eliminated and I'm completely frustrated with how things have worked out so far because I know it needs to happen but the process is overwhelming to say the least. Thanks again for your input. Love your show and your proactive attitude towards a deer's environment and you faith. Thanks, doug chapman

Doug,

I've never tried using the hack and squirt method to control bush honeysuckle. I don't see why it wouldn't work.  As long as the sap isn't already rising where you live, I've give it a try and mark the area.  If it doesn't green up this summer, you'll know that's a good technique!

Enjoy creation,

grant

February 21, 2016

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Is it safe to use glyphosate 100 yards from a spring?

Question
Sir,
I am in the process of clearing some land for a food plot. I have a spring roughly 100 yards from where I am clearing. My question is, is it safe to use an herbicide, such as glyphosate, on this area. Thank you for your time. God bless.

Rob.

Rob,

It is safe to use glyphosate 100 yards away from a source of water.  Glyphosate is neutralized when it hits the ground.  It is used closer than 100 yards to rivers by crop fields with no damage.  

Thanks for being concerned!  

Enjoy creation,

grant 

February 15, 2016

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What do you think about this research from some French scientists about rats eating GMO’s.

Question
I was reading through some of the “Ask Grant” and came across this question and answer . . .

http://www.growingdeer.tv/view/ask/how-do-you-feel-about-eating-deer-that-have-consumed-gmo-soybeans/

I ran across this research paper that was done on GMO.
http://www.marklynas.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/FCT-final-paper.pdf

Any thoughts?

Zach,

I scanned the methods, results, and discussion of the research at the link you shared.  I find it odd that of the millions of deer that have been harvested from crop production areas here in the USA and no one is reporting a trend of “tumors,” etc. Every facet of glyphosate has been studied for years in the USA and no negative findings yet.  In fact the vast majority of record book deer come from area where glyphosate has been used for years.  Given that class action attorneys seem to be constantly searching for cases and no one has found any cause to go after the glyphosate technology, I suspect there's not much there.

What's your thoughts?

Enjoy creation,

grant

February 9, 2016

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What herbicide do you use to kill trees?

Question
Dear grant,
I was just wondering what the name of the stuff you use to kill trees with in the hack and squirt method. And can I buy the chemical at a farm store of some kind. Thanks

Sam,

We use RTU Tordon to kill locust.  We use Garlon or Chopper Gen II to kill oaks and sweetgums, and glyphosate to kill sassafrass.  

I suggest you identify the species of tree  you wish to kill and then Google and see how to control that species.  Always follow the herbicide label!

Enjoy creation,

grant

February 8, 2016

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Potential herbicide option for clover

Question
Good day Grant, absolutely appreciate your show and all you deer knowledge. Thank you. I check the Q and A frequently and I have found a herbicide that fills a void I think people may want to know about. Raptor is clover, alfalfa, and chicory friendly, though expensive. Near $500 dollars a gallon but covers approxemently 32 acres. I just thought it might be helpful to some of your fans out there. Have a great day

Chris,

Thanks for sharing! I'll read about Raptor. I scanned the label quickly and it said not to use where grazing occurs. I'll need to learn more about that restriction.

Enjoy creation,

grant

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What do you mean when you use the term “glyphosate”?

Question
Dear Dr. Woods,
I have a couple questions for you.
1. I am wondering if when you us the term Glyphosate if you are using straight Glyphosate or if you are using round up or some other herbicide that has Glyphosate in it on your food plots and trees? (When you use the hack and squirt method.) As I Googled Glyphosate and could not find 100% Glyphosate. I could only find it in Roundup and other herbicides.
2. I am also wondering as you said that Glyphosate will not kill certain trees if it will kill Oaks, Maples, Cherry trees and Hickory trees? As my friends and I are going to be doing some TSI work in WI.
3. My last question is when you planted some of your food plots in whitetail thicket were you using just whitetail thicket? As I can find it only in some of Eagle Seeds other soybean blends. And if you can not buy just whitetail thicket by itself at the moment, are they going to be selling it by itself as they are the Big Fellow and Large Lad varieties?

Thank you very much for your time and answers! Please keep the episodes coming I love them and have watched every single one of them, and have learned a ton! God Bless you and have a great New Year! I hope and pray that your Father can get over the cancer.

Brother in Christ Joshua

Joshua,

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup and the generic versions of Roundup.  I typically purchase products that are 41% glyphosate.  

41% Glyphosate doesn't do a good job of controlling oaks or hickories. I haven't tried it on cherries and maples.  I doubt it will work well to control those hardwood species.  

I begged the owners of Eagle Seed to allow me to try some pure Whitetail Thicket!  I was very impressed with the results. I don't believe they plan to make that available soon.  I will be planting the Deer Manager's blend this year as it includes the Whitetail Thicket variety!

Enjoy creation,

grant

January 10, 2016

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How can I control Sericea lespedeza?

Question
I am planting several areas in SC that have serrica lespedesa that has been present for years. I was planning to use glycophosphate at spring green up. Would you also use a pre emergent herbicide to decrease the weed bank? If so how long would you delay planting? thanks!

Steve,

Glyphosate won't control Sericea lespedeza.  Check out the following link for some good information about controlling Sericea.  You are correct that there will likely be a huge seed bank.  It typically takes me two to three years to get Sericea controlled. I have had success killing the existing Sericea and then planting Roundup Ready beans and controlling most of the Sericea.  This required spot spraying the larger patches of Sericea with herbicides in addition to glyphosate.

http://mdc.mo.gov/your-property/problem-plants-and-animals/invasive-plants/sericea-lespedeza-control

Enjoy creation,

grant

December 15, 2015

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How do you feel about eating deer that have consumed GMO soybeans?

Question
Grant,

My question is, how do you feel about GMO's (geneticly modified organisms). I assume that your forage soybeans have been geneticly midified to acheive maxumum results for food plots. Im wondering since the deer eat so much of these soybeans does this take away from being able to harvest something that is 100% natural. I have been hunting for many years and have taken many deer for my family to enjoy and not worry about eating something that we dont want to eat. I look forward to your response. I love your show and keep it up.

Caleb,

Good question!  Literally tens of millions of deer have consumed GMO beans and corn for years and there's never been one scientific study to show a negative response. The same is true for humans!  Even Reader's Digest recently published that there's never been one scientific study that showed any human or critter health concerns related to GMO plants.  

There are tons of rumors and Hollywood-based stories, but no research to support the myths.  It is certain that modern herbicides are much safer than those used during the 1970's.  It's also certain that farmers couldn't produce the current yields without herbicides.  

I use and recommend folks use the minimal amounts of herbicide.  However, modern or current herbicides are a great tool that has benefitted wildlife and humans and significantly reduced the amount of fuels needed for plowing and erosion caused by poor soil management techniques. There are many tangible positives that have been researched and proven associated with property herbicide use!

Enjoy creation,

grant

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Is there a herbicide that will control grass and broadleaf weeds without harming clover and chicory?

Question
we have several durana clover/chicory food plots. is there anything that can be sprayed on the plots to eliminated the grass and weeds without harming the clover and chicory.

G.P.,

I'm not aware of a herbicide or combo of herbicides that will control grasses and broadleaf weeds with harming either the clover or chicory.  

I use a grass-specific herbicide (like Clethodim or Poast Plus) to control the grasses and spot spray the broadleaf weeds with glyphosate.

Grass-specific herbicides will control grasses much better if used before the grasses are eight inches tall.

We often use backpack sprayers to apply both the grass-specific and glyphosate herbicides and apply the herbicides separately.

Enjoy creation,

grant

November 15, 2015

  

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When do you use herbicide to control weeds in soybean food plots?

Question
I know that on your soy bean fields you say you don't use herbicide prior to planting and you let the old stalks decompose and naturally fertilize. How do you get the weeds out well enough to be able to do this? Do you occasionally use a herbicide?

 

Clay,

I do use herbicide about a week before I plant soybeans.  Soybeans are not competitive and won't perform well if there is weed competition.  I often plant 80+ pounds per acre of Eagle Seed forage soybeans because most of my plots are small (less than two acres) and I like a lot of stems per acre to get ahead of browse damage when the soybeans are small.

Another advantage of planting more pounds per acre is that the soybeans form a crown (block sun from reaching soil) faster and this limits weed growth. Using this technique I usually only have to spray one more time – or two times all year.  This saves money and compensates for planting more pounds per acre.

 

October 28, 2015

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Is there a herbicide that will kill burdock and nettle without harming clover?

Question
Hi Grant; is there anything I can spray in my standing clover field that will kill burdock and nettle without killing off my clover? I have been mowing my clover field about every three to four weeks to keep them under control. I debating if I just kill off everything and start over but that would be more expensive. This is the first year of this clover plot as it was planted in the spring.

Thank you for your time

Aaron Olson

Aaron,

I'm not aware of any herbicide that will kill burdock and nettle without killing clover.

There are lots of species of nettles.  That's to say nettles is a common name for many plants.  All of them that I'm aware are difficult to control.  Depending on how many stems are in the plot it may be best to simply spot treat each stem and then overseed.  This may be less expensive and allow a food source to be preserved.  I often spot treat weeds in my clover plots.

Enjoy creation,

Grant

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How much Roundup should be used to treat food plots?

Question
I'm not a farmer and I get very confused on how to read and figure out the proper mixture of roundup to water to kill weeds and grasses before I plant. Any guidance would be appreciated.

David,

I agree!  Herbicide labels can be confusing due to all the legalize.

The active ingredient in Roundup is glyphosate and it's one of the safest herbicides used today.  Unless there are weeds that are resistant to glyphosate most farmers use 2 quarts of Roundup per 20-25 gallons of water per acre.  

There are many variables such as the hardness of the water, the droplet size produced by the sprayer's nozzles, etc. However, 2 quarts of Roundup mixed with 20-25 gallons of water is a very generic and successful recipe.  

Enjoy creation!

grant

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Should I spray before I disk?

Question
I'm wanting to put in a brassica food plot and I have got to spray the weeds to kill it out before I can plant. I have glyphosate 50% to spray with how long do I need to wait before I can disk and plant new seed? Would appreciate any insight. Thank you in advance Danny

Danny,

Glyphosate has no activity in the soil.  It's only works by entering plants through green leaves, etc.  So there's very limited value in spraying glyphosate before disking.  The disking should kill all the weeds.

Enjoy creation!

grant

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What steps should I take to create a staging area food plot?

Question
Food plot question. I looked at the ask Grant section and got a lot of tips but none fully addressed my question. I hunted a soybean field last season with my stand on the edge of the field/woods facing the field. Not many opportunities in the field occurred but a lot of ‘just out of bow range' activity was going on in the woods behind me. I moved my stand last week near a trail intersection with some decent rubs (last seasons) nearby. It seems like a staging area and i am positive the ‘big 9' uses it to get in and out of the field. There is a break in the canopy where some ground cover grows, it doesn't get browsed. I would like to replace it with some sort of staging forage. Can I use a weed whacker to cut it all down, and lime/fertilize in one day then come back and seed? Or should I “round-up” then come back and rake, fertilize seed. We are getting close to bow season and I don't want to miss this opportunity to hold deer in this area. I am in the Upstate of SC bow season starts in about 5 weeks.

I really like your plan to move off the field edge and create a staging area hidely hole plot!!

Whether it will be best to cut the weeds or use herbicide depends on the species of weeds.  Most perennial weeds will simply sprout back after being cut.  The safest bet is to use glyphosate. You can spray on day (in good conditions) and literally add lime, fertilizer and seed the next.  

Make sure the site receives at least 50% sunshine a day.  Forage crops need sunshine to grow.  I often use a rack or other hand tools to prepare hidy hole plots!  

Let me know how this one turns out!

Enjoy creation!


 

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How can I control grass in my radish food plot?

Question
I planted a food plot (rack radish crush item #1808301 at basspro) about June 12th My friend then unwittingly planted grass over the same area. The grass is obviously higher than the radishes, which have been munched on by the deer a lot as well. The grass is actually doubling over some. My question is, should I mow the area to give the radishes a fighting chance? Will it even help?

Thanks!

Wes

It depends on what type of grass and how mature it is.  There are several grass-specific herbicides such as Poast Plus, Clethodim, etc.  None of them are very effective on grass that's very mature.  So using a grass-specific herbicide depends on the maturity of weeds. You could try mowing but most grass species respond to being cut by growing again if it's during the growing season.  

It may be best to terminate the weeds and crop by herbicide or tillage and plant a fall crop now.  If you take this action, make sure there is plenty of soil moisture before you plant the new crop!

Enjoy creation!

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Is it safe for deer and other wildlife to consume plants treated with glyphosate?

Question
Dr. Woods,

I need to spray 3 small food plots in NW Wisconsin with glyphosate so I can get them planted with fall crops. The deer have browsed most of the good forage out of the plots but they along with some turkeys are still foraging in the plots on a daily basis. I don't want to spray a chemical that will harm the critters. Do I need to worry about deer that try and browse the food plots after I have treated it with glyphosate?

Thanks for the help with this question,
Mark in Wisconsin

Mark,

There are no grazing restrictions on the glyphosate label.   In addition literally millions of deer and other critters have browsed on glyphosate treated crops throughout the U.S. for years without one reported negative response.  There have been literally 1,000's of studies and not one scientific, peer-reviewed study has shown a negative relationship between glyphosate and humans or deer.  

Based on the research to date, and no known negative reports for more than a decade, you should feel comfortable using glyphosate per the instructions on the label.

  

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When should the Broadside Blend be broadcast in northern states?

Question
hi Mr. woods like to take a moment and just tell you I really enjoy watching your videos and im glad I found a person in the hunting world who is helping other hunters learn about management practices without charging for there answers. I live in Albany ny and have several acres just in outskirts of the city, high deer density but there are some nice bucks in area. I planted eagle beans for first time and im using a deer barrier system to keep them out, seems effective now and beans are about shin high. I purchased your broadside blend as cover crop and I would like to know at what point should I broadcast over beans, I know its usually 60 days before first frost but are area usually stays dry come September and into hunting season, would it be ok to spread within couple weeks while I still have rain coming or should I wait? also I sprayed glyphosate over beans for weed control would there be a lot of competition with the broadside if weeds are not completely gone?

Thank you very much and keep great videos and the info coming!!
mike

Mike,

It sounds as if you have a great food plot established!  I'm glad you are preparing to overseed the Eagle Seed forage soybeans with Broadside. That's a great technique to keep attracting deer as the seasons change.  

The Broadside or most forage crops will do better with less competition.  If the weeds are turning yellow they will likely be gone before the Broadside germinates.  If not, it might be best to treat the weeds again before planting the Broadside.  

Can you see some of the soil while walking through the plot or have the forage soybeans made a complete canopy?  If there is a complete canopy there won't be much sunshine reaching the soil and allowing the Broadside to germinate and grow rapidly.  If this is the case I suggest splitting the plot in 1/2 and allowing deer to browse half the beans while protecting the other 1/2. Plant the Broadside in the 1/2 where the deer browse the beans and open up the canopy so at least 50% of the soil is receiving sunshine.  

Either way, I suggest planting the Broadside while there is adequate soil moisture.  This will result in a much higher rate of germination and more tonnage produced before the first killing frost.  

Enjoy creation!

grant

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Why is ragweed growing in my food plot even though I sprayed Roundup?

Question
I have bunch of this growing in a new food lot that we planted this spring, and I cant figure out what this is. I don't think its a weed as we sprayed round up twice and let it get nice and crispy before discing up the land. Any input would be appreciated.

The plant in your picture appears to be ragweed.

The active ingredient in Roundup is glyphosate.  Glyphosate is only active on living leaf surface area.  It won't prevent weed seeds that are in the soil from germinating.  Disking often results in bringing weed seeds within the top inch of soil. These seeds will usually rapidly germinate.  It's rarely necessary to spray Roundup before disking as disking will remove the weeds and Roundup won't keep existing weed seeds from germinating!

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What herbicide is best for food plots with multiple forage species?

Question
Mr woods thank you for your dedication to deer hunting and conservation in general also sending out great messages for all viewers about time spent in the outdoors and creation. My 5 year old daughter loves to set down and watch your videos with me its also something I don't have to worry about her watching and for that I thank you!

My management question is what can I use to spray on food plots with multiple species of forage such as one plot having chicory, clover and alfalfa in an existing plot that will not kill my plantings. I use glyphosate to kill new areas to be planted but I want something to treat my plots with in early-late spring before weeds mature and take over. I have about 100 acres of my personal land to tend to but also I tend my hunting club that's about 4800 acres of free range land in the tip northeast corner of Alabama. I know some company's sell small bottles of select herbicide but I need something a lot more cost effective. I already mow the plots soon as possible in spring but sometimes that doesn't work out.
thank you Matt

Matt,

Thank you for for sharing the encouraging words and leading by example!  Your daughter is blessed to have a Dad that loves her enough to constantly protect her and spend time with her!

I'm not aware of a herbicide that's safe to use over legumes (clover and alfalfa) and chicory.  Weed control in plots with multiple species is difficult.  You can use most of the grass- specific herbicides over legumes and broadleaf (chicory) with damaging the forage crops.  There are several grass-specific herbicides and all have advantages and disadvantages.  

Mowing rarely controls weeds (grasses or broad-leafed weeds).  This is one reason I tend to plant warm season plots with a single species like forage soybeans and use blends during the cool season.  Weeds are rarely a problem in cool season plots – especially if there has been a warm season forage crop and good weed control during the summer.

Depending on the size of the plots and the number of deer in the area the best rotation I've found for attracting and feeding deer is Eagle Seed forage soybeans during the summer followed by overseeding the beans with the Broadside blend about 60 days before the first expected frost of the fall.

The Roundup ready beans make it easy to keep the plot weed-free during the summer and the Broadside is a great soil builder and deer attractant!

Enjoy creation,

Grant 

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Wondering what herbicide do you use in your hack and spray tree elimination?

Question

What herbicide do you use in your hack and spray tree elimination?

Easton

The herbicide used depends on the species of trees to be treated. Glyphosate will work on several species and Tordon RTU works well on locust. Glyphosate doesn't work well on maples. I suggest you Google “hack and squirt” and the type tree to be treated – like “hack and squirt maple” and find information from your area. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv!

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When is the best time to plant winter wheat in a food plot?

Question
I live in southern Indiana.Is it better to plant winter wheat early in September or toward the end of September into October? Also, can you do a burndown with glyphosate and then broadcast the wheat two weeks later right before some rain? Or do you have to work the ground up?

Wheat can be planted during a wide range of dates. The best time to plant depends on the mission. If there are lots of early season food sources in the area, then it may be better to plant wheat later (mid to late September) so it doesn’t mature past being palatable before deer start using it as a food source. I usually begin planting wheat during early to mid August depending on when soil moisture is available so the forage will be available and attracting deer by the opening of bow season – September 15th – as there isn’t any competing food sources in my neighborhood. Wheat seed, like all crops, needs good seed to soil contact. The existing vegetation can be burned down with glyphosate, but the seed needs to be placed in the soil with a no-till drill or the weed duff removed so the seeds will reach the soil.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

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What do I do now for my clover food plot?

Question

Thanks for the Monday morning videos. I have loved these for quite some time. Also, thank you for taking a positive stand on the Creator. I HAD a picture perfect crimson clover food plot 6 weeks ago. It fed the deer through the winter and was beautiful this spring. I went back this past week and the native grasses were 18 inches tall and completely blocking out the clover. The grasses are deep green in this area which tells me the clover is still there adding nitrogen to the soil. I think the grass is fescue. What do I do now?

Thanks,

Bob

Bob,

Thanks for the encouraging words! Crimson clover is a winter annual where you and I live – and has about finished its productive season by this time of year in the Ozarks (depending on precipitation amounts). I agree with your observations that the fescue is using the nitrogen provided by the crimson clover and doing well. If the crimson clover is all brown and made a hard seed already, then I would spray the fescue with glyphosate (generic Roundup) to control the fescue before it gets too tall. Once fescue is more than one foot tall it’s tough to control. You could use a grass specific herbicide like Clethodim, Select, Poast, etc., but those herbicides cost more and are not as effect as glyphosate at controlling fescue. If you do control/kill the fescue I’d plant a mixture of brassica, wheat, and radishes in the plot this fall about 60 days before the first expected frost. If the crimson clover has already made a hard seed, those seeds will germinate this fall/next spring and result in another great crop of clover for the early growing season!

Growing Deer together,

Grant

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What is the best way to kill weeds and grass in food plots?

Question
I have a field that has not been planted in 8+ years.  It is now overgrown with weeds and grass as it is only cut once each summer.  What is a good weed and grass killer that is available to the general public that would still allow me to plant something this spring?

Larry

Larry,

Depending on the species of weeds, Glyphosate (the chemical name of Roundup) is probably the best option.  It usually works best if you use fire first to remove the duff (dead plant material) from the field (check out GDTV 20 for an overview of prescribed fire).  This allows the herbicide to make better contact with the fresh vegetation that will grow after the burn.  If a burn is not an option, mowing or even disking is the next best option.  No matter what option you select for preparation, it's important to remember that Glyphosate is most effective when the new growth is relatively young and there is enough leaf surface area for the herbicide to make good contact with the plant.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

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What are your preferred herbicides for food plots and wildlife?

Question
I have been growing food plots for 28 years the old fashion way, till and broadcast.  I used very little herbicides until generic Roundup became available.  I have just purchased a no-till drill, GPS guidance system and tractor pulled sprayer.  I am leaping into the 21st century of wildlife management.  The vast array of herbicides gets confusing.  Could you break down the products that you prefer, how you use them, and possible alternatives?  Maybe a web tv segment would be the best format.  I look forward to your response and really like your website, it is very informative.

Jim

Jim,

Thank you for the kind words!  It seems there are new herbicides and new combinations of herbicides annually!  A great resource is “A Guide to Successful Wildlife Food Plots” by Dr. Craig Harper that is available at QDMA’s online store.  I primarily use glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) as I plant mainly Roundup Ready soybeans and corn.  If you plant a wider variety of crops, I think Craig's book will be a great resource.

Growing Deer (and learning) together,

Grant

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Does Roundup Harm Turkeys?

Question
Grant,

I plan on spraying glyphosate on a pasture to kill fescue and plant NWSG.  A friend of mine is telling me that the glyphosate could poison or have a negative affect on the turkey population. What do you think?

Chris

Chris,

To my knowledge glyphosate hasn’t been a problem with turkeys.  Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup, which is used to kill weeds in Roundup Ready crops, like corn and soybeans.  Roundup Ready crops have dominated the agricultural market for the past couple of decades yet turkeys are still thriving.  From personal experience on The Proving Grounds my turkey population has grown tremendously since I began incorporating glyphosate and Roundup Ready crops into my food plot program.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

 

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Controlling Ragweed in a Food Plot

Question

Dear Dr. Grant Woods,

I have planted a half acre of clover and chicory for an inside corner food plot.  You said that ragweed can be nutritious but it has taken over the food plot.  Is it worth trying to get rid of the ragweed or should I just let it grow?  Is there anything that will kill the ragweed and not the clover and chicory?  I am afraid the ragweed will compete against the clover and chicory and not let it grow like it should.  I know in one of your episodes you talked about Arrow herbicides and I didn’t know if something like that would work.

I love the videos and the information on GrowingDeer.tv.  I am going into my second year of college and majoring in wildlife biology.  I love the outdoors and learning about plants and animal behaviors.  I hope one day to become a wildlife biologist and help manage the quality of our wildlife.

Brian

Brian,

Thanks for the positive comments!  Ragweed can be a major competitor in any food plot if is not removed early.  In clover and chicory plots ragweed is maintained best by periodically mowing it and other broadleaf plants growing in the plot.  In most situations, simply keeping broadleaf plants from going to seed and/or shading out the clover and chicory helps to keep their presence at bay.

Once ragweed is well established it can be a major problem.  I am unaware of an herbicide that controls it without harming clover and chicory.  Herbicides like Arrow control grasses and Pursuit controls non-legumes.  If ragweed has taken the plot over it is probably most cost effective to start the plot over.  Start by killing the plot in the spring with a broad spectrum herbicide (glyphosate) and periodically apply again throughout the summer.  Then broadcast seed throughout the plot just before/during a heavy rain in late summer.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

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Managing Food Plots

Question

Dr. Grant,

First, I will say we are relatively new to food-plotting.  This fall we planted roughly two acres in a fall mix that we purchased from a local seed company.  We put utilization cages in the plots and the results are as follows:

  • Outside the cage the forage is being grazed down to the ground.
  • Inside the cage growth is 4”-6” tall.

What are some good and affordable options to keep deer out of the plot so it has time to mature?

Thanks,

JP

JP,

I’ve been using Gallagher’s Food Plot Protector Fence to allow food plot crops to produce more forage and have been thrilled with the results.  Not only is this a great forage management tool, the fence is a great hunting tool!  Youth season opens soon at The Proving Grounds.  I just removed about 40’ of fence from two food plots that were protected by a Gallagher Fence at my place.  I’m very confident the deer will quickly learn to use these gaps and provide some great observation and hunting opportunities for my children.  In fact, I’ve already placed ground blinds so the hunters can see the gaps.

I will be reusing the fences next year to allow the forage to mature in some of my food plots and to create great hunting for my family.  I haven't found a better or more cost effective solution to protecting young forage crops from being over-browsed or to create bottle necks for hunting than the Gallagher electric food plot fence system.

Growing Deer (and food plots) together,

Grant

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Unidentified Weed

Question

I have planted Eagle Seed Large Lad beans the last three years.  This year a weed came up in my beans that I have never seen.  It is 8-10 feet tall with a very large leaf (pie plate) on a cane like stalk.  Any idea what this massive weed might be?

I really enjoy your videos.  They parallel everything on my plots in Cumberland County, Tennessee.

Mike

Mike,

Did the weed survive spraying the Eagle Seed Beans with glyphosate?  If so, it may be pigweed.  If you didn’t spray the crop, it might be giant ragweed, which has a large leaf.  You might search online for an image of these weeds or ask a local extension agent.

Both of these weeds exist in your area (and mine).

Growing Deer together,

Grant

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Rye Grain

Question

What are your thoughts on planting Rye Grain in your plots?

Derek

Derek,

Rye Grain is a good cool season crop for white-tailed deer.  It has about the same nutritional value as winter wheat, but continues growing during colder temperatures.  In fact, it will continue growing in temperatures that are about 12 degrees colder than wheat will grow.  One down side to Rye Grain is that the seed readily germinates.  Therefore, if Rye Grain is allowed to mature through the seed production stage, there will be another crop of Rye Grain the following year.  Although this sounds good, deer stop consuming Rye Grain (and other cereal grain crops) once the crop matures from the leaf or vegetative stage and enters the stem stage (from a flat leaf to a round stem).

Therefore, Rye Grain can take up valuable food plot real estate for months and not provide any food value to deer.  This year I mixed Rye Grain and Winter Wheat 50:50 in my cool season plots.  I’ll spray it with glyphosate during early spring so I can plant a warm season crop in that real estate as soon as the temperature permits.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

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Controlling Sicklepod in Soybeans

Question

I really enjoy your program and website.  Thanks so much for what you do.

I have a 2 acre site in a bottom next to a creek that I have grown a variety of things in over the years.  I had round-up ready corn there two years ago and it did very well until the wild hogs found it!  I planted round-up ready corn again this year, hoping that the continued spraying of round-up would eliminate the weeds in the field.  I probably did not have my two row corn planter adjusted correctly and that combined with low rainfall resulted in a 25% stand.  So, I left it alone this summer which was a BIG MISTAKE.  I bush hogged it this week and about 75-80% of the field was Sicklepod!  I want to plant clover and/or soybeans in that field in the future.  How can I control Sicklepod in clover or beans?

Tim

Tim,

Sicklepod is a controllable weed, especially in soybeans.  However, it usually requires a mixture of herbicides.  For example, glyphosate alone will not control Sicklepod.  Which combination of herbicides should be used depends on the crops to be grown and the timing of the herbicide applications.

Usually total control requires a pre- and post- emergent application of herbicides.  These recipes are a bit more technical than most weed control applications, I suggest you visit with a local crop specialist or search the web.

It usually requires a multiyear program to remove Sicklepod from the seed bank, but is well worth the effort!

Growing Deer together,

Grant

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Herbicide for Sunflowers, Milo, Millet, and Soybeans

Question

For the past couple of years I have drilled sunflowers and, in separate plots, a “wildlife mix” comprised of milo, millet and soybeans.  The area appeared to be weed-free at the time of planting (and was fertilized).  In each plot, both years, the weed infestation greatly limited the success of these plots.  Is there a post-emergent herbicide I can use in these plots?  How about using pendimethalin (Prowl) after the food plot species emerge in order to limit the germination of unwanted weeds?

Barry

Barry,

There are some newer varieties of sunflowers that are resistant to specific herbicides such as the Clearfield variety.  However, these varieties and the required herbicides are relatively expensive.  The University of Arkansas has a good publication about sunflower production including weed control.

Milo and Millet are both in the grass family.  Soybeans are in the legume family.  Mixing these crops really limits the herbicide choices.  For this reason, I’ve stopped mixing such crops and now only plant them separately so I can manage them for the maximum yield.  This includes being able to plant at the best time for each crop, using the appropriate fertilizer rates, and using the best herbicide option for the specific crop.

Usually the acreage dedicated to food plots is limited.  Therefore I need maximum yield from each crop, which requires crop-specific management.

Growing Deer (and crops) together,

Grant

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Safety of Consuming Deer that Browsed Herbicide Treated Forage

Question

Grant,

I really look forward to GrowingDeer.tv each week.  Without exception the topics you cover are issues I am either currently dealing with or have unsuccessfully dealt with in the past.  Your most recent episode (GDTV 38) mentions using Pursuit or Raptor to manage weeds in clover which brings up an issue I have always been concerned with.  Both of these products have “NO Graze” restrictions as do many other herbicides that I often use on my food plots.  Should I be concerned eating the venison from harvested deer that have used fields with no graze herbicide applied?  Also, would the same be true for herbicides that have restrictions regarding lactating animals.

Kevin

Kevin,

Your question is very valid and I don’t know of any research on the subject.  I will share that almost every deer harvested near a commercial ag field has most likely consumed forage and/or grain that was treated with one or multiple herbicides.  Even though free-ranging deer may have consumed forage that has been treated with herbicide, I suspect it is still healthier than some of the meat from domestic stock that has been given many chemicals to promote growth and maintain their health.  Tracy, our two girls, and I consume about 10 deer annually.  If you find research results related to your question, please share the findings with me.

Growing (and consuming) Deer together,

Grant

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Food Plot Blend for Fall

Question

Grant,

Thanks for the great presentation at the QDMA meeting in Louisville.

I am in my first year of a 140 acre track in Southern Indiana.  I failed miserably in trying to plant popular “mixes” in ground that has not been worked forever…old fescue.  The ragweed loved the new lime and fertilizer!  Since the seed was a blend there was no one herbicide that I could use effectively.

I now know that next year I will plant a single seed (like an Eagle Seed bean) that I can work with roundup to get beyond the weeds.  I have these 3 plots that I would like to “work” yet this fall and get something growing that I will then replace with the bean plots late next spring.  Any suggestions on what would be a good plot to provide some browse for deer or turkey and clean the plots up in preparation for the beans?  Winter wheat, oats?

Thanks for all,

John

John,

I will be planting wheat or a blend of wheat and clover this fall.  Wheat is relatively inexpensive (abnormally high this year – about $18 per bag), is easy to grow, and readily transfers nutrients to deer.  I strongly recommend having the soil analyzed and adding the appropriate nutrients.  I think some food plot farmers skip this step because they believe wheat to be simple or common.  No forage crop can transfer nutrients to deer unless the nutrients are available.  I add a bit of extra nitrogen as wheat readily uses nitrogen and deer seem to easily sense where I added extra nitrogen to the wheat (near my stand).  It is easy to add clover to wheat when planting.  The clover won’t produce much tonnage during the first fall, but will usually provide a substantial amount of quality forage in the spring.  Deer and turkey will readily consume the clover at that time of year, typically before other forage crops are productive.

The one negative to adding clover is that it is naturally very resistant to glyphosate.  If you plan to no-till soybeans (my favorite plan in most situations) into the wheat the following spring as soon as the soil temperature is 62 degrees (at 9 AM at about 2” deep), then simply spraying the wheat/clover blend to prepare the field with glyphosate will leave some clover alive which will be competition to the young soybeans.  However, there are worse problems to have because the beans normally shade out the clover within a few weeks.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

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Controlling Grass in Food Plots

Question

Dr. Woods,

My friend and I have been practicing QDM for 8 years now on a 150 acre tract of land in upstate New York that he owns.  We have a total of about 450 acres with exclusive rights.  We have approximately 12 acres in food plots consisting of summer and fall plantings.  We have very rocky soil and the last 3 years have been combating a serious grass problem in all our plots.  We recently applied arrow brand herbicide and had great results with it.  How do we avoid future problems with grass competition?  Do we use a no till drill and if so, which one would you recommend?

Thank you for your time,

Patrick

Patrick,

The best method to control grass competition (or any weed) depends on the species of crop with which the grass is competing.  For example, controlling grass in clover is totally different than controlling grass in wheat or corn.  Mowing rarely controls grass.  Using a herbicide that will kill the target species of grass while not harming the desired crop is a very good method for controlling grass in an existing crop.  Using herbicide to kill all existing vegetation and then planting using a no-till drill is a good method to reduce the amount of grass competition.  No-till drills eliminate the need to disk or turn the soil which reduces the amount of weed seeds that are brought to the surface of the soil.  Weed seeds that are several inches deep in the soil usually won’t germinate.  However, they can remain dormant in the soil for decades.  Using a no-till drill is a great practice, but it is almost always necessary to use herbicides to control grass because the few seeds that are within an inch of the soils’ surface will usually germinate and then produce more seed unless controlled by herbicide.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

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Weed Control in Sunflowers

Question

Grant,

For the past two years, I have unsuccessfully attempted to grow sunflowers (for birds).  The area was tilled, and then subsequently sprayed with glyphosate two and four weeks from the original tilling.  When I planted the sunflowers, there wasn't a weed (or grass) to be seen.  As the sunflowers grew, so did the weeds — to the point that the sunflowers simply could not compete to grow tall and produce.

Do you have any suggestions?  One thought I had was to spray the area with a pre-emergent (pendimethalin?) after the sunflowers emerge from the ground.  Is this sound logic?

Barry

Barry,

I haven’t used Pendimethalin to control weeds in sunflowers.  However, I checked the label and it states…

“In sunflowers, groundnuts, kidney and dry beans and soybeans PENDIMETHALIN 500 EC must always be mechanically incorporated before seeding and within 5 days of application.  Best results will be obtained if incorporation is carried out within 24 hours of application.”

I always attempt to follow the instructions in a herbicide label exactly for the best results and to prevent damage to a crop.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

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Herbicide for a Clover Chicory Blend

Question

I maintain about 20 acres of food plots.  Due to time constraints all of my plots are planted in clover, alfalfa and chicory.  The majority of them are over 3 years old and I am getting a significant amount of grass and weed invasion.  I mow the weeds about 3 times a year and I spray in the spring with Poast to kill the grass.  You had mentioned on GDTV 30 about spraying your clover with herbicide that will not harm the clover but will eliminate other broadleaf weeds.  Is there an herbicide that you know of that I can use that will not harm my alfalfa and chicory along with the clover?

Don

Don,

Both Pursuit and Raptor herbicides can be used to control most broadleaf weeds in clover and alfalfa.  However, both herbicides can damage or kill chicory.  It’s very tough to find a herbicide that will not harm legumes (soybeans, alfalfa, and clover) and not harm chicory because it is not a legume.

I really like chicory as quality deer forage, but rarely blend it with clover because it limits my options for weed control.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

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How to Convert a Warm Season Food Plot to a Cool Season Food Plot

Question
Dr. Woods,

I really enjoy watching your videos and learning something new from each one that I see.  I have a 1/2 acre food plot that currently has buckwheat, IC cowpeas, and Lab Lab in it.  I would like to convert this plot over to a clover/chicory perennial plot this fall.  What steps should I take in order to prepare this plot for the clover/chicory?  I live in northeast Tennessee and currently the plot's ph is 6.5.

Thanks and keep up the good work!

Brandon

Brandon,

The best method depends on the equipment you have available.  Ideally I would spray the plot with a broad-spectrum herbicide like glyphosate if a lot of weeds are present and no-till drill a winter wheat/clover/chicory mix.  I added the winter wheat because it will produce the bulk of this fall’s forage and become a nurse crop for the clover/chicory in the spring and summer.  Since wheat is an annual plant it will mature and die in late May or early June.  When drilling, place wheat in the large seed box and plant 1 inch deep and place the clover/chicory in the small seed box where it will trickle behind the coulters and ahead of the press wheel for the optimum ¼ inch deep seed-to-soil contact.

If a drill is not available, weeds are not present, and the warm-season crop is sparse, another option would be to simply broadcast the cool season forage over the standing crop just before a rain.

The last option would be to disk, broadcast seed, and drag the plot.  I tend to shy away from disking to decrease the amount of weed seeds brought to the soil surface.  No matter the technique, keep the nutrient levels in the soil in the optimum range to improve the plot’s attractiveness.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

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Weed Control

 

Question
Grant,

I love that you are very open about your faith.  I also love the show and the information you give to all of us to help out wildlife.  I planted Eagle Seed Wildlife Managers Mix this year and it seems to be doing pretty good.  I have some rabbit problems but my big problem is weeds, mostly some type of grass.  I would like to know what you would recommend for killing the weeds/grass?  I’ve seen on the videos that you have had a little bit of the same problem.  I went to my Tractor Supply store but they were not too much help because the associate that knows what to do was not in.  I know they sell regular Round Up, a store brand weed killer and Biologic Round Up Ready weed killer.

I live in Central Pennsylvania and also would like to know what would be a good crop for late season planting?  Most of the ag crops are harvested by mid November.  I do not know if there would be a 90 day corn to plant or if I should go with winter wheat, oats, turnips or some sort of mixture?  I do have a 1/2 acre of clover and chicory but is does not look like it’s getting enough nutrition.  Can I mow it down and put a type of fertilizer and more lime on it as long as there is enough moisture in the ground and rain in the forecast?  Would 0-20-20 be a good fertilizer for the clover?

Thank you for all your help and keep up the great work at The Proving Grounds.

Chad

 

Chad,

Thanks for the kind words!  Eagle Seed’s Wildlife Manager Mix is Round-up Ready.  I use any brand of glyphosate that includes a surfactant and then mix in ammonia sulfate.  This is an easy method to control grass and other weed competition in Round-up Ready crops.  Remember to calibrate the sprayer!

If the Wildlife Manager’s Mix appears to be producing a good yield of beans, I’d leave them standing.  If they produce 30 bushels per acre that equals 1,800 pounds per acre of extremely high quality food!  Few forage crops will produce that quantity and almost never that quality of forage during the cool growing season.  In addition, if the soybeans have already started producing pods, there is very little risk that a good yield will not occur.  Freshly established crops are always subject to droughts, early frosts, etc.

There are 75 day + varieties of corn.  However, I’m not familiar with anyone planting them that late in the northern states.  At that latitude, I’d rather plant a wheat/clover blend at least 45 days before the average first frost date.  I always recommend and practice applying enough fertilizer based on a soil analysis to ensure the crop can express its full potential.

I recommend collecting a soil sample from your existing clover/chicory plot and having it analyzed at a quality soil lab and adding the nutrients they suggest for maximum yield.  It’s much less expensive to insure clover has ample nutrient to thrive than it is to re-establish.  In addition, properly fertilized clover will be more productive and more attractive to deer!

Growing Deer together,

Grant

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What is the best food plot crop for a one acre plot?

Question
My buddy and I bow hunt and we would like to know what is the best crop to plant in a one acre food plot?  Preferably something that will provide for the entire deer season.

Joe

Joe,

Unfortunately, there is not an easy answer to your question because there are so many variables.  For example, a good crop for your area would be something deer like to eat.  There are no soybeans grown in my area for agriculture or any other reason.  The first few years I planted soybeans, I couldn’t find where the deer had consumed any of the forage.  However, deer do learn and after a few years, now deer over browse the soybeans in my smaller plots.  I’ve found the same to be true for several other forage crops.

As for what to plant, deer consume wheat about everywhere it’s planted from Florida and Texas to Canada.  Wheat is a fine attractant and can provide qualify forage if fertilized appropriately.  If I had to pick one cool season crop it would be wheat.

I strongly suggest you collect a soil sample and have it analyzed before planting the food plot.  All crops, including wheat, are more productive and more attractive to deer if they have all the nutrients they need.  Even agricultural fields require being fertilized annually to produce a maximum yield.  Food plots are rarely established on soil as good as production agriculture fields so adding the appropriate fertilizer is even more important.  To make sure your food plot is as productive and as attractive to deer as it can be is only accomplished by collecting a soil sample and submitting it to a quality soil lab for analyses.  Make sure you tell the lab what crops you are planting and that you want a maximum yield (this is very important to the success of the plot).  Sadly, many soil labs treat soil samples from food plots very generically and give the customer a generic recommendation.  It’s critical that the lab recommends a fertilizer rate specific for the crops to be planted and to allow a maximum yield.  Using this system to establish a plot versus throwing out some seed and the “standard” 300 pounds of 10-10-10 fertilizer will help produce forage that is much more attractive to deer.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

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Preparing to Plant with a No-Till Drill

Question
How short do the grass and weeds need to be when using a no-till drill after roundup?  Do you fertilize before or after you no-till drill?

Ralph

Ralph,

The residual vegetation should be dead and thin/short enough that a no-till drill can cut through the vegetation and place the seed at the appropriate depth.  Hence, the vegetation type, weight of the drill, speed the drill is pulled, etc., are all factors.

Generically speaking, the shorter the vegetation, the better the seed to soil contact will be.  I have a 10’ drill that weighs about 6,000 pounds empty.  I can drill through 8” tall winter wheat that has been killed with glyphosate, but must drive a bit slower than if drilling through short soybean stubble.  The amount of soil moisture and the soil’s texture are also factors.  For example, sandy soil is much easier to drill into that dry clay.

A final tip is to ensure the drill is closing the furrow that the coulter opened.  Sometimes excessive duff on the ground keeps the packing wheel from closing the furrow and leaves the seed exposed.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

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Herbicide to Control Weeds in Clover

Question
Grant,

I am in southwest Missouri and I planted a clover plot back in mid-April. The clover is doing well, but there are quite a few weeds in it too. What can I do to get rid of the weeds?

Marti

Marti,

There is not a great option for controlling weeds in clover. Mowing will only serve to set back most species of grass (like mowing your yard). Pursuit herbicide will control some species of broadleaf weeds in clover, but can burn the clover a bit. This causes a bit of stress to clover, but shouldn’t kill it if applied per the guidelines in the label. 2,4-DB herbicide will also control some species of broadleaf weeds in clover when applied per instructions in the label. To see if either herbicide will control the targeted weeds, simply check the label for each herbicide online and compare the weeds each will control with the species of weeds in your plot.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

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Food Plots to Attract Deer in New York

Question
Grant,

Due to the wet weather here in New York there are some fields that will not get planted in either corn or soybeans as it will be too late for them to mature.  I still want to plant something that will be a late season attractant for hunting in these areas.  My thoughts are to put in wheat and/or oats at a very late date so it does not get too tall and lose its attractiveness for the deer.  At what height is winter wheat or oats most attractive to deer?  I will try to time it right on planting based on what you recommend for maximum height.  Is there a better option?  I know clover will work, but they don't have great luck for late season.  Brassicas are good but more costly than wheat or oats.

Eric

Eric,

I like wheat as most forage varieties are more cold hardy than oats.  Wheat fertilized appropriately is very palatable to deer and nutritious while it’s in the vegetative stage.  Once wheat begins to produce a stem, it decreases in both palatability and nutrition.  However, this occurs during the late spring, usually when other types of forage are available.  If you are leaving these areas as plots, it might be worth considering planting clover with the wheat.  Clover won’t be very productive during the first fall after it’s planted, but usually adds lots of biomass during the spring and is very attractive to both deer and turkey.  Clover is tough to kill with glyphosate, so if the plan is to return these fields to Round-up Ready soybeans or corn, I would suggestion not establishing clover.

Most forage brassicas are very cold hardy and palatable to deer, especially after a frost.  If mixing with wheat, I typically only add a pound or two of brassicas to the blend per acre.  Brassicas can be a great attractant during the mid and late hunting season.  Appropriately fertilized wheat is a fine food plot crop, but such plots can usually be enhanced, especially in northern states, by the addition of some forage brassicas.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

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Herbicide rates for controlling grass in clover

Question
I have a 52 acre farm in central Arkansas.

We have 2.5 acres in ladino white clover.  I purchased 1 gallon of Arrow this spring, but did not have time to apply.  At what rate of Arrow and surfactant did you use to spot spray?

Doug

Doug,

We try to follow the recommendations on herbicide labels.  This includes applying the herbicide to the weeds at the appropriate age/size, etc.  The label for Arrow recommends not applying the herbicide if conditions are not favorable for plant growth, such as hot and dry.  There are different recommendations based on the species of grass to be controlled.  We applied Arrow at the maximum rate recommended for fescue which was the primary grass we needed to control.

It’s tough to give exact counsel without knowing more details about which grasses and their current growth status.  I recommend you check out the label for Arrow and apply as recommended.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

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Too Late to Plant Clover in Ohio

Question
Dr. Grant,

I have a question concerning clover and planting dates here in the Midwest (specifically Ohio).  I am trying to establish a white clover mix of Alice clover and Kopo II clover on some trails that lead to a destination food plot.  I limed earlier this month and hit the trails with Glyphosate about 2 weeks ago.  Can you successfully plant clover this late in the Midwest (June) or should I wait and plant in late summer (August) by using a cover crop like cereal grains?  Will the summer time heat hurt the young clover seedlings if planted in June?

Thanks for the help!

Darron

Darron,

It is very late to plant clover, unless you are in the very northern part of Ohio and ample precipitation occurs during the rest of June, July, and August.  If the weather is hot and dry, the young clover plants will simply die.  They won’t have enough of a root system established to reach moisture deeper in the soil profile.  I’d recommend waiting till late summer/early fall (at least 45 days before the first expected frost) and plant clover with a cover crop of wheat.  This may mean you have to spray again to remove any weeds.  Young clover is not a good competitor with weeds.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

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Spraying New Native Grass During Late May

Question
I frost seeded some Cave In Rock in February.  I finally got around to spraying Glyphosate on Sunday the 23rd of May.  Do you think the grass had already started to germinate?  There were some weeds and grasses growing, but it is a pretty clean field since I kept it sprayed last summer. I live in Lewis County, Kentucky right along the Ohio River.

Matt

Matt,

I’d be a bit anxious about spraying Glyphosate during late May on plots where native grass seed has had a chance to germinate.  Young native grasses are difficult to identify.  Glyphosate is ground neutral, so any seeds that hadn’t germinated will be fine.  Given it was a cool spring in Kentucky it may be fine.  I hope you let me know for future reference.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

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Does Glyphosate Have Pre-emergent Properties?

Question
Grant,

My wildlife biologist insists that Glyphosate (“Roundup”) can be applied immediately prior to planting any seeds because, he contends, that Glyphosate has no pre-emergent properties — that it kills green plants by absorption via the growing leaves.

On the other hand, two different county extension experts tell me that “the label” for Glyphosate states that it does indeed have pre-emergent properties for 7 days and thus any plants that germinate within those 7 days will be negatively affected by this herbicide. I assume that Roundup Ready seeds would be immune.

What is your opinion/fact on this? Can I spray Glyphosate one day and safely plant seeds the next day? A major reason for my question is that my wildlife biologist has a sprayer and drill he will let me use, but wants them returned ASAP. Also, in spring, there will likely be limited opportunities for prime planting — not too dry, not too wet, rain in the forecast, etc. It would sure be easier if I could spray then plant during one good (weather) opening.

Barry

Barry,

Glyphosate’s mode of action is absorption through living plant tissue. It has no pre-emergent properties for any plant I’ve ever researched. In fact, I just checked the Glyphosate label for wheat, corn, and soybeans (cereal and grain crops). It says

Preplant, Preemergence, At-Planting

USE INSTRUCTIONS: This product may be applied before, during or after planting of cereal crops. Applications must be made prior to emergence of the crop.”

I have sprayed and planted in one day, and never experienced a problem with the crops I’ve planted.

Like you, I have limited days to plant when the conditions are favorable. I’d suggest also checking out the herbicide Gramoxone. It kills extremely rapidly (in a day for most annual weeds). However, it only top kills. Some perennial plants will resprout. This may be a good option if you have to spray one day and plant the next. Gramoxone requires a pesticide applicators license.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

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Food Plot Preparation

Dear Grant,

I'm at the beginning stages of learning food plot preparation, currently in Michigan. I have a small area at the back of my rural 5 acres which joins up with a small mixed hardwoods stand as well as several farm fields. I’ll be making about a 3/4 to 1 acre food plot and would like to know what the proper way is to prep the ground. My plan at this point is to break (rototill or disk) the ground to incorporate and kill off the existing grass and weeds that I have kept mowed to normal lawn length. Then I am going to spray the emerging weeds in late April with a 41% Glyphosate herbicide. After the recommended 2 week wait for the product to be absorbed I will plant, either by broadcast or Plotmaster 400, a combination seed plot blend called Bird & Buck gourmet produced by Dr. Paul Morrow. Please let me know what you think of my plan and if there is anything you would do differently.

Thanks,

Gerald

Gerald,

Your plan sounds fine! I always add ammonia sulfate and surfactant to Glyphosate (if it’s not included in the brand I purchased). The ammonia sulfate is readily taken up by most plants. This serves to improve the uptake of the Glyphosate.

The function of a surfactant (an abbreviation for “surface active reagent”) is to spread the spray droplet evenly over the leaf surface, help it to adhere to the leaf, and increase penetration of the herbicide into the waxy cuticle that covers the leaf surface. Just applying water to a waxy leaf surface would cause the spray droplet to bead up, so surfactants greatly facilitates spray coverage and aids in enhancing herbicide uptake (and of course the weed dies much better as well!).

Growing Deer together,

Grant

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Killing Fescue to Establish Plots

Question
Grant,

Thank you for speaking out on your belief in Jesus Christ.

I am limited to where I can plant food plots. The places I have here in south central Tennessee are either rocky and covered in thick fescue or just thick fescue. Is there a good way to kill the fescue to be able to plant a good food plot?

Thanks again for your program.

Wade

Wade,

It is extremely rocky where I live and any openings were covered with fescue when I started, so I understand your situation. Besides being rough on equipment, exposed rocks usually indicate the local soil has very limited organic matter and won’t hold moisture very well. This results in plots that are very susceptible to droughts. I use composted litter and have been very pleased with the results and the amount of soil that has been established in my plots, as well as the antler growth that has occurred.

There are many methods to kill fescue. I prefer to prepare good fire breaks and burn the fescue just before it greens up during the spring. A slow moving backing fire will remove the dead plants, etc. This will encourage a flush of new growth from the fescue. When the new growth is 4-6” tall, I spray with two quarts of Glyphosate per acre mixed with ammonia sulfate and a surfactant. I like a sprayer/nozzle combination that produces a small droplet size and that is calibrated to discharge about 15 gallons per acre. In some cases, a second application of Glyphosate will be required, pending on the timing of the spraying, weather conditions, etc.

I then use a no-till drill or the broadcast technique to plant. Disking will only serve to bring fescue and other weed seeds closer to the soil’s surface so they can germinate. There are many programs that will work, but these steps have proven to work very well and are relatively inexpensive compared to other processes.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

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How Do I Create Hidey Hole Food Plots?

Question
Grant,

On one of my small metro area properties I have 2 areas within the woods that I plan to food plot this year. Each area is about a 1/2 acre – 3/4 acre in size. Right now the canopy is open and I will not have to do much clearing, so I think it will be a great place to do some growing. Currently it is just grass that gets about knee to thigh high by mid-summer. For my first year what would be the best way to plant and manage these areas? Should I spray it and plant it early or should I spray it multiple times and do a late summer planting? I have a couple ideas but I am curious what you think. This particular property is only 20 acres and there are some very nice mature deer around. The problem is that I do not have the food source on this property to drive them in. During the summer if I put corn down in front of the camera I can almost guarantee that I will get a few pics of mature bucks. But once the corn is gone I am not seeing them on the property at all. They are close and I think that the plots may help me a lot next fall. Given the little information that I have given you here, what are your thoughts?

Thanks in advance!

Tim

Tim,

Your observations indicate that food is a limiting resource in your area. Except in areas with production ag, quality food is usually in short supply and serves as a great attractant for deer. Combine quality food with limited human disturbance and you have a Hidey Hole (code name for my preferred place to hunt)!

To create a Hidey Hole in the conditions you described, use any method to remove the duff (dead grass, leaves, etc.). On larger scale projects in non urban areas, fire is a great tool. For some of my Hidey Hole plots, I use a rake and backpack leaf blower. Once the duff is removed and the remaining vegetation is growing, spray with Glyphosate to kill the competition. If the duff is removed, and the vegetation is putting on new growth, one application of herbicide is usually enough.

Then fertilize appropriately for the crop you wish to plant. Forage soybeans are extremely palatable and browse resistant. Soybeans germinate best when covered with soil, so they are a bit more difficult to plant in a Hidey Hole situation than smaller size that can be broadcast. However, they are a great early season attractant!! They will be killed by the first frost. If your goal is simply to attract deer later than the first frost to that location, mix some wheat with the soybeans and plant a month before archery season opens. Deer love young soybeans, and the wheat that will jump after the beans have been consumed or killed by the first frost.Hidey Hole Gobblers If your goal is to create an attraction plot to hunt during early, mid, and late season, mix in some brassicas as they will usually be more of an attractant later in the season. Clover is slow to produce much volume, so don't count it as an attractant during the first season. However, it is a great attractant the following spring — if you like to turkey hunt! Turkey's readily convert Hidey Holes in to strut zones.

Hidey Holes are a great tool that can be established with some labor, but not much cost in seed and equipment.

Growing Deer together,

Grant

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What is the Correlation between Fescue and Deer?

Another question. What’s your view on fescue grass? What is the correlation between fescue and deer? Do they eat it, like it, love it? I have heard many different views on this. All I know is there are a ton of fescue farmers around this part of the country. That seems to be the only thing most farmers want to plant, I guess due to its ease of getting stands and for their cattle's diet. However, it’s difficult to plant anything close to it because of its competitive nature to take over.

Tom

Tom,

Fescue = NEGATIVE for almost all wildlife! Fescue is not palatable or nutritious for most forms of wildlife, including deer. When deer are observed in fescue fields, they are most likely picking clover or other forages in the fescue.

Yes, fescue is very invasive. However, it can be controlled by spraying with Glyphosate at least twice at the appropriate times of year, etc. There are other good reasons to kill fescue and replace with either nutritious crops or cover like native warm season grasses. Fescue is very difficult for quail or turkey poults to move through. If the objective on your property is improving the habitat for wildlife, few activities will yield more benefit than converting fescue to better forage or cover!

Growing Deer together,

Grant

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