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GRANT: The Fourth of July is more than a day off for the GrowingDeer Team. It’s a time we reflect on the brave men and women that founded this Nation. Every year when I sit here on the ridge and listen to the large fireworks displays down in Branson, see the flashes and hear the noise rumble up the valleys, I think about those men and women that went through dark valleys and ridges to fight the British for our freedom or the men and women that have been on other continents anywhere throughout the world fighting for freedom and democracy. This year take time to thank an American soldier and be sure and tell your family that freedom isn't free. May God continue to bless America.
GRANT: During the recent weeks, we’ve had more than a foot of rain here at The Proving Grounds. Think about it – a foot of rain and more than four inches of rain during one night.
GRANT: Erosion can do a lot of damage, especially to food plots or any ground that’s not covered with growing vegetation, leaf litter or something else. Erosion can dig ditches ‘cause of fast moving water, carry away the finer particles from the soil and those tend to be the most valuable particles for growing plants.
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GRANT: There’s been a lot of rain here at The Proving Grounds recently due to Tropical Storm Bill. Even before Bill, we had a lot of rain, but last night, we had over four inches of rain in probably less than 12 hours. We’re in a food plot we call the Tree Plot. We call it Tree Plot because right around the corner we planted various fruit and nut trees. I like combining an attractive food source where fruit and nut trees make the ultimate attraction.
GRANT: We’ve shared with you in the past the history of this plot. It was a weedy field full of sericea lespedeza, fescue and other noxious weeds. We came in with a lawn mower, mowed it down which left about four or five inches of duff on the ground, used prescribed fire to reduce that duff where we could get a drill in here, planted it with Eagle Seeds Broadside last fall, sprayed that and then drilled in Eagle Seeds forage soybeans.
GRANT: Eagle Seeds forage soybean are Roundup Ready and that allowed us to get a handle on all the weed seeds that were here from years of this being an old abandoned pasture. The Broadside left a lot of duff. Here’s an old turnip from that and all kinds of wheat straw on the ground and that’s critical given the amount of rain we’ve had in the past couple of days.
GRANT: The Proving Grounds is so steep that we struggle to find areas that we call “flat” to get a food plot. And although this isn't flat by most standards – using good conservation practices, a no-till drill and always having a cover crop – basically, never having bare ground – you’ll notice there’s no erosion even though we had over four inches of rain last night.
GRANT: The four and a half inches of rain was on top a month of a lot of rain. In fact, for the past month we’ve had more days with rain than we’ve had sunshine. An additional reason we’re not seeing erosion is we used a no-till drill. Now, no-till drill – if you're not familiar with it – has a disc opener; makes a little slit in the soil; drops the seed in there and then a packing wheel covers that seed up so you get great germination. But, it doesn’t disturb the rest of the soil.
GRANT: Cameras just don’t do the amount of slope here at The Proving Grounds justice. So, this looks like maybe an average field, but when I take the level – and find the level right there – you can see in four feet, we’re over a foot off the ground. Or it’s dropping more than a foot for four feet.
GRANT: We’ve just had four inches of rain; water, I’m sure, was streaming across here and yet, there’s no sign of erosion. There’s a bit more weeds in here than normal, but remember, this is a new food plot and it was solid weeds a year ago this time.
GRANT: As soon as it dries out, we’ll use glyphosate or generic Roundup. That will take out all these weeds, leave the soybeans and give us a very productive food plot.
GRANT: And you’ve got a contract farmer? Some type of (Inaudible) farmer (Inaudible).
MIKE: Yeah. We (Inaudible).
KEITH: (Whispering) It’s 87 degrees; there’s no wind. We’re sitting here in a Redneck blind in a field we call Big Boom. We’re out here, gonna try to film some velvet footage and hopefully kill a groundhog.
KYLE: (Whispering) Oh, that was good. That was good. I gotta – we’ll maybe splice those together. Okay. Just make sure that’s (Inaudible).
KEITH: (Whispering) O look, we have a groundhog.
KYLE: (Whispering) No kidding?
KEITH: (Whispering) Yeah. He’s right here.
KYLE: (Whispering) We got a groundhog?
KEITH: (Whispering) Yeah.
KYLE: (Whispering) Where at?
KEITH: (Whispering) He’s right here. (Inaudible)
KEITH: (Whispering) Do you still see him?
KYLE: (Whispering) Just a sec. Just a sec. I’m not on him.
KYLE: (Whispering) Do you see him?
KEITH: (Whispering) Yeah. I’m not on him. I see him but I don’t got him.
KYLE: (Whispering) Oh. Okay. I’m on him whenever.
KEITH: (Whispering) He’s just sitting there.
KYLE: (Whispering) You ready?
KEITH: (Whispering) Yes, sir. Wait. I’m gonna let him come back out.
KYLE: (Whispering) Can you see him? I see him still. I’m on it.
KEITH: (Whispering) You ready?
KYLE: (Whispering) Yeah. Did you get him?
KEITH: (Whispering) I don't know.
KYLE: (Whispering) He’s flopping. You got him! You got him! Should we go get him? Well, I just want to make sure he’s dead. Run over there quick.
GRANT: I hope you and your family have a great Fourth of July. But most importantly, I hope you find true freedom with a relationship with Jesus Christ. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv.
KEITH: (Whispering) Just say we’re out here trying to shoot a groundhog?
KYLE: (Whispering) No, say what you said before. Instead of saying “filming velvet bucks and trying to maybe kill a groundhog”, just say, you know, “We’re out here trying to kill a groundhog.”
KEITH: (Whispering) Instead of velvet bucks?
KYLE: (Whispering) Yep.
KEITH: (Whispering) Okay. We’re out here gonna try to hope, try to hope, try to hope…
KYLE: (Whispering) You're close.
KEITH: (Whispering) With it. What was it at the end?
KYLE: (Whispering) We’re out here gonna try to kill a groundhog.