What steps should I take to convert unmanaged pasture land to food plot crops?

By Grant Woods,

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← Grant's AnswersFood Plots
Still digging your show, I tell everyone that wants to manage their land for wildlife to watch!

I have several acres of old pasture which is grown up with some native warm season grasses, weeds, fescue, etc. In the pastures where there are no warm season grasses, I would like to start the process of using a no till drill to plant forage soybeans. I will be starting this spring and would like to know what the proper steps for beginning this process. Should I use prescribed fire to go ahead and remove any vegetation presently occupying the fields? There are 9 fields totaling about 23 acres. I feel like this may be the missing link for our already balanced herd and older age structure. Discing and tilling seems to be a waste of time for us.

Thanks for your time,


Thank you for sharing GrowingDeer with your friends!

I agree with your plan!  I’d create a fire break around the pastures and use prescribed fire to remove the current weeds and duff.  Please get help if you are not experienced with using prescribed fire!  

This spring the fescue and other weeds will green up. You’ll need to use herbicide to kill these weeds (probably two quarts of glyphosate per acre).  Then soil test and add the appropriate lime and fertilizer. Remember that malnourished forage doesn’t attract or benefit wildlife near as much as healthy forage!

Then use a no-till drill to plant forage soybeans.  There will some fescue and weeds germinate from the seed bank.  Eagle Seed forage soybeans are Roundup ready so simply spray the plots again just before the beans make a full canopy.  Once the beans shade the soil very few weeds will grow.

I wish you well!

Enjoy creation,


December 16, 2015