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>>GRANT: Man, it’s a beautiful day not just because I’m standing in a very productive food plot, but it’s time for Raleigh, my oldest daughter, and I to celebrate our 3-year kidney transplant anniversary. That’s right. Raleigh donated one of her kidneys to me right at three years ago.
>>GRANT: About four years ago, I was at the Mayo Clinic having my annual checkup – I go every year because I’m a transplant patient – and they noticed that the kidney I received from my sister – at that time about 24 years previous – well, it was failing.
>>GRANT: The harsh medications I’m on to keep my body from rejecting that donated organ had finally wore out that kidney, and it was failing. I’m not a good candidate for dialysis, and the future wasn’t looking very good.
>>GRANT: Now, Raleigh’s been raised around her aunt / my sister, Alice, and her grandma /my mom – both had donated kidneys to family members decades ago and have lived an extremely healthy life.
>>GRANT: Seeing their testimony, Raleigh had no hesitation of giving me a kidney. In fact, the hesitation was on my part. No dad wants to put their daughter in harm’s way. But the Mayo Clinic really tested out Raleigh and said she was a great candidate. We had the operation, and there was not a hitch in it at all. Just went perfectly. And, in fact, Raleigh walked in my room to check on me about eight hours after donating a kidney.
>>GRANT: Three years later, if you’d been watching and didn’t know the story, you see I’m extremely active. Raleigh is doing wonderful. And I just want to take a moment to thank Raleigh, of course, and to thank many of y’all that prayed for Raleigh and I and my family during that season and encourage y’all to consider being an organ donor.
>>GRANT: You can see that I live a very active life. Raleigh is very active. You could literally be a hero. You could step up and save someone’s life and give them many more years with their family.
>>GRANT: It’s often said that diversity is the spice of life, and I don’t know about that, but it’s certainly a key to really healthy, highly productive food plots.
>>GRANT: I’m standing in a plot we planted with the Summer Release Blend. It looks wonderful.
>>GRANT: Just a note. I haven’t added any lime or fertilizer at all – none, period – in eight years in this plot.
>>GRANT: Man, you know, I’m six foot tall. You can see how tall everything is out here – almost no weeds, lots of high-quality browse, and improving the soil quality – the soil’s health – at the same time.
>>GRANT: I mean just right where I’m standing, you see tremendous diversity in plant structure and flowers that goes through. Of course, this is buckwheat. It’s high-quality protein when it’s a little bit younger. It’s a great pollinator species. I mean critters are buzzing all around me.
>>GRANT: Buckwheat has that really special characteristic of the carbonic acid it releases from its roots – all plants do. It’s really good of freeing up phosphorus for other plants to use.
>>GRANT: You may see the big leaves that look like corn. That’s milo. And I see this milo plant producing a seedhead – just one of the first ones starting. This will all have seedheads within a few days. Tremendous grain for the hunting season.
>>GRANT: Now, deer don’t eat milo leaves unless they’re really hungry, and that’s good because that keeps weeds at bay. It’s a grass, so it fits really well into that formula we like to use. You want a grass, a broadleaf, a brassica, and a legume and replicates of those in every blend. So, deer will be munching on this.
>>GRANT: First of bow season, think about this before acorns fall. I’ve got the only carbohydrates in the neighborhood. Where do you think the deer are gonna be? Where do you think the bucks are gonna be feeding getting ready for the rut? They’re gonna be right here gnawing on some of this milo.
>>GRANT: And even when we drill through here, it may tip over. It’s a stiff stock, but when it tips over that seedhead is still right there. Just like deer eating on acorns, they’re gonna be out here chowing like crazy.
>>GRANT: Of course, you see the sunflower. Here’s one that’s getting ready to form a head, and they’re doing great. They’re all over. Here’s one over here. It’s already got a big head out, looking good. Deer have been eating the forage off the sunflowers and then, of course, they love sunflower seed.
>>GRANT: Some may not know this plant. This is sun hemp, and it’s really cool. If I come out early in the morning, all the leaves be up like this and then it drops ‘em when the sun comes out. It’s a legume, and it’ll pump a hundred, two hundred pounds of nitrogen per acre, in a pure sun hemp stand. I mean it’s a tremendous legume, has a pretty fibrous stock. Deer like eating on the leaves, especially when it’s younger, but the stock will be down and be a slow-release mulch fertilizer for my crop this fall.
>>GRANT: If I go down just a little bit lower, well, gosh, I’ve got a great big soybean in here. I mean that’s a perfect leaf, not a – and you might notice there’s not an insect hole in hardly any of these leaves. And when you get a big diversity of plants, they talk through the fungus in the ground – it’s pretty complicated – and help each other defend against parasitic insects. I mean, these look perfect. Any soybean farmer would love to have that.
>>GRANT: And I bend down a little further, you saw that, and you notice the difference in the color of some of the leaves because of the different varieties. We want a big diversity in here.
>>GRANT: Let me look down here – get a little bit lower. Here’s a collard leaf; looking great. Got a brassica in the blend. There’s actually more species than I’ve talked about so far. And they’re all working together to provide high-quality deer forage at different times during the growing season.
>>GRANT: I call the blends I create time-release – something deer want to eat early, like the soybeans, and there’s peas in here also. They’ll browse on them later. The collards, the sunflower leaves early, the grain later, the leaves off this a bit earlier, the buckwheat when it’s really young.
>>GRANT: There’s even more species. There’s nine species in here. And it’s working together to provide deer forage. Okay. That’s job one, right? Attract deer, feed deer, grow big deer, grow healthy deer.
>>GRANT: Obviously, we haven’t used any herbicide. Look at all these different species. There’s no herbicide that can be used. That’s a cost savings.
>>GRANT: And I’m not anti-herbicide, but I don’t want to use them if I don’t want to. I often relate that to a – a root canal. Every now and then you need one. No one wants one I don’t think, but you may need one every now and then. You may need to use a herbicide every now and then, but it’s – let’s all be good conservationists and use the least amount as necessary.
>>GRANT: Now these seeds – a couple legumes – had an inoculant on there. But as far as an insecticide, a fungicide, none – zero. So, that’s a cost saving and putting fewer of those toxins on the farm.
GRANT: Of course, at the base of The Release Process™ – I’m gonna bend down here a second – you always gotta have the soil covered. You need armor on the soil. I call it mulch. And I actually see some cereal rye and some wheat, but it’s breaking down.
>>GRANT: You can tell how easy it is now. It just – and that’s becoming worm food and microbe food, and that’s what is feeding the system.
>>GRANT: And I think something that hasn’t been communicated well is without life in the soil – soil microbes – primarily the microbes and even at the larger organisms like earthworms, the crop that made that mulch, those roots were in the soil. And critters are feeding on them, and they’re multiplying like crazy. Some of them are dying. That’s becoming fertilizer.
>>GRANT: Earthworms, of course, they’re defecating. They’re making high-quality fertilizer while they’re aerating the soil. That’s what breaks down the parent material, even down to rock, and makes those nutrients available to plant. That’s what builds soil, so.
>>GRANT: There’s so many things going on in The Release Process™, and you may not understand all that science. But you can understand the principles of soil health.
>>GRANT: You want the soil covered at all times. You saw the mulch, and you see the living. You want a diversity of plants. Different plants have different benefits to the soil and different soil microbes. You want something growing as many days out of the year as possible.
>>GRANT: Now these mostly would be killed by a frost, and that’s why we’re gonna come in with the Genesis and drill right through here. And when we drill, that will knock over most of the milo – the seedheads will still be here – and allow enough sunshine to reach the ground for those new seedlings to come up and get some sun and grow.
>>GRANT: And they will probably break over some of the taller buckwheat. I mean have you ever seen buckwheat five, five and a half feet tall? That’s how healthy this Ozark Mountain soil is after years of using The Release Process™. This soil is super healthy.
>>GRANT: We’ve shown our soil test before – super productive. And I haven’t had to go through the time or expense of adding lime, fertilizer, pesticide, insecticide, oftentimes no herbicide. And I’m feeding healthy deer and that meat is gonna provide great-quality protein for my family.
>> ANNOUNCER: GrowingDeer is brought to you by Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s. Also by Reconyx, Green Cover Food Plots, Winchester, LaCrosse Footwear, Thlete Outdoor Apparel, Morrell Targets, RTP Outdoors, Fourth Arrow, HuntStand, Scorpion Venom Archery, Case IH Tractors, Burris Optics, G5 Broadheads, Prime Bows, and Redneck Hunting Blinds.
>>GRANT: We have past episodes that go into more detail about the steps of The Release Process™, and we’ll be sharing them again, because it’s almost planting season.
>>GRANT: We try to plant about 45 to 60 days before the first expected frost. And at this latitude, that first frost should happen about October 15th. Now that’s an average. It may not be into November. It could be earlier.
>>GRANT: So, you must go by the averages and kind of the weather that year. You know, if it’s hot and dry out west, we’re going to anticipate that the frost date may be a bit later. But we’ll drill right through here, and that will break over again to really stiff-stem plants like the milo. But the beans will probably just bounce right back and leave this high-quality forage for browsing.
>>GRANT: We’ve never cleaned the table. Deer are gonna be attracted to those milo seedheads of grain and the bean leaves. They’re coming right here to feed the day before we drill, probably the day we do drill, and the day after we drill.
>>GRANT: We’ve never cleaned the table. The restaurant was never closed.
>>GRANT: Every time we show a really diverse blend, a crop really successful like this, I just get emails. “Hey, Grant, I see you want me to plant, you know, 8, 9, 10, 12 species. But that’s 10 passes across the field.” Because they’ve heard some rumor that seed will separate in a drill, and the small ones come out first, and the big ones float to the top.
>>GRANT: Man, we just loaded up the drill and started drilling. I’ve been doing this for 20 years, literally. I’ve never seen seeds separate. And I believe, and others believe, that, you know, different seed or different size. Buckwheat is way different than milo, than sunflower, than sun hemp – all these different sizes just kind of form like a strata or a concrete layer of gravel and sand and cement and all these things. They just form a layer.
>>GRANT: And if you look across this field, you don’t see separation. And this is hilly, steep, rough land. Our drill is vibrating. If it’s gonna separate anywhere, it will here at The Proving Grounds.
>>GRANT: So, mix it all together good like you’re gonna get from Green Cover; they’ve got great mixers. No weed seeds in there. Pour that bag in your drill. Stir with your hands good. Take off planting. Don’t worry about different size seed. It’s just a non-issue. That’s an old rumor, and I’ll be glad when that rumor dies.
>>GRANT: Daniel and I were recently out in Western Kansas assisting a couple of landowners, and, man, had a great time. But what we always do, we’ve got a spade or shovel, and we dig out some dirt and look at it and look at the plant roots because that has a big impact on the health of the deer herd and the turkeys and other critters in the area.
>>GRANT: And one of the things I noticed right off the bat, we pulled up a root; I think it was alfalfa – and man the roots were just white. I mean just white as they can be. And you know, seeds are brown or I’ve shook all the dirt off.
>>GRANT: I see a couple of nodules on there where nitrogen’s being fixed. But you can tell these are brown. And when you’ve got soil sticking to the root system – this is a test you can do in your food plots. You got soil sticking to the roots, that means there’s a very healthy microbe population interacting with that plant’s root. And the dirt is sticking to the root because there’s an interchange going on. There’s an economy going back and forth.
>>GRANT: If you pull a plant out and it’s just white and bare, your soil’s dead – probably from tillage and too much synthetic fertilizer, and you’ll have healthier crops if you’ll work on improving the soil’s health.
>>GRANT: The second thing we noticed, every plant we pulled up at two different farms several hours apart – especially the one up by Norton, Kansas – they average there about seven feet of topsoil. I mean it’s the Great Prairie. I mean seven feet of topsoil – and every root we pulled up was a “j” rooted. Instead of reaching down like this, it would go down a couple inches and then like it hit concrete just run lateral.
>>GRANT: You double disked this. Felt good. Spent some diesel, put a little wear and tear on your tractor, a little depreciation. You double disked and it was like a garden we heard Clint say.
>>GRANT: Fell through. And a couple months later you got a “j” root because the ground is so hard. That’s what disking did. It just packed the soil right below that level.
>>GRANT: And the physics is when the tractor’s going forward and you’ve got a fairly heavy implement behind you, it’s actually pulling down, and you’re loosening it, sure enough for just a little bit. But that weight is transferring to that – I’m just gonna say – eighth-inch wide disk blade and really compacting soil super heavy. And two for two. And I’m sure we’d be probably 98 or so are gonna have “j” roots.
>>GRANT: So, this is exactly why you use a disk to make a firebreak. You use them to make planters in yards, but you don’t use them in a field because it will also result in this.
>>GRANT: Now, he had double disked this. But when you double disk and you kill all the microbes, you fluff it up for a few weeks, but you destroy that soil’s structure. And so, the particles just settle tight like concrete. There’s no air space. There’s no water space in between them.
>>GRANT: And it compacts so hard the roots can only penetrate so much and then they go lateral looking for nutrients and water. We want those roots to go deep, deeper than the soil profile. The more of the soil profile they go through, the more water resources available to them; the more nutrients available to them.
>>GRANT: Now, this was a small soybean. It’s crooked. It’s been reaching for sunlight through the blend – which is perfect. That means there’s no sunlight getting down to cause weeds to grow, but even on this little plant, the roots are spread out and reaching down. And we broke them off. They’re all blunt on the end.
>>GRANT: They’re getting to all the nutrients they can. They’re following root channels from the past crop because those root channels were successful at finding nutrients. But once you disk, you destroy all those root channels. Every new crop has got to start over and find their own way.
>>GRANT: That’s a huge benefit of a blend. Now, soybeans have one root structure and milo has another. You see all these big, fibrous roots going out in every direction. That’s what corn or milo or these big grasses do. They’re real stable. They catch a lot of wind. You can see the wind blowing on these leaves.
>>GRANT: And with this well-rounded, deep-running root structure, it just holds it in place, gets all kind of nutrients, and those nutrients are pumping in here. They go to the seedhead – which is forming – but all this is going to just decompose on top of the ground and be slow-release fertilizer.
>>GRANT: Sun hemp has a big, fibrous root system. All these little hairs will just break off. It’s really easy for new plants – new seedlings – to follow them, take up the nutrients this gathered.
>>GRANT: A blend gives you all different root structures and that’s tilling the soil if you will, because you have fibrous, deep, big, small. It is the perfect tiller. It’s how God meant for the soil to be tilled before we tilled the land because there was a diversity of these species – of vegetative species – in the prairie and perfect soil.
>>GRANT: You know, you may be a person that doesn’t care about all the science, but no one’s gonna say, “Boy, that food plot’s no good.” We see bucks feeding out here. This is an awesome food plot.
>>GRANT: The blend is less expensive than like a GMO seed. It’s easy to maintain, easy to plant, and I encourage you to start this fall with The Release Process™.
>>GRANT: Man, it’s no secret during this Covid mess that the price of shipping – especially heavy things, not a book or something – and the delays are extensive. Folks at Green Cover Food Plots got ahead of that game, and they’ve set up drop points – I’m a drop point – throughout much of the whitetails’ range. And you may live relatively close to a drop point. And the drop-point guy like me says, “Okay, you can have other people’s seed shipped to my place, and those folks could come by in the next day or two and pick up their seed.”
>>GRANT: Now, guys like me, we’re not collecting any money or taking orders or anything like that. The drop points just make it where a bunch of seed can be shipped, get pallets of seed and that decreases the shipping fees for everyone – me and friends around me.
>>GRANT: So, at my location here, we have the Branson Deer Co-op. There’s no fees. It’s all volunteer. You’ve just got to be, you know, polite. We’ve talked about our deer co-op before and most of the deer co-op members are having their seed shipped to my place. And they’ll stop by in a day or two and pick it up, and that saves us all from having individual bags of seed shipped to any one landowner.
>>GRANT: You can find out more at greencoverfoodplots.com. Now, remember folks like me or other drop-point guys and gals, we can’t take orders or accept payment or anything like that. We’re just a convenience factor. If you want to add your order onto ours, we all will save a little bit on shipping. So, go to greencoverfoodplots.com and check it out.
>>GRANT: You know, man, just spending time out in the food plot like this and listening to all the pollinators species and seeing all the healthy plants is a great way to get outside and enjoy Creation. But no matter what the opportunities are for you to get outside, it’s important every day, no matter where you are, to be quiet and seek the Creator’s will for your life.
>>GRANT: Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.