North Illinois Plot strategy?? w/pics

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GeneSplicer
 
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North Illinois Plot strategy?? w/pics

Postby GeneSplicer » Fri Jul 10, 2009 1:36 pm

Well this year I'll finally be able (I hope) to put in a couple food plots on my father's farm lease in NW Illinois - Jo Daviess County.  Problem #1... I live in AL and won't have much time to put them in... I'll be up for an extended labor day weekend but I fear that will be too late to establish a late season plot.  I will be hunting 2nd week of Nov and hope to have something so tasty that will pull the girls (with the boys tailing) off all the acorns, corn, alfalpha, and beans.... yeah... good luck!  These plots will be nested in the woods on the way to such fields from bedding areas... that's the plan.  SO what is best suited for a green mid Nov plot that will get them to stop in?  Next question is when does it need to be planted?  I can pay my bro to do all the hard work... but I may make a 13hr haul up (that's not fun).  I keep fumbling through the cabela's catalog looking at plot seed, but never say when to plant... mostly.  Think brassicas are best... how about a mix of turnip?  Pa has a bunch of winter wheat and rye left over... That I know I can plan Labor day weekend, but I don't know how deer like it?

cdn1
 
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RE: North Illinois Plot strategy??

Postby cdn1 » Fri Jul 10, 2009 2:56 pm

First off GeneSplicer welcome aboard. There are a lot of others with alot more experience than I on food plots. I just started this year, But this is what I have learned the best seed blends aren't always in the bag with the buck on the front. See your local seed supplier they can help alot and save you some money. Soil prep. is the key to good plots.
 As for the best fall plot I am not sure but I have read alot of great things about rye grain (not rye grass) winter peas and oats mixed together.  The rye acts as a cover crop as the rest grows and can stay green even after snow.  I have also heard the rye is very tolerant of lesser soils, PH etc..
The Rye and oats provide the tonnage and the peas are the candy.
and for your area the 1st week in Sept should work out well to plant.
 
I'm sure more guys will chime in with more suggestions and insight than I ever could. Good luck and welcome aboard.
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Goose
 
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RE: North Illinois Plot strategy??

Postby Goose » Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:32 pm

CDN1 is right on....brassica could work,depending on the first frost.
We are gonna plant Shot Plot (which is a mix of turnips and rape) the last week of July here in WI.
Cereal rye would probably be your best bet. You could also do a clover rye mix, fall planted clover is best and as stated above,the rye and frost will be a good weed suppressor.
I guess it just all depends on what you want.
Jake

Genesis 27:3 Take your bow and quiver full of arrows out into the open country, and hunt some wild game.....

GeneSplicer
 
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RE: North Illinois Plot strategy??

Postby GeneSplicer » Sat Jul 11, 2009 3:23 am

Thanks for the input guys!  Not ever planting a plot seems a challenge at first, namely what and when to plant... and plot prep.  Luckily, I have farm implements at my ready to plant acres upon acres, but these plots won't be more than 2 acres in size each... 2 plots.  For the late late season... January, the deer flock to the alfalpha feilds.  Last year I remember counting out more than 100 deer in this one 15 acre feild that didn't get a late season cut... so it stood 3 feet.  I tried hunting it, but man alive, soooo many eyes and the hunting season had them on edge... I never was able to take a doe.  Back to plots... brassicas would be great, but will have had a 1st frost by the 2nd week of Nov, generally.  Turnips will still work even after as they will dig the fleshy root up even after the green die out... am I wrong on this?  So turnips, winter pea, cereal rye, possibly brassica (I can try)... you guys have given some good early fall planting options.  These are all broadcast seeds right?

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ranwin33
 
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RE: North Illinois Plot strategy??

Postby ranwin33 » Sat Jul 11, 2009 4:25 am

Your plots sound very much like what we've got in our woods. They're basically stopover points as the deer move between primary sources.

Given that the plots are in the woods and you have limited time, I'm going to guess that they will be fairly small so I'd stay away from the peas. The deer will wipe them out once they get a few inches high.

I think I'd go with a clover and either winter wheat or oats mix. The wheat or oats will get you some immediate forage while allowing the clover a chance to get started. Using the clover provides the added benefit that next Spring you're plots will be providing food for the deer after tough winter conditions. This will also help to get them conditioned to coming to your plots looking for food as in early Spring they may be the only green thing around.

If you want green in the plots through winter you might add some brassicas, turnips, etc. I've just never had much luck with deer being interested in them, but your experience may well be different. These seeds are usually small enough you can interseed with the clover and you'll be fine.

Best of luck and good hunting.
“There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.”
Aldo Leopold

GeneSplicer
 
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RE: North Illinois Plot strategy??

Postby GeneSplicer » Mon Jul 13, 2009 4:23 am

So what would be the best way to prep the ground? I'm dealing with tall wild grass under a power line cut. Not sure just plowing it over will help much... so I'm thinking, maybe not the cheapest, of using roundup and hitting it hard 2x. I'll get in and bush hog it 1st. I'm not 100% sure, but I believe roundup is a non-residual killer.... meaning once it's dry, it won't contaminate the soil and kill off seed. Any advise, namely what NOT to do?

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ranwin33
 
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RE: North Illinois Plot strategy??

Postby ranwin33 » Mon Jul 13, 2009 4:50 am

Always dangerous to burn under power lines as electricity can follow the smoke so don't burn. 
 
I'd probably roundup and plow it under.  Wait for it to green up again, roundup it a second time, spread and cultipack your seed.  Roundup is non-residual so yes you can use it and it won't kill your seed. 
 
Monsanto recomends waiting a few days after an application before seeding, but I've sprayed and seeded on the same day with good results.  Just spray and let dry first.
“There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.”
Aldo Leopold

GeneSplicer
 
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RE: North Illinois Plot strategy??

Postby GeneSplicer » Thu Jul 16, 2009 4:33 pm

Well, if I can't make it there to do it... then find someone who can! My brother went out and started the prep work today bushhogging what he thought was a good 2.5-3 acre lot. He hit ot down to 4" and will be coming back with a rake to move the 'mulch' out of the way. Once the wild grass starts growing a little he's gonna hit it hard with roundup. Then the 1st week of aug he's gonna hit it again, then broadcast winter wheat, clover and turnips and turn it in with the cultipacker. Not sure what to expect being the first time. He's gonna spread some fertilizer too. I told him to hog a little closer to the North side tree line (opposite side of where he's taking the pics) so I dont have 40yds to the field edge! The North side will retain more sunlight during the later months and the general wind direction is from the SW. So any thoughts, ideas?

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wiqdma
 
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RE: North Illinois Plot strategy?? w/pics

Postby wiqdma » Fri Jul 17, 2009 5:25 am

Genesplicer,
 
I too have a farm that I lease in Jo Daviess county. We should try to get together when you come up.  I have 21 food plots on my farms in Wisconsin and I would recommend a brassica mix. I like Biologic Maximum, but other products could be used as well. I would be willing to help you with the food plots, I plan on being at my land over Labor day to scout etc anyway.
 
WIQDMA

GeneSplicer
 
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RE: North Illinois Plot strategy?? w/pics

Postby GeneSplicer » Fri Jul 17, 2009 9:14 am

Labor day weekend is the time I'll be up getting things ready as well... we'll have to meet up and get a beer after all the hard work! I'd love to meet up... unless your that guy who leased out the farm land from under me last year... [:@]

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