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Discussion Starter · #21 · (Edited)
Gunfun already addressed Wareagles questions but WE may want to follow my pstings on fencing...

We continue to be inundated with almost daily heavy rainfall here in SE Iowa and it is honestly quite rare to go a full 24 hours without at least a 1/2" of rain! Last week we averaged an inch a day on already saturated soils and flooded fields, all of which is drowning crops in the fields and pushing nitrogen beyond the root zone. Thousands of acres are unplanted and as many more unsprayed creating very difficult situations for farmers here.

Passing by fields of yellow and uneven corn, I know I am blessed to have my milo and beans on reasonably well drained soil although much of it is still suffering.

Milo/soybean combo at 3 weeks



The WGF milo is better adapted to hot dry weather but most of it is doing well





Now that I have the field fenced the beans are rebounding and handling the wet soils better then the milo





Parts of my field looks like this...drowned out!



You can see the lower leaves of the soybeans are yellow and the milo is spotted



The Dual II Magnum herbicide is keeping the crops clean



and that is even more apparant where I missed a strip!



The rye straw mulch also helps suffucate weeds and in dry years conserves soil moisture

 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
The white clover I disced down is returning which is another neat aspect of adding clover to a fall rye planting!



I find it interesting how over the past 15 years deer have become so adapted to feeding in this field via well worn routes that they have completely ignored a smaller second field around the corner. These beans lead to that field and though unfenced deer have not ravaged them as of yet.



They walk right thru these beans to reach their usual feeding area rather then forage on these on the way...weird!




I finally got the fence completed although the single fence kept all but a couple deer out



The three wire, 2 fence project is a hybrid so to speak of fencing supplies from various suppliers



I mowed my falcata alfalfa tight to the ground and installed the fence in it, hoping the strip of falcata will help act as a buffer as well





The fence was actually shorted in an area that didn't get mowed so I used the weed whacker to clean everything up and once the grasses start to regrow I'll clean up the alfalfa with clethodim in a backpack sprayer.



Our forecast includes daily heavy rains for the forseeable future but hot weather this time of year will at least help dry the surface of saturated soils.

I'm also nothing less then ecstatic that the fence appears for now at least to be working....a field of standing soybeans in November is doggone hard to beat!:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
I checked with my friend Brian for a little more information on Cadet herbicide, a post emergence broadleaf herbicide safe for both soybeans and corn.

Cadet is sold by the quart at $350 so perhaps a bit on the pricey side for small plotters but it is an option for non-RR corn and beans.

Cadet - Tank mixed with a glyphosate or other postemergence broadleaf herbicides– 0.4 to 0.5 oz/A
Used alone or with postemergence grass herbicides – 0.6 to 0.9 oz/A
Corn – Apply from 2-leaf up to 48-inches tall
Soybeans – Apply from 1-trifoliate through full flowering
Butyrac 200 (2,4-DB) is also safe for both corn and beans but Brian warns not to apply it within 24 hours of a rain (not possible around here this year!) and not when it is excessively hot.

Apply .07-.09 pints per acre on soybeans (see label)

The Dual II Magnum has provided pretty good residual pre-emerge weed control with the exception of some velvetleaf here and there so I'll probably spot spray 2-4DB at $75 a gallon.

More on these and other herbicides in my thread on the subject:
All about herbicides

Roundup Ready crops are easy, but sometimes seed can be more expensive then conventional seed with conventional herbicides or in my case planting soybeans and milo together....;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Iowa Ag Sec. Bill Northery toured SE Ia and called the situation heartbreaking having seen nothing like it since the devastating floods of 1993. Thousands upon thousands of acres of corn is severely stunted and sick from saturated soils from which nitrogen has been flushed beyond the root zone leaving them looking like these.







Most of this corn will not recover although desperate farmers are dribbling on liquid nitrogen between the rows in hopes of salvaging their crop. In many cases they are thowing good money after bad and at best in some fields they may at least lesson their losses.

I mention these things for several reasons...landowners should never put in only one type of food source for a number of reasons but not the least of which it could end up like those corn fields. Planting only one food source means that part of the year your whitetails have nothing to eat on your property and if severe weather hits (floods, hail, high winds etc.) your out of luck for the season!

Seeing how weather affects crops so dramatically also helps us understand why other crops or plantings may fail or not do well...common sense perhaps but many landowners today have not been planting long enough to have experienced these things and then end up bewildered and perplexed at failures.

Some of my milo is just as sick as the neighboring corn fields and perhaps even more so because milo prefers warmer drier conditions.



All things considered however my milo/soybeanplanting is doing as well as can be expected







The Dual II Magnum is keeping it relatively clean despite the heavy rains





I found one track that was not fresh inside the fenced field

 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
The Poly Wire is holding up and does not seem to have stretched too much yet although my corner posts could use an anchor!



The soybeans are definitely recovering!





So other then the occasional "fence crasher" I think I have this thing licked!



A week of warm dry weather should improve growing conditions and I have some Coron28 foliar nitrogen that I'd like to test on some of the milo...stay tuned....:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
My friend Mike sent some pics of his corn and soybeans for the end of June...wish mine looked like his!!

Note again how Mike has various strips and blocks of crops rather then one crop type...very well done!



The University of Illinois Extension IPM Bulletin is a great source of information that one can subscribe to via email.

The Bulletin

Great informational articles such as this one: Can Flooded Corn Be Salvaged?

Even if your corn is not flooded this year there is great information on N uptake and usage in that article.

Another source for great information is Iowa Farmer Today’s Crop Watch Blog

With articles such as this one about Potassium deficiency in corn

Even though "just a food plot" too many of us they seem just as important as those crops that someone depends on for a livelihood so much can be learned from Extension Agents and farm/crop reports....:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
One good thing about grain sorghum is that, unlike corn it has a very short growing window. Wild Game Food sorghum matures in 50-55 days and also unlike corn it has a very low water requirement and is bitter tasting until later in the fall.

Good info at this site: Wildlife Grain Sorghum

That makes milo a great option for wet springs, northern areas with short growing seasons, areas with heavy grazing pressure and areas with poor soil moisture.

I got the wet spring part covered!

I planted WGF sorghum and some Pheasants Forever sorghums and some Egyptian Wheat in a tree planting that we hope will keep deer from walking the rows in the rubbing stage and provide an alternative food source during the late winter browsing period. It remains to be seen if that part wil work or not but it will still be interesting to see how the sorghums compare and "feed the birds" this winter.



Covey Rise is a grain sorghum mix more on the order of the WGF milo





Blizzard Buster is a taller mix that includes some forage sorghums to provide more screening and cover





All of it treated with ConcepIII so that Dual II Magnum can be used



Atrazine is safe to use on sorghums but it is a restricted use herbicide and that makes it difficult for some landowners to use it.

I planted these seeds seperately and mixed in the multiple rows of the tree planting so we can compare and see how they do and how deer react to them later this fall and winter.



I applied 200#'s of 46-0-0 urea and 400#'s of 6-24-24 and tilled it in before planting. then broadcast seed at roughly 5#'s per acre and lightly tilled them in while pulling a cultpacker behind.

A week later it's coming up nicely...





Milo is not for everyone but it is an option for many and a great way to add diversity and bird food and cover to your habitat program....:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
***Note...my PM box was maxed out and I inadvertantly deleted and unanswered message, so if you didn't here back from me please send me another PM*** :)

It was 97 yesterday with a heat index of 127 here in SE Iowa! What a difference heat makes when combined with good soil moisture rather then cool weather and saturated soils!

The milo is really starting to get cranking now!



The soybeans are slowly recovering since I fenced the plot



I could hear the fencer "popping" as I walked up to because a tag end of the Poly Wire had flopped over against a corner post. I'm used to "wire" that stays in place so one needs to cut ends off or use electrical tape to make sure it stays in place. I could however find no evidence of deer having been in the plot



I mention often that attempting to side dress urea is a tricky proposition a best because unless incorporated by some means within 24 hours most of it will be lost. For that reason I always disc/till it in at planting be it corn, milo or brassicas.

Incorporate urea within 24 to 36 hours to avoid nitrogen loss from volatilization. Mechanical incorporation by plowing down, disking in, cultivating in as a sidedress, and timing the application just before a rainfall all are effective methods. One-half inch of rain is sufficient. Broadcasting urea on corn plants causes some leaf injury, and although this is not a widespread practice, it has been used by some farmers and in research trials with satisfactory results. Sidedressing that is incorporated is preferred over topdressing.
Last night the forecast called for 70-80% chance of 1/2 - 3/4" of rain but we didn't get a drop and we have 3 days of hot humid weather ahead of us. Had I broadcasted urea last night I might as well have burned the cash and saved myself the effort because it would have all been lost. Ammonium nitrate or sulfate are better options but nearly impossible to get in my area but should you need to side dress additional N be sure to ask your ag co-op if they carry it or treated urea.

My milo appears to be recovering without added N but this year is a case where side dressing might be needed after heavy rains push nitrogen beyond root zones.... ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
The milo and soybean planting is picking up steam!



I've been to busy planting brassicas to try and get any additonal urea on it but I think it will do fine without it.



The soybeans are starting to flower...first time I have seen that happen on my place in years!!



No sign of anything breeching the fence anywhere



Despite the fact that weeds had shorted the fence in a couple spots



My son nuked the weeds with roundup and I'm thinking in the future I may just use Oust so nothing grows back underneath the 2 wire fence. The outer wire is over top of Falcata alfalfa so I had him spray clethodim there.

The beans were grazed right to the ground when they first came up, before I got the fence up and while I'm thankful they recovered, growth is slower or at least behind those that were ungrazed. Next year Ithe fence will be ready and working the minute I'm done planting....:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
It appears that my electric fence is going to work and that will allow me to start planting corn again but by golly...I'm going to have to get with the program to grow as nice a field of corn as my friend Mike's!!



His whitetails will not only be fat and happy but safe and secure in this beautiful corn!:cool:



I love growing corn for whitetails and upland birds but the last year I planted it they had eaten every ear off from 6 acres by Oct 1st! :SHOCKED::rant:

The electric fence will cure that problem.... ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Late July in 09 my Egyptian Wheat looked like this...



but 2010 was one of the wettest on record (roughly 24" above normal so far) so planting was delayed til nearly the 1st of July. It's got a lot of catching up to do!



Hopefully we'll still end up with some decent screening around food plots and along roadsides.



I used year old seed so mixed a bit of Pheasants Forevers tall sorghum mix with it just in case. I put down about 80#'s of nitrogen per acre so hopefully it will catch up! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
I've been thinkin' (I know...scary thought! :SHOCKED: ) now that I have faith in my electric fence actually protecting my soybeans...I'm making plans to expand! For years I grew beautiful corn and soybeans that held deer all winter long until....they adapted to my safe, secure whitetail oasis.

Food sources protected by dense stands of NWSG, those screened by shrub and conifer plantings and safe bedding in hinge cut areas where released oaks beckon with sweet acorns...all proved to be too much of a good thing! Instead of a few deer I now have herds that wipe out my corn before season opened and never allowed beans to get over an inch high.

Electric fence has changed all of that and I look forward to returning my corn field to it's former glory and giving my friend Mike a run for his money! I can see I have my work cut out for me...... ;)



I know one thing...Mikes place ought to be on the cover of a magazine!:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 · (Edited)
August 2nd 2010

Milo at roughly 70 days growth (Wild Game Food sorghum)



Supposed to get 24-30 high but it's easily double that already as you can see by this 6' T post!



Tremendous amount of feed for both deer and upland birds especially with the soybeans mixed in.



Most of it has recovered from the drowning rains in May and June and the rich green color shows the effects of using plenty of nitrogen.



Neither birds nor deer will eat the high tannin seed heads until cold weather sweetens it in the fall.



Right now deer are pounding tender ears of corn and will literally eat the stalk and all but such is not the case with milo.



I have one field fenced and one that is not and there is no damage to milo in the unfenced field desipite my high deer densities.



I'll post pics of the soybeans tomorrow but they are also doing well and co-existing well with the milo...;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
The soybean component of the milo/bean mix is doing well with the electric fence protecting them. The milo has gotten tall enough that one has to look for the soybeans now however....



Where the heavy rains slowed growth of the milo the soybeans are a little easier to see





Pods are forming now





Most places the beans are easily waist high



Not bad considering deer ate them to the ground before I got the fence up!



The milo/soybean combination does make for some awesome cover and a sure bet to draw deer the moment the fence is removed until they have scoured every last grain from this planting by late winter. Late season hunting is one of my favorite times to hunt because with other crops off and chisel plowed ANY food source remaining will attract hordes of deer including mature bucks gaunt and hungry from the rut.

In late December and early January standing soybeans, corn and milo will get pounded and thanks to my new fence I intend to enjoy some great late season hunts!
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
One advantage of milo is that it doesn't have to fenced or at least it would be rare but soybeans are quite another story. Eventually I'll put togther a thread just on fencing so that all the basic requirements are covered but here's a few things I used on mine.

The corner insulaters have many uses and an extended standoff insulater as shown here enables one to have a "break" point where you can disconnect and drop down a fence without dropping the entire thing. Also a way to easily extend the fence from the current corner posts.



I used two corner insulaters at each corner even though one is all that is needed to hold the poly wire. I can easily let down and roll up an end without lowering the whole fence by using two corner insulaters.



I use the extended insulaters to run a wire from fence to fence from the fencer also



Roundup of course works well to keep things killed under the fence but one might also consider adding Oust, atrazine, simazine or Dual II Magnum with the first spraying to keep from having to re-spray all summer. It depends of course if the plot and fence are somewhat permanant or if it will be moved yearly on which if any residual herbicides might be used.



The T posts were not really necessary except on the corners but they do provide the option of allowing a section of fence to be removed whereas the plastic posts are only strong enough to hold up the wire.



The Poly wire is the least expensive option and it hasn't stretched or broken nor have deer knocked it down. I have found a few tracks where deer touched the fence and then bolted and when I walked the shoulder high milo the other day, I did jump a yearling inside the plot. She bounded away and of course easily cleared both fences, I could not however find any tracks in the very moist soil and there was no obvious evidence of grazing on the beans.

With the fence already in place for next year I feel deer will be adapted to it and I can safely grow corn and beans without having them decimated. A friend had the neighbors cows get in to his 3 acre soybean field and they mowed them to the ground overnight so fencing can have other benefits as well... ;)
 

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Dbltree,
Do you have any experience with convential sorghum vs the bird resistant varietys? I've got an acre thats looking great, that I planted mainly as cover but also for a late season food source. However, after doing some reading it sounds like the deer might start hitting it as early as a few weeks from now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Dbltree,
Do you have any experience with convential sorghum vs the bird resistant varietys? I've got an acre thats looking great, that I planted mainly as cover but also for a late season food source. However, after doing some reading it sounds like the deer might start hitting it as early as a few weeks from now.
They will usually hit the white seeded varieties before the red seeded ones so it depends and they will usually choose other food sources first.

If there are soybeans and corn for instance they will hit those first and leave the sorghum/milo heads until later. Lot's of factors involved so I cannot say for certain when they will feed on yours but I suspect later on.

Keep us posted then we'll all learn something! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
My friend Andy commented the other day that he watched some deer walk through a field of soybeans to get to his forage beans. Others however lament the lack of pods on their forage beans and worry about the possibility of not having a late fall food source.

Now Andy is wise and plants many food sources including ag soybeans so he has all bases covered on his farm, as should we all.

The subject of soybeans then becomes a bit confusing and the waters murky to those who don't fully understand the limitations, perhaps then we can clarify this topic to help landowners understand what might work best for them.

Soybeans....quite possibly the most irresistible food source on can plant! While green and growing almost from the moment they emerge, soybeans are hungrily lapped up by whitetails! Many a plotter has watched in dismay as deer completely destroy their bean plots within the first month after planting.

Later in the fall and winter the now dried down standing soybeans themselves become the target, leaves long gone deer return to gobble up the high protein beans as fast as they can. A 5 acre standing soybean field can easily have 40-50 deer feeding in it by late December when other food sources are long gone.



Soybeans then are versatile and a highly attractive food source for much of the year.

In Iowa ag soybeans often grow so tall that a grown deer can scarcely be seen and they produce a tremendous amount of forage all summer long. Depending on the maturity date the beans begin to yellow in late August to early September and eventually the leaves drop and the fuzzy pods begin to dry.



During this period deer will refuse to touch the beans, often 3-6 weeks depending on the weather and beans, but when fully dry the will resume feeding on the beans themselves.

What then are significant differences between forage and ag beans?

Forage beans are very late maturing beans that put nearly all their energy into producing high protein forage but very little into actual bean production. The forage (leaves) are very palatable and highly attractive to deer.

Ag beans bred for grain production are also very attractive to deer and also produce a tremendous amount of forage but they are intent on producing high yielding beans, often as much as 60 or more bushel per acre.
Another comparison might be made with sorghum...milo is bred for grain production while most sorghums are bred for forage. Milo is shorter and produces large seed heads while forage sorghum is very tall and is normally chopped for silage or baled for hay. Both produce seeds but the forage varieties produce far less seed, so if winter feed is our goal...milo is the best option.

There are pros and cons then to each and each has a usefulness that cannot be ignored but there are very important differences that landowners should be aware of before making planting choices.

Forage beans...

Pro - produce higher quality, higher protein forage for a longer period of time, very palatable and attractive to whitetails during the summer and early fall months before a killing frost.

Con- these beans usually produce far less beans and they will stay green until frosts kill them which unfortunately is right in the middle of hunting season. That means the beans will be avoided like the plague for 3-6 weeks in Oct/Nov. in most of the midwest.



Because they maintain their canopy until frosts it is nearly impossible to over seed other crops into the standing beans.

Cost of seed can be high depending on shipping and RR forage beans can cost upwards of $75 a bag

Ag beans

Pro - produce high yielding beans...40-60 bushel of beans will feed a lot of deer for a long time during the heart of most mid west hunting seasons.

They dry down before season allowing landowners to over seed other crops like rye, radishes or turnips into the standing beans.

While the protein content of the leaves may be slightly less then that for forage beans, ag beans will still produce copious amounts of high quality, very palatable forage.

RR soybeans run $38-45 a bag and often free or low cost seed can be had through Pheasants Forever, NWTF or Quail Unlimited. Conventional seed is often no more then $20 a bag.

Con - they may not be as attractive to deer as forage beans but only if forage beans are planted near by and ONLY when the beans are green and growing. Ag beans will be more attractive during Nov. thru Jan. typical hunting season time frames.

What then is right for you? In some cases planting some of each such as Andy does might be the answer. If you have large amounts of ag soybeans to compete with then forage beans may help draw deer to your property and adapt them to feeding there.

Don Higgins wrote in a recent article how red deer adapted to the electric fence portion of the Iron Curtain and descendants who had never seen the fence (long since torn down)still refuse to cross the imaginary line. Adapting deer to feed in an area then is important over a number of years offspring may refuse to go elsewhere.

On my own property deer have become so adapted to feeding in one field that even when forced out by a new electric fence refused to feed in a new plot of beans only yards away.

Forage beans could prove useful in some situations where hundreds or even thousands of acres of ag beans give landowners stiff competition. If however one has to fence deer out lest the forage beans be destroyed, planting them makes little sense since the forage itself is the whole point,

If your ultimate goal is having hordes of deer on your property in late November through January then common high yielding ag beans may work best for you. If fencing is required and in most cases it will be...provide adjacent plots of white clover or alfalfa for summer grazing.

There is then no right or wrong answer to the question of what soybeans to plant, landowners are fortunate to have options. What is important is knowing the limitations of any food source, when it will produce and how that will correspond with your needs.

No one food source is likely to provide year around feed for whitetails in most midwest and northern states so plan a combination of crops of which soybeans become a part of. Plan on fencing unless you have plenty of neighboring ag beans and in many cases the fence may be removed from the forage beans once they are tall enough to withstand the grazing. Leave the ag beans fenced until they start to yellow at which point the fence can safely be removed.



Soybeans...nearly impossible to beat as an attractant and high quality food source, easy to plant by broadcasting, drilling or with a corn planter, Roundup Ready plants allow for easy weed control. Look over the options, the pros and cons and decide what type or types of soybeans might be best for you....;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
I thought about trying to get some brassicas started in the milo/soybean planting but the canopy is just to dense right now.



I'll just wait till the leaves start to turn and then overseed winter rye and Groundhog forage radish into the standing beans and milo. Canopy will still be dense at first but once leaves drop and the milo leaves wilt I think I can still get some green growth to go along with the grain in this plot.... :cool:
 
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