The Plotters Dilemma...

Thread starter #1
I had lime and fertilizer setup to be spread last Fri morning but we got just under 1" of rain on Thur night so I called and cancelled it, I didn't want to take a chance of getting one of the trucks stuck. Since there was more rain in the forecast for Fri and the next 2 days I decided to do some work at the lease while I was there until it started raining, after lunch it actually started clearing up so I got on the tractor since the planter was already hooked up and planted a few acres. The soil was perfect for what I was doing which was some minimal till planting into existing plots so I refilled the planter with seed and made plans to be back on Tue to finish up the last 15 or so acres that I wanted to get planted. I get to work this morning ready to put in for a vacation day tomorrow and look at the 15 day forecast to see almost no chance of rain predicted for 15 days... What to do, go ahead and plant since conditions will be perfect tomorrow and I have everything ready or wait until we get some more rain with rain in the forecast and hope that I can plant then... the life of a food plotter is not an easy one!!
 

Canuck5

Senior Member
David, with the quality of your food plots, I speculate that:

1. You have moisture in the ground right now, with lots of organic matter. Your seeds will germinate!

2. You say that it was perfect for your no-till drill. Easy drilling!

3. If your closing wheels covered your seed, then ....... I say plant away!!!!!!!!!!! Try not to have too big of a smile on your face when you're doing it!
 

Canuck5

Senior Member
LOL, I tell people that my father used to dig up as much seed as he planted. What I mean by that, is he'd plant for a while, look at the end of every row, to make sure he saw seed had dropped, making sure that his equipment was functioning and then he'd dig up 3 feet in a few rows.

By digging up the seed, again, he saw that his equipment was functioning properly, but more importantly, he saw that the depth of his planter was set, so that the seed was being dropped into moist ground. Moist ground is all you need (for now), to get your seeds to germinate and making sure that your "row" is covered after planting, to make sure that the row didn't dry out.

We, of course, will need pictures ....... :)
 
Thread starter #5
I agree Canuck, I think I will get good germination with the moisture I have now but my concern is what will happen to those small plants after they germinate and don’t get any rain for a couple of weeks, will they germinate and then dry up and die or just sit there to be nipped off by deer.
 

Canuck5

Senior Member
I forgot one last step and that is "hand wringing". That's where you start praying for rain, LOL, as all farmers do. My families farms have not seen the first seed planted this year, because there is still water laying in the fields. Getting late!

If the small seeds are sitting on top of the ground, some may germinate and or some will just sit there till you get rain, then they will germinate.

If those small seeds are in the ground, in moisture and germinate, their roots will find and head to moisture. If you don't get rain for 60 days, they probably will die, but so will all the other seeds you planted. I doubt that will be the case.

Your large seeds buried 1 1/2" will be fine right now.

Today, I walked out in my yard and my grass had a heavy dew on it. Your plots will also have a heavy dew on them and that will help put moisture in the ground, along with your orgainic matter sitting on top and below. In Talbot County, there's a 50/50 chance of rain on Monday of next week.

IMHO, you've done all you can do, so plant away. If you waited till the end of the month, you would then wonder if all the 90 degree days are going to hurt your crop, along with some of the drier months of the year. Your soil may be a lot drier by then, too.

I say plant now, with the moisture you have in the ground and let all your seeds get established, before we get 90+ degree days and 80+ degree nights. Right now, your nights are in the 60's ..... you're in the sweet spot!!!!!!!
 
Thread starter #7
I forgot one last step and that is "hand wringing". That's where you start praying for rain, LOL, as all farmers do. My families farms have not seen the first seed planted this year, because there is still water laying in the fields. Getting late!

If the small seeds are sitting on top of the ground, some may germinate and or some will just sit there till you get rain, then they will germinate.

If those small seeds are in the ground, in moisture and germinate, their roots will find and head to moisture. If you don't get rain for 60 days, they probably will die, but so will all the other seeds you planted. I doubt that will be the case.

Your large seeds buried 1 1/2" will be fine right now.

Today, I walked out in my yard and my grass had a heavy dew on it. Your plots will also have a heavy dew on them and that will help put moisture in the ground, along with your orgainic matter sitting on top and below. In Talbot County, there's a 50/50 chance of rain on Monday of next week.

IMHO, you've done all you can do, so plant away. If you waited till the end of the month, you would then wonder if all the 90 degree days are going to hurt your crop, along with some of the drier months of the year. Your soil may be a lot drier by then, too.

I say plant now, with the moisture you have in the ground and let all your seeds get established, before we get 90+ degree days and 80+ degree nights. Right now, your nights are in the 60's ..... you're in the sweet spot!!!!!!!
You've got me leaning... :fine::fine::fine:
 

Canuck5

Senior Member
Here's another little trick ...... go to the plots you just planted and dig up a couple rows of seeds. You will find that those seeds have swollen up or probably by Tuesday have already sprouted a root and heading to China. I'll put money on it. That will be your sign. :)
 

Ihunt

Senior Member
Just plant and be glad you’re not a farmer who has to go to bed every night wondering about his livelihood.

I’m like you and fret over losing a food plot but in the end it’s small potatoes in my yearly hunting/fishing budget.
 

shdw633

Senior Member
I have very rarely, (if ever I think) gone against the advice of Triple C and Canuck5 but after losing my foodplots last year to the very scenario David is speaking of I think I have to speak up and say I would not plant. It's a summer food plot, it's not like it has to be up in the next week or so for the purposes of hunting. There is a lot of food right now in the woods so the deer are not starving as they might be in the winter. Why chance having you fields burn up. I checked the weather for the next two weeks and not only is there little to no chance of rain, towards the end there if little to no chance of cloud cover even. I would wait and see if there is a change in the weather over the next week or so and plant accordingly. Just my opinion based on having to plant twice last season over this very same scenario.
 

Canuck5

Senior Member
Shadow, yours is a valid opinion ..... it can happen ... not saying it can't. I was married on June 5th and all my friends said that it would be a cold day in .... and they were right. Hard frost hit on the 6th and my family had to replant all their soybeans. But that is farming. Make hay while the sun shines.
 
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Ihunt

Senior Member
So what’s the worse that’s going to happen? They burn up. Well, then you get to sit on the tractor and plant again. It seems like a win win in my book. It either grows or you have to replant and get more seat time.
 
Thread starter #16
Just plant and be glad you’re not a farmer who has to go to bed every night wondering about his livelihood.

I’m like you and fret over losing a food plot but in the end it’s small potatoes in my yearly hunting/fishing budget.
I’m not sure our budgets and potatoes are the same size, feels like a fairy big potato to me...
 

Canuck5

Senior Member
IVE' already spent $11K of our clubs money this year and haven't planted one seed yet! Mainly leases ...... LOL, failure is not in the budget!

So, David, you sprayed glyphosate on your plots and the no-tilled right in that? What mix did you plant?
 
Thread starter #18
IVE' already spent $11K of our clubs money this year and haven't planted one seed yet! Mainly leases ...... LOL, failure is not in the budget!

So, David, you sprayed glyphosate on your plots and the no-tilled right in that? What mix did you plant?
I know exactly what you’re saying Canuck and I’m on the opposite end, I’ve spent almost 5K on lime, fertilizer and seed but haven’t paid my lease yet! 🤣

Yes I sprayed everything with a light dose of gly a couple weeks back and planted into it. Woods calls my seeder a no-till but I think it’s more of a minimal-till, it has adjustable discs on front like a conventional harrow, seed tubes for both seed boxes like a drill but has a cultipacker on the back instead of closing wheels.
The mix was,
Buckwheat
Sunn hemp
Cowpeas
Soybeans
Sunflowers
WGF
Pearl millet
Major Swede
 
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