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nyplotter
03-19-2012, 05:19 PM
Spoke to the farmer today that farms my land and he said because of this years weather things are about a month ahead. He has never seen things this early. He said they will have the oats in this week…crazy. Time to get those plots going.

theleacher
03-19-2012, 05:43 PM
Ill trust a farmer but dont ya think its gonna drop down and frost again yet this spring???? I want to get going but Im scared of wasting $$ on seed
Ill be planting in central WI and northern Mn

Whitetail Jiu-Jitsu
03-19-2012, 05:44 PM
Assuming things stay the way they are I am looking at the 2nd week of May to put in my corn and beans which is 3 weeks ahead of schedule. I just have a feeling that we are still going to get a hard frost in April and set everything back a bit.

nyplotter
03-19-2012, 05:53 PM
theleacher, I hear ya but I figured I would pass on the conversation. 10 day forecast for my area which brings me thru March 28th shows nothing below 35dg (at night) with lots of dry days but things change. Think I will split the diff and go two weeks early myself. Going to put my oats & crimson clover in later this week...turn down plots for fall plantings. Going to bushhog last years corn and soybean plots and start to prep those for this years plantings. What a crazy winter and now early spring.

theleacher
03-19-2012, 06:11 PM
Same weather up here ten day forecast looking good. Ill be planting all my plots with crimson clover and oats as well. Think Im going to wait until the end of April unless we keep getting this crazy weather.
If your clover sprouts in the next 10 days and a frost hits say a week later will it kill the clover????
Let us know how it goes

mikmaze
03-19-2012, 06:11 PM
I am waiting two more weeks and then starting to gly the new areas, giving that two weeks to work, then starting on tilling. Not rushing in and wasting hard earned money on seed that could be wiped out with frost just yet.

broom_jm
03-19-2012, 10:51 PM
Unless they're moving deer season up a month or two weeks, why get started on the food plot program any earlier than normal? If this remarkably warm weather persists, that just means the natural food sources will be available sooner. I think we're going to see a big jump in northern deer populations in some areas, due to does coming through this winter in tremendous shape. The odds are good we'll see high birth rates, lots of twins and might even see a higher recruitment rate, come fall.

Better yet, fawns cast from very healthy does have been shown to have the best chance at realizing their genetic potential. That just might mean a real bumper crop of nice sized bucks 4 or 5 years from now.

Whether that comes to pass or not, I can't see any reason to get ahead of myself with the food plotting. Truth be told, you might just wind up with stuff that matures too early and see your deer looking for greener, more tender pastures, elsewhere, when season rolls around. ;)

yoderj@cox.net
03-19-2012, 11:15 PM
Unless they're moving deer season up a month or two weeks, why get started on the food plot program any earlier than normal? If this remarkably warm weather persists, that just means the natural food sources will be available sooner. I think we're going to see a big jump in northern deer populations in some areas, due to does coming through this winter in tremendous shape. The odds are good we'll see high birth rates, lots of twins and might even see a higher recruitment rate, come fall.

Better yet, fawns cast from very healthy does have been shown to have the best chance at realizing their genetic potential. That just might mean a real bumper crop of nice sized bucks 4 or 5 years from now.

Whether that comes to pass or not, I can't see any reason to get ahead of myself with the food plotting. Truth be told, you might just wind up with stuff that matures too early and see your deer looking for greener, more tender pastures, elsewhere, when season rolls around. ;)

It means the food sources become available earlier and become unavailable earlier. It decreases last the impact of last winter's stress period and increases the potential impact of this summer's stress period. It increases the importance of warm season annuals in the food plot program.

I think it is important to plant based on field conditions. I'll be planting as soon as soil temps call for it and the threat of frost has passed.

nyplotter
03-19-2012, 11:47 PM
Some good points here.

For me my early platings will be oats and clover which will be turned under for fresh and tender fall plots anyway. Just don't want any empty soil. Soybeans & Alfalfa will take over for summer feed.

Corn & soybeans will be planted based on soil temps which at this pace will be early. One advantage up north could be growing days for plants like forage soybeans. Our growing season is so short. When the corn can go in a little early it might come out a little early allowing the opertunity to plant rye behind it. Most seasons we cannot follow corn with rye in my area. Just a few potential advantages or opportunities.

Everything with farming/plotting comes with some risk which is why I am glad I don't farm for a living. I give all the credit to those that do...man they work hard and it's stressful.

For my plots I usually follow my farmer who has planted 2000+ acres for 200+ years as a family run farm. If he is puting in oats now then I should be safe to put my oats & crimson in...then again maybe not.

Jeager
03-20-2012, 07:57 AM
For my plots I usually follow my farmer who has planted 2000+ acres for 200+ years as a family run farm. If he is puting in oats now then I should be safe to put my oats & crimson in...then again maybe not.

Man, you're very fortunate to have a source with that kind of local growing experience, priceless really.

Something I'd consider asking him (if you haven't already) is about when will those oats be ready to be tilled in as green manure or whatever your intended use may be.

In my area, oats planted in Spring for green manure are ready to be incorporated in 5-6 weeks or before setting seed. They can be left to mature and become straw, and the volunteer crop of seed may or may not be a problem for the following crop. Fully mature oats has a high C/N ratio and decomposes slowly, and seed bed preparation for the following crop can be hindered by large amounts of oat straw.

Trapper LM
03-20-2012, 09:16 AM
Unless they're moving deer season up a month or two weeks, why get started on the food plot program any earlier than normal? If this remarkably warm weather persists, that just means the natural food sources will be available sooner. I think we're going to see a big jump in northern deer populations in some areas, due to does coming through this winter in tremendous shape. The odds are good we'll see high birth rates, lots of twins and might even see a higher recruitment rate, come fall.

Better yet, fawns cast from very healthy does have been shown to have the best chance at realizing their genetic potential. That just might mean a real bumper crop of nice sized bucks 4 or 5 years from now.

Whether that comes to pass or not, I can't see any reason to get ahead of myself with the food plotting. Truth be told, you might just wind up with stuff that matures too early and see your deer looking for greener, more tender pastures, elsewhere, when season rolls around. ;)

I agree 100% ! The only thing will be doing differently this year is getting prep done early such as working up plots and picking stones. Planting dates for me will remain the same as other years. Now if you are looking at putting corn in to sell or are willing to take a chance with your foodplots you may want to plant a longer maturity seed to increase production but in my opinion in Wisconsin that is a pretty big gamble.

nyplotter
03-20-2012, 09:24 AM
Jeager, you are spot on. I am no farmer and the help I get from these folks is like you said, "priceless". They are such great people.

As for the oats it's the same here it just takes a little longer than 5/6 weeks. They harvest the head and bail the straw for bedding. I put the oats in my clover more for a cover crop than anything (like they do around here with spring planted alfalfa). I plan to cut the clover a few times during the season which will keep the oats from maturing and then turn everything under in August. That's the plan anyway.

Thanks for the advice it's greatly appreciated.

Muddy Creek Farms
03-20-2012, 11:10 AM
We started putting corn in the ground yesterday morning down here in Alabama. I sure hope at this point we don't get that late frost you boys are talking about! It would be rough on the wheat crop that's doing great right now, and the corn that's just getting started. First to Mid April is when we normally start, but like some have said, soil conditions are right you got to get going on it. A balmy 84 degrees down here today so you gotta make hay while the sun shines I suppose!

yoderj@cox.net
03-20-2012, 11:13 AM
I agree 100% ! The only thing will be doing differently this year is getting prep done early such as working up plots and picking stones. Planting dates for me will remain the same as other years. Now if you are looking at putting corn in to sell or are willing to take a chance with your foodplots you may want to plant a longer maturity seed to increase production but in my opinion in Wisconsin that is a pretty big gamble.

I would tend to agree that in the north there is less reason to adapt planting dates with with weather than in the south. Adding a month of summer weather probably provides more quality food availability for deer up north where it it provides on month less of quality food availability in the south.

jake
03-20-2012, 05:53 PM
I think we all just have the food plot bug and want to get out there as soon as we can.

I admit the weather is weird and I hope we dont get a hard frost/ snow.

welka
03-20-2012, 09:51 PM
I hear you. I was gone for 8 days and came back to the weed capital of MS. Amazing as all my journal notes show that all green up, rye growth rate, types of weeds, radish/turnips going to seed, etc are 30+ days early compared to earlier years. Easily in catch up mode with the weeds. Turkeys are also into strut mode for 10+ days. Really need to think about YoderJs advice about the impact on summer strain with regards to what you plant.

huthut
03-20-2012, 10:10 PM
Weather is incredibly early in central Wisconsin I chopped all my corn stalks and sorghum sudan hybrid from last year, and disked about 8 acres. Definintely will be seeding in late April. The seed will need to get established before the early summer drought hits. Water tables are already low from the lack of precipitation during the fall and winter. I have a feeling it is going to be a dry summer. I have seen forecasts that predict above normal temp and below normal precip this summer.

greenhorn
03-20-2012, 10:24 PM
I saw near frost temps on Memorial Day 3 yrs. ago. Prep comes early but not the seeding for soys.

broom_jm
03-20-2012, 10:26 PM
It means the food sources become available earlier and become unavailable earlier. It decreases last the impact of last winter's stress period and increases the potential impact of this summer's stress period. It increases the importance of warm season annuals in the food plot program.

I think it is important to plant based on field conditions. I'll be planting as soon as soil temps call for it and the threat of frost has passed.

Yes, the rye/clover I planted last fall in northern Michigan is already thriving, several weeks ahead of schedule. It will need to be clipped/mowed earlier, and possibly more often, unless the predicted drought conditions hamper the clover growth.

Where I think folks are getting confused is that high 70's in mid-March does not necessarily mean 90's in early May. This odd weather change is not going to persist and result in record high temps throughout the entire spring and into summer. There is every chance of an early April frost in the north, so why get ahead of ourselves?

We are food plotting for wildlife, not actual farmers. We do not plant based on field conditions, because we are not HARVESTING food plots. We plant based on meeting nutritional needs of deer during key times of the year, while providing a draw to improve our hunting success. So long as the hunting season dates aren't changing, and given that normal weather patterns WILL return, I think it's a knee-jerk reaction to try and get food plots started earlier than normal.

To be quite frank, if you're concerned about late summer stress periods, planting earlier in spring certainly isn't going to mitigate that stress. If anything, it will exacerbate the condition by seeing plants mature past their most palatable state before that crucial time period. In other words, you're concerns are valid and well-intentioned, but your conclusions, vis a vis the early spring, are erroneous and contradictory. IMHO, of course.

yoderj@cox.net
03-20-2012, 11:49 PM
We are food plotting for wildlife, not actual farmers. We do not plant based on field conditions, because we are not HARVESTING food plots. We plant based on meeting nutritional needs of deer during key times of the year, while providing a draw to improve our hunting success. So long as the hunting season dates aren't changing, and given that normal weather patterns WILL return, I think it's a knee-jerk reaction to try and get food plots started earlier than normal.

To be quite frank, if you're concerned about late summer stress periods, planting earlier in spring certainly isn't going to mitigate that stress. If anything, it will exacerbate the condition by seeing plants mature past their most palatable state before that crucial time period. In other words, you're concerns are valid and well-intentioned, but your conclusions, vis a vis the early spring, are erroneous and contradictory. IMHO, of course.

I hope you are planting base on field conditions. Planting in fields that are too wet can play havoc with you soil. Planting before sufficient soil temperatures for good germination can spell disaster.

You are completely wrong about the summer stress period. Let's say things warm up by two or three weeks. Planting in early may, my late maturing soybeans were still green and being used heavily by deer until mid-October. Cool season plots had been flush by over a month by then. Presuming field conditions are right, planting soybeans a few weeks earlier would make more quality forage available during the summer months when it is needed. and remove some of the overlap with the fall cool season plots. On top of that, there is an added bonus for those of us with high deer densities. Soybeans are much easier to establish when planted early when native foods and spring cool season plots are still lush. On top of that, earlier planting allows root system to establish better before the dry weather moves in.

This is clearly less important in the north, but for those of us in the south, there are many benefits to be reaped.

broom_jm
03-21-2012, 10:04 AM
I hope you are planting base on field conditions. Planting in fields that are too wet can play havoc with you soil. Planting before sufficient soil temperatures for good germination can spell disaster.

You are completely wrong about the summer stress period. Let's say things warm up by two or three weeks. Planting in early may, my late maturing soybeans were still green and being used heavily by deer until mid-October. Cool season plots had been flush by over a month by then. Presuming field conditions are right, planting soybeans a few weeks earlier would make more quality forage available during the summer months when it is needed. and remove some of the overlap with the fall cool season plots. On top of that, there is an added bonus for those of us with high deer densities. Soybeans are much easier to establish when planted early when native foods and spring cool season plots are still lush. On top of that, earlier planting allows root system to establish better before the dry weather moves in.

This is clearly less important in the north, but for those of us in the south, there are many benefits to be reaped.

Well, I'm planting in northern Michigan and you're planting in Virginia, so I'm sure there are major differences in the times of year deer are most stressed. The late summer stress period in the north is not nearly as pronounced as it might be in your area and the work I do planting plots in mid-July and early August are targeted at meeting their nutritional needs from late summer all the way through the following spring.

In my part of the country, summers are relatively cool and if enough precipitation occurs, the clover deer were feeding on during the spring can be clipped 2 or 3 times, providing them with fresh, succulent forage during the entire summer. The real key in the north is helping deer get through winter, which means the planting I do is probably quite a bit different than what you do.

Still, if you want lush new growth during the mid to late-summer time frame, is planting even earlier in spring the right way to get there? With deer, it's not about sheer tonnage, necessarily. Whenever possible, deer will focus on young plant growth, which is why clover that is clipped will see much more usage than old, stemmy growth. The same holds true with most of the legumes. I suppose if you're planting a forage soybean, it will put on new growth as long as conditions are favorable. I can see how it would be to your advantage to plant those earlier...presuming there is no late frost to kill every seedling that has popped up.

All in all, I still see little reason to change planting dates for food plots, simply because we're having a remarkably warm spring. If the methods you use and the plants you put in your food plots will benefit, and you're willing to bet there won't be another frost, go for it! :)

yoderj@cox.net
03-21-2012, 10:21 AM
Well, I'm planting in northern Michigan and you're planting in Virginia, so I'm sure there are major differences in the times of year deer are most stressed. The late summer stress period in the north is not nearly as pronounced as it might be in your area and the work I do planting plots in mid-July and early August are targeted at meeting their nutritional needs from late summer all the way through the following spring.

In my part of the country, summers are relatively cool and if enough precipitation occurs, the clover deer were feeding on during the spring can be clipped 2 or 3 times, providing them with fresh, succulent forage during the entire summer. The real key in the north is helping deer get through winter, which means the planting I do is probably quite a bit different than what you do.

Still, if you want lush new growth during the mid to late-summer time frame, is planting even earlier in spring the right way to get there? With deer, it's not about sheer tonnage, necessarily. Whenever possible, deer will focus on young plant growth, which is why clover that is clipped will see much more usage than old, stemmy growth. The same holds true with most of the legumes. I suppose if you're planting a forage soybean, it will put on new growth as long as conditions are favorable. I can see how it would be to your advantage to plant those earlier...presuming there is no late frost to kill every seedling that has popped up.

All in all, I still see little reason to change planting dates for food plots, simply because we're having a remarkably warm spring. If the methods you use and the plants you put in your food plots will benefit, and you're willing to bet there won't be another frost, go for it! :)

I agree, these are largely regional differences. If I were at your latitude, I would not be adjusting my spring planting dates either. At my location, we are well past the threat of frost before we plant beans. For me, soil temperature is usually the limiting factor. That probably won't be the case this year. You are also right about the forage beans. My deer keep them trimmed all summer and they keep producing fresh growth. I protected one acre with an e-fence and they did not start to turn yellow until mid-Oct. This year I will be mixing ag beans into the protected plot. I need to get a good enough percentage of my beans to turn yellow early enough to surface broadcast a cover crop into the beans.

Different regions...different considerations...

foothillshabita
03-21-2012, 11:46 AM
In our area of NY I have seen it snow on May 01 - although this weather sure does get us wound up.

I am worried about the apples & acorn crops....a hard frost now will have a big impact !

I will be doing initial ground prep & roundup applications shortly, but will wait to plant.

broom_jm
03-21-2012, 04:02 PM
I agree, these are largely regional differences. If I were at your latitude, I would not be adjusting my spring planting dates either. At my location, we are well past the threat of frost before we plant beans. For me, soil temperature is usually the limiting factor. That probably won't be the case this year. You are also right about the forage beans. My deer keep them trimmed all summer and they keep producing fresh growth. I protected one acre with an e-fence and they did not start to turn yellow until mid-Oct. This year I will be mixing ag beans into the protected plot. I need to get a good enough percentage of my beans to turn yellow early enough to surface broadcast a cover crop into the beans.

Different regions...different considerations...

In an interesting twist, I do broadcast WR into standing beans just as they start to yellow, but I do that where I live in Indiana, not up in Michigan. The shorter growing season would make it a real challenge to pull that off, up north. I'd have to be planting beans about the middle of April and I'm not sure the soil conditions would be right, as you alluded to.

I've actually stuck to a very simple formula for the northern food plots I am working with and won't be changing that because of warm early-season temps. It would screw up the system! :)

yoderj@cox.net
03-21-2012, 04:17 PM
In an interesting twist, I do broadcast WR into standing beans just as they start to yellow, but I do that where I live in Indiana, not up in Michigan. The shorter growing season would make it a real challenge to pull that off, up north. I'd have to be planting beans about the middle of April and I'm not sure the soil conditions would be right, as you alluded to.

I've actually stuck to a very simple formula for the northern food plots I am working with and won't be changing that because of warm early-season temps. It would screw up the system! :)

Even in VA, I'm proceeding cautiously. I did plant some crimson clover and radish in a soil improvement project (reclaiming a logging deck) last weekend.

As for broadcasting a cover crop, I could never plant early enough with the late maturity forage beans to broadcast a cover crop if they canopy. My deer densities are high enough that they don't' canopy in unprotected fields (so far) but I keep increasing soybean acreage every year. I'm using my protected field as an experiment to see what percentage of early maturity ag beans to add to the forage beans so that I still have some green forage into archery season but have enough sunlight in early enough to broadcast a cover crop.

Good luck up north!

Jack

mikmaze
03-21-2012, 04:19 PM
I took a visit to check on my plots today, they are proceeding perfectly, weeds and grasses are starting to grow, and in areas where I york raked off the heavy clippings the perennial weeds are about 3 inches tall, with signs also of weeds germinating. Perfect timing as I will be able to spry with gly in two weeks. Weird day today, was supposed to get sunny and warm but the haze/ fog never quite burned off, tomorrow supposed to top off about 80 degrees. :eek: