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Old 06-19-2009, 08:36 AM
bigeight bigeight is offline
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Default year after/plowing clover

We have an 1.5 acre clover patch that we put in the center of the property, love the location. When this field gets old a couple of years from now. Can we plow the clover under plant a different crop, some type of Nitrogen lover....Turnips, rye, corn...etc. Then turn around the next year and plant clover in the same spot?

Do I have to wait more than one year before turning that plot into clover again?

Also why does the clover stop performing after about 3-5 years. If it flowers isn't it reseeding? And We are putting about 500 pounds of fertalizer on per year, is it lack of something in the soil? I don't get it

Last edited by bigeight : 06-19-2009 at 08:41 AM.
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Old 06-19-2009, 09:02 AM
MOdeer MOdeer is offline
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bigeight,
We are doing just that this year with about 1.5 acres of old clover. It's been planted twice in clover and has been clover for 7 years. This year, it's in corn. I don't know why the clover goes away. In our case, I think the weeds get too bad using the nitrogen stored by the clover and the choke it out. I can tell you through personal observation that the second year of a clover planting is the best as far as growth goes. Our long range plan for this spot is corn this year, then soybeans next spring, then overseed with clover in the fall of 2010. I think 2 years in a RR crop will give us some good weed control for the next round of clover.
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Old 06-19-2009, 09:20 AM
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Tap Tap is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigeight View Post
We have an 1.5 acre clover patch that we put in the center of the property, love the location. When this field gets old a couple of years from now. Can we plow the clover under plant a different crop, some type of Nitrogen lover....Turnips, rye, corn...etc. Then turn around the next year and plant clover in the same spot?

Do I have to wait more than one year before turning that plot into clover again?

Also why does the clover stop performing after about 3-5 years. If it flowers isn't it reseeding? And We are putting about 500 pounds of fertalizer on per year, is it lack of something in the soil? I don't get it

Check out Lickcreek's posting on "natural weed control" from yesterday. There are excellent links that explain why you really should practice crop rotation (making sure you are rotating the right crops at the right time).
I'm not so sure that trying to keep a mono-culture for too many years is the best thing to do. It invites a weed and pest cycle that becomes expensive, if not futile, to deal with.
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Old 06-19-2009, 09:31 AM
bigeight bigeight is offline
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I planted in a Ag field and have had no trouble with weeds and have never sprayed any herbicides on the plot, just mowed. Is this plot still going to run-down in a couple of years, if I keep the weeds out by mowing not herbicideing and keep it weed free?

I don't mind rotating crops, but I would like to keep this area in HEALTHY clover as much as possible.

What kind of pests are we talking about?
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Old 06-19-2009, 09:44 AM
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I planted in a Ag field and have had no trouble with weeds and have never sprayed any herbicides on the plot, just mowed. Is this plot still going to run-down in a couple of years, if I keep the weeds out by mowing not herbicideing and keep it weed free?

I don't mind rotating crops, but I would like to keep this area in HEALTHY clover as much as possible.

What kind of pests are we talking about?

Insects and such. I haven't had a problem (yet)...nock on wood. For example, brassica should not be planted in the same area for more than a couple of years in a row, the same with zuchini. When you have a mono culture for too long, it's a good environment for an invasion from unwanted weeds or bugs (above or below the surface).
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Old 06-19-2009, 11:11 AM
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Side Hill Growler Side Hill Growler is offline
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I have two 1 acre Clover/chicory plots. one in it's sixth year and one in it's third year. The six year old plot has clover 12" high, It's getting a little weedy with broadleafs. but I'm plowing down strips in it to plant turnips this year. I will replant the strips with clover chicory again next year and plow down some more of the old stuff for fall turnips. It will take me three years to do this. The younger plot has been a nightmare with grasses trying to take over. It is my fault as I tilled the plot from pasture in the spring and then immediately planted the Clover mix. I should have planted the turnips first to help get rid of the weeds. Lesson learned the hard way. There is a reason for fall planting of Clover mixes ands it's to give you time to eliminate the weeds
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Old 06-19-2009, 11:46 AM
bigeight bigeight is offline
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Side hill growler,

Have you noticed (or anybody) a decreasing level of attractiveness or use out of your clover plot as years of maturity of the plant gets older?

If you didn't have a weed problem in the sixth year, would you still have plowed the clover down and planted something new?
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Old 06-19-2009, 12:43 PM
Lickcreek Lickcreek is offline
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Quote:
Do I have to wait more than one year before turning that plot into clover again?

I didn't notice exactly when you planted this plot?

Maximum nitrogen fixation/production is achieved after approx. 6 months if clover is kept clipped when it flowers but that doesn't mean there aren't positive N gains in 3 months for instance.

I'm not sure of all of the reasons why clovers don't last longer, they can be maintained longer with herbicides but eventually they tend to die out with white clovers lasting longer then red clovers.

I like to divide any given plot (regardless if it is the size of a garden or 20 acres) into 1/3rds and keep a constant rotation of 1/3 clover, 1/3 brassicas and 1/3 fall cereal grains. When the clover plot is wearing out, I follow it with brassicas and reseed the clover in the cereal grains.

In this manner you ALWAYS have clover, always have a winter attractant via the winter rye and always have brassicas that can produce maximum forage production.

Doing this means you don't have all your eggs in one basket and you provide deer and wildlife with a year around food supply and keep your soils healthy.

On larger plots corn could be used rather then brassicas.

There really is no reason not to have everything all the time versus..."all or nothing" (gee...if I plow down my clover I won't have any for a year" )

No one crop provides year around feed at least in the midwest and northern areas and soils become diseased when one crop is planted repeatedly for years.

You might explore the option that crop rotation can give you to better achieve your goals more effectively by reading my threads that will also help you understand when to till under clover and why.

Cereal Grains and Cover Crops

Clover

Brassicas
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Informational threads on growing food plots and improving habitat for whitetails

Dbltree's Corner - Food Plot Links

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Old 06-19-2009, 12:58 PM
bigeight bigeight is offline
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Default Crop rotation

We do have 3 other plots about the same size on our property, chicory, brassicas, plus all the beans and corn you could ever want, this year we are going to put rye in for another late season plot.
We do not have much woods and clover seems to be our best year round attractant. We put it in the middle of the property close to the woods to keep the best food source centered and close to cover so we could get in and out of our stands without "busting" deer.

This is the only reason that I want to keep clover in that spot as long as possible.

This is the clover's second year.

We are trying to develop the remainder of the 67 acre Ag field in the next 5 years and are trying to get our ducks in a row for the future. I just want to be prepared and educate myself for future plantings and make sure our overall scheme will work every year and don't end up with a year that we have to put Very attractive food sources where we can't hunt it or that our neighbors benefit more from it than we do

Just thinking ahead.
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Old 06-19-2009, 01:05 PM
Lickcreek Lickcreek is offline
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Quote:
I want to keep clover in that spot as long as possible.

Yep..I understand that and I commend you for looking ahead and learning so you will be prepared.

You understand however that if that plot was divided it could have clover forever

That's the point of dividing plots not just rotating different plots on your farm or property.

You could have 10 different plots/fields around your property but if they are sperated and deer react to them each differently, then you want to "subdivide" each individual plot so that it has a 3 way rotation always going on within that plot.

It's way more then just planting different crops in different plots, dividing each plot allows you to micro manage that individual plot and maximize it's potential and you will never again have to be concerned about not having a certain type or kind of crop unavailable.
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Informational threads on growing food plots and improving habitat for whitetails

Dbltree's Corner - Food Plot Links

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