VIDEO: For Better Food Plots, Adjust Your Disk Angles

Adjusting the cutting angle of the disks in your food plot implements can have a big impact on the results you get. Disks that are angled sharply against the direction you are pulling them will dig and cut more aggressively, while disks with a smaller angle will lightly chop or smooth the soil. Which is best? That depends on the situation, and both are useful under certain conditions. This QDMA video takes a look at when to use an aggressive angle and when to lighten it up.

Adjust Disk Angles for Better Food PlotsDo you ever change the angle of the disks in your food plot disk harrows? Here’s a look at how the different settings have an impact on seedbed preparation, seed coverage, and ultimately the success of your food plots.

Posted by The Quality Deer Management Association on Monday, August 22, 2016

  • Mike

    If you are having issues with weeds then you don’t want to turn much dirt. Solution is to either notill/scratch surface and seed prior to a rain. or disk and let the weed seed germinate then disk again and repeat as needed t reduce your weed seed base.

    • Lindsay Thomas Jr.

      I agree completely, Mike. Thanks for reading!

      • Mike

        You can also have luck using multiple paths of spike tooth & spring tooth harrows to just scratch too surface while keeping weed seed to a minimum. Again depends on soil and rain helps. for years farmers had to see dirt to feel good. Now they have changed their ways and we can follow. If you do have severe weed issues you can always ask a local farmer for some roundup read seed beans for a years worth of weed treatment while still developing a plot. You will need to find a district rep of a seed company who can steer some left over demonstration plot seed your way. Summer is a good time in the north to get this left over seed and August a good time to plant the beans for a late season forage.

  • Dan thiesse

    What is the name of the company that makes the adjustable disc’s in the video. Looks like something I would like to own. Dan

    • Lindsay Thomas Jr.

      Dan, that is a Terrain Tough disk/cultipacker combo made Tarter.

  • mike

    By leaving crop residue on the surface, which I agree is probably a good thing, impedes the seed you are planting to reach the soil. Nor does it allow you to cover the seed with soil. This is why I typically disc the residue aggressively so that I have a bare soil surface that promotes good seed/soil contact. This usually takes several passes to complete.
    If there is a better way, please let me know

    • Lindsay Thomas Jr.

      Mike, soil scientists explain that leaving the residue on the surface is best for building organic matter and soil health. You’re right that this presents some challenges for planting. The ideal solution is planting through the residue with a no-till drill, which puts the seed below the residue into soil where it can germinate. No-till grain drills are very expensive, but there are soil-conservation programs that loan or rent no-till drills for planting. Check with your local NRCS office. The other option is to simply broadcast the seed onto the residue and lightly disk, as described in the video. The trick is disking just enough to get good seed-to-soil contact without burying either the seeds or the crop residue too deeply. Ideally, you should also time this when a good rain shower is in the immediate forecast. We’re planning articles in QDMA’s Quality Whitetails magazine that will cover tips on this very subject, so stay tuned. Become a QDMA member (if you aren’t already) to receive the magazine. Thanks for reading!