Better Food Plots | New Techniques and Experiments! (#447)

Better Food Plots | New Techniques and Experiments! (#447)


GRANT: It’s been hot and dry at The Proving
Grounds, but several weeks ago, we had a lot of rain. GRANT: Those rains occurred during prime turkey
nesting season and I was concerned. I think my concerns have been validated because
now, several weeks after prime nesting season, we’re seeing a lot of turkey breeding behavior. GRANT: It is common for us to hear toms gobbling
while we’re out in the field working and seeing ‘em strutting with hens around. GRANT: We’ve got Reconyx video of one hen
with seven poults. But other than that, we haven’t seen a hen
with any poults. Hopefully, here in a month or so, we’ll
see some small poults running around and help build up our turkey population. GRANT: When we received all those heavy rains
this spring, there was no erosion in our food plots. GRANT: Because we had the soil covered with
mulch and living forage, there was no erosion and we didn’t lose any soil we’ve been
working so hard to build. GRANT: Bare soil during hard rains, you know
you’re gonna have erosion and that soil doesn’t retain moisture because as soon as the rains
are over, it starts evaporating out. GRANT: The increase of organic matter we’ve
experienced here through the years, not only has all these benefits, but helps keep the
soil cool now that it’s hot and dry. ANNOUNCER: GrowingDeer is brought to you by
Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s. Also by Reconyx, Trophy Rock, Eagle Seed,
Nikon, Winchester, LaCrosse Footwear, BloodSport Arrows, Flatwood Natives, Morrell Targets,
Non-Typical Wildlife Solutions, Hook’s Custom Calls, Montana Decoys, Summit Treestands,
Drake Non-Typical Clothing, Howes Lubricator, RTP Outdoors, Yamaha, Fourth Arrow, ScentCrusher,
iSCOPE, Mossy Oak Properties of the Heartland, Hunter’s Blend Coffee, Code Blue, D/Code,
G5 Broadheads, Prime Bows, and Redneck Hunting Blinds. GRANT: I recently took an infrared thermometer
to the field to check the surface temperature. Recently, we shared how much surface temperature
impacts the soil’s ability to maintain soil moisture. GRANT: We recently used the Goliath to terminate
our fall crop and planted soybeans in this plot. GRANT: We’re at the edge of the food plot
and where the tractor turned, it bared a little dirt. You can kind of see the curve right here. I don’t like that, but it happens. GRANT: But it’s the perfect opportunity
to use our heat gun – this measures temperature at the surface of bared dirt versus the top
of the mulch where we used the crimper to terminate and then underneath the mulch. GRANT: Now, we’ve talked about in the past
that the soil surface is a huge factor – the temperature of it and how much moisture is
out. So, let’s see what happens. I’m just gonna aim at this bare spot right
here. Let it calibrate and do its thing. GRANT: Whoa. 131.1. 131 degrees. You’re thinking, “How can that be?” It’s not 130 out here. But, remember, right on the surface, there’s
more air friction. There’s more molecules moving and the sun’s
radiant energy is just building up heat in that. The wind is blowing up here, but the sun’s
radiant energy is just pounding the soil. 130 degrees. GRANT: At that temperature, 100% of the moisture
is evaporating out and plants can’t use it. GRANT: That may seem impossible, but slow
down a second, think about putting your hand on a dark car when the air temperature is
80 or 90 degrees. The surface of that car will be much warmer
than the air temperature. GRANT: I’ll just aim about a foot away and
compare to the surface of the mulch. Very warm at 103 degrees, but almost 30 degrees
cooler. And that’s because the soil is a little
darker. The light-colored mulch – of course, it’s
dead and dried out – is reflecting heat back. GRANT: But what’s really important, to the
soybeans that are germinating in here, is what’s the temperature below the mulch? Not only the mulch we just created, but last
year’s duff also. GRANT: So, I’m gonna go right here just
where I was and scratch back – I’ve gotta be quick before the sun starts heating it
up – make me a little hole in here; get down to the dirt. 87 degrees. 87 degrees. That’s 43 degrees cooler than bare dirt. 43 degrees. GRANT: And that makes all the difference in
the world to how much moisture is evaporating out and the biology – the life in the soil;
the beneficial bacteria and insect and earthworms. Huge difference. GRANT: This is a massive advantage of the
Buffalo System versus tilling. GRANT: It’s obvious that where the tractor
tire pushed the mulch away, there’s no soybean seedlings breaking through. And we know why. GRANT: The soil temperature is 130 plus degrees. It’s literally evaporated out all the available
moisture. It’s a hostile environment for those seedlings. GRANT: But, just a foot or so away, I see
seedlings breaking the ground; germinating, sprouting – and that’s because it’s
a much more favorable environment. At 87 degrees, it’s saving some moisture. GRANT: It’s impractical to irrigate food
plots – certainly here at The Proving Grounds and almost anywhere. But we can conserve moisture and that’s
what’s important. And we do it through the Buffalo System. GRANT: It’s powder right here. Literally powder right there. In what? A foot or two away at the most. Obviously, the same rain. I’ve got all this mulch, and I get below
the mulch – I can actually squeeze it and make a mud ball. No difference, except covered. GRANT: You know, that’s why I wear a big
hat, folks. This is easy to understand. All of these advantages and suppressing weeds
on top of it. That’s why I love the Buffalo System. GRANT: I recently checked one of our Hot Zone
fences at a plot we call BPP. This is a perfect location to use a Hot Zone
fence and allow some of the forage to mature and be available during the hunting season. GRANT: I’m in a food plot we call BPP and
we set this Hot Zone up specifically so we’d have it right here for the late season in
front of this Redneck Blind. GRANT: We had the same setup last year and
we had a great encounter with a mature buck we call Herman. Unfortunately, Herman had shed one side when
we had the encounter. So, we’re hoping we’ll have another encounter
this fall. GRANT: When I was checking the fence, I noticed
it’s a great illustration of how terminating the crop and leaving it in place really suppresses
weeds. GRANT: This is a relatively small food plot
and we had the Hot Zone up last year so the Buffalo cover system grew really big. You can see all the duff on the ground. GRANT: Outside the fence, the deer browsed
the fall food plot pretty much to the dirt. GRANT: We had a dry winter – rough growing
conditions – and it just didn’t produce much tonnage. GRANT: It’s important to tell ya – everything
was done the same time. Same tractor driver; this was all covered
same time; planted same time; and then we put the fence up. GRANT: Inside the Hot Zone – very little
weed pressure. The beans are looking great. Outside – tremendous weed pressure. GRANT: Remember, inside the fence, the fall
crop grew really tall, so we had mulch now to hold moisture and suppress weeds. Outside – because it’s a small plot – they
browsed it very low. GRANT: The difference is: this is gonna cost
us more ‘cause now we’re gonna have to come in and spray, terminate the weeds and
plant an experimental summer blend. And it’s not providing food for critters. GRANT: Even though this wasn’t the plan,
this is a great illustration. The Buffalo System works. We had a great cover crop and so it’s holding
moisture and suppressing weeds. GRANT: Outside – it’s almost like we tilled
it. The deer had ate it to the dirt and now we’ve
got tremendous weed pressure and not much moisture. GRANT: It goes much further than that. As the landowner – now I’ve got to pay
for labor, or spend my time, and come up here with the tractor and spray a herbicide to
get these weeds under control before they go to seed. And what I’m gonna do – working with Eagle
Seed – is plant an experimental summer plot in here to see if we can grow something the
deer won’t over browse and still provide some nutrition. GRANT: I enjoy addressing problems. So, I’ve been working with the folks at Eagle
Seed to come up with some blends that we can plant during the warm season – the summer
season – in these small plots that will build organic matter – tons of forage – and
provide something for critters to eat. GRANT: We’re going to be planting this special
experimental blend soon, and we’ll keep you posted on our observations. GRANT: We’ve also been working on maintaining
a perennial clover food plot. It may not look like it, but I’m standing
in a clover food plot. We actually filmed here earlier this year. GRANT: That was early on and since then, the
fall blend had a lot of time to grow. We had a long, dry winter with no acorns,
so deer had browsed down the clover and the cereal grains close to the ground. GRANT: Without the cereal grains and the clover
being so short, this would have become a weedy mess. GRANT: But once we started to get a little
rain, the cereal grains popped up, making the perfect greenhouse for the clover. GRANT: The cereal grains in that fall blend
have now got three or four feet tall and it was time to trample, like buffalo, or terminate
that crop. GRANT: The cereal grains sucked up any excess
nitrogen the clover was making and suppressed the weeds – A) by shading ‘em out and
B) by using up the fertilizer – the nitrogen. GRANT: It’s time to terminate the cereal
grains now. We don’t want these seedheads maturing and
becoming competition through the growing season this summer with the clover. GRANT: We’ll use the Goliath crimper to
terminate the cereal grains. We simply want to keep these seedheads from
ripening and being viable. We don’t want them growing during the summer
months and being competition at that time of year with the clover. GRANT: By using the crimper, we’ll turn
all these cereal grains into a thick mulch; the clover will grow right through that mulch,
so that’s not an issue. But, it will also preserve soil moisture,
allowing the clover to make forage many more months during the hot summer. GRANT: As beneficial worms, insects and bacteria
break down the crop we just terminated on top of the clover, it becomes wonderful slow-release
fertilizer. The layer of mulch we just created will suppress
most of the weeds in this clover field. And everyone knows controlling weeds in a
clover food plot is a tough job. GRANT: The Goliath made short work of terminating
our cereal grain cover crop over the clover. By putting it down, we’ll preserve all that
moisture; the clover will come through and the clover will be much more productive later
into the summer. GRANT: It’s probably worth mentioning we
didn’t have to use any herbicide. I’m sure one or two weeds have popped up. But if we hadn’t had a cover crop, this
would have been a weedy mess by this time of the year. GRANT: Last year, the area where I live become
a CWD zone. And we no longer can use any feed or minerals. GRANT: As more and more areas are under the
same restrictions throughout the whitetails’ range, I was seeking an alternative way to
provide high quality trace minerals and provide better growing conditions for the forage. GRANT: The folks at Trophy Rock have come
up with the perfect answer. It’s simply ground up Trophy Rock, like
fertilizer, and you apply it to a food plot like fertilizer. GRANT: Trophy Rock is mined out of a natural
mineral deposit in Utah. So, the guys at Trophy Rock started grinding
it up much finer than a normal Trophy Rock and gave us some to try. It’s almost like using a soil supplement
on your food plot. GRANT: This is called Plot Rock and last year
we did a test and we were thrilled with the results. Plot Rock dissolves into the soil and the
trace minerals are taken up by the forage. GRANT: I wanted to learn more about the potential
of Plot Rock. So, this year, interns Skyler and Luke designed
a research project. GRANT: In six of our food plots, they designed
test areas where they applied Plot Rock at the rate equivalent to 100, 200, 300, 400,
and 500 pounds per acre. GRANT: So, we have a control – areas where
it’s not applied. And then five different rates applied at six
different locations. GRANT: Luke and Skyler will be working on
the research project throughout the summer and I look forward to hearing and sharing
their observations. GRANT: We’ve shared a lot of subjects this
week because there’s a lot going on at The Proving Grounds. I hope you have time to get outside and enjoy
Creation. But, most importantly, take time every day
to slow down, and listen to what the Creator is saying to you. GRANT: Thanks for watching GrowingDeer. GRANT: If you would like to stay up to date on all these projects at The Proving Grounds simply subscribe to the GrowingDeer channel.

27 Replies to “Better Food Plots | New Techniques and Experiments! (#447)”

  1. It has also been raining a lot here in Florida.And whenever it doesn’t rain it is HOT!!missing up my fishing

  2. Hey i live in wisconsin and have cwd could yall make something specific to how to manage cwd?? Like what a landowner themselves can do? Do we have to shoot all our little bucks?

  3. Hi guys!! I have been seeing a buck having some growth here in SE Oklahoma!! Also just this morning at about nine thirty I had a doe and a fawn. The fawn was just running and playing along!! Hopefully it's a future monster!!

  4. Hey Daniel love this video it is very informational and interesting. Thanks for sharing and God bless.

  5. I'm doing similar experiments in my plots and have similar results. One thing you might try is broadcasting a couple kinds of seed into the rye/clover before you go over it with a crimper. For instance, broadcast buckwheat, chicory, soybeans, or anything else the deer will browse. You'll need less seed (of any single type) and should get a nice salad bowl effect over the summer and into the Fall.

  6. What differences exist in the comparison between mowing vs crimping? I have used the mowing tactic in clover plots planted with fall blend but curious what difference might occur between the 2 methods of terminating the fall crop

  7. What happened to the buck y’all called “Swoops”? Did someone kill him and I missed that episode or I just don’t remember it?

  8. Great point Grant on the dirt being hotter than the air! The air gets warm mostly due to the soil absorbing then transferring energy (heat) to the air. It's why the air outside an airplane, at cruising altitude, is so cold even though it gets more sunlight than the air at the Earth's surface. Being so far from the Earth means it stays cold all the time.

  9. would i be able to do the buffalo system if i used glyphosphate to kill the grass, spread my seed and then used a roller or cultipacker to compact it? also would clover be able to grow out of the mulch?

  10. Hello everyone at growing deer, just want to share a little info with you guys, a few weeks ago my oldest boy went out and bought some seed that has clover brassica and cereal rye in it and it's a throw and grow type if seed, the directions say just vriadcast the seed where you want it and it will settle into the ground and germinate, honestly I was not thinking it would work well to my surprise I to popping up and looking great for only three weeks into germinating can't wait to see how it turns out and I bet our deer will love the brassica blend God bless and take care

  11. Real informative I have 80 acers with 4 one acer plots using a bunch of you tip and seeing alot of nice deer. Kyle

  12. Y'all's harvest goals have changed how we manage our fall doe harvest – thank you! But what about turkeys? We have the blessing that no one is hunting our turkeys and their population has increased. We are also blessed with a fall hen season. Should we be setting harvest goals for our turkey population too? I think in our largest field, I counted 5 toms to 40 hens last spring. Thank you!

  13. 44 degrees Grant, 44. Lol. I'm an accountant, sorry I couldn't resist. By the way, I got my son's name from you. He was born just a month ago and his name is Grant. Can't wait to teach him some of the strategies I've learned from your show.

  14. Great videos! Thanks for talking about soil health and relating it to the health of the entire ecosystem and how it promotes healthier wildlife!

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