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alfalfa or clover

Farming for Big Game and Game Birds

alfalfa or clover

Postby Gino Bruno » Sat Sep 18, 2010 10:21 pm

for guys that have obseved both, what do deer prefer if both plots were side by side? if clover, what "flavor"? Ladino, dutch white, ect?

as far as alfalfa goes, the deer around here seem to prefer the vernal over the ladac(sp?) but vernal also isn't as drought resistant which can be an issue here.
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Re: alfalfa or clover

Postby Stykshooter » Sun Sep 19, 2010 12:05 am

Gino,

A couple of years back we planted several different food plots to see what the Virginia deer liked best. Landino clovers, commercial mixes, alfalfa, etc. In several 15 acre fields we planted three or four things in quarters to see where the deer fed the most. Surprisingly, the deer would hit the annual rye that we planted more often and more frequently than anything else up until we had 4-5 hard frosts, then they stayed in the brasicas.

Something interesting, on several of the fields we would lime half of them heavily and leave the other half alone. Otherwise they were planted the same. You could look out into the field and it was almost like there was a fence out there dividing the limed section from the unlimed. All of the deer would be in the section that was limed.

If I wanted to get the deer to come in and stay, plus feed all day long, I would plant annual rye with a mix of crimson clover and lime the piss out of it. A lot easier to do as well as you don't have to mess with an inoculant. Cheaper as well.

Something else to consider that our deer really eat up is a vetch. Crown vetch covers the ground well, last for years and the deer seem to like it a lot. They graze it down until it is just dry earth but it always seems to come back in the spring. It works really well on rough, broken ground. Another advantage of the vetch is that it really draws the turkeys, quail and doves to the seeds.
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Re: alfalfa or clover

Postby Gino Bruno » Sun Sep 19, 2010 1:20 am

we have fairly acidic soil here so lime is almost a must..... do you know what the PH of your soil was prior to adding lime? how many tons do you add/acre out your way?

as far as fertilizing goes, i do know that since legumes make their own nitrogen, it is really important to use a fertilizer that doesn't have any...... this can also aid in not having the broadleaf weeds thrive as well since they don't make their own.

i'll have to try some rye..... i just wonder what the protein content is?
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Re: alfalfa or clover

Postby topcamp » Sun Sep 19, 2010 4:58 am

i have some great food plott research links stored somewheres.........i finially get off the road.........i'll post them up................but.........hands down........the best has always been for me........Landino clovers........from the farm and tac store...........the stuff you buy with out all the fancy antlers on the bag.................winter wheat will out draw rye or winter oats..................cow peas if you get them in early enough.........as mentioned though, lime is the key with clovers...............and fifty lb of corn will molassis added will out draw them all............ :o :roll:
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Re: alfalfa or clover

Postby schmaus » Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:56 pm

I think I would focus on what ever I could have coming green and fresh about the time all the other stuff in the country is burning up. Both vernal and Ladak are good old alfalfa varieties, as are Ranger and a host of others. Something that might even treat you better and is tolerant to tough acid and high ph conditions is one of the spreader varieties of alfalfa like Travois. Has a fiberous root system instead of a tap. If these are to be perenial plots, find stuff that will really start coming on about the first of Aug and grow through Sept to mix with your alfalfa or clover. Idaho fescue comes to mind.
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Re: alfalfa or clover

Postby wayne nicol » Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:21 pm

any further info on the vetch seed- correct varieties etc, so that i can get hold of some
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Re: alfalfa or clover

Postby topcamp » Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:51 pm

google white tail food plots..................here's a link with some good stuff.........http://www.qdmaforums.com/archive/index.php/f-10.html
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Re: alfalfa or clover

Postby Yohon » Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:35 am

I dont know but from lookin at some of your last pix's your best food plot is a snow blower!!!! Them deer just need to see stuff thats not covered in white seems like to me :lol: :lol:
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Re: alfalfa or clover

Postby BK in TEXAS » Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:37 am

Yohon wrote:I dont know but from lookin at some of your last pix's your best food plot is a snow blower!!!! Them deer just need to see stuff thats not covered in white seems like to me :lol: :lol:


Ya. There are a few hilly spots out in the 80 acre field behind me that got windswept and blew off all the snow. About 1-3 feet deep everywhere else. The deer have been there nearly 24 hours a day.
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Re: alfalfa or clover

Postby Gino Bruno » Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:07 pm

same here, bobby.... but we just got another 7" yesterday. good news is, it has been a LONG time since we went above freezing. today marked the end to that and it was supposed to get to near 40 today. for the next 5 days we are supposed to be in the low 40s with lows above freezing. we have a solid 18" on the ground out here but a good 5-6" melted today and i am keeping my fingers crossed that it is all gone before this weird warm spell is gone.

last night i counted 109 deer in the pasture on the alfalfa and grain that i put out (that is our current record for deer just in the pasture.... there were more in the fields)...... they are definately telling their buddies about the bruno farm and last night was nuts. :D at one point we had 26 deer on the lawn that i have clear of snow!
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