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No Till Food Plots - So Easy

Stressless

Active Member
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Keene, OH
Thanks much, and when I got home last nite, this was in my pile of mail. ;)

20210503_084212.jpg


I ad leave without seeding as there was just too much to do to take a 1.5 hour round trip to Merit. I'm gonna make a list and create a new thread on this plot.
 

at1010

*Supporting Member*
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Thanks much, and when I got home last nite, this was in my pile of mail. ;)

View attachment 126629

I ad leave without seeding as there was just too much to do to take a 1.5 hour round trip to Merit. I'm gonna make a list and create a new thread on this plot.

I have not got through the entire book yet, but I read it last year and it was fantastic. I look forward to finishing this one as well. Hope you enjoy it! I hope my response was useful, I look forward to following your progress. Good luck!
 

at1010

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I use to care about any weed in my plots. I use to sincerely worry about summer nutrition and my impacts on the whitetail. As I learned more from those far smarter than I, I no longer worry much about the summer stress period on whitetails. Even if I am concerned, I believe that managing food plots, more so as "wildlife pastures" is far more beneficial to a multitude of species, regardless of the aesthetics. Now that my perceived value and goals have changed, the picture below is far more beautiful, than a monoculture of something else, to me.

Here you see some rye grain growing and providing structure (both above and below ground), some brassicas flowering and growing tall, the "floor" is covered with a wide variety of clovers, that are starting to flower providing a pollinator habitat for bees. Lastly, I seeded this field with buckwheat, red clover, sunflower, and spring oats - we now have rain coming and those seeds will germinate here soon providing additional diversity in the soil and above the ground.

Build Better Soils! Thank you all for following along.
IMG_4500.PNG
 
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at1010

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In this video, I talk about getting my tractor stuck, how I continued to spread into the rye grain thatch, my plans for fall, why I am not worried about feeding deer but more so feeding the soil, etc. To clear up one statement - plants don't stop root exudation at 50% browse, but it is hindered, I believe the stopping point, without the ability to return, is around 80% browse. See Green Cover Seed, 6th addition Soil Health Guide for more information on that.

Thank you for watching!
 
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at1010

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The rhizophagy cycle is one of the most interesting concepts I have learned about, to date. From endophytes on seeds, to how they colonize plants to the idea of plants recruiting microbes, consuming some, and regurgitating others (for lack of a better term) back into the soil to recruit more nutrients - is fascinating! These processes have been shown to increase root hair growth, nutrient uptake in the plant, and increase plant disease resistance. Well worth the watch!
 
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at1010

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A quick update on the cover crops, my future plans, the importance of water infiltration, and creating a system that lends itself to soil aggregation. Thank you for watching!
 

at1010

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NEW VIDEO -

Here I tried to show a strong visual of what somewhat well-aggregated soil looks like visually. Sometimes words can be thrown around but without a strong visual, it is hard to know what we are working to achieve. I hope this video helps you all with that!

 
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at1010

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Very interesting webinar on mycorrhizae fungi and how it helps to make hold water, increase nutrients in plants, increase nutrient uptake availability, reduce run-off, etc. Well worth the listen.
 
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at1010

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I don't think I ever shared the below in this thread - I wanted to put it here as a point of reference if anyone wants to listen.


I was invited to speak on this podcast all about soil health and most importantly the resources that people can use to learn about soil health, from those far smarter and more experienced than I.

Thanks to Ty Miller for having me on. An absolute honor to be asked to discuss this topic that I am so passionate about, and far from an expert on. Truly humbling.

I appreciated the invite greatly and the conversation was a great one.
 

at1010

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Here I show how a legume plant is fixing atmospheric nitrogen, which is making it bioavailable for the next crop that I plant. This is a major benefit of a cover crop. It is important to note that this can take a few years, and going cold turkey on N fertilizer can reduce outputs/yields. One note I forgot to mention and wanted to add: When a crop is cut/browsed/etc.

Even though the entire plant is not dead, parts of the roots will die, which can make that nitrogen or other nutrients that were bound up to the roots, available to microbes, meaning transferable to the other plants in the network....Symbiosis! For more information on the Rhizophagey Cycle - youtube Dr. James White - several very informative webinars. For more information on Dr. Christine Jones and the studies, I referenced youtube Dr. Christine Jones, "The Nitrogen Solution".
 

at1010

*Supporting Member*
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Another fantastic Webinar by John Kempf, understanding PH, redox, oxidation, and how they impact nutrient availability, fascinating!!

My notes below:

The only valid indicator of what nutrients are in the soil are sap analysis
Conventional soil tests will tell us if Iron or MG is in the soil profile but we don’t know if this is in the redox form vs. bioavailable form.

Tillage, exposure to sunlight, nitrate application – strong oxidizing factors
Nutrient availability is ultimately determined by biological activity.

Chemical inputs will result in hitting a ceiling in plant health. Need functioning biology
Crop health labs for sap analysis for more information.

No lab report or soil assay that gives us everything we are looking for in one-stop-shop
.
Really healthy soil will suppress pathogens – good biological activity.
Really healthy soil has enough biological available N, without adding N, to produce a top yield for that field, without supplemental N – all biologically delivered N.

Examples of plantings pulling up oxidized forms of Iron, but they are unable to use that form so they store it in the plant, once they realize it is not bioavailable. It Will show up in the tissue sample but not in sap analysis. This reminds me of the Dr. Christine Jones study on the Nitrogen loop and the uptake of “funny proteins” or non-convertible nitrates to amino acids.

Often best to purchase the trace minerals in the amino acid state, not in the oxidized state.

Salt fertilizers, lime, etc. are all oxidizers! As well as heat, tillage, etc.

Soil PH and plant sap PH – zero correlation

Pathogenic microbes are oxidizers – so as you add fertilizers that are also oxidizers, which are reducing healthy microbes, you are enhancing pathogenic microbes’ populations.

Not all OM is created equal – many variables. Principle understanding is surrounded around the bio-physics over the environment in which the OM was created. For example, is it paramagnetic or diamagnetic? Depends on the soil's paramagnetic, electric conductivity.
Build Better Soils!!
 

at1010

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CB5A928E-64C2-46C6-840F-D8540C4CA5BE.jpeg

Garden Cover crop - same mix I use for deer plots, is ready to be turned into a thatch for the microbes!!

crimson clover
Medium red
Wheat
Oats
Rye
Triticale
Radish
White clover
Peas
Hairy vetch
 
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tpierce

Junior Member
Al, I've been following this thread loosely. Amazing insights you have learned. Most of it is beyond my understanding, but still very interesting.
That garden cover plot mix, is it something you buy premixed and bagged? From someone like Merit Seed?
 

at1010

*Supporting Member*
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Al, I've been following this thread loosely. Amazing insights you have learned. Most of it is beyond my understanding, but still very interesting.
That garden cover plot mix, is it something you buy premixed and bagged? From someone like Merit Seed?

Thank you!! I am sorry for being overly detailed or analytical in some responses, trust me I am far from knowing much of anything, but if there is ever a topic I post about that you are intrigued about learning more, shoot me a PM - if I don't know, I will research the answer for you barring it is in my wheelhouse. I am happy to have a phone call or message to discuss further and hope I can make it clearer.

I believe it is of vital importance for folks to realize (myself included!!) that even the experts in these fields are still learning more every day. So it is ok to have to "re-look" up a term or a process to remind one's self of how that particular process functions. I cannot tell you how many times I have gone back and re-read a blog or re-listened to a webinar, etc. An hour webinar might take me 3 hours to listen to because I rewind and listen again to try to fully understand (to the best of my comprehension) what is truly being represented.

All this to say, this doesn't just inherently come easy to me or really anyone for that matter. The fun of this is the journey of putting the puzzle pieces together to not only understand soil functionality but also nutrient transferability from mineralized forms in the soil, into digestible human/animal sustenance, through the symbiotic processes from the Sun to the Plants, to the Micrbobes, and back around!!!

As for the mix - I don't buy really any "pre-made mixes" I buy 95% from Merit seed. They mix it for me and John has helped me to balance all species accordingly.

This cover crop mix - also my deer plot mix (for the most part) is as follows
Crimson Clover
Medium Red clover
Rye
oats
wheat
triticale
radish
rape
turnip
hairy vetch
winter peas

Again, thank you for following along! I really hope this thread is at least a little helpful to folks!!

AT
 

at1010

*Supporting Member*
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New Video - checkout how the cover crop is helping regulate temperature and moisture! This will only become more apparent as temperatures get warmer during this growing season!

Build Better Soils!