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Author Topic: Food Plots  (Read 6272 times)
Equismith
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« on: February 18, 2008, 10:33:19 PM »

I placed an add in a local agricultural paper wanting access to land for training my dog. I got a reply from a guy locally who has allowed me to use his property without cost, other than trying to help him establish a small quail population on his property.

What type of plants should we try to plant, keeping in mind the lack of seed availability? All the nearby seed suppliers have yet to get their annuial spring orders in and have expressed concern IF they ever will.


Any input?

We're looking to plant Kobe lespadeza, wheat, and anything else we can maybe get our hands on that quail will eat.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2008, 07:46:05 AM by Equismith » Logged

wildergamebirds
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« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2008, 01:03:11 AM »

  Kobe is probably the best Lespedeza for Quail if he has cattle, or a heavy deer population.

  I would burn everywhere you want Quail cover, other than existing cover (briars, plum thickets, sumac).  Burn those places, or spray with Roundup now.  Carefully, you don’t want to burn the cover off, just the nasty Fescue, Bluegrass, and Bermuda.  I wouldn’t burn other places until the ground gets nearer to germination temperature for the desired plants.  Special care and procedures apply on hilly ground.  QU, or Quail Forever can help, especially by telling you what weeds will likely come up after you burn.  In this area, Ragweed and Lespedeza nearly always appear on a volunteer basis.

  OK, now the question you asked.  Lespedeza, Ragweed, Millet (they really go for German Brown), Milo, small multi-head sunflowers, and Soybeans.  “Round-up Ready” soybeans are supposedly bad for Quail (beats me).  Wheat may be best for Quail in the form of grass, rather than as a grain.  I suspect the “If we get seed” comment was either B.S., salesmanship, or both.  If you can’t get seed, a wild bird mix would do. For what it’s worth, I have noticed Queen Anne’s Lace in fields and prairies containing good Quail, and Prairie Chicken populations in the Midwest.  It may benefit ground birds, or just grow in the same conditions conducive to others.
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Equismith
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« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2008, 07:50:04 PM »

Thanks for the reply.

I have seen on the Internet the QU bag seed for food plots and also some food plot for quail from Pennington Seed. Unfortunately, around here, no one has seed yet and I wonder if it will be scarce and the cost high. It seems last year's droughts and floods may have caused the seed industry to fall off production.

Right now the field he has is kinda bare. He's plowing with a disc and plows rows about 20' wide, then skips about a 60" section and plows another 20' section. The skipped areas are growing back with native briars and weeds, possibly ragweed and broomstraw and other stuff. There's some small leafy stuff growing everywhere that looks like Crown Vetch, but it's too small for that but leafy like that.

We moved my quail pen to the 10 acre field today. I have converted it into a recall pen that is on the ground, but raised about 3" with boards.

If I get a photo of it, I'll post it here.

Any other posts are a welcomed insight to what I need. Right now I know nothing other than what I've researched online. I do have a few QU brochures and booklets that seem to be in sink with the online stuff.
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rymanman
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« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2008, 09:26:40 PM »

Hi,
I live in a area that quail onced live but are all gone now!..In the past two years I have disked fields and planted ragweed! The quail are thriving! I have also planted millets but always find the quail in the ragweed! I suggest this and it comes back every year for about 3 years just disked lightly every year..also plant some warm season grasses if you can!..Bluestem etc..you need nesting areas!
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CharlieHorse
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Northern Bobwhites

« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2008, 09:42:10 PM »

This may give you some ideas if you haven't already read it:

http://www.wnrmag.com/stories/2003/feb03/plots.htm  , which is from this thread:


http://www.thatquailplace.com/smf/index.php?topic=3049.0


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Equismith
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« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2008, 10:14:53 PM »

Thanks CharlieHorse.

I actually came across that article while researching.

As for ragweed seed, where might one find it?

This is the Pennington stuff.

http://www.penningtonseed.com/section/wild_game_02.asp?type=products&id=239
« Last Edit: February 19, 2008, 10:23:44 PM by Equismith » Logged

rymanman
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« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2008, 11:17:25 PM »

ragweed seed you can get at www.quailrestoration.com
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CharlieHorse
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Northern Bobwhites

« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2008, 12:31:54 AM »

ragweed seed you can get at www.quailrestoration.com

Website says that they are "currently sold out".   s47

I had my kids go out and get thistle seeds last fall (I bet they cussed me the whole time)   :evil:.  I've around 10 gallons of seed pods/flowers, whatever they're called, so I'm going to try to plant a fairly good sized area with them, I'll see how that works out. An acre or two of solid thistle should be an interesting site!?
« Last Edit: February 20, 2008, 12:43:26 AM by CharlieHorse » Logged

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Briar Hill Brittanys
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WWW
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2008, 09:33:43 AM »

A good source for information can be found at www.mdc.mo.gov/landown/wild/quail.  It's the Missouri Department of Conservation website, quail management for landowners.  There's a 68 page downloadable PDF entitled "On the Edge - A Guide for Managing Bobwhite Quail".  They recommend strip tillage, 3 year succession.  The key to this theory is providing suitable habitat during various stages of a birds life.  It's good reading and reference. 

Mark   
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stewaw
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« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2008, 06:39:39 AM »

I personally prefer simply strip discing and burning for quail.  There is probably a considerable seed bank just waiting for a chance to take off. All it takes is a surface burn and very light discing (top two inches or so). If you want some food plots for asthetics and can't find seed at planting time, something as simple as wild bird mix will do.  It has several species of millet/milo and sunflower which will all benefit quail.  Be sure to set aside clusters of wild areas to allow briars and other shrubs to establish cover areas.  Good luck with your project!!!
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Equismith
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« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2008, 06:47:49 AM »

I personally prefer simply strip discing and burning for quail.  There is probably a considerable seed bank just waiting for a chance to take off. All it takes is a surface burn and very light discing (top two inches or so). If you want some food plots for asthetics and can't find seed at planting time, something as simple as wild bird mix will do.  It has several species of millet/milo and sunflower which will all benefit quail.  Be sure to set aside clusters of wild areas to allow briars and other shrubs to establish cover areas.  Good luck with your project!!!


Thanks.


That's how it is now. Disc/Natural. As for burning, there's been a statewide ban in effect for some time. I doubt that will be lifted any time soon; even though our winter has been very good with rainfall. :?:
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Equismith
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« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2008, 07:58:02 AM »

QUOTE:

I suspect the “If we get seed” comment was either B.S., salesmanship, or both.

Well, I've called the ragweed folks. No seed and no forseeable time when they'll have it.

I called Pennington. Not yet available. (and not very helpful either...office types with no product knowledge - yuck!)

I've stopped by several local feed/seed stores and farm supply locations asking for specific seed (not wheat, but the unique kind). Still a no go.

All the answers have been hovering around the past drought and floods and the seed suppliers having trouble filling orders.

I may take up the recommendation about bird seed before it goes through the roof. The ragweed seed, when available, is about $4.40 a pound according to their rep.

And as far as drought goes, I sat on an interview board with my agency the other day. A former landscaper/plant nursery guy said his business lost $300,000 last year due to drought. He was applying to be a police officer and wanted a steady reliable job. I think that says alot about us as a nation and our region (S/E) where the drought did shut down several local and regional businesses.

Let's pray we rebound quickly.
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