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Now what

You have your cool season food plots in and are waiting to plant your warm season crops, now what? So many food plotters are behind the 8 ball because they do not live near their property or perhaps life is busy. Once the seed is in the ground, you need to be thinking ahead. Weeds can be a challenge for many of you. The biggest problem I see with weeds is the average food plotter sprayed them too late. Many weeds need to be sprayed before they are 4” tall for effective and complete control. We want to kill weeds and not suppress pr stunt back weeds. So many people are seeing a variety of weeds not dying anymore and that is because of improper weed control measure and the result being herbicide resistant weeds.

My client base I have most foliar feeding their plots. This is a two fold benefit. I strongly suggest the first application being 3-5 weeks post plant on many plots. The timing of this can be important as one can apply herbicides with their liquid plant foods all in one tank mix and with one pass across the field. Your killing weeds and you are also giving a much-needed boost to your forage during this essential point in their growth.

I manage one property where we hope to not use any more herbicides after this spring. On all my research plots, I practice integrated weed management. I also do not use any glyphosate on any of my food plots. The key to reduced herbicide usage is planting the right time, the right depth and with right amount of pure live seed. Seed needs to be of quality and at the desired level to have complete ground cover. Plots that explode out of the ground and canopy fast, tend to have a suppressed or reduced level of weeds. Part of that is not working the ground too deep and not overworking the soil to reduce the amount of soil moisture in the seed and early development root zone.

Scouting your plots two weeks after planting would be extremely helpful. You can get a fairly good idea if your coverage was effective and if there might need to be some overseeding done to fill into thin areas. Mother nature seems to always come into play. Perhaps it was too dry after planting. Maybe a heavy rain came in and washed some of the seed away. No matter what the situation, get your eyes on the plots and ask yourself, now what?

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