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Food Plot Weeds

Weeds, Friend or foe?

A weed is something growing where it is undesired to be. For example, if you are a crop farmer and you have a soybean field, having corn in that soybean field would be considered a weed. The key to successful farming and food plotting is not total elimination of weeds but the ability to control the negative effects of weeds.

When I conduct seminars, I always bring up the neighbors 600 acres that were planted into warm season native grasses. They decided to buy seed from an organization that sells on price point. The end result is we are blessed with weed seeds being blown our way every year. Two year ago it took the state of Wisconsin weed experts 2 days to figure out what one new weed was.

You want to disc, plow, harrow or work the ground the deepest the first year in your food plotting and then shallower there after. Why is this? Once you clean up weed seeds laying in the plow zone, you don't want to go deeper, bringing up weeds laying out of the zone. Some weeds may be laying dormant in the ground for many years.

What i recommend for people to do is work the ground in the spring and wait 2 or 3 weeks to get a flush of weeds. Spray with glyphosate, clethodim and/or 2-4db and wait 1 week to plant. Plant a soil builder mix and then either kill off and plow down before planting your fall mix. You can also clip short and then overseed your fall mixes or drill without disturbing the soil.

Another practice is to not work the ground any time and practice no til. How can you do this? In the case of grass sod, you can frost seed in february or march, allowing mother nature to incorporate the seed via freezing and thawing action. The clovers will start germinating early and you can then spray clethodim to kill off the grasses. If any broadleaves flush, you can use 24db, butryrac 200 or buctril. The end result will be a pure clover stand without bringing up any weed seeds. You also could spring no til drill the plot after killing off the grasses and broadleaves with glyphosate.