To plant short term buckwheat or not? - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
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To plant short term buckwheat or not?

Comments on whether this is worth doing??? I have (5) 1/4 to 1/2 acre food plots in NE Pa that have been previously plowed and planted in corn, soybeans and brassicas for 3 years. Wondering if worth planting buckwheat in those existing plots. It would only be for 5-6 weeks total from late April to early June. Thought this might be beneficial for soil improvement and nutrients. In early June, 3 of the 5 plots will then be planted in corn and soybeans. The other 2 will be done in brassicas in early August. Is this worth the $ and time for just 5-6 weeks?
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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Btw, how much growth can I expect in that 5-6 week period? How long does it take to go to seed, which I don't want to happen? Also after the buckwheat is plowed in, is there an issue planting the corn and soybean immediately after?
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 08:56 PM
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I do not think it would be worth because of the chance for frost which would kill it especially with you being in the North. I planted some buckwheat last year in a spot where I also plant brassicas in the fall. I let the buckwheat go to seed disked it under and then planted the brassicas. I had a little growth from the buckwheat again but I am hoping most of the seed will stay dormant until this spring and will bring in the turkeys. The buckwheat does a good job at weed control and is easy to grow. Also when you disk it under it adds green manure to your plot. Hope this helps.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-21-2018, 11:22 AM
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Frost will kill buckwheat. Oats will grow in colder temps, get out of the ground quickly, make a good plowdown, and everything loves to eat them. Cheap, easy, and you can spray them or kust disc them in before the corn.

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-21-2018, 01:22 PM
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Bob, how does your soybean plots work out for you. I just read in my recent QDMA magazine that it is not worth planting unless it is at least 3 acres or protected by an electric fence.

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-21-2018, 04:27 PM
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The buckwheat would help build your soils, but I'm not sure it's a great option for the plots that you are planting in corn and beans....given the threat of frost and the short time frame. The oats that yellodog suggested would be a good choice for the corn/bean plots.

The plots that will get planted to brassica in the fall would be great candidates for a buckwheat planting after the major threat of frost.

I would also look at a white or red clover....as they will fix nitrogren through spring and summer for your fall brassica plots, and you can frost seed them.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-22-2018, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cm9 View Post
I do not think it would be worth because of the chance for frost which would kill it especially with you being in the North. I planted some buckwheat last year in a spot where I also plant brassicas in the fall. I let the buckwheat go to seed disked it under and then planted the brassicas. I had a little growth from the buckwheat again but I am hoping most of the seed will stay dormant until this spring and will bring in the turkeys. The buckwheat does a good job at weed control and is easy to grow. Also when you disk it under it adds green manure to your plot. Hope this helps.
Yea the frost is the big question but my timeframes are limited and I thought buckwheat would give best bang for the buck for a short growing period. I've never planted it before but heard it is fast growing and should provide weed control which is always a big issue with empty plowed plots. I don't know what my organic levels are so thought the green manure, as you said, would be beneficial also. But I don't know if planting RR corn and soybeans right after tilling in buckwheat causes and disease issues.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-22-2018, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by yellodog View Post
Frost will kill buckwheat. Oats will grow in colder temps, get out of the ground quickly, make a good plowdown, and everything loves to eat them. Cheap, easy, and you can spray them or kust disc them in before the corn.
How much growth and soil conditioning can I expect out of oats in 5-6 weeks?
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-22-2018, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by joe8768 View Post
Bob, how does your soybean plots work out for you. I just read in my recent QDMA magazine that it is not worth planting unless it is at least 3 acres or protected by an electric fence.
I have 2 fields, I is 1.8 acres tillable and the other is 2.8 acres tillable and I have at least 2 different food sources in each. I plant plots to hunt over so 3 acres of just soybeans is not possible. But I use an electric fence which is mandatory for the size planted. It keeps a lot of deer out but obviously not all. I did get decent pod growth last year. Without the fence it would be mowed down long before it matured.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-22-2018, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Bobow View Post
How much growth and soil conditioning can I expect out of oats in 5-6 weeks?
It will depend on soil temperature. In the fall when the ground is warmer I expect about an inch of growth per week. In the spring if it's cold and/or wet it will take them longer to get out of the ground, but once they do you can still expect an inch per week. If you choose to leave them, just mow them when they get about 5 or 6 inches tall, and keep mowing them all summer. They'll stay lush and green till about the first of December and deer love them. Plowed down at 6 inches tall they'll be a good green manure.

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