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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have discovered that large fields of 10 acres or more is great for pheasants and rabbits. Deer, turkey, short eared owls and other species all like the cover that switch grass provides. We suggest 10 lb/acre and the field must be sprayed with a broad leaf herbicide every 3 years or so to keep invasives from thinning out the cover and making it less effective. You must also control competition the first year or two until the grass is established. The first year this can be done through mowing or herbicide treatment. Always set the mower higher than the switch grass. It takes 3 years for switch grass to get tall enough to provide maximim cover.

CREP can be interseeded with switch grass seed but the field should be burned or mowed and raked so the residue is at a minimim. Also, when reenrolling your contract you can upgrade your field from cool season cp1 to warm season cp2 but you must pay for the seed and planting. If your goal is wildlife improvement its worth it.
 

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Switchgrass does work. Even smaller than 10 acres will work.
Here is a deer that couldn't hide.


These two couldn't hide either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What type switch grass did you use? Yes, switch grass fields of smaller sizes are good for a lot of wildlife but for pheasants 10 acres or larger is better for hiding from predators.
 

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The switchgrass was a mixture of "Shelter"and "Cave in Rock".
Also, there is some "Rumsey Indiangrass". There is still, 11 years later, some Indaingrass, but it never really grew much from the start.
That switchgrass is amazing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
A few places on the web say 15 to 20 years. I would think it will go even longer if you keep it managed by keeping invasives out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
We use cave-in-rock because it grows tall and thick and is more resistant to some diseases.
 
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