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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Personally I wouldn't spend the money to plant something for only 5 to 6 weeks. Of course I am cheap. LOL. I just don't know how much benefit you would get for your dollar.
 

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Buckwheat blossoms make great honey. Very dark, with an anise type flavor. Wish I could get my bees on more of it. Plant away!
 

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Personally I wouldn't spend the money to plant something for only 5 to 6 weeks. Of course I am cheap. LOL. I just don't know how much benefit you would get for your dollar.
Regular oats are about $3/bu, and you need 3 bu/acre. Broadcast them, disc them in, or disc first then drill them. Cheap and easy as it gets.

They also make a great nurse crop for clover or alfalfa. Just mow them low when they get about 8" tall and your clover/alfalfa will take over.
 

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How do you make out with the corn and beans? How long does it last into the season with plots that small? Do you have any other ag crops around you? If it were me I would plant either all turnips/brassicas or one field of turnip/brassica and one of oats. The turnips will feed deer all winter and the oats will remain green well into rifle season. You could plant buckwheat in your brassica plot and it will feed the deer during the spring/early summer then disk it in and plant your brassicas. It will help with weed control and you can mow it before it goes to seed.
 

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Buckwheat blossoms make great honey. Very dark, with an anise type flavor. Wish I could get my bees on more of it. Plant away!
My neighbors has some hives close to 2 of the food plots so he might be happy about the buckwheat planting.
 

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How do you make out with the corn and beans? How long does it last into the season with plots that small? Do you have any other ag crops around you? If it were me I would plant either all turnips/brassicas or one field of turnip/brassica and one of oats. The turnips will feed deer all winter and the oats will remain green well into rifle season. You could plant buckwheat in your brassica plot and it will feed the deer during the spring/early summer then disk it in and plant your brassicas. It will help with weed control and you can mow it before it goes to seed.
I had pods into gun season and deer accessing my standing corn in the PA late season. Plus the standing corn provided some cover in the winter. I like diversity in my plots especially with 5 in 2 different locations. Of the 5 I always plant 2 in brassicas, rape, purpletop, radish and they work great early fall to winter. But I'm interested in improving the existing plots nutrients, green manure, weed control and soil condition. Although I have no experience with buckwheat, I thought that would fit the bill. But the unknown is the possibility of frost in the last few days of April planting. I may do buckwheat in the 3 plots targeted for the June corn and soybeans. And oats in the 2 August brassicas plantings.
 

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Regular oats are about $3/bu, and you need 3 bu/acre. Broadcast them, disc them in, or disc first then drill them. Cheap and easy as it gets.

They also make a great nurse crop for clover or alfalfa. Just mow them low when they get about 8" tall and your clover/alfalfa will take over.
Yes oats aren't that expensive but still not sure if it is worth for something that is only going to be in the ground for 5-6 weeks. It will take a week or 2 for them to sprout. How much growth could you realistically expect in that time?
 

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Actually the best thing is fall planted wheat, oats, or barley. You'll get lots of activity from sept thru winter into early summer. I've planted alot of different things and nothing else gives almost year around plot like cereal grains. My turnips were gone by xmas, my corn not long after that, but there's a couple dozen deer on my wheat every nite, and it's still going strong.

As far a a spring planting, you'll have to decide for yourself if it's for you. But if you like seeing deer on your plots, oats will put them there.
 

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Actually the best thing is fall planted wheat, oats, or barley. You'll get lots of activity from sept thru winter into early summer. I've planted alot of different things and nothing else gives almost year around plot like cereal grains. My turnips were gone by xmas, my corn not long after that, but there's a couple dozen deer on my wheat every nite, and it's still going strong.

As far a a spring planting, you'll have to decide for yourself if it's for you. But if you like seeing deer on your plots, oats will put them there.
Yes I like cereal rye or wheat. Very easy to grow and gives deer something to eat thru winter into Spring. Actually for a fall food plot it works really well if you deire to hunt over it. Probably one of the cheapest things you can plant and even does well in poor soil.
 

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Cereal grains don't get the hype like turnips or some other stuff. But for a fall attracting they can't be beat and they'll last thru spring. Regular oats will outgrow winter varieties of wheat, oats, or rye, which works great for early fall attraction, but they'll die out about mid devember.
 
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