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Thread: Cost to maintain a food/winter cover plot??

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    21

    Default Cost to maintain a food/winter cover plot??

    We are fortunate enough to be able to hunt a private ranch in S.D., I know the person that owns this has at least 3-4 mint spots that would be perfect for planting 15+ acre or so food/wintering blocks. I am kicking around the thought of asking him if I were to help with the cost if he would be interested in doing so. I have seen on the PF website you can get seed mixes for about $10.00 per acre and I am curious as to how much the fuel and other associated costs would run. For those of you that are maintaining them approx. how much per acre is it costing you to manage/maintain pheasant habitat??

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Central MN
    Posts
    139

    Default

    No idea, however you would be better off posting this in the habitat forum?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    1,182

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Looper View Post
    We are fortunate enough to be able to hunt a private ranch in S.D., I know the person that owns this has at least 3-4 mint spots that would be perfect for planting 15+ acre or so food/wintering blocks. I am kicking around the thought of asking him if I were to help with the cost if he would be interested in doing so. I have seen on the PF website you can get seed mixes for about $10.00 per acre and I am curious as to how much the fuel and other associated costs would run. For those of you that are maintaining them approx. how much per acre is it costing you to manage/maintain pheasant habitat??
    What are these acres being used for now?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    21

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by haymaker View Post
    What are these acres being used for now?
    Nothing, there are some smaller "lakes" on the property the ground that leads up to it is left void. Before you get to the waters edge it is heavy cat tails and I was thinking this void area would be an excellent place to plant some cover/food plot.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Cunningham, Kansas
    Posts
    2,286

    Default

    If it is a mud flat part of the year, just broadcast Japanese millet on the mud in July or August and wait for the season. It'll help attract both ducks and upland birds. You put this on at about 10 pounds per acre with a broadcast seeder that you can carry or one on the ATV. Want a bit more diversity you could mix German millet and Proso millet with the Jap. In SD you might have to go a couple of weeks earlier.
    Trust the dog!

    Troy Smith

  6. #6

    Default

    Just did mid-contract on cool season filter strips, and added new field border and pollinator habitat this fall. Seed was ordered from the Soil & Water Con District, but my understanding is they are the same thing as the Pheasants Forever.

    Alfalfa/Clover mix - $35/ac

    Pollinator - $225/ac

    Short grass warm season mix - $120/ac


    PF got us a loaner seed drill for free, and the farmer didn't charge us for pulling the drill with his tractor.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Cunningham, Kansas
    Posts
    2,286

    Default

    Jap millet is $.60-$.75/lb no fertilizer needed in a wetland situation and if you broadcast it yourself, limited cost to the planting.
    Trust the dog!

    Troy Smith

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    112

    Default

    Watch out drilling pollinator... it drills too deep some seed.

    Best way to apply pollinator is with 100# potash per acre and apply with airflow applicator. Can be done by local farm service co-op. About 5-6$ per acres application charge. Best to apply when there days with freeze thaw

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Full time NE South Dakota now
    Posts
    199

    Default my 2 cents

    This year we had some property that was too wet to plant this spring, mostly low spots or boarders along ditches/fence lines. Late July came along and the areas finally dried out enough to work the ground. We disked this ground and then put down some Buckmaster turnips/radishes in a few spots and rye grass and a clover small grain mix. The rains came and almost all of the areas came up thick. We harvested the corn and soybeans which left these strips of food plot, some area four foot wide some up to 16 foot wide. Pheasants loved to use these boarders after the crops were harvested as transition areas. I thought the deer would really like the turnips because they stayed green well after the first freeze, but the deer didn't really touch these areas. Ok long story I know, but it cost probably 100 dollars for seed 20 dollars of diesel and 3 hours of time to put out about 2 acres of food plots. Yes we over-seeded so seed cost was higher. Most farmers disk or dig up areas that were too wet to plant just to control the weeds. So If the farmer has already turned the ground black, and if you have a broadcast seed spreader, making these unproductive crop free spaces productive isn't all that expensive, just a little time consuming.

    Pictures to explain.
    715 Pheasants forever western blend next to slough
    012 rye grass along soybeans
    411 sorghum in old abandon barn yard
    310 sorghum corn mix along corn and fenceline

    SD Viking

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