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Thread: Who is doing some spring habitat work?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    1,471

    Default WET here to

    Quote Originally Posted by Prairie Drifter View Post
    I sure hope that good habitat and time can overcome this flooding! 5.68 inches in about 48 hours and the river is crawling all over the place! Glad it was this early, but it still will have some impacts! Not the way to start the nesting season!
    It has been quite a year here with late snow over heavy rain and now rain it seems every other day. Can't get some of my equipment out of the storage shed as you get stuck as soon as you come out the door. Got a new tractor last week (Massy Ferguson 1740M with loader and backhoe ) and don't dare get out of the yard as have been stuck twice in 4 days. Tear up the trails and drive ways so I guess it's park everything and wait for dryer weather, lots of plans on hold right now.
    Pheasants Forever Life Member

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Full time NE South Dakota now
    Posts
    199

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    For the Habitat tree guys this spring has been perfect. Super slow warm up and lots of moisture has reduced the amount of shock to new tree plantings. For the farmers trying to plant crops it has been a terrible spring. Corn stubble is not drying out and there are so many wet spots in the field that there will be lots of ground not planted right away this spring. Of the 440 acres we farm we have 7 acres of Oats planted and 45 Acres of New CRP planted, that's it. Was hoping for a little nice weather to help us out but... we recieved almost 2 inches of rain last night and it's drizzling today. Established CRP is really looking good and all the Hay ground looks good. SDViking

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Cunningham, Kansas
    Posts
    2,299

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    I hear you. We had another 6 inch rain that caused the river to flood for the third time since September. More on the way tonight and they are calling for more on Monday as well. Going to be rough on the guys wanting to plant corn and soybeans. Be nice if it would tame down as we ease into nesting season.
    Trust the dog!

    Troy Smith

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    350

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    Talked to one of my tenants this morning and he's just pulled off the cattle that I was letting him graze. I'm trying to prevent the cheat grass from producing seed. He's not sure he had enough cattle on it, but it had to help. Even if some of the cheat grass produced seed, the hoof action will help prevent the grass from getting too thick. All the rain should help the NWSG recover nicely and help to produce bugs... I just hope the hens didn't get killed by the hail.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Rapid City, SD
    Posts
    77

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    SDViking - thought I'd send a report on a few species that are really doing well for me. I put in some Hansen Hedge Rose and they've really taken off. I know that sharptails love those rose hips and am hoping pheasants will feed on them as well. Put in eighteen caragana to see how they do and I've been surprised at their growth as well. We had an unusually wet May, so I imagine almost anything we planted would have grown well this year, but since our wettest years still fall short of your driest, either of those species should perform well for you. I've read that caragana produce seed pods that provide a good late winter food source for both grouse and pheasants. Anyone have any firsthand knowledge of that? Planned on putting in some crabapple species that were resistant to cedar rust and provided small apples that stayed on the trees into the winter, but they didn't show up with my tree order this spring. All of the fifty Dolgo Crabapple, McDemmand Pear, and Apricot I planted have survived and it looks like I'll get a foot or two of growth out of them this year. Aronia are also doing well - I planted around thirty of them and have only seen a couple that didn't make it.

    Ran into a pheasant farmer near Rapid who had fifteen adult roosters she needed to move out as she was releasing this year's chicks into the fly pens. I picked them up for next to nothing, worked my dogs on five or six and released the rest on our small 160 acre place east of Rapid. I went out four days later and came across four of them, and was surprised at how much warier they had become in that short amount of time. We have around 100 acres in alfalfa that will get cut soon - I'll be interested to see how many are still around when we hay. I have no illusions about them surviving long term at this point as our shelterbelts are still probably too immature, but in the meantime they have decent cover, plenty of bugs to eat, and access to water, so it's cool to see a few birds out there. Maybe I'll learn something that helps me get some established in a few years when our habitat is developed a bit more.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Full time NE South Dakota now
    Posts
    199

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    ckirsch, good to hear that weather conditions have helped your new plantings get a good start this Spring. I ended up planting Red Ceders to replace the 12 that I lost last year, then added a row of Rocky Mountain Junipers to one of my tree belts. Then I used some Golden Currents to fill in some bushes that didn't make it. Added four 6 foot pear trees to my fruit grove that is doing well. Then added four additional Bur Oak and 6 three foot tall Blue Spruce to my shelterbelt north of the house to help fill in spots where i have taken down some dead trees due to age. I just picked up 50 elderberry, 50 honeysuckle and 25 bur oaks. So I intend to add another row or two next to a slough that I plant food plots next too. Water table is still high there so I am hoping that even though I am planting these late that they will have a chance to make it. All the bushes and trees that I have planted seem to be doing well. With all the additional spring moisture the native grasses have been a challenge, they really know how to grow next to my tree/bush plantings.
    I am raising 200 pheasant chicks this year. They sure are a busy and active group. Like flying tennis balls at this stage. I hope your Caragana's do as well as mine are. And the Native Plum I planted, had a few rabbit issues with them but just when I think the bush is dead, new growth starts taking off. SdViking

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