Millet for Next Year Deal.

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Douglas

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Ok these millet threads got me thinking. My neighbor who mows my hay has an old field of fescue that is worthless with weeds. He is also an avid dove hunter.
Would this make sense? I renovate his field this fall and plant oats. Cut for hay and then drill in millet next spring. Mow a couple times if possible then leave for the dove. Rinse and repeat. There is no fence here so grazing is not an option.
Questions, if I pay for everything and he cuts and bails and we split the hay would that make sense for both of us. He has a disk mower, or do you need to condition millet? Is it hard to control weeds? I know I need to start with a soil sample to see what the soil condition is.
 

Steve Wilson

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Douglas,

How many acres are we talking about here?

Jogee was saying the other day that Tiffleaf3 won't produce much seed and suggested Tiffseed, I believe. I think he has also said that Tiffseed is a much shorter variety, so that is really going to knock down on the tonnage of hay. Compared to Tiffleaf3, that is.

I'm with you on killing off the fescue and weeds this fall and planting something like oats or wheat for a spring hay crop. Depending on the kinds of weeds involved, they may already be done for the season by then though. I think my RoundUp was $10 an acre, at 1 quart per acre of chemical. Plus surfactant which was another few buck per acre. I sprayed myself. You should have time to spray for weeds again, in the spring before you cut it for hay. Gonna have to get at them at them as soon as they are big enough to spray though, to allow the 2,4,D to breakdown in time to broadcast or drill the millet.

Depending on your cultivation, chemical, fertilizer and seed costs, it might not be such a bad deal to go halves on the hay crops. He might need to pay some or give you a larger share of the hay. The kicker is still going to be having ripe seedheads for the doves, I believe. How much seed Tiffleaf3 makes may not be the issue, time to produce ripe seedheads in time for dove hunting will be. Our season starts September 1, here in Missouri.

Assuming you guys are ahead of us, lets say you can plant in early May. First cutting will be possible around early to mid to late June, depending on how high you let it get. That should allow enough time for two more cuttings before September 1. So, that part of the plan would work out. It isn't going to stop growing though, until frost kills it. Hmmmm. Let me back up on that statement a minute and puzzle out loud here a bit. OK, only two cuttings and then let it go to seed. But then that last cutting won't be very nutritious hay, since the food value goes in the tank once seedheads form. Hmmmm. Thought I was on to something there but it seems maybe not. I'm at a stumbling block here. I can't get past that last part of the timing vs: quality hay issue and how to allow seedheads for the doves. I would be more inclined to plant strips of sunflowers or something in the millet and just treat my millet as a hay crop. Sunflowers for the dove hunting and the best hay I could grow. How does that notion strike you?

Best I can do for now. Some of these other millet guys that use it for dove hunting need to wade in.
 

1982vett

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Lesser quality hay can be fed in conjunction with the good quality. Kind of averages it out. Another way to look at it. The last "cutting" can be put back into the soil after the dove hunting is done. Those nutrients will be their for next year.
 

Steve Wilson

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Forgot to mention. Yes, using a mower with a conditioner would be very advisable. Crimping the stems will make it dry much faster. I'm figuring for a good 3 days of drying with ours, that's with leaving a 6 inch stubble to help hold it up off the ground and to aid in it tillering out again. Without a conditioner it might take another day or two to dry properly.

I paid $40 per 50 pound bag of Tiffleaf3, which will do 3 acres when drilled at around 15 pounds per acre. Broadcast rates are 30 - 40 pounds per acre. So, even at having to pay $10 per acre to rent the county's no till drill, I'm still ahead. Figure 50 units of nitrogen and whatever P & K you need. 30-20-20 of Super Urea cost me $34 an acre. I added another 30-10-10 of ammonium nitrate a month later, at the time of planting.. I want to say that was $27 an acre. 2,4, D was about $12 or $14 an acre.
 

Jogeephus

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I don't know what kind of deer population you got but if you have them like I do you might want to stay away from sunflowers. I planted 60 acres of sunflowers cause I was going to sell hunts. On paper it worked out wonderful. In reality, I never saw the first bloom cause the deer ate every last one of them. :nod:
 

jka300

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If you wanted to hunt coyotes, just plant carrots. Last year we couldn't keep the buggers away from them.
 

Jogeephus

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jka300":1gfp8ov2 said:
If you wanted to hunt coyotes, just plant carrots. Last year we couldn't keep the buggers away from them.

For some reason they like watermellons too. I don't know how they bust them open. I'd like to see that.
 

jka300

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Jogeephus":vdtls7dq said:
jka300":vdtls7dq said:
If you wanted to hunt coyotes, just plant carrots. Last year we couldn't keep the buggers away from them.

For some reason they like watermelons too. I don't know how they bust them open. I'd like to see that.

Thanks for the heads up, I planted a bunch of them.
 

Jogeephus

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If you put a harrow to the watemellon field right before season you will have tons of dove too. They also love em.
 
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