Sunflower help, TOBRYON?

Discussion in 'Deer Management, Habitat & Conservation' started by mikeak, Apr 8, 2006.

  1. mikeak

    mikeak Member

    I'm going to put in some sunflowers for doves this year. I've got a few quest.,any help app. I've got a field thats 400x600 feet and was planning on planting strips long ways .
    Can I broadcast sunflowers?
    13-13-13 for fertilizer?
    when to plant?
    How widw a strip to be effective,600x?
    I've got some food plot seed from the MDC that has sunflower,milo,foxtail and some other ,would this be good for doves?
    I've got another field almost Identical ,both of these are going to managed for quail habitat, I'm planning on planting,a border of wheat(as a fire break for burning),native warm season grasses,alfalfa,sunflowers and corn.
    I sprayed both fields last fall and got a good kill on the fescue,I disced a couple weeks ago and am going to respray as soon as the winds let up.
    One thing I'm not is a farmer,all help will be greatly appreciated.
  2. FiremanBrad

    FiremanBrad New Member

    Someone smarter than I should be able to help ya with the planting, but I can tell ya this....if you mow down some strips down real close to the ground, like 2" tall, about 2 weeks before the season, the doves will FLOCK in there!!! Really makes a big difference...leave some strips towards the outside, for cover and food, you can set on a bucket, and mow down the middle, and you'll have a blast.

  3. xxx

    xxx Guest

    Heck bud.... Mother Nature has gotten away with that for years...... Don't see why you can't.....:cheers::cheers:

    We have always drilled ours but they tell me broadcasting and a light harrows works almost as well. I'd say for food plots.... go for it... Seed is cheap even if you have to put it on a little heavy.......:cheers:
  4. henry

    henry Fan Boy aka Mr Twisty and

    I don't see why broadcasting would'nt work. I think you may want to go with a higher Nitrogen number on your fertilizer for sunflowers though. 24-6-6 or sumpin like that.

  5. mikeak

    mikeak Member

    Thanks guys,When do you think I should plant?
  6. henry

    henry Fan Boy aka Mr Twisty and

    I belive the best time is about the same as corn. But the way this weather is right now, I think I'm gonnna wait another week or 2 to plant mine.

  7. mikeak

    mikeak Member

    Thanks Henry,I'm a little farther South,I think I'll plant one field the end of next week and the other the following week.Thanks again
  8. Wooddust

    Wooddust Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2003
    You can plant sunflowers very successfully in MO as late as mid June...dont get in too big a hurry...

    Broadcast yes but spread on top of the ground and hope they come broadcast on some disked ground and disk them in lightly will work

    Fertility...they love Nitrogen...fertilize it as if it were corn.

    Weeds...grass competition is hard od SF's if the site is known to have a lot of crabgrass or foxtail, you will have issues.
  9. 90acres

    90acres The good ole days

    Mar 4, 2003
    Personally, I will never again plant anything that even hints at having foxtail in it. It's tough to get rid of and will take over. If you plant too early the seed will ripen and may be gone before dove season opens.
  10. mikeak

    mikeak Member

    Thanks for the heads up on the foxtail,I won't use that mix. Also will hold off planting for a while.Thanks again for the help.

    TOBRYAN Well-Known Member

    Dec 4, 2002
    Liberty, Mo
    That amount of property will draw doves just fine.
    Here are my tips..
    1. You need to have a fairly weed free area..there are few heribicides for flowers..prowl 3ec for grasses and eptam for broadleafs but in all reality they dont keep down cocklebur, shattercane and few other weeds very good.

    2. Plant same time as the next few want to be mowing a row or 2 a week starting in August to draw the doves and the heads will be mature then.

    3. Flowers like alot of Nitrogen,,go by the soil tests.
    I plant 30'' rows with seed 10-12 inches apart.

    Conservation seed with work, put I pay for the higher priced seed from North Dakota, has antifugal coating.

    You can broadcast and then disk shallow to a few inches to cover it...must be covered.

    I can give you more particulars if you want..
  12. mikeak

    mikeak Member

    Hey TOBRYON,Thanks,I don't have any sunflower seed from the conservation .I've been looking at the local mfa and another feed store,all they have are the black seed that you get to feed birds. I don't know if that works or not.I wonder if they could order some from the place in N.dakota? Any and all advice you can give will be much appreciated,I'm pretty green when it comes to this.
    Thanks Mike

    TOBRYAN Well-Known Member

    Dec 4, 2002
    Liberty, Mo
    Den Besten seed company is where I purchased my seed.
    Black oil seed. I planted last year on 4/16 and they were mature by the 1st week of August.
    Do a search or call Pony Express Conservation Wildlife area
    that where I got their name. That seed is what all the north mo conservation areas used 2 years ago.
    You can spray and disk in 1.5 of treflan or 2-3pints of prowl 3ec just before you plant..the chemical must be incorporated before planting and then dont disturb the soil!
  14. Redonthehead

    Redonthehead Active Member

    May 2, 2005
    I have used bird seed grade (50# for $11 at Miller Seed in Clinton) for several years now with good luck. Of course better yeild on the more fertile bottomland.

    Some tips:
    1) Don't plant it too thick or your'll end up with all foliage and little bitty heads. Maybe one seed per square foot? "Calibrate" your broadcasting by driving over an old white sheet spread on the ground.
    2) Generally takes 90 days to mature. Plant before May 15th to have them mature and attacting doves for the opener
    3) if your goal is not doves but general wildlife, I would divide the field in three sections and plant them a month apart. That would spread out the maturities - the critters hit them pretty hard.

    TOBRYAN Well-Known Member

    Dec 4, 2002
    Liberty, Mo
    One more thing I forgot, I use plotsaver tape around mine,,the deer eat them up and you end up with stalks and a few heads.
  16. mikeak

    mikeak Member

    Thanks to all. TOBRYON,I don't know what plotsaver tape is.Can you explain please and where to get it? I just came in from discing again,must have swallowed about 2 pounds of dust in this wind.I think its looking pretty good now,no green showing anywhere.Thanks again.
  17. JMAC

    JMAC Senior Member

    Aug 31, 2005
    Cole County
    We tried sunflowers on the inside of a MO River levee that we had disked up. We were hoping the sunflowers would concentrate the doves better than thousands of acres of corn. We just broadcasted it and we must have spread it too thick because this is EXACTLY what we got. That will be good to know for next time.

    TOBRYAN Well-Known Member

    Dec 4, 2002
    Liberty, Mo
    Mike the plotsaver system consists of a white nylon tape about an inch wide, some chemical (egg like extract) and some stakes. The package I bought ( came with enough for an acre. The stakes go about 30 feet apart with black hooks to hold the tape about 30 inches high. YOu mix up the chemical and spray through a little pump sprayer onto the tape. Once when the flowers come up... and about a month later. You would think a single tape wouldnt keep the deer out, but I put pics on here from last year that shows the results.

    Tomorrow its all day at the farm spraying and fertilizers and Saturday disk and chisel turnip,wheat for the sunflowers to be planted on the 22nd.

    The ground is ready and the farmers are going balls to the wall!
  19. mikeak

    mikeak Member

    Thanks TOBRYON,I called Wright county soil and water consv. and they've got a no till drill I can borrow,I think I'll give it a try.I also called the fert.plant here in Mansfield and asked about a 24-6-6 mix of fert. they said it would be about $309.00 a ton.and they have a buggy I can use to spread it.I havn't had a soil test done yet(prob. the first thing I should have done) is there any rule of thumb on how many pounds per acre for sunflowers? Theres more to this farming than meets the eye.
    Thanks for all the help
  20. Whitemarsh

    Whitemarsh New Member

    Jan 1, 2006
    Greene Co.