Killer Ragweed

This year in Oklahoma we have had a good amount of rain.  The majority of the state is now out of the drought.  A lot of managers are experiencing problems with maintaining their food plots especially those in low lying areas.  On one of my properties I was not able to get the soil worked to my requirements because of standing water.  The weather has blessed us with much needed moisture and I will not complain about that.  However, I would like to get some brush hogging and spraying done in several annual and perennial plots.  Not happening any time soon on this place.  Getting to the point here, weeds are going to be horrible.  And already are.  Not to mention grass.  One weed in particular is considered an evil, invasive creature.  The Giant Ragweed.  This is one of the most prolific weeds in plots and farmers’ fields alike.  Making things worse in the last couple of years they (plant people)  have discovered many instances of glyphosate resistant ragweed.  Not good.  However, I would like to point out a couple of things starting with a personal story.  A few years back I was very busy and ended up not spraying one of my annual fields that consisted of a mixture of a few different varieties of cowpeas.  Well here came the Giant Ragweed. This variety of ragweed has been known to get up to 17 feet tall!  Stalks tough enough to stop a corn harvester dead in it’s tracks!  I got my crop planted a little early that year so it was pretty established by the time the weeds started coming in.  To my surprise the crop survived the infestation of ragweed,  and actually excelled.  A couple of the cowpeas were of the climbing type.  Normally a good stand of mine would be anywhere from 2 to 3 feet tall.  Well the Giant Ragweed gets much, much taller than that.  My peas grew up with the giant stalks.  My plot ended up reaching heights of up to 6 feet!  That was under heavy browsing as well.  I figured my available forage for the summer tripled that year.  And yes, deer eat ragweed.  It was browsed as much if not more than the peas late summer.  Why is that?  Well before plant maturity, usually mid September here,  The leaves of the plant consist of 20 to 30 percent crude protein.  The seeds… higher than any available grain you can buy.  They consist of 47% crude protein and 38% crude fat!

Now with all that being said, I DO NOT recommend planting Giant Ragweed.  But there will be times when you end up with it in your plots.  It will shade out and kill clover plots.  But in beans and peas, especially the climbing varieties,  It does nothing except improve the overall value of your legumes.  However, I still hate looking at and mowing the stuff when its pollinated and taller than the tractor.  I’m only saying don’t freak out too bad if you see it pop up in your plots this year. Til’ next time…




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Easy Walking

The very first thing That I look at when I find a new property is the accessibbility.  I like a good road system with secondary trails.  You need the roads for accessing your bigger food plots with the equipment needed.  The trails are no larger than ATV trails or walking paths.  These are very location specific and should be well thought out.  They are best kept clean especially right before season opening.  The main purpose of these are to access your stands in a stealthy manner.  The whole point is easy walking.  Not just for us but the deer will thank you.

I can help you out with all of that.  Just give me a call and I’ll design, build and maintain your road system.  Til’ next time…

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End of Season!!

The end of the Oklahoma bow season is fast approaching.  It was a memorable season for my household even though no bucks were killed.  Yet.  I still have one more opportunty tomorrow evening.  Now that it is over we need to start thinking about our management goas.  What did we learn this season?  What would we have done different?  In the next couple of weeks I will frequently go over a few of the off season duties that we might want to undertake.  What would you like to hear about?

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