Discing: Do’s and Don’ts for a Successful Food Plot
I talk to a lot of guys that have weed issues in their food plots, and most of them have one thing in common: they disced the field without incorporating other forms of weed management. Discing without some sort of pre-disc herbicide application will certainly set back weeds, but they usually come back angry. Discing also does something that few realize; it brings up weed seeds that were dormant below the soil surface and gives them a new opportunity to sprout by putting them in the growth zone.
If you are planting a plot that has a lot of weed growth on it, my best suggestion for weed control would be to first cut the vegetation down. Herbicide such as Glyphosate (a generic form of Roundup) works much better on smaller weeds than it does on larger, mature weeds. In a microplot, this can be done with a weed whacker or a brush-cutting mower. A bigger field would require a bush hog on a tractor or skid steer to knock down the vegetation.
I’ve had success mowing and spraying fields with glyphosate on the same day. If you mow and then spray later (even within a day or two) the plants won’t take in as much of the glyphosate because they put themselves in a dormant phase while they recover from being chopped down. If you spray the field immediately after you cut, the weeds will still take the glyphosate in.
Just to be clear, I’m not an anti-disc type of food plotter. I’m just anti-using only a disc. A disc is a tool meant to be used in certain situations to break up heavy residue such as sod and to bring oxygen into the topsoil. This will help break down organic matter as well as create uniformity of the soil surface. It’s also much cheaper than a no-till drill if you are looking to save money with your plotting equipment.
If you have a field full of glyphosate-resistant weeds, you are in for a battle; for this I would suggest doing a rotation of Amazin’ Grains in the fall, followed by planting Pro Bean Blend the following spring. In the spring, before weeds become an issue, apply a pre-plant application of Boundary and either spray glyphosate on the Amazin’ Grains or crimp to terminate. If crimping, you will need to make sure the grains are at the stage of late flowering to early milk to minimize the Amazin’ Grains cover crop from re-seeding itself. Planting this in a no-till manner will prevent small, glyphosate-resistant weeds such as pigweed from taking hold in your plot.
For the rest of the Ani-Logics food plot seeds, we offer a handy guide to help you get the right herbicide for what you are planting. It will help to know if the weeds you are fighting are a grass or if they are broadleaf, so be sure to scout your field for weeds before buying the herbicide.
Also, we are available on the Contact Us part of this website, or via messages on social media. We want you to have the best food plot in the neighborhood, and it all starts with proper weed management. That means you will need more than just a disc. Good luck and happy plotting, the deer season will be here before we know it!