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This is season 3 for this .8 acre plot and the Whitetail Institute Imperial Clover is doing really well. In 2019 we had about 30% growth and this year were at 70% and I'm working on the remaining 30%.

This is how most of the clover looks. Nice and thick and very healthy.

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I've got a lot to learn about this so talking to WTI and some local AgriBusiness folks has helped keep this going well, at least so far. One aspect to helping this clover thrive is keeping the energy of the plant growth into root system development, so the clover gets cut as is starts flowering. You can see from all the white flower tops that I'm about a week late on the second cutting this year but it will still be beneficial.

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From it's 10-12" growth it gets cut back to 6".

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The Plot. The green diamond is where the feeder sits.

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The spring so far has been relatively mild and rain fall has been plentiful so far but the Texas summer will eventually get hot and dry. July through Sept. can be some times turn into drought and I hope to be able to survive that. The wheels are turning to setup a high volume sprinkler system to help keep this plot alive in heat of the summer to hold these feeding deer and help the clover growth as the fall sets in.

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About 50 yards south and slightly uphill of the food plot is a nice size pond that holds 300-400,000 gallons of water year round. That will be the fresh water source.

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This pump setup with a single big sprinkler will cover most of the plot. The plot is roughly 180' W X 215' L. This pump can deliver a wetted area of 240'. Assuming that we won't run it wide open, a 180-200' diameter area is possible.

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This whole irrigation idea is a stretch but it's been kicked around since day one and the land owner is on board. From idea to reality often delivers surprises so I'm eager to see how it all works out.

More to come!
 

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I have a 2nd year clover field too....It is seems to be doing pretty good so far but this year has been mild and sufficient rain. Last year I mowed it and of course the weather turned hot (Virginia) and it never recovered. So my debate is to mow or not to mow. Any insight?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have a 2nd year clover field too....It is seems to be doing pretty good so far but this year has been mild and sufficient rain. Last year I mowed it and of course the weather turned hot (Virginia) and it never recovered. So my debate is to mow or not to mow. Any insight?
I would play it safe BA. Your experience with the local weather is key and if it looks like it's going to be dry, don't cut it back.

We have rain in the forecast from 30% to 80% for the next 10 days and shortly after that, I hope to have the sprinkler system in the mix. If the Texas summer is typical, I'll probably not cut the clover again until fall.
 

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Thanks. That is what I am thinking. It is way past the time it should be getting hot here already - another strange weather pattern. Actually, not that different than Texas. I spent a couple years there in the early 90s. I also just applied some of the liquid fertilizer from Antler King. It will be interesting to see how that affects the growth.
 

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Thanks. That is what I am thinking. It is way past the time it should be getting hot here already - another strange weather pattern. Actually, not that different than Texas. I spent a couple years there in the early 90s. I also just applied some of the liquid fertilizer from Antler King. It will be interesting to see how that affects the growth.
That's a safe bet and even if they go to seed, it's better to have that then risk it burning up because it's too short. Good luck!

I fertilized early and will hold on adding anything until the fall and then I'll add a granular slow release low nitrogen fertilizer.
 

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Your field is looking GREAT Rich. Do you have the deer fenced out of the field?
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Your field is looking GREAT Rich. Do you have the deer fenced out of the field?
Thanks GA! I'm very happy it's doing so well. We got more rain yesterday so we're just a little over normal so far.

Rain tapers off in June, July etc and temps go up.
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The plot is fenced but to keep the pigs out. It's a low enough fence that adult deer easily clear it and that includes pregnant does.
 
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That’s beautiful!!!
 

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That’s beautiful!!!
Thanks ANU. It's been about 3 weeks since we cut it and it's tall enough to cut again. I hope to be putting water on it this week. Summer is here and temps are mid-90s and that will very likely hold for some time. Getting an extra inch or two the right time each month should preserve the clover.

I enjoyed the video BTW. Seems that young buck had plans to put a claim to your cow pea plot!
 

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Doyou use any herbicides to keep weeds out?
Yes, I do. So far it's been WTI products. Arrest, Slay and their crop oil plus I spot spray a few weeds these don't take care of. Most notably this year it's horse nettle. Roundup takes care of it but also knocks out some of the clover that unavoidably get's sprayed.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
We did get the irrigation system working and watered one time so far. More to come as we hit the century mark here this week and we naturally see less rain.

The Water Wagon.......

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Fresh water supply......

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The sprinkler......

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Covering 90% of the field and we pumped 13,500 gallons in 90 minutes.

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Your field is looking GREAT Rich. Do you have the deer fenced out of the field?
We have hog fence up and there's more clover here than the current deer in the area can consume. I plan to add about 50% more to the plot next year so it will grow and hopefully we see more deer and turkey. The turkeys go though it not for the clover but because they snack on the bugs in it.

If the wild game food plot plan fails we have a good start on a softball field!

181156
 

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How far to straight away center field? :ROFLMAO: All your hard work is inspiring and I hope it pays off for you in antlers.(y)
 
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How far to straight away center field? :ROFLMAO: All your hard work is inspiring and I hope it pays off for you in antlers.(y)
242 at the deepest point. I don't think I can do it any longer with damaging something but I have a daughter that can.....

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It's been a commitment, an investment and hard work but it's been enjoyable and the land owner has been great to work with.
 

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My daughter also played softball up thru 2 years of her college. She changed schools and began working on her Masters. She didn't forget ball though. At 31 she's still playing adult co-ed ball. Ive tried talking her into quitting before she gets hurt but it's in her blood I guess.:rolleyes:
 
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Cant wait to start seeing cam pics of all the bucks in your area.(y)
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
My daughter also played softball up thru 2 years of her college. She changed schools and began working on her Masters. She didn't forget ball though. At 31 she's still playing adult co-ed ball. Ive tried talking her into quitting before she gets hurt but it's in her blood I guess.:rolleyes:
Then you know the life of a softball family. It was enjoyable and it put her through her 1st 4 years of school. Post college she played a mixed league for two years and they were pretty good. My wife and I enjoyed softball and still watch the college playoffs each year. A great game! I gotta laugh on your comment about getting hurt. Beth's nick name in college was Bo-Bo. She always was bleeding from somewhere during a series and even after college she would slide with shorts on...... Determined like her ole man.

BUCKS? I've got some pics of some young-uns and a couple prospects. This trio is going to have at least one eligible buck, maybe two.

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The lead buck in the picture above is this guy.

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And in August of 2019 he looked like this.

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I'm hopeful this bachelor group stays close by and I get a change to see him during the season. I'll post as they roll in and I'll add a couple more cameras to the mix in August.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The clover got cut today for the 3rd time. I suspect that the hotter temps and dryer Aug. and Sept. will slow it's growth down and I may loose some of it to the heat. Fall rains will bring it back so there will be clover during deer season.

I've had a tough time this summer with weeds and I suspect my spot tilling and soil fertilization brought to life some dormant weeds. Today the Toro got to them which should put the hurt to their re-growth as well.

Here is the "Before" shot and you can see significant weed growth at the far side of the plot.

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And here's the "After" shot with the same characters at the feeder.

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The WhiteTail Institute Imperial Whitetail Clover has been a good grower this year. Hopefully next year with the help of Mother Nature and timely irrigation, it will be even better.

Feeders are full, cameras are out and I'll try to stay away from this place for the next 60 days. I need a distraction.....
 
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