News Article for June 13, 2011:
For the hunters it will be a long hot summer just waiting for a chance to get in the woods. The next opportunity for many will be dove season which typically opens the first weekend in September.
For hunters who will want to be ready to go for opening dove weekend, it is time to start planting.
Brown top millet is usually the crop of choice because it is a dove's favorite food. It can be successfully planted from April 15 until August 15 but timing is crucial if you want to attract doves.
It takes about 60 days from germination until the seed is mature. You would like to have doves feeding about two weeks after the seed matures so they become accustomed to the field before the hunting season begins. That makes planting now almost ideal.
You will want to disk the ground to provide good seed contact with the soil and hopefully catch some moisture. Broadcast the seed at the rate of 20 to 30 pounds per acre. I would fertilize according to soil test but if you failed to get oyour soil tested, use 300 pounds of 13-13-13 per acre at planting.
Once the seeds head out, you will need to cut the millet for hay or mow the plants to spread the seed. Hay is a great choice because the doves have short legs and like to feed in a clean field. If you cannot put the millet up in hay, you can burn the field after it has been mowed to remove the plant residue.
For more information on these or related topics contact Kenny at 225-686-3020 or visit our website at www.lsuagcenter.com/livingston.