Pollinator mix

Discussion in 'Whitetail Management' started by Reit38, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. Reit38

    Reit38 Member

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    I am looking to do about an acre of pollinator habitat at my house. I took the ground of out crops 2 yrs ago and mow it 3-4 times a year spraying it with 2-4d to keep the weeds knocked down.

    I think I've finally decided that it needs to be in some sort of native grass or flowers. I talked to ncrs office 2 yrs ago and they just wanted to put it in crp and that was it. Didnt seem worth it to me.

    Anyone know of any programs I can put this small of a plot into that would help for cost share or know of a decent place to get a decent mix. I think we would prefer more of a wildflower plot for pollinators then we would grasses but I understand they go together.


    Also thought of planting a few hardwoods...... would like something that I might actually get to see grow in next 10 or so years. Thought of oaks but wasn't sure which one I would have best luck growing at a faster pace.


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  3. IowaBowHunter1983

    IowaBowHunter1983 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Contact your local pheasant forever. Often they have cost share programs for non CRP ground.
     
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  4. Hardwood11

    Hardwood11 Well-Known Member

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    Oaks are always a good idea!

    Swamp White Oak, Bur Oak, hybrids of the two....grow fairly fast.
    Protect them though.
     
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  5. Reit38

    Reit38 Member

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    Protected as in tree tubes?

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  6. Sligh1

    Sligh1 Administrator Staff Member

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    Ya tubes most likely. U can get REAP or EQUIP funds to do any plantings. Natives, trees, pollinator, whatever. Like above, Nrcs will be a start there. Another option is to see if any NWTF funds for that kind of stuff. Used to be $600 cost shares in the past.
     
  7. hesseu

    hesseu Member

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    Check out Pure Air Natives
     
  8. Hardwood11

    Hardwood11 Well-Known Member

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    I would use 5 foot tubes or cages for the oaks...with matting. Apple, pear, plum, would be a nice addition as well.
     
  9. cybball

    cybball PMA Member

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    Not sure on the cost share part, but I've ordered seed from Seedsavers.org out of Decorah. They aren't cheap, but the seed is really good stuff. I planted big/little blue stem grasses along with their pollinator blends in an acre spot last year. I'm a beekeeper (side hobby) and wanted some flowers that had staggered bloom cycles coming up. Tons of new and really cool flowers sprouted.
     
  10. cybball

    cybball PMA Member

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  11. IowaBowHunter1983

    IowaBowHunter1983 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Pollinator mixes can be apples and oranges. I've seen CP42 compliant mixes range in price from $400 to $1,100/acre. Huge variables.
     
  12. turkeyriver

    turkeyriver PMA Member

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    I've been involved with Pheasants Forever for over 20 yrs. and our chapter has planted 1000's of acres of CRP of all kinds. A few years ago we started refusing to plant any seed that wasn't bought through PF's seed program. We ran into some "bargain" seed that landowners were buying and hiring us to drill. We never knew what to expect! Much of it was very dirty with stems and chaff. It is very easy to cut corners on seed, leave out the expensive seed or cut it way back. NRCS knows that the seed thru PF will be good and have in it what the tag says. And the price is always right in the middle. Go to iowapf.net and you can see all the different mixes and prices and order it to be delivered right to your door.
     
  13. Reit38

    Reit38 Member

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    Thanks. I will be checking it out

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  14. DannyBoy

    DannyBoy Active Member

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    Like Sligh said, REAP or EQIP. The enrollment process for REAP was typically much easier, faster, etc. back when I was involved. The DNR also has (or maybe had?) a program called Prairie Partners that cost shared native plantings. You would have to contact one of the Private Land Biologists to confirm.

    I will also echo what others have said about quality of seed and mixes. Many of the "bargain" mixes contain introduced species like alfalfa, clover, etc. There is certainly a time and place for those species pertaining to wildlife and habitat but I very firmly believe that they do not belong in a native grass and forb planting.

    I would also advise, if at all possible, to no-till RR or Liberty Ready beans for a year to both reduce weed competition and prep your seedbed. I know you said you've been spraying, and that certainly helps, but if the annuals went to seed even once, that amounts to immense weed pressure. At a bare minimum, switch to a non-selective herbicide with no residual effect the growing season before you plant your natives. Good luck!

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