Seems early, any opinions

Discussion in 'Whitetail Management' started by turtlshell, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. turtlshell

    turtlshell PMA Member

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    Over the past week I've noticed a couple of different smoke signals while driving to and fro. Saw a few fields that were burned already.

    My take is that it's too early to get a good burn, but to each their own...and without knowing the intended goal I guess it's hard to form a solid opinion (like that's ever stopped me though /forum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/crazy.gif)

    We don't burn my dad's land until the conditions are right. We don't burn it every year anyway, but it's on the to-due list for this year. If the conditions don't pan out it will be pushed back and we'll try next year. I try to burn to knock the non-natives back and prefer to have a bit of green up before striking the match. We're trying to get dad's set-aside/garbage land restored to a native grass and some forbes mix. I stop shy of saying prairie restoration because it's a work in progress and we haven't really planned out the full schmatics of diversity and whatnots. This year, if we can burn I hope to see some previous years spot-plantings take off a bit more and we'll try broad casting some seeds I hand harvested this past fall. SO FAR everything's been free and I don't feel like I'm out anything by playing it slow, just time I guess. We have talked about turning a 4 acre hay field over this fall and doing it the right way with a PF grass/forbes mix next spring...but until then set-aside is trial and error learning tool.

    My land and thoughts aside, what are some of your guys' take on spring burning...times, conditions, and intended affects.results?

    I prefer to wait until last week of March, first week of April...There's nothing quite like 2-4inches of new growth greens to set up for second season turkeys.
     
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  3. JNRBRONC

    JNRBRONC Moderator

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    Like you, I've been seeing the fires and thinking that it is kind of early, but then one never knows what the person is trying to accomoplish.

    I saw a field of new switch get burned last Sunday. I felt that was not the move I'd have made.
     
  4. dbltree

    dbltree Super Moderator

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    Native grass fields should not be burned until very late April through late May.

    Burning now will only encourage cool season invasions of brome and fescue whil late burning will set back cool seasons and encourage the native grasses.

    If one is burning brome then timing is not as critical
     
  5. Fishbonker

    Fishbonker Life Member

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    I'm about 5 hours late reading this thread. I tried to burn part of my weed field this evening. It was a waste of time trying. When I got back to the house and looked out at the field I couldn't even tell I had tried. Only good thing is I found two golf balls plus the 9 iron that exited the Rhino when I tipped it over last summer.

    Pictures tomorrow.

    The 'Bonker
     
  6. captain

    captain New Member

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    Oh. My. God.

    What has Bonker done now?
     
  7. turtlshell

    turtlshell PMA Member

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    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
    I saw a field of new switch get burned last Sunday. I felt that was not the move I'd have made. </div></div>

    I agree with you in that it wasn't a move I'd make either.

    I think there is too big of a push to get grass stands/restorations burned. I see some people do it every year and then they ask why their diversity is going down. I want to say, DUH...but they're just doing what their told or copying their neighbors. I've actually seen the same type of poor practices take place by supposedly educated people at the Missouri Department of Conservation and the Iowa DNR. I think the idea of a burn is conveyed way to basic to the general public. Most magazine articles I've read give very poor examples regarding the issue as well.

    All of this gets back to the education side of things and if the Government Departments (whom the general public tends to turn to for advice) do it wrong then one could predict the apple won't fall far from the tree.
    Patience is another factor and by far the biggest problem most people face with habitat management. We all want results NOW, and most of us have made (and hopefully learned from) mistakes and shortcuts. When it comes to burning (to me anyway) burning just to burn does absolutely nothing...and burning too early pretty much does too.

    There is a reason it's titled PRESCRIBED burn...and I think a lot of people have been lead to believe/follow the wrong prescription.
     
  8. Fishbonker

    Fishbonker Life Member

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    I think my poor burn off was due, in part, to so little wind. I waited all day for the wind to die down. Perhaps I waited too long. My weed field is split in two by what was the turnip patch. I wanted to burn one side and not the other to see if there was any difference in what grows. I also wanted to burn so I could see the thistles when they sprout so I can spot spray them. I’m afraid I’m going to have one heck of a thistle problem this year.

    I started the fire on the south end of the weed field because the wind had been blowing out of the south all day.

    [​IMG]

    I noticed the smoke was drifting to the south so I went to the north end and started the fire there too.

    [​IMG]

    This is what it looked like while it was burning.

    [​IMG]

    These are pics of the weed field this AM. Looks like it hasn’t even been touched.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Like I said, I found two golf balls and the nine iron I had been using last summer.

    [​IMG]

    This is the limit of my back swing. By the time the FBO rolls around again hopefully I’ll be able to get a full swing in. One thing for sure, all those uneaten turnips make for good practice.

    [​IMG]

    The ‘Bonker
     
  9. Skully

    Skully PMA Member

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    I actually did a burn last night on a 9 acre CRP brome field that I have to do some mid-contract-management on. There was some new growth greening up underneath and it burnt really well. The primary nesting season is from May 15th to August 1'st so I wanted to get a jump on things and get my planting done before turkey season. I am planting some clover, milo/sorghum, and maybe some sunflowers. Just have to diversify the acres for the wildlife. I am a volunteer fire fighter and let me tell you the pager will be going off a lot from here on out. /forum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/eek.gif
     
  10. JNRBRONC

    JNRBRONC Moderator

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    Geesh, Bonker! /forum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/shocked.gif

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Fishbonker</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> [​IMG]</div></div>
     
  11. Daver

    Daver PMA Member

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    I burned about 25 acres of brome over the past few days, but my plan is to let it green up and hit it with Round-up as a part of my mid-contract management plan. I am trying to give the farmer who will spray for me a clean slate of "fresh" brome to kill.

    I agree, it is too early to burn for switch.
     
  12. Fishbonker

    Fishbonker Life Member

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    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: JNRBRONC</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Geesh, Bonker! /forum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/shocked.gif

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Fishbonker</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> [​IMG]</div></div> </div></div>

    It gets harder and harder to get my cloven hooves in my boots and my tail tucked into my bibs.

    The 'Bonker
     
  13. THEBAD

    THEBAD Member

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    Ok, believe it or not some of my CRP about 25 acres or so burned on Monday and was purley a accidental burning. It was in Switch Grass and warm season grasses....since it is considered to early to burn what are my options, so that it turns out better rather than worse because of it.

    The fire started because of a stupid thing the owner was doing...aka me. And in a matter of 10 seconds the fire was so large that a fire truck couldnt have put it out, and by the time the fire department got there it was pretty much already all burned off...big fire really quick, I just leaned on my shovel and watched it at that point.
     
  14. turtlshell

    turtlshell PMA Member

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    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> big fire really quick, I just leaned on my shovel and watched it at that point. </div></div>

    I've been there...it's not the best feeling.

    So it burnt off and you didn't want it to, mainly because you shouldn't burn it until year three or four (unless it gets too rank).

    How well did the original planting go? If it was solid/thick planting you may be fine. Plus if 25 acres burnt that fast it may not have scorched as much ground as you think...it may have been similar to a crown-fire in a forest, which usually leaves the ground relatively undisturbed.

    I'd inspect the field, see how hard it burnt (is it solid black, or patchy). If it's patchy you don't need to do anything, and you can sit back and enjoy the diversity that will result from a few weedy-species that will probably grow (just don't let them go to seed).

    If it's a solid black charred ground, you may want to lightly disc, broadcast, and cultipack...if you have some seed.

    Got any pictures?
     
  15. dbltree

    dbltree Super Moderator

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    I wouldn't worry about it...what's done is done and if it was a good healthy stand of native grass it should be fine.

    If brome or fescue was trying to invade then you could nuke that with roundup in early April.

    Late burning just encourages the natives by setting back cool seasons and over time it will help maintain a healthy stand of natives. /forum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif
     
  16. bjkpharmd

    bjkpharmd New Member

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    Lots of factors... Sometimes a cooler fire when everything isn't completely dry burns in a checkerboard pattern that might help different species compete.
     
  17. dkelley

    dkelley New Member

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    I have 2 sections that I plan on burning this year. The first is 10 acres of brome and timothy that I will let green back up and then hit with roundup and then lay down some new CP25. The second is a 6 acre switchgrass buffer strip along a creek. This is about a 6 year old planting that has never been burned and has some cottonwoods coming up and just not a very thick switch area and I am hoping the burn will rejuvenate it.

    From reading this thread it sounds like the recommendation is that I can burn the brome/timothy as soon as I want but I should wait until mid April to burn the switch. Does this sound correct?
     
  18. Daver

    Daver PMA Member

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    Another thing that I have experienced is that by trying to burn a brome stand "later"... I haven't been able to get a burn going much at all due to too much fresh green growth. (I am not talking about switchgrass, just brome.) I had to work it pretty hard just get a very patchy burn off.

    I don't remember exact dates for reference, but I would estimate that a "late" burn for a switchgrass field might be 1-2+ weeks after a "late" burn for a brome field. There might be 4" to 8" of exposed, semi-vertical grass in a brome field while there is probably 2' to 4' of vertically oriented swtichgrass, so it can burn like crazy over the top of whatever might be greening up down low. (I hope that makes sense.)
     
  19. dbltree

    dbltree Super Moderator

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    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">the recommendation is that I can burn the brome/timothy as soon as I want but I should wait until mid April to burn the switch. Does this sound correct?
    </div></div>

    Yes...burn the brome asap so it can green up quickly and allow you time to nuke it.

    You can see how burning early though will encourage the brome which then gets a leg up on natives that won't green up until late May.

    Burn the switchgrass late un April to early May... /forum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif
     
  20. baggin_bucks

    baggin_bucks Active Member

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    We burnt some of ours off this weekend because we are putting all of the hay ground back in CRP. We burnt the food plots and what little NWSG we did have. It's all going in beans this spring and CP-38 after that. Boy that switch grass really goes.

    [​IMG]
     

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