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#3555570 - 01/21/14 02:25 PM Brassica usage
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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I noticed that the huge crop of volunteer brassicas I had in my plots got absolutely hammered by the deer during that last cold snap we had. Deer hadn't touched them until that point, and then they were gone in two weeks time right after the single digit temps.
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#3555618 - 01/21/14 03:04 PM Re: Brassica usage [Re: BSK]
timberjack86
14 Point


Registered: 06/20/11
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Loc: Grundy county

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Do you think it takes that kind of cold to get deer to eat them? I have never had any luck with any brassica. Although they grow great and the turnips and greens are mighty tasty the deer ignore them. I did not plant them this year.
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#3555629 - 01/21/14 03:11 PM Re: Brassica usage [Re: timberjack86]
Boll Weevil
8 Point


Registered: 06/26/11
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This past weekend I saw evidence of deer eating my turnips...not the greens (because they're long gone) but the actual TURNIP. There's no way they'll eat them all as I planted a bunch (for me, family, neighbors, deer, and whoever else wanted a few purple-topped goodies).

Anyone else seen this...deer eating the turnip?

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#3555631 - 01/21/14 03:15 PM Re: Brassica usage [Re: timberjack86]
smstone22
16 Point


Registered: 01/11/04
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Loc: Allardt, TN

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Mine in Morgan Co. were totally wiped out by Mid-Late October(1 acre of purple tops, radish, and rape). Mine at home ( 6 acres worth in different plots of the same mix) started getting usage on radish in November, and the rest of the mix in December mostly being gone by Decembers end except theres still some bulbs left on the PTT there but probably 75% gone. They will gnaw the bulbs right down to ground level and paw them up sometimes. I'll need more next year. I love it, because that mix is cheap and so easy to grow.
The first couple of years I had them at home, they received little to no usage but I kept planting and they have started using them more and more, it's like they learn its a good food source. In Morgan Co., different story, high deer density, not a lot of good food sources around, and they have always started wiping them out as soon as they get any size to them.
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#3555642 - 01/21/14 03:26 PM Re: Brassica usage [Re: smstone22]
Boll Weevil
8 Point


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 Originally Posted By: smstone22
I love it, because that mix is cheap and so easy to grow.

You got that right...totally agree. It's my intent to plant even more going forward.

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#3555662 - 01/21/14 03:39 PM Re: Brassica usage [Re: Boll Weevil]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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 Originally Posted By: Boll Weevil
This past weekend I saw evidence of deer eating my turnips...not the greens (because they're long gone) but the actual TURNIP. There's no way they'll eat them all as I planted a bunch (for me, family, neighbors, deer, and whoever else wanted a few purple-topped goodies).

Anyone else seen this...deer eating the turnip?


Back when I did a lot of experimenting with different bulb-producing brassicas, I would see deer digging them out of the ground by mid-winter.
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"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#3555665 - 01/21/14 03:41 PM Re: Brassica usage [Re: smstone22]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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 Originally Posted By: smstone22
The first couple of years I had them at home, they received little to no usage but I kept planting and they have started using them more and more, it's like they learn its a good food source.


Very common experience smstone22. I believe plants of this variety are so rarely encountered by deer that they have to "learn" they are edible. Usually takes a year or two in any given location.
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"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#3555725 - 01/21/14 04:26 PM Re: Brassica usage [Re: BSK]
Wes Parrish
16 Point


Registered: 06/12/02
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Loc: Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN

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 Originally Posted By: BSK
 Originally Posted By: smstone22
The first couple of years I had them at home, they received little to no usage but I kept planting and they have started using them more and more, it's like they learn its a good food source.


Very common experience smstone22. I believe plants of this variety are so rarely encountered by deer that they have to "learn" they are edible. Usually takes a year or two in any given location.

I've had a similar experience.
Brassicas now seem to be a preferred EARLY FALL food source in the areas I've been sowing for many consecutive years, while the deer hardly touched the brassicas before late winter in the first couple years. The deer seem to "develop" a taste for them.

My original intent was for the brassicas to provide late-winter forage when other good food sources would be low. That plan worked well the first couple years.

I may start planting more of the varieties with larger bulbous roots, since the roots seem to be less preferred and more likely to be available in January. I plant a diverse mix, but have previously preferred more greens and less roots.

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#3555869 - 01/21/14 05:53 PM Re: Brassica usage [Re: Wes Parrish]
timberjack86
14 Point


Registered: 06/20/11
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I may have to try them again.
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#3555874 - 01/21/14 05:59 PM Re: Brassica usage [Re: timberjack86]
tellico4x4
6 Point


Registered: 11/29/04
Posts: 933
Loc: Killen, AL

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Our Rape, Maximum & Daikon Radishes have wiped out as well. There are still some Maximum & Rape turnips being dug up and eaten, however the cold weather has turned the radishes into mush.

I plan to plant more of the radishes this year as the deer started using them very early in fall. We tillered 20-30' strips in clover to plant them, and deer walked thru the clover to eat the greens.
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#3558038 - 01/23/14 10:10 AM Re: Brassica usage [Re: tellico4x4]
Hunter 257W
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Registered: 10/04/12
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I've planted brassicas for 5 or 6 years now and deer won't touch them in some spots at all but start eating them in November in others. I've definitely seen an increase in brassica consumption in my most used plot this year. However, none of my food plots has ever been eaten down totally like some of you experience.

This is the 1st year that I've planted a variety that has bulbs so the fact that I've hardly seen any digging is not all that significant.

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#3563442 - 01/27/14 04:08 PM Re: Brassica usage [Re: Hunter 257W]
Hunter 257W
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An update to the above post - my brassica plots (that haven't been killed back by cold) have experienced heavy grazing as of Saturday Jan 25. The greens are eaten down to within probably 4 inches off the ground. So far they are NOT eating the bulbs. They'll get a larger plot next year for sure. My main plot this year is about 30 feet wide and a bit over 150 yards long. This is the 1st year they have eaten it down like this.
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#3563529 - 01/27/14 05:11 PM Re: Brassica usage [Re: Hunter 257W]
Boll Weevil
8 Point


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 Originally Posted By: Hunter 257W
So far they are NOT eating the bulbs.

If your dirt is dry enough to be worked try hitting a strip with your disk. Slicing up a few of the turnips and having more cold weather coming + that smell out there might be all it takes for them to nibble and give'em a try.

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#3564845 - 01/28/14 01:27 PM Re: Brassica usage [Re: tellico4x4]
woodsman87
8 Point


Registered: 09/27/12
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Loc: south TN

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They hammered my rape this fall/winter. From Late October until they completely wiped them out, about Thanksgiving week. Then it got cold and stayed so cold they never really grew back.
My food plots look terrible. Nothing to eat on. Cold weather plus heavy deer pressure put a hurtin on them this year. But hey, they are there for the deer to eat so I got my money's worth I guess.

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#3564895 - 01/28/14 01:58 PM Re: Brassica usage [Re: woodsman87]
BSK
Jerkasourous of the non-typical kind
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Mine are down to dirt too woodsman87. I wish I had the space and equipment to plant more acreage. I try to create as much natural browse foods as possible, but those aren't very productive or nutritious in the dead of winter.
_________________________
"Know where you stand, and stand there" --Jesuit Father Daniel Berrigan

"There is no reasoning someone out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." --Clive James

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#3565401 - 01/28/14 06:47 PM Re: Brassica usage [Re: tellico4x4]
mathews338
12 Point


Registered: 11/05/09
Posts: 5071
Loc: jackson co.

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I planted maximum this year in a location that never had a food plot what so ever, just weeds and it was in an area with no agriculture at all, just steep hills and big timber for miles. We had some turnip and radish seed that we mixed in with it. They started eating the maximum in October and continued through November until all of it was gone then in December they started on the turnip and radish until it was about all gone. I noticed a few of the bulbs had been ate on around Christmas. I have not been out there since.
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#3584313 - 02/11/14 09:38 PM Re: Brassica usage [Re: mathews338]
Hunter 257W
10 Point


Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 3079
Loc: Franklin County

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Checked the brassicas Saturday Feb 8 and they are eaten all the way down. The bulbs are rotten though with hardly any being eaten. Definitely going to plant more next Fall as my deer have finally decided they like brassicas.
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