Drought, Soil Compaction, Better Food Plots

Show Notes

In this episode, Jon Teater (Whitetail Landscapes) and Austin Delano (Mossy Oak BioLogic) discuss ways to reverse drought concerns, long-term drought resilience properties and soil compaction. Austin provides soil improvement techniques to include mechanical methods of changing water collection and retention. Jon explains high level ways to architect your landscape for water, and how water can be the most important resource we have. Jon and Austin discuss fallow areas, and Austin provides plant options that are more drought tolerant, which can change these areas and your food plots.

Austin explains the concept of subsoiling and how this can change the ground we work. Jon and Austin discuss when to subsoil, the multitude of benefits and what they have learned from doing this technique. Austin suggests certain tractor requirements and how this technique alleviates hardpans. Austin explains to Jon the new radishes that are being released by biologic and how he expects these to be a game changer to those across the country.

Check out the Sportsmen's Empire Podcast Network for more relevant outdoor content!

Social Links







Show Transcript

Jon Teater: Hi, I'm John Teter, Whitetail Landscapes. This is Maximizer Hunt. Welcome back everybody. Hopefully everyone's doing well. It's, uh, the dog days of summer. We're, we're in July now. And, uh, preparation for a lot of folks, you know, putting up tree stands or box blinds, mowing trails. I'm still consulting, of course.

And, uh, Get to travel this week. Um, I'm headed out to New Hampshire. I'm excited for that trip [00:01:00] and, uh, gonna do some timber cutting out there with a client and then I get home and more timber cutting, more consulting. You know, I just hope everyone's, you know, taking the time. You can work all summer. I'm continuing to work on my landscape.

I'm actually planning on going over today, firm up some of the box blinds. I gotta do con some concealment, just making sure the systems are kind of flowing the way they should. And that's pretty much my strategy right now. There's a lot you can still do in the summer. I think we talked about that on a prior podcast.

Perry Batten myself. But, um, I got a returning guest, Austin Delano's, back from, uh, mossy Oak and, uh, let me get him on the line. Hey Austin, how you

Austin Delano: doing? Great, man. Great to be here. Thank you. Yeah, it's

Jon Teater: great to have you back. I really appreciate the conversation we had, you know, last go around and, uh, I'm gonna kinda let you kinda lead this off and, and talk about some things that you're experiencing.

You know, in the field with, uh, you know, either, either with clients at Moss Oak specifically, you know, and I think a [00:02:00] lot of this should be surrounding kind of the topic of drought. You know, we, we hit on this topic quite often and I think a lot of people don't know really where to start or what they can do to either improve their soil, you know, look at landscape features, architect your landscape to hold more water.

There's strategies there as well. So I kind of want you to kick it off with some of the thoughts that you have as of recent.

Austin Delano: Yeah, for sure. And you know, I really thought going into this year, looking at weather patterns and you know, as a broader picture, the El Nino and La Nina systems that we have become familiar with in the last decade and a half or so, really having a big.

Say so basically, and who gets rain and who doesn't and thought, you know, that everybody would maybe be experiencing a little bit, uh, wetter of a spring and summer, especially guys in the Midwest and upper Midwest. But, uh, you know, it's another year where there's, there's [00:03:00] pockets that are getting some rainfall and then there's, there's widespread areas that are really hurting again.

Um, and that's, you know, obviously nothing we could do about that except for. Uh, you know, kind of drought proofing our properties as best as possible. And, you know, drought proofing is kind of a, uh, could lead people astray that there's actually only a handful of things that we feel like we've got control over that we can do when it comes to hardcore long term drought instead of, you know, little two and three week spells that are just a little bit drought stressful on crops.

So big difference between long-term drought and. And stuff where plants just get their feelings hurt for a couple of weeks and then they're back to good.

Jon Teater: Yeah. In your particular area, are you experiencing any drought? I mean, are you in the categorization of a drought in Indic that that identifies you as, I guess, uh, Under the perspective or, um, ideal rainfall currently?

Austin Delano: Yeah, we're, we're down. Um, I [00:04:00] haven't looked this week at where we're at, um, as, as a, as a year total, but we've been down two years in a row now, and a lot of people other are too, some people that are in the third and fourth, uh, spring and summer cycle with below average rainfall. You can see it in the ponds, you can see it in, you know, larger lakes that did not get caught up with, you know, waterfall through the, uh, through the fall and the winter.

Uh, when you kind of expect to catch a lot of your runoff and, uh, think kind of to saturate water table again. But we're, we're down again. We're not hurting. Per se, as bad as some areas are, um, we're getting a lot of those little pop-up thunderstorms right now, this time of year that are definitely helping to relieve, um, you know, a lot of row crops and people's food plots that you see.

Uh, but overall, yeah, there's a lot of, lot of areas that are still down and, um, you know, listening to customers in some other states and seeing 'em out there [00:05:00] pulling water wagons right now, trying to keep stuff alive, it's, it's evident that's. Back into, you know, negative rainfall, uh, for their, for their time.

And, you know, people are out there scrambling. So it's, it's relevant almost every year. Some, some years more and widespread

Jon Teater: than others. Let me, let me ask you maybe a bigger picture question. A lot of people shy away from planting summer food plots and you know, this is one of the reasons why. It's also, it's a time thing I think for a lot of folks, and in my experience, it's been more of a time thing than it is a water thing now.

I think when you're building your, your system or you're building your architecture around water, you know, you're focusing on areas that. Can catch water, right? That's probably the, the place to start. I've previously talked about on this podcast, putting in swes and terraces, uh, utilizing, you know, catchment basins or [00:06:00] pond areas, leveraging spillways.

We've talked about, you know, uh, sprinkler systems. Uh, one of the consultants that are on this, you know, he's filling up, you know, giant, you know, wagons full of water and, and dispersing across the landscape. Pivot systems. I mean, those are some, you know, some of 'em are pretty involved. Building infrastructure and landscape is a pretty involved topic and you know, it takes money, effort, thought, et cetera.

Are there simpler things that we can do and, you know, is it maybe more appropriate for some folks to just say, well, I, I, you know, Exposing the ground, allowing the, the, the, basically the, the moisture to succumb to evaporation. I is, is it better just to leave things fallow? I mean, just as a strategy? What are your thoughts on that?

Austin Delano: Yeah, there's, there's a lot of different variables right there that go into exactly what you mentioned. Just not knowing whether or not you need to try to manipulate, you know, some of the things on your landscape too. [00:07:00] Be more drought proof or drought tolerant and, and having water available when other people don't.

Um, and then you get caught thinking maybe it's best to, you know, just let nature take its course on some things. But yeah, I definitely think there's some things that we can do to make our properties, you know, whether we're consulting on 'em or actually doing the work ourselves and, and helping people realize there's, there's obviously always gonna be a limit to what we can.

We can help with until the good Lord sends rain. But you know, the being able to, let's say, just simple task as far as being able to bury water tubs in areas that you know are gonna need it during spring and summer. You know, if you already are. Working on a piece of property that has proven in the past to be, get skipped over a lot during the summer and just misses a lot of rain, but everything else is kind of there in place.

You know, we, we have dug, you know, water tanks in the ground [00:08:00] and been really successful at how the wildlife uses those. Without disturbing the landscape a whole lot. You know, basically going in there with a small, uh, mini excavator or a small back of whatever you've got your hands on. Even we've even dug a lot of men with, with shovels.

Um, you know, kind of where there's a wheel, there's a way type thing to get water too. Some of these hard to reach areas. And then as you were talking actually, you know, doing things to the land as far as terracing, we're building catch basins. Um, and, and I really encourage people, you know, if you, if you're gonna be working on a piece of property, whether it's yours or a, um, a customer's and you know that this area is gonna dry up quicker than, than plan for it, you know, maybe leave some areas like that, fallow and en, you know, try to encourage a lot of native plants in there, you know, that are gonna be very tolerant of, of dry conditions cuz it never fails.

You're out here looking at all the food plots that you put in and [00:09:00] you're trying to get to grow maximum yield capability, and you, they start getting hit by a little bit of a, you know, a three, four week long droughty hot spell. And then you see some, you know, areas that you've kind of been manipulating to be more heavily into native forages and all the good weeds and Forbes out there.

And they're just smiling, you know, in all the drought and the excessive sunlight. You're like, man, You know, there's definitely a lot to making sure, obviously diversity's huge. So within that diversity on a, on a place, having areas that we leave fallow because they just seem to really shine during these really hot trouty times of the year.

Jon Teater: Yeah, I think people struggle with those decisions specifically, you know, lighting areas. I think that it's, it's important to think about sequencing, right? We, we go into those at least in the Northeast, where, where I'm located, I'm in, I'm in New York state. If, if folks don't know that, as you know, [00:10:00] these systems come in, those early April may rains and, you know, we're, I've gotten snow in May, so, you know, it's, it's all over the place, temperature wise, getting these plants to survive.

You know, maybe through those wetter periods, and then we have these like immense dry spells. I talked to a client, not, not so long ago, he had two months of no rain. He's on very clay based soils, so that water catchment and plan ahead, having plants that come out of the winter months that are hardy, that survive in those spring months is really critical to that process.

And I've got a couple areas on my old pro, on my own property where they're kind of being managed as old fields and, you know, those areas get a lot of utilization. Nap weed, daisy fleabane. There's just a lot of species in there that are of interest to deer just because of, you know, the, the relative plants.

The residual plants, maybe the plants that I, you know, I, I threw. You know, in my food plot seed, the, the year before, [00:11:00] you know, so I think it's, it's thinking about those across your landscape and just diversifying a little bit. I mean, you could have, you know, a whole host of, you know, native natural brows because of, you know, cut areas where you fell tree and fell trees and contour.

You're collecting rainwater. It creates a, the ability to slow water down a slope, et cetera. You know, there's just a lot of little things you can do on the landscape that. Kind of ease us into these kind of food plot examples and strategies. Uh, a part of kind of your overall system. And I will say this, I think the discriminator, like right now, and I think this is gonna discriminate folks that really are putting time into their properties, is if you are collecting or managing water on your landscape period, you're gonna have more utilization.

I'm doing some work with, uh, another client right now. Kinda analyzing this bit of data and we're gonna do a before and after with him specifically. And some of it just has to do with, you know, stem density and, [00:12:00] but I think managing water part of that is a really important attribute and, and something that I'm, I'm trying to focus in on a little bit more so I can talk a little more intelligently about it.

So I wanna, I wanna rip over to the idea I brought up clay soils, for example, and it, it doesn't have to be clay soils specifically, but the idea of sub-soil, I think there's a lot of anti. Well, I hear this more and more. I'm not gonna till, or I'm not gonna distance soil, but the idea of sub-soil and sub-soil, I'll use the term keyline or on contour.

And basically what that does is you got a straight blade plow and you're digging into the dirt at some distance. It's giving an opportunity for water to run off, you know, a slope and it's a catchment basement. It, you know, water flows over and now water flows in because you've got this deep spade going into the ground.

I kind of wanna get some background on that. I've got a little history with doing a little sub soiling, but I think you got a little bit more than me. So I wanna, I wanna talk a little bit about sub soiling.

Austin Delano: Yeah. I think it's something [00:13:00] that's, um, very under talked about. If, if that's a term, you know, it just does not get mentioned a whole lot specifically in wildlife management practices.

Uh, it doesn't get talked about a whole lot, but I think, and I have seen a lot of, you know, Customer's food plots, where in the first 22nd view of it, I can see that that may be what is needed above all else. And not everybody's soils is, is is good for sub-soil and let's get out in front of that. And not all situations are gonna be alleviated by sub-soil, but.

If you have these really tight soils, um, whether it be clay based or super heavy loan based, that has had lots of traffic on it in the same direction for years on end, everybody is subject to some form of soil compaction from, you know, machinery over the years. Uh, some places are gonna be worse than others, but to be able to go in there and, and subsoil these areas, [00:14:00] like you said, we're, we're not really incorporating residue.

We're not tilling. We're not plowing. We are, we're basically breaking, you know, the underlayer of soils there that may be preventing water from filtering through the soil profile properly. And these, these areas really stand out if you pay attention. They generally hold water when they shouldn't. They don't hold water when they should, you know, because of, because of the way the water either sits on 'em too heavily in the wintertime and not being able to filter through the soil profile before because of a hard print pan, a plow pan as it's called in a lot of places where basically you just got a layer that could be as little as four inches deep or as much as 12 inches deep in another place depending on the type of of soil it is, and when the last time some sort of major.

You know, interruption like a subsoil was, was put through it, if ever, and so I, I've seen it [00:15:00] done up in the Midwest a lot in the wintertime, you know, where they're subsoil and at the same time they're putting in some of their anhydrous ammonia. A lot of different situations on where different regions use it.

But the idea of being able to identify whether soil compaction is an issue that is driving. Problems in your field, whether it be a row crop field that really seems to dry out a lot quicker than it should, or food plot crop fields that you see issues holding water during the wintertime and vice versa, cracking very quickly and heavily.

So if you see a crop responding to drought stress really quick or too much water, stress really quick. A lot of times there's some sort of an issue there with the, with the way water moves through that soil and being able to pull, whether it be a single shank subsoil or behind a tosser, and you're really getting down there in that 12 to 15 inch range, or if you're pulling some sort of a little bit more shallow [00:16:00] style subsoil or slash chisel plow, you know, in more like that, three to seven, maybe even eight inch deep range.

Depending on your soil types, these can, these can be a big difference in how that field, you know, handles water. Uh, both when it has it and when it doesn't. The first side, side experience I saw with sub-soil and how big of a difference it could make was actually on tree planting years ago. And, you know, the, the soil was so difficult to work, even for a tree planting crew that we would go in before.

In like August or September and subsoil these areas in that late summer, early fall period with just a single rip. And then when we, when his tree planting time to follow those lines and the success rate of those trees in the next couple years was, was significantly different because they were able to follow, you know, that that.

That fractured soil [00:17:00] line and really get those roots into areas that may have taken it years to get to or may have not been able to bust through some of that at all as a young tree. And so the success rate goes way up. So seeing that within crops and how different people's field respond to some sort of a sub swollen activity, um, it can really be something to be looked at for guys that are kind of scratching their heads because your fertility can be great.

Your pH levels can be great. Everything can kind of be G hauling, but if that field has some compaction issues somewhere down below it, it's hard for roots to do what they're designed to do when they're, when they're hitting concrete,

Jon Teater: basically. Yeah, and this is interesting. I'm gonna dig more into this so I can learn from you.

Is, I'm, I'm gonna go back to the, the basics. We, we, we've talked about microbial activity in the soil, you know, breathing oxygen, exhaling carbon dioxide, you know, the basics, right? And then the other piece of it, this is this, you know, poor [00:18:00] spacing and utilizing kind of this fractured, I like that term, you know, fractured line and allowing, I.

A better rate of exchange of air and that's really important cuz all we're talking about is compaction essentially makes these areas way too rich in CO2 and. If your oxygen levels aren't good enough, the poor spacing for, you know, for the relative plants and microbial activities, degraded, period. I mean that, that's the basics of some of the benefit of doing this, this rip, or you know, we'll, we'll say straight shank tillage.

You know, that's probably the best term. So I wanna talk a little bit not on contour. So flat ground, and a lot of people have flat ground, their food plots, limited slope, et cetera, when you're driving a tractor, Through, we'll say a perennial food plot or maybe an annual food plot. What's the strategy like, when would you actually do this Sub soiling?

What? What would be a strategy there? [00:19:00] And also thinking the relative distance. You know, that you may sub-soil one section. Versus the other and maybe, maybe variant. You know, you may have a perennial crop where you, you don't want a subsoil because of the, the root matter that's already present where an annual you may decide to, or let's just talk a fallow field.

So I wanna, I want you to kind of give me a story, uh, about this and, and think more precisely how you would attack subsoil.

Austin Delano: Yeah, it's definitely one of those activities where sometimes you may just be. You know, a slave to whenever somebody has got the equipment can do it for you. But if you can do it yourself, whether you're pulling it with a, you know, usually takes at least a 50 horse tractor or larger and preferably full wheel drive at that to pull a single shank sub soiler.

So you, you start to think about adding. You know, at least 15 to maybe as much as 20 horsepower for every shank that you add past one. Um, if we're pulling it with a, you know, a modern [00:20:00] day four wheel drive tractor, so it does take a little bit of horsepower and some equipment to really pull one the correct way.

Also, wanna identify, you know, beforehand, before he just dropped his shank off in the ground. How deep is this? You know, hard pan or plow pan that we may be dealing with. And is it more naturally created? Is it just an area that's really tough to get through or is it cause of all the machinery and all the years?

So something to think about before we drop one in the ground is where, where's that at? And that can usually be found pretty quickly with the soil probe. Uh, it doesn't take very long to find, you know, where the, the problem lays at. If, if soil compaction is, I think most people would probably find that late summer, early fall time period before you really get cranked up with fall food plots or maybe right during, it could be a great time to go ahead and pull a sub soiler.

Probably one of the neatest places I've ever seen. It really [00:21:00] increase the way a plot was growing and it was really an incidental type deal, was the wrong field getting subs soiled one time for a tree planting. It was in a perennial clover field. It was kind of that later stage of summer suffering from a little bit of drought stress.

And obviously it's been, you know, 90 to 95 degrees almost every day. And so your perennial clovers, they take a beating that time of year, you know, they're getting hammered on by the deer. The regrowth is not as near as intense as it would be in a, in the cooler part of the year, in the spring or the later part of the fall, and.

That field got subs soiled in, in one direction and thinking that it was gonna be planted in trees, but it didn't get planted. And so that following fall as the, you know, it was done in summertime and it went on into the fall there and the clover starts responding to the little bit of increase in rainfall and the cooler temperatures.

It was pretty amazing just to see how dense and green. [00:22:00] The areas of the field that were closest to these big subsoil rows started getting, even though it would seem that that was a lot of, you know, stress to a root system on a perennial clover field, that this single shank, you know, sub sorter been pulled through there at a foot plus deep, but all it did was just almost, you know, gave that clover steroid shot for that field, um, because all of a sudden, all those, you know, uh, Two or three years worth of roots are just really spreading and really getting deep and soaking up nutrients that may have been a little bit tougher to get to beforehand.

So it kinda woke the field up, so to speak, um, from something that maybe wouldn't have indicated that that was a major problem. But it was a field that had been driven over, you know, for 15 plus years in wildlife activities and just farm activities. And even though it was producing. It was amazing how much more productive it was after it had been sub soiled, even though it [00:23:00] wasn't even a target field for that.

So I, I look at fields like that and although it's just three or four acres on a, you know, 40 acre property, that was a big deal from then on for that landowner to not only keep doing that in areas where we we're gonna be planting trees for. Tree success, but was like, Hey, you know, if we rip this in two directions, you know, 90 degrees from each other on some of these fields that are holding too much water in the winter, let's see if that doesn't alleviate some problems.

And, and kinda what you were talking about, you don't have to do your whole place in the first year. Maybe you do a couple of fields that you've identified as that potentially being a problem. And seeing how it responds to it, you know, over the next year's time and see if that's not something you need to continue to do, or maybe you're like, no, didn't see any benefit in it whatsoever.

Not from my place.

Jon Teater: Do you see instances where, and the two, this brought two things to my [00:24:00] mind, que questions for you. The first question is, you know, somebody goes in with. General vertical tillage, they're disking a field and they get down 2, 3, 6 inches thereabouts. Right? And it has a tendency to kind of break up the soil and turn into small particles essentially.

And then at that layer over time, for me, they're running over it. Weather, uh, depending on how you're utilizing plants, et cetera, a layer builds up 3, 4, 6 inches. Right? So essentially just, just tillage alone can create this hard pan. And so the introduction of the sub soline at, let's say a depth below that, 2, 3, 6 inches, you know, is there a strategy there where you know if you can create a profile or opportunity to sub sole at a deeper level?

Should it be at the hard pan or slightly below the hard pan? Obviously, you're limited. In some cases to the equipment that you have available to you, that's clear. But I'm just wondering what would be a [00:25:00] strategy? Would you want to go slightly through and below the hard pan or, you know, at the hard pan per se?

What, what would you, you know, what would you, uh, Prescribed to somebody.

Austin Delano: Yeah, I think that's a great point because as we were talking about a second ago, it may not be an issue on every single field you've got and a and a simple soil probe, whether it's one you buy from someplace like forestry suppliers online, or make your own out of a piece of rebar, as we've done many times.

Um, you can go around and usually find, you know, where that problem is and find that really. Tough plow layer, whether it's self-induced from yourself or maybe you bought a farm and they were, you know, plowing and tilling for years and, and they've created one itself. Like you said, it could be one at three and four inches where those clay particles.

And soils that have clay in 'em have migrated down. And so your looser soils are on top. These tighter soils begin to form on the bottom, and then that's [00:26:00] where that plow pan or that hard pan really starts to form. So I think if a guy's gonna think about subsoil and he needs to do the best he can to kind of maybe get a shovel and a, um, you know, a, a piece of rebar and a.

A subsoil probe and check to see what you've got going on. That way. Obviously if we're gonna, if we're gonna subsoil this, we've gotta at least get down past that layer. I don't know that a guy's gonna gain a whole lot by being six inches past the plow pan. Except for the fact that he is just fracturing the soil a little bit deeper.

One, one study I did read years ago that was really fascinating to me on plow pans and using crops to kind of mine these nutrients. Back to the level, the root zone that most crops are gonna grow into is, is sub soiling something in that late summer, early fall time period, and then using crops that we all know that wildlife love.

But that also have a great ability [00:27:00] to gather in mind nutrients a little deeper than most crops, and bring them to that two to five inch deep range where a lot of soil activity goes on as far as root zones and those plants break down in that area. And doing that for a couple years to really increase all sorts of microbial activity and mind nutrients that maybe a lot of crops that we would be.

Growing or not gonna get to. And also nutrients that have leached down past the part, past the point of most crops being able to reach to it. Obviously a lot of things like DI radishes have a great ability with that tuber that they grow and the you. Couple those with an area that's been sub soiled and these roots and those radish tubers can really go down there and put that tap root down even past that tuber and mine those nutrients and bring them back up to an area.

Where it's usable by the next crop and also [00:28:00] transferable to our wildlife is gonna be taking in these crops. So that's another way of looking at, you know, using a crop directly after a sub-soil to help not only break up that soil profile even more, but, but bring nutrients up into the root zone that are more readily available for shallow or rooted crops.

Jon Teater: Yeah, this is all good points. So, uh, another thing is I want to talk about something I saw 20 years ago. You know, I grew up and, uh, had a chance to do a little farming with, uh, some of my relatives and, you know, using sub soilers or cultivation in the same technique, you know, for. Oh, I'm thinking the cultivation, I think they had four shanks and they would run granulated in each one of the, uh, the, the channels, uh, granulated fertilizer.

I've seen that plenty of times. You know, the other point is the spacing and relative spacing, which you were talking about, relative depth, relative spacing, I think is commensurate with the [00:29:00] type of crops that you're growing. So, you know, if you want the crops to spread their lateral roots, right, um, that may dictate.

The distance that you create your channels. Um, it also may be predicated based on the type of equipment that you have, but if you're, in my case, like a single, you know, sub solar or single bottom plow, some, somewhere along those lines, um, you'll be able to kind of predict, you know, and create this, this ideal channeling.

And, um, I have a perennial side and an annual side a lot of times in my. Layout, you know, it's, uh, strip food plots. That's what, that's what I call it. And I, I would run strip, you know, in, in each one of those, you know, in three, four foot sections, thereabouts. And that, that would be kind of my strategy to aerate.

The point you brought up a second ago, Austin is u utilizing crops specifically, and I kind of want to go there. We talked a little bit in the beginning. I kind of mentioned a little bit about cover crops. And [00:30:00] some of the other, you know, plants that you just brought up as, uh, you know, tillage, radish, or radishes.

So I wanna kind of get on the crop side of this and crops preserving moisture and what crops to help maybe alleviate compaction or ones that do well in drought. So, kind of want to run through some of that at least right now, this time of year we're a little late for obviously summer planning, but folks may.

Be in the process of putting in their second crop per se, or where they had a failed crop and they're, they're thinking about this next month or month or two before they get into their fall crop.

Austin Delano: Yeah. There's, you know, you're kinda right there on the line right now where people in the very northern part of, of the planting zones, you know, in, in your neck of the woods and the bottom edge of Canada, you know, we're already starting to think about.

You know, putting Nebraska's and stuff like that in the ground coming up in a couple of weeks to get all that tonnage, you know, for the, for the fall and the winter. And of course you get down here into the deep south and you know, we've still got guys putting soybeans in behind wheat that just got [00:31:00] cut.

So there's a, you know, a big difference in, in planting zones for a lot of guys and when they might be doing some of these activities. You know, I, I've got a, a place not too far from behind my house this year where we're doing a lot of heavy covey crop cover cropping, fallow fields, getting converted into some more traditional food plot type crops because there is so much fallow field in the area.

That we're trying to increase, you know, overall protein in some of those areas, uh, coupled with all the fallow ground and one plant that really sticks out to me. That is, I think, highly underutilized. Uh, and it really shines this time of year. You know, we've had a hundred, 102 degree days the last two days in a row on the actual temperature and heat indexes has been crazy.

We have gotten some occasional rains, which has alleviated a little bit of stress on plants, but the one plant that I see every day when I get up and go [00:32:00] outside, I've got it behind my shop. It's accidentally growing there, for the lack of a better term, because it. Was probably in a spilled bag and got a leaf blow out into the, um, you know, the, the areas there around the shop, which is basically just chi gravel and that's chicory.

Um, you know, it's an extremely resilient, uh, plant to drought stress. And I actually took a backhoe a few years ago and dug down beside. A single plant within a field that had been there for five plus years was how long the perennial blend had kind of been in the field. And at the time I was doing some studying on Chicory and just, you know, its ability to get through some really, really tough soils and always have some green forage on it, almost regardless of the situation and the, the temperatures and the drought, and to see the taproot that chi is able to push.

Through some of the toughest soils you've ever [00:33:00] seen, and this time of year when it's kind of in, in our eyes, kind of an ugly and a bolting plant, you know, it's flowering. If it's not getting browsed too hard this time of year, it's got this lavender colored flower on it. It's real pretty. But then the plant itself is just kind of this gangly bolting plant with some spiky and some smooth leaf, depending on the variety down below it.

But then the deer just hammering these, these, um, you know, these fresh, uh, buds of the flowers that are coming off on it and the, the, the stems of the plants that seem to be, you know, full of just moisture nutrients this time of year. And of course, the whitetails are extremely attracted to that, but that's something guys can be thinking about right now, because depending on where you live at, you know, chicory is a perennial.

It needs some time to get started. And get that root system established so that it can be a very long term drought resilient plant. So depending on where you live at, chicory is definitely something [00:34:00] that can be added into, you know, whether it be a, a perennial food plot in red and white clovers, and, uh, being a portion of that as a standalone crop or even adding it to fields that you plan on letting it go fallow.

Cause I know some people the. I've seen that growing in every ditch and you know, deer don't ever touch, it kind of boils down to the variety type. Yeah. So the, the variety types that we know wildlife really like if they get introduced into even fallow field situations, just to kind of be another, you know, quote unquote weed out there that's out providing some really serious nutrition, a really great plant to think about, uh, using for areas that are drought stressed, year in and year out, because I know we're gonna get drought stressed every year.

So I always wanna suggest to a customer, Hey, think about in some of your perennial food plots, either adding more chicory to a blend that's already got it, or using it as a standalone crop, even in a few areas to be a place that [00:35:00] the deer can always go to. It may not always be the prettiest crop, but once it's established, it's really a tough plot to get rid of or to kill from the standpoint of the weather being able to.

You know, completely zap it. It really stands out as being a super, super drought tolerant plant.

Jon Teater: I think that's a great point, and something that we've hit on on this podcast a little bit is thinking about. You know, those type of variations in strategy where you're, or you're selecting a plant to the environment, I call that particular plant a dynamic accumulator or a mineral accumulator, uh, because of the taproot lamb's, quarter falls in this same kind of, uh, Characterization where they have this, this, you know, deep taproot that, uh, you know, digs down and it's able to maneuver through the soil in a good way.

I'm gonna throw something out there recently and something that I saw on a client's property not too long ago. I had a [00:36:00] penetrometer with me and, uh, you, I think you brought up earlier, you use, use rebar or you know, a, I guess a screwdriver and I stuck it in the ground and, uh, we sunk the penetrometer. And, uh, it's an area that had some compaction, some, you know, misuse over the years where there's likely a hard pan and that native warm season grass, the switch grass that was planted in that area really kind of created this.

You know, great biome of, you know, breaking up that compaction layer. Just, just as an example, some of those grasses that we put in place, you may end up terminating those and, and they're, they're great opportunities to put in other plants that may be more desirable. I look at, you know, switch grasses, kind of an eliminator and, and, uh, I use it for eliminating movement and, uh, as much as people, you know, prescribe it as a betting resource, to me it's an area to create dead zones.

That's, You know, but the soil benefits are huge. [00:37:00] And to that same point is, you know, these deep rooted plants and selecting plants with a deep root, I think is a big piece of the puzzle when we're coming to, you know, figuring out what, you know, what plants we wanna put on the landscape. All right. So, Austin, I'm wanna kind of end with the, the last piece of this is, you know, we're getting into, you know, like you were talking about earlier planning season.

You know, some folks in my area, you know, New York, Pennsylvania, You know, northern parts of Ohio, Michigan, you know, those areas. They're thinking along the lines of putting in their, their food plots, at least their fall food plots pretty soon. And, uh, we're dealing with a drought right now. Obviously, we're thinking more about timing, so timing plannings with rain.

When you get into this topic of what to plant right now for the fall, and I want to end on this, you know what, what's a good 1, 2, 3 punch seed combo that you like right now for those in the north? And I'm sorry to exclude the folks in the south, but it just, uh, it's on my mind and I'm a northerner. [00:38:00]

Austin Delano: Yeah, no, I think it's, it's probably one of the things that I, I talk about and probably end up trying to.

You know, take customers to school on almost as much as, more than anything. And it's just plant timing. And I actually wrote an article on this a couple years ago, trying to be as specific as possible about how critical, um, plant timing is. And, but also realizing that a lot of people just see these tiny windows that they've got, uh, to plant a crop in.

And they think there's that Nothing can fall outside of that. And so just take. Just for a quick example, warm season legumes like soybeans. You know, a lot of people think if they don't get their soybeans then in May or the first week of June, there's just absolutely no reason to plant 'em totally dependent on why you're planting them.

If you wanna plant something for your white tails that we know a frost is probably gonna kill 'em pretty quickly, but you need something extremely attractive [00:39:00] for super early bo season. Yeah, go in there and drill some peas and some beans four to five weeks before right in an area. Uh, you know, it's gonna work.

They're gonna be in there, they're gonna use it. But keep in mind that the, you know, the upcoming winter is gonna kill that. So easy place to use warm season legumes is in areas of, you know, high activity just before bow hunting season. But you could also turn around and have strips or utilize that interior tire area that we're talking about, planting late season, warm season legumes, and knowing that, hey, in just a month, in just six weeks, whatever it might be, we're also gonna need to be planting our cool season crops to get the most outta them.

And so when we're looking at timing for the upper part, the upper planning zone up there, And especially with Nebraska's, I'm gonna want to get 60 solid days of growth out of [00:40:00] those before cold weather starts affecting the growth pattern. And so if I'm looking at anything in the rate and the turn of, and even the.

The radish families, I'm looking at that 60 day window. Sometimes I might want a little bit more. If I'm trying to grow a lot of tubers for soil compaction type areas, I'm not plan even sooner than that to try to get as much bulk tuber growth as possible. If I'm trying to really concentrate on palatability for a month, six weeks going into this food plot season, you know, Bose archery hunting, then I'm probably not gonna plant.

Quite as early because I want those plants a little bit more young, a little bit more palatable. If I'm planting mostly Nebraska style crops for tonnage and I need to create as much food in a two or three acre field as possible for late season hunting, then I'm gonna try to get at least that 60 day [00:41:00] growing mark end, uh, if not a little bit more to grow as much tonnage.

So it's, it's relative to the situation. But the, the radishes are really hard to beat. We know they're not as cold tolerant though as some of the rapes and some of the turnip varieties, and that's something we've worked on a lot this year at Biologic, we've got a new radish called Endurance that we've been working on for six to seven years.

As far as my trialing on it, we just now have enough seed to be able to have some out there available for customers, but it's a little bit more cold, tolerant, and drought and stress tolerant. Variety of a radish, but it is not your typical dicon variety. This has some, you know, backgrounds going back into Southern Africa, and that's where a lot of our drought resilience is coming from.

So we're really pumped about putting it out this year and seeing how it responds. Uh, to super cold weather and the increases of the certain characteristics [00:42:00] that we see over, say, the dicon varieties. So a lot of that is going on right now, and in that, in y'all's neck of the woods, you know, a lot of our customers, I tell 'em to shoot for that, uh, mid to late July time period to look at putting their Nebraska crops in.

But if you're, you know, If you're primarily using cereal grains on a place, you've got a little bit longer window to start thinking about putting those in because if we're, if we're looking at palatability, we don't want our oats or our rye grain or our weed or triticale, any of that, we don't want that 18 inches tall when when the season rolls around, it's kind of kinda look pretty and there's a lot of tonnage out there.

But from a palatability and attraction standpoint, we want that window. To be a little bit closed down where yeah, we've got a gap to plant here so that our plant's gonna be the most palatable. And that's when it really pays dividends to watch the row crop farmers in your area and historical temperatures and what, [00:43:00] when it needs to be put in for you and for the situation you're trying to attack.


Jon Teater: that's a good, that endurance, uh, radish that you're talking about. I had listened to a podcast that you had all done, uh, on that, specifically listening to the. You know, history of that specifically. So maybe something for those folks that are interested in trying to, you know, take a look at that particular plant and opportunity to get it on your landscape and do some evaluation.

I think a lot of people in the north are used to the, the dicon, et cetera, and. And obviously, um, I, I, you've got me interested, I know you weren't selling it, but, uh, it's definitely got me

Austin Delano: interested. No, we've, yeah, we've, we've seen a lot of really cool things and, you know, it's, it's one of those deals where people ask me as the r and d guy for biologic, what do y'all got new this year?

Like, well, a lot of years. I don't have anything really new to show you cause I can't reinvent the wheel. You know, we, we've got so much really cool, cool stuff to use. That were, yeah, I'm always looking for another variety like that. Our guys in New Zealand have been working on for years, [00:44:00] whether it be a perennial clover or Nebraska.

You know, we have a turnip variety that we've been using for 10 to 12 plus years now that it's just one of the most cold toler tolerant turnip varieties there are, and it may not be the most attractive thing right out of the ground in the fall. We know that, but, That's, we're, we're using its strength because we know when December 15th rolls around December 20th rolls around.

If we've had this stuff in the ground and it's been growing, the whitetails are gonna find it. It's cold, hardy, the bulbs not gonna get mushy on you. And even if the tops get, you know, quote unquote froze out in the middle of January. They'll still be in there digging up those solid tubers where something like a dicon might get soft on you, but its strengths are being attractive really early in the season.

So it's, you know, looking at the type of plants that you're gonna use and applying them specific to a food plot [00:45:00] crop. You know, I get this really vague, wide based question all the time, man, what's the best thing I can plant for my whitetails? And as, and as any of your listeners are gonna know, man, that's a loaded question.

You know, I, I've, I've got 50 answers for you, but it all depends on your situation and what you're trying to do. So, you know, we're, there's not ever a magic bullet or a magic bean as we always like to say for everbody, but we almost always have something out there we can use specific to your situation.

What you're trying to accomplish on a piece of property. So, you know, there's a lot of cool stuff out there. Don't ever be afraid to trial something, you know, and say, man, this might work for, you know, whether it be subsoil or a new plant activity. But never be afraid to try something new in a spot and see if it might not be.

Exactly what you need.

Jon Teater: Yeah, that's good. And I, I like that alternative idea and thinking about, you know, not everything new comes out every year. Uh, it takes time to develop, you know, these particular strains of plants and, you know, [00:46:00] that was a good podcast to listen to. Um, and I, I kind of enjoyed. Hearing the, the lineage of that particular plant.

So you've got me interested. Hopefully folks pay attention to that. That is on the website now. Biologics website. You can take a look and uh, order yourself some of that particular plant. Alright, Austin, I think that's it for today. It was great catching up with you. Good. Listen to some of this strategy. I think we got into some good.

Good details, examples, and things for people to kinda reacquaint themselves with if, if you're familiar with some of the things we talked about. So I appreciate the time that you put and, uh, we'll talk again soon. All right, man,

Austin Delano: y'all have a

Jon Teater: good summer. All right, you too. See ya.

Austin Delano: Maximize your hunt is a production of whitetail landscapes. For more information on how John Teeter and his team of experts can help you maximize your hunt, check out. Whitetail landscapes.com.