When and how to plant sunflowers for dove fields - Mississippi Hunting and Fishing Forums
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Old 04-12-2011, 06:45 AM   #1 (permalink)
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It's been a while since I've done any sunflowers for a dove field and was wanting some input on when and how yall plant sunflowers for your dove fields. Also any particular seed variety? I've got a two row planter, cultipacker, spreader, etc. so I can broadcast or plant in rows.
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Old 04-12-2011, 07:23 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Thinking about doing the same....look forward to responses.
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Im planting some for the first time. I am doing a 3 acre field, but i am drilling with a no till drill. Will plant at 15 lbs per acre on 7.5" rows. I am planting a black oil planting variety on April 22nd
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:08 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I've been planting a field for about 12 years. Through trial and error, this is what works for me. I target May 1-10 to plant 4-5# per acre on 38" rows. This is a seed about every 8" down the row. Any heavier planting rate seems to produce smaller heads from competition between plants. I had rather plant with a lower rate and get heads twice as big. Saves money on $125/25lb bag of those hybrid seeds. I have been using hybrid seed the last 3 or 4 years (Triumph FTB or similar).

I spray pre-emerge herbicide soon after planting (before the sunflowers come up but I try to time it just ahead of a rain event to incorporate it). Usually I do it a day or two after planting. If you don't incorporate the herbicide into the soil, you can lose up to half of your active ingredient sitting on top of the dirt just from the sun shining on it for 10 days. I have been using Dual and Spartan the last few years. I might mix in a little roundup with my pre-emerge if I've got weeds there at planting time. I've already sprayed my field a month ago with roundup and 2,4-D.

I will plow my sunflowers throughout the season until they are too tall to drive through. This helps dry out the soil on wet years (sunflowers don't like wet feet) and helps eliminate some weeds. I also spray Volunteer for grass after the sunflowers emerge.

I put out 30 gallons of liquid nitrogen (N-sol) right after planting or up to 2 or 3 weeks after the sunflowers come up. I have used dry urea but I'd rather put my fertilizer in the soil. If you've got 85-90 degree weather, it can evaporate that pelletized urea on top of the soil before the plant can ever use it. A rain right after applying dry urea usually fixes that problem.

Sometimes I spray mine in August with gramoxone (paraquat) or sodium chlorate to dry it all up before mowing. I will mow right before season and continue to mow strips throughout the 1st and 2nd seasons as needed. I always leave some standing. The doves will feed on the standing heads at times.

Hope that helps.
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Old 04-18-2011, 12:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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great advice wingman. I just disked up a 5 acre field last weekend. Do you mean your using 30gal/acre of the N-sol? We just got the knife setup so we can apply liquid nitrogen directly to the soil, but weren't sure about actual application rates to use. Also what are the advantages to using the Hybrid seed as compared to the standard Perodovic seed?
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Old 04-18-2011, 06:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Yes, 30 gallons N-sol per acre. You can use more or less, but I aim for 25-30 gallons.

I like the hybrid seed because they seem to produce more seed per plant (I've heard other folks say double) and the seed is usually treated which seems to improve seedling survival. I pulled some heads last year from one field I had and they were as large as paper plates.

I just set my planter today to put out a little more than 2 seed/foot of row. I'm looking for a final stand of one plant every 6" of row (I said 8 inches in my previous post). You need to plant a little more than you want because not every seed will germinate and others will die of natural causes. If I were planting regular peredovick I would probably shoot for 4 seed per foot.
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Old 04-19-2011, 05:18 AM   #7 (permalink)
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--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sunflowers:
Planting Dates are April 15th to May 15th for Doves to ensure seed maturity for dove shoots in Sept.
Planting rates are 10-15lbs per acre at .25-.5" deep(drilled or broadcast), for best results plant 15lbs per acre in 36" rows.

Browntop Millet:
For doves,plant 80 days before the season, Drill 8lbs per acre at .25",or broadcast 10lbs per acre and cover .5", can also be planted in 2-3' rows at 8lbs per acre.

Another to think about is Grain Sorghum:
Planting dates are April 15-June 15. Plant 8lbs per acre in 24-36" rows,or broadcast 12-15lbs per acre and cover 1"


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Old 05-02-2011, 05:30 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Well just got some seed in the ground yesterday. Disked, tilled, and then row planted 5 acres of Mycogen "Clearfield" sunflowers. Soil sample came back with pH 6 and high levels of P and K so I just went with 100 lb/ac of ammonium nitrate. Had a tire blow out on my last row of planting so I gotta go back up today and spray with Spartan 4F. Going to side dress with 40-50 units of N-sol and spray with Beyond when they reach the appropriate size. Already had doves buzzing the field all weekend.

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Old 05-10-2011, 09:19 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I have planted them several time over the years. I have planted in April and in May. I have found i got better results planting the last weekend in May. It takes about 90 days for them to mature which worked out good for me. I never had a very large field. When i planted in April they matured and were just about all ate up by Labor Day weekend.
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Old 05-10-2011, 09:49 AM   #10 (permalink)
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They were all up within a week and looking great!

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