Food Plot Prep Questions
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Thread: Food Plot Prep Questions

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    testedone's Avatar
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    Food Plot Prep Questions

    So I picked up a 5 foot rototiller saturday and this thing will make life easy...


    I turned over a sample area of one of my plots from last year, first off I live in TN and there is a reason they cal it rocky top

    The area I turned was

    Last year - Used my box blade to dig it up and then a drag harrow to smooth it out.


    So after turning over this small piece there is a lot of rocks... (LOTS) more so then last year with the box blade cause the box blade got the big ones out...

    How important is it to get all these rocks out and what is the best way?

    I do not plan to turn the ground with the box blade or plow before tilling it, so I plan to till it only but looking for what to do to remove some of these rocks


    Thanks
    PJR832 likes this.
    ~Rick~

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    Jim Timber's Avatar
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    There's a few options depending on equipment you have and $$$$, and what might be available to rent in your area.

    If you have a FEL, you can get or build a "rock bucket" (just a slatted bucket that'll let dirt fall through but retain the rocks) - then drive the whole field scooping up the rocks.

    There's PTO powered "rock pickers": a towed implement that rakes the rocks into a row and then scoops them into a hopper.

    Or there's always the "Armstrong" method: You walk around picking up the rocks and ideally dump them in a trailer, box, or loader bucket so you don't have to carry them far.


    I too will be tilling this year, but I plan on keeping my depth of cut limited to the top couple-few inches of soil as to not unearth too many rocks. Right now I'm probably going to "throw and grow" corn on part of my plot and plant oats on the other.
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    5065E MFWD w/553 loader

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    johncanfield's Avatar
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    Life expectancy of a rototiller in our area of the Texas Hill Country would be about 30 seconds. When we first bought the place about 12 years ago I chose an area of maybe 1/4 acre to hand pick surface rocks and put in the loader bucket (our old Kubota.) I broadcasted about 25 pounds of sunflower seeds and apparently they grew quite well but we had left for the summer and never got to see our results.

    You would never know I removed maybe 20 bucket loads of rocks, the rocks keep popping up. The story around here is that when LBJ was president, he had millions and millions of dollars of topsoil hauled to his ranch in the Stonewall/Johnson City area (about 60 miles east of here) - all public money. Lady Bird wanted to grow wildflowers .
    BigJim55, Jim Timber and PJR832 like this.
    2010 Model 4720 with cab and H180 loader, MX8, MX6, Frontier BB1172 box blade, forks, bale spear, rear blade, WR Long grapple and tooth bar, Fit Rite Hydraulics top and tilt. 2019 Bobcat E42 excavator with cab & several attachments. 2019 Deere Z945M EFI ZTrak 60" 7 Iron Pro deck.

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    Jim Timber's Avatar
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    We have a gravel seam in our sand, I've seen it. We also have "field nuggets" as I call them - they vary from 4 to probably 12,000#. Our land is the outwash of a glacier, so it's got everything. That's the main reason I configured the tiller for forward rotation instead of reverse. Reverse tends to pull rocks up (or try to) where forward will roll over the big ones.
    5065E MFWD w/553 loader

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