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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to do some soil building in some areas where I removed trees and opened both for food plots and gardens. The soil is very sandy and needs some help. Could I use my box blade in float mode and not quite on the ground as a crimper?
 

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I don't understandthis crimp thing.......You just wanna smear whats there and not move dirt??

If this is the case....Extend top link so BB front blade don't dig and then ..drop and Go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's right I want to create layer of green material that becomes brown to hold in moisture, break down adding good stuff to the soil. I do that in my little garden with the back of hand rake but now that I have acres to play with I need bigger tools.
 

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I sense more implements and a bigger tractor in your future........

MattL can diagnose your predicament...lol
 

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I don't think you're going to crimp very well with a box blade; you'll lay it down, but I doubt much of it will be truly crimped. If you've got welding skills, you could get an 8" piece of schedule 40 and weld some angle on it, fill it with sand, and mount a couple big bearings on the end to a 3 point frame. I really don't think a box blade is going to do what you want though.
 

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X ;plaine this crip thing..

I need a visual
 

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X ;plaine this crip thing..

I need a visual
Here you go, better than I can do:

 

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When are you planting buckwheat? What climate/geography are you in?
Buckwheat is generally cut when it blooms before it seeds out and tilled or disced in. If it’s a fall planting it is easily killed by the first frost. It’s good for adding organic matter and weed suppression while it’s growing. Not so good for leaving a blanket of organic matter. It breaks down really quickly.
Annual rye is a good ground cover that dies off and leaves a thick mat. I used hairy vetch as a cover last winter and crimped it with my gator tires. A lawn roller will work too. That left a good weed proof mat for about 6-8 weeks after crimping.
@PJR832 uses buckwheat as a cover crop too. He may have some more to add.
 

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I don't understand this whole concept of cover crop.

Is this for erosion control till next season..or whats the actual purpose.

All the farmers just planted ( whatever)..that will get tilled under and replanted in spring.
 

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I would have to agree with Satch. The bb js going to help level it out and tear out the weeds or whateve is growing now. Mowing it wont help and tiling it doesnt seem to be a option for you? That would help get everything mixed in. They make plenty of attachments for preparing food plots. Frontier, Ati and most of the big outdoor stores have equipment too. If you have some money to spend. A soil pulverizer may work for you too? Just throwing some ideas out there.

I would love to finish my project of making some food plots but its not going to happen im afraid.

Good luck!
WB 🚜🇺🇲
 

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I don't understand this whole concept of cover crop.

Is this for erosion control till next season..or whats the actual purpose.

All the farmers just planted ( whatever)..that will get tilled under and replanted in spring.
Cover crops can provide erosion control, weed suppression, add nitrogen to the soil, reduce soil compaction among other things. The idea is to have the ground covered all year or nearly all year with some type of vegetation. Usually it’s planted in the late summer or fall with more winter hardy plants. It can be drilled in, broadcast spread or even aerial seeded. I cover crop in my gardens. It keeps the weeds down and adds a lot of organic matter to the soil during the off season.
Vetch, clover, tillage radish, rye, oats, winter peas are all common cover crops.
 

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I get what your saying

It seems non cost effective

Soo ..if the "proper" cover crop is planted its a bonus later vs fighting the weeds........Maybe?

Seems like thats lots of time in the field from what I saw in the last few weeks..Diesel ,seed...No clue what that equates too. Hundreds or thousands. Where does a farmer decide?.....Are chemicals so high that this is the win?
Seems like a bunch of waste...is there not a better answer...xx it by thousands of acres.
 

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I get what your saying

It seems non cost effective

Soo ..if the "proper" cover crop is planted its a bonus later vs fighting the weeds........Maybe?

Seems like thats lots of time in the field from what I saw in the last few weeks..Diesel ,seed...No clue what that equates too. Hundreds or thousands. Where does a farmer decide?.....Are chemicals so high that this is the win?
Seems like a bunch of waste...is there not a better answer...xx it by thousands of acres.
Plants like vetch and clover can add a lot of nitrogen which saves fertilizer expense. Using less chemicals is usually seen as a good thing if you can cost effectively have an alternative. Stopping soil erosion is important too. Good topsoil is impossible to replace unless you want to wait a few lifetimes. There’s a few guys in my area that plant rye in the fall as a cover crop, burn it down in the spring, roll it down and drill beans into it. If it’s a wet spring they sometimes have a hard time getting it terminated and the field stays wet longer. That’s a good thing on a dry year. I guess each person needs to do a cost:benefit analysis and see if it’s right for them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Maybe I will just stay with red clover and give hairy vetch a try. Clover i can just mow and hairy vetch i will try the gator running over it.
I use buck wheat now at the house for garden plots I am resting. Plant in spring knock down mid summer and plant again. We along get 4 to 4 1/2 months of poor sledding to make things green.
Now that I have 40 acres to play on. I was to scale up.
Maybe food plot crimper for the gator is the future.
 

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Maybe I will just stay with red clover and give hairy vetch a try. Clover i can just mow and hairy vetch i will try the gator running over it.
I use buck wheat now at the house for garden plots I am resting. Plant in spring knock down mid summer and plant again. We along get 4 to 4 1/2 months of poor sledding to make things green.
Now that I have 40 acres to play on. I was to scale up.
Maybe food plot crimper for the gator is the future.
I see you’re in N WI correct? You might be able to get crimson clover and hairy vetch started yet this fall. I attached some pics of my “crimped” vetch from this spring. It was terminated with the gator tires and made a nice thick mat. I would suggest not tilling it unless you want to spend a lot of time cutting stuff out of your tines.
 

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It seems non cost effective
It's inexpensive fertilizer, compared to the cost of traditional fertlizer.
Plants like vetch and clover can add a lot of nitrogen which saves fertilizer expense.
That's the main reason we do it. Plus, because I use the tiller on the potato field in the spring it helps to rebuild the soil, tillers are actually very harsh on soils. Now, if you go to our corn field, which used to be more rocks than dirt, we have started a process of three loads of manure from the farm down the road, then winter rye cover crop and lighter tillage in the spring. In the past few years we have built the soil back up to point where now we can go out and just pick rocks that still surface, in years past we would have gone crazy trying to pick all of the rocks.

Back to the OP's question, I don't see a box blade working. All I do is mow down the buckwheat and then disc it under, but the same could be done with any cover crop.
 

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Plants like vetch and clover can add a lot of nitrogen which saves fertilizer expense. Using less chemicals is usually seen as a good thing if you can cost effectively have an alternative. Stopping soil erosion is important too. Good topsoil is impossible to replace unless you want to wait a few lifetimes. There’s a few guys in my area that plant rye in the fall as a cover crop, burn it down in the spring, roll it down and drill beans into it. If it’s a wet spring they sometimes have a hard time getting it terminated and the field stays wet longer. That’s a good thing on a dry year. I guess each person needs to do a cost:benefit analysis and see if it’s right for them.
There's a lot going on in the soil that we don't see. The cover crops can not only add nitrogen (if they are legumes) but more importantly they give beneficial soil organisms structure and food so the soil continues to build. Erosion and tillage destroy the soil structure, erosion for ever and tillage until plants are able to mitigate the damage. Ultimately, cover crops help build carbon in the soil which is used by the organisms in the soil.

In our area, winter cover crops are important as they scavenge nitrogen which would otherwise flow into streams, rivers etc. and hold it until the cover crop is terminated in the spring. Then that nitrogen becomes available for the corn or soybeans. There are significant water quality benefits but there are costs to it. Most people in the area figure about $25/acre in cost and hope that over time the benefits are more than the cost. With nitrogen expected to be in short supply and expensive in the spring, and herbicides already in limited supply cover crops are a good bet right now.

So cover crops hold nutrients, build soil fertility and structure and hold carbon in the soil. Here's a pretty good film from the Soil Health Institute:
 

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Thank you for all the input and information.
I see that some of the things I did hand in 50 by 50 foot gardens, I can apply to larger scale, just with the right attachment.
The adventure continues.
You might want to take a good set of soil samples including micronutrients and organic matter so you have base line data. Then as you start to work on the soil, it will be really slow so having the data to show you are going in the right direction will be encouraging.
 
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