Attract More Ducks By '˜Messy'™ Farming


Land managers who want to attract more ducks have to be "messy farmers."


So said Dr. Brian Davis of Mississippi State University. He was talking to about 60 participants in a True North Seminar Summit, Aug. 12, on Managing Wetland Soils and Habitats for Waterfowl, at the Land and Wildlife Expo.


Much of his talk was about how to plant and harvest moist-soil weeds and grasses to supplement rice or corn production and attract ducks.

When he talks about "messy" farming, he means that ducks might be put off when they see perfect geometric patterns from above.

"When you plant crops or knock down weeds, don't make patterns — no circles or rectangles. We don't want baseball diamonds," said Davis, who is called the E.F. Hutton of wetlands management. "The dirty, messier the habitat, the better. Mother Nature does not make perfect patterns all the time."

The "messiness" also applies to what you plant because you want weeds among your corn, rice or soybeans. It helps your forage diversity, which will attract ducks and protects from floods or droughts, but also to increase protein content.

Eight percent of a duck's feather is made up of protein, said Davis, and especially in the fall, when mallard drake heads are greening-up, or later, when hens are growing their camouflage feathers. They need to feed this growth. They get a lot of protein from bugs and beans. An effective way to produce more is through growing "grassy corn," which is nothing more than doing a poor job of growing corn.

Millets, like the tall Chiwapa, Japanese or browntop, and yellow grasses, are rich in protein.

To get the sun's rays to hit the grasses between rows of tall corn, Davis suggests:

--11 inches between seeds within rows.

--38 inches between rows

--16,000 to 18,0000 pounds of seed per acre.

"Do a poor job of farming, and you can really compliment your crop for ducks."

If you have questions, you can reach Dr. Davis at bdavis@cfr.msstate.edu.

Stay tuned for more from the Land and Wildlife Expo.

-end-

Recommended for You

Other Hunting

New Gear: MidwayUSA Competition Range Bag

G&F Staff

Perfect for competition or a day at the range.

Bass

MLF Pros: What's Your Go-To Lure?

G&F Online Staff - May 20, 2019

When all else fails, here's what these pros tie on.

Records

State Records Reported in Maryland, Michigan

G&F Online Staff - May 23, 2019

It must be time for summer fishing because records are falling everywhere.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Electric Filet Knife from Bubba Blades

As OSG's Lynn Burkhead looks on, Josh Neville shows off the cordless and corded versions of a new electric filet knife from Bubba Blades.

Costa and Captains for Clean Water

With the company's heavy involvement in initiatives like Kick the Plastic and Captains for Clean Water campaigns, Costa's Amanda Sabin tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead all about the sunglass maker's unwavering commitment to help the freshwater and saltwater environment.

New 4-Liter Dry Creek Gear Pouch from Simms

Outdoor Sportsman Group writer Lynn Burkhead gets new product details from Simms Fishing Product's John Frazier about the new waterproof 4-Liter Dry Creek Gear Pouch.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Catfish

10 Secret Catfish Baits You Didn't Know About

Anietra Hamper - April 02, 2015

We all have our "swear by" bait for catfish. For me, it is chicken liver, live shad or my...

Other Freshwater

6 Tips for Nighttime Crappie

Keith Sutton - June 19, 2017

Fishing for nighttime crappie gets you out of the summer heat and puts more fish in the...

Catfish

12 Great Catfish Baits

Jeff Samsel

Dozens of different bait types are commonly used for catfish, including these five great...

See More Stories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×