Egyptian Wheat Funnel


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  1. #1

    Egyptian Wheat Funnel

    I've posted this on the QDMA forum, and though I would share it here as well.

    I'm experimenting this year with creating a funnel made of egyptian wheat. In the pic below you can see part of the farm.

    Green - 2 acre plot currently in buckwheat, will be in a mix of oats,rye,peas,radish,clover this fall.

    Red- Egyptian wheat screening off the plot and following the woodline all the way to the yellow box.

    Yellow- bedding cover. This is a deep steep thick hollow--ravine to some of you less fortunate non-southerners.

    Blue box- stand site. This is a classic hilltop field funnel that I improved by cutting and hauling limbs/trees to block off any passage except by coming around in the field.

    If planted and fertilized correctly, EW will grow to 8-10' tall and makes a great screen. I'm thinking this setup will create a tunnell of death come bow season, and it should continue to produce on through the rut. I hope the EW will provide a screen that will make the mature bucks more comfortable stepping out during daylight hours.

    The future plans involve getting rid of the fescue currently b/t the EW and woodline and replacing it with clover.

    Here you can see the existing hayfield, the EW, and the BW in the same pic.

    Straight EW. I killed with gly, disked, disked in ammonium nitrate, sowed, and cultipacked. It came up good. Unfortunately so did the crab grass!

    The source for my EW:

    I'll update this thread with progress pictures, and hopefully a big buck photo this fall.

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  3. #2
    I thought of using EW for a screen this yr. also. Instead I went with giant miscanthus just because I didn't want to have to plant EW every yr. My grasses are doing good. Looking forward to seeing how you like your EW. Only problem I see with it is going to be standability come snow fall. Good luck with it.

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  5. #3

    I've seen pics of EW planted in Iowa that stood up as well or better than CIR Switch to snow cover.

    Thankfully, in Tennessee we don't have to worry about that. If we get more than 4 inches of snow at the same time the entire state shuts down. We don't do snow, you northern boys don't do 98 degrees with 99% humidity.

    BTW, one of the advantages of EW over Miscanthus is that I planted a strip 16 ft wide by about 300 yards long. My cost was maybe $20 in seed and $25 or so in fertilizer. I'm guessing that that many miscanthus sprigs would get pricey.

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  7. #4
    I guess I should of looked where you were from before I started talkin snow. Yeah that is the advantage of EW a lot cheaper. My screen only needed to be about 60 feet long so it didn't hurt the check book when I ordered my miscanthus. I bought 10 of them and planted them 6' apart. The nice thing is I will be able to split them next yr and plant them in between to 3' apart. If they grow like they are suppose to it's going to make an awesome screen. Just might take a few yrs.

  8. #5


    Dad sent me a pic yesterday, so I thought I'd update.

    Egyptian Wheat with Buckwheat in the background, planted the same day, both now 4 weeks old. The EW was fertilized, the BW was not. BW sure is amazing stuff to outgrow a fertilized plant that will eventually be 8-10' tall (hopefully).

    The plan is to let the BW continue blooming and to set viable seed, then bushhog and disk in as a green manure crop. It will come back from seed and I will get another green manure crop before fall. When I plant my fall plot it will probably come back a third time, but cold weather will nuke it and it will not come back next year.

  9. #6
    Update Pic taken June 14, so BW and EW are both 5 weeks and a day since planting. Dad says the EW has caught up to the BW this week, but I don't have a more recent pic. The plan is to mow and disk the BW when it is 7-8 weeks and makes seed so I get another crop.

  10. #7
    I went to the farm for a long relaxing weekend of hard physical labor in oppressive heat.

    Here is the EW on 7/4/10, exactly 8 weeks old. For reference, I am 6'3". It is twisting like corn in the heat. We need rain.

    Here is a semi-panoramic view of the screen, from left to right showing the entire length.

    A closeup of the hilltop field funnel--look closely and you'll see part of a ladder stand.

    Continuing to the right….

    You can see the buckwheat in the background of the last pic. I am truly amazed by it. For 8 weeks it outgrew the weed competition and then made a LOT of seed. This allowed me to bushhog and disk it in, adding several tons of green manure back into the ground. If we ever get any rain it will come back from the seed and I’ll get a second crop.

    BW has great wildlife value as well. I had flocks of gold finches fighting me for the standing BW while I was bushhogging, and two turkeys and a deer came into the field while I was working it.

    This is off topic, but I thought I’d share a couple of pics of another plot that was rye/awp/red clover last fall and is now just red clover.

    The plot had not been mowed in this pic, that is all browsing. They are actually grazing enough to keep the clover from blooming.

    These were few and far between:

  11. #8
    Update 7/15/2010

    We have finally gotten some rain, so the EW has untwisted and seems to be growing again.

    And what's that behind the solid wall of green? The second germination buckwheat that was bushhogged and disked under on 7/4/2010 when it was 8 weeks old. This has come back from the seed the first crop of buckwheat produced. Seems like there was a LOT of seed! This spring I tilled in a rye mix, then the BW, and I'll till this crop under as well, so I will get 3 green manure crops this year on one 2.2 acre plot. This should help build the soil tremendously.

  12. #9
    Awesome setup. Even if that EW didn't get to 10' tall it looks like it's already at a good height to provide cover for the deer to move behind.

  13. #10
    Thanks. In some places it is not doing nearly as well. The strip I sprayed, disked, and planted has not been plowed in 50 years or so, and I believe the EW is having a harder time punching roots down so the growth is somewhat stunted.....but there is still a lot of cover for a 3 foot tall critter. Production on the new ground will improve with time. I may plant groundhog forage radishes next spring with the EW to try to break up the hardpan. I could also try to plow some of it.

  14. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    Manure pile?

    Just wondering if your using the BW for fertilizing purpose, and if so what is the benefit of it? I am in the same boat as you as the land that I'm using for food plots has not been worked in years (30yr). It has mostly been taken over by the honeysuckle bush that kills everything. It shades out any growth that trys to appear. On the other hand the deer love it but it's extremely hard to hunt. So we basically been trying to select cut the area to get back to a real woods. When I say HS it is the stuff that grows along the highways that was transfered from China I believe and its a pain in the neck to control. The local parks have been fighting it for years. I'm sure you have seen it in TN???

  15. #12
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Central MN
    Im curious to see what your final product looks like, I wanted to go down that road for a few plots that I wanted to "seclude."

    How did you plant it? Broadcast or drill it?

  16. #13
    I'm using buckwheat as a summer annual to suppress weeds and to get a green manure crop. When you turn green matter under the ground, it decomposes. This adds organic matter back into the ground and reduces soil compaction. I'm sure someone smarter than me can list numerous other benefits.

    I'm a little anxious to see if it actually works! I am good at coming up with hare-brained ideas, but not as good at getting them to fruition. This seems like it would work, so we'll see.

    I broadcast it at about 7-8 lbs/acre. It can be drilled also.

  17. #14
    Update 7-24-10

    The Egyptian Wheat has officially impressed me. It's amazing how such a small seed produces such a large plant.

    I am 6'3" for reference

    I actually measured the EW, and found in this spot it averages around 10' and the tallest plants are over 12'. Only a few have tassled here, so it still has a little more growing to do.

    I've shown the best EW I have, so here is a picture of some of the worst for comparison. This spot was sprayed with gly, disked several times, fertilized, planted, and cultipacked. The ground has not been worked in 50 years. The EW is not doing nearly as well, but I'm still pleased by the amount of cover afforded to a 3' tall deer. Here the EW is probably 5-6' tall.

    Here is another spot that I planted EW solely as a screen for the woodline. I wanted to block the deer's view of me walking to my stand, and I think I achieved that.

    Behind the EW screen is about 20 yards of open ground to the fencerow. This doesn't look like a deer hangout does it?

    On a side note, I FINALLY got the lime guy to come spread a load of Ag lime for me. I had tilled in the buckwheat about 2 weeks earlier, so the ground was still soft. The ruts will take a bit of disking this fall to smooth out, but as far as I am concerned this is a very good problem to have.

  18. #15
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Central MN
    How wide of strip did you do?

  19. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by bowhuntr311 View Post
    How wide of strip did you do?
    Two passes of an 8 foot disk. The EW is so thick I think I could have gotten by with one pass, but I'm happy with it as is. I'm hoping that by having it wider it will provide a better screen as it dries down in the fall and winter.

  20. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Sweet thread dude, I'm not a farmer so I don't understand half of this stuff but I love food plots and learning about them, keep this thread going!
    'Life is but a vapor, here one minute gone the next, to live it for yourself seems foolish.'

  21. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by bacon27 View Post
    Sweet thread dude, I'm not a farmer so I don't understand half of this stuff but I love food plots and learning about them, keep this thread going!
    Agreed! Awesome thread

  22. #19
    Thanks guys! This is a learning experience for me, and I thought I'd let everyone else learn from any mistakes I might make. I'll definitely keep this thread updated throughout the rest of the summer and into hunting season and then winter. I'm looking forward to posting pics of me and a deer with the egyptian wheat in the background. It will also be neat to see how much it breaks down over the winter. Right now it is doing better than I expected. The only bad parts are the "new" ground, and I suspect soil compaction is the culprit there.

  23. #20
    8-28 update

    The EW has matured and is starting to dry down.

    It is also forming seed heads....quail and pheasant are supposed to LOVE this.

    It was so tall and thick that I believe a strong wind came through and knocked some of it down. Now it's a thick mess.

    The buckwheat sprouted and is growing. In the next week or so I'll disk it under and plant the Foundation Fall Mix.

  24. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Its all looking really good dude, keep us updated!
    'Life is but a vapor, here one minute gone the next, to live it for yourself seems foolish.'

  25. #22
    Bow season opened today- 9/25. As soon as I get the right wind I'll be testing out the Funnel.

    Here you can see the tallest of the EW. It was knocked over in a windstorm. The poorer ground I planted grew stunted EW, and that is still standing tall. I believe next year I will double the planting rate on the good ground to try and stunt it. I think it got too tall and just couldn't hold itself up.

  26. #23
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Central MN
    Quote Originally Posted by DeathBringer View Post

    Here you can see the tallest of the EW. It was knocked over in a windstorm. The poorer ground I planted grew stunted EW, and that is still standing tall. I believe next year I will double the planting rate on the good ground to try and stunt it. I think it got too tall and just couldn't hold itself up.
    How tall did it get in the stunted areas? How tall do you want it to get? Im thinking with it being 10ft tall and broke over and bent down only makes it that much thicker or am I wrong.

  27. #24
    In the stunted areas it still got to about 8 feet, and that is really where I want it. The tallest spot had plants averaging 10-12 feet and I measured a couple at 13 feet. In that spot I'll double the seeding rate and try to keep it in the 8-10 foot range. None of the stunted EW went down in the storm, and most of the tallest did go down.

    It's still really thick where the EW fell, but it's really thick at the 1-2.5 foot above ground level. I want it really thick from ground level to around 6 foot.

  28. #25
    I haven't been home to get updated pics since early October. I thought I would post this interesting pic though.

    I was hunting a stand in a large walnut tree on a very windy day. Two does and a fawn came out near the EW and actually used it as a windbreak. They never would get further than 20 yards from it. That didn't help me because I was on the other side of the field.

    That day I learned to never hunt a large walnut tree on a very windy day. When it's gusting 30-40 mph the walnuts fall out of the tree a LOT. I had a couple of close calls and went home.

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