Suggested Planting Instructions
Chufas are easy to grow and require almost the same care as corn. We suggest that chufa plots be no less than 1 acre in size and preferably 2 to 5 acres each. Smaller plots are possible under some conditions. Very small plots may be damaged or destroyed by raccoons, squirrels, crows, skunks, deer or any combination thereof. Deer and squirrels will eat the tubers if they are exposed. Raccoons, crows and skunks will dig up young plants to eat the tubers. Plant plenty for them all, or check your state trapping laws for predator control.
To maintain healthy turkey flocks and deer herds we suggest you plant 5% (5 acres per 100) of the total woodlands in food plots with 40% to 50% being chufas, the remainder in winter grains and clovers. When your acreage decision is made, order one bushel of chufa seed (40 lbs.) per acre.
Planting time must allow 90-100 days of frost free growing time.
We plant chufas in Northwest Florida from April to early August. Earlier plantings seem to produce higher yields but require more cultivation or chemical herbicide protection. Later plantings tend to last longer into the next winter, which is what this is all about. You make the choice...except in the years when Mother Nature dictates when to plant...pretty much every year, lately.
"New" land is best (fewer weeds), but Treflan, (follow directions for peanuts or soybeans) either granular or liquid, and 2-4DB should allow you to control weeds even in old fields or other places where weeds are a problem. Be sure to read the label on the herbicide container and follow instructions. You could kill your chufas! Chufas do best in sandy loam soils, but will grow in the hardest clay. Hint: add some gypsum to soften the clay to keethe turkeys from wearing out their toenails.
In November when your chufa tops have died down, turn over a few clumps for your first time turkeys to find, or disk the edges of your plot so that they can begin to enjoy their winter food. After they have located the plot, they will scratch it up, test it for flavor and notify the next of kin; with the end result looking like a Vietnam mortar attack. This is the look you're paying for.
Chufas may be broadcast at a rate of 40 lbs. per acre on a prepared and fertilized seedbed.
Spread 200 to 500 lbs./acre of 13-13-13 on the disked plot.
Broadcast the chufas 2 to 4 seeds per square foot.
Set disk to cut 4 inches deep. This will cover seeds 2 inches.
When the plants are 6 to 12 inches high (approx. 1 month) top dress with 100 lb/acre of actual nitrogen (300 lbs. per acre of ammonium nitrate.
One plant per square foot will provide maximum yield. Chufas can be made to regenerate for several years by applying fertilizer and disking each spring. We know of one case where a good stand has persisted for 7 years using this technique. The limit is usually 2 to 3 years. A rotation plan of planting new plots each year and renovating older ones is best if enough land is available.
See our section on Velvet Beans.
We use peanut plates and plant 1 1/2 inches deein 30" or 36" rows with seed spacing 4 1/2 to 5 inches in the row.
We suggest 200 to 500 lbs. of 13-13-13 per acre depending on the fertility level of your soil.
When plants are between 6 to 12 inches high, side dress with 300 lbs. of ammonium nitrate per acre, which equals 100lb/acre of actual nitrogen.
Suggested chemicals to use for weed control. Follow directions for peanuts and soybeans very, very, very carefully.Be aware of the OSHA police....and constantly remind yourself...PRISON DOES NOT WORK FOR ME.
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