Land Management 1: Sunflowers
The preparations for the Fall ’12 season are underway! It doesn’t take long for us to get anxious about starting in the fields after snow goose season, and we don’t waste any time. The weather around the lodge was relatively rainy this spring, and until last week, kept the tractors parked by and large. Finally, the dry weather last week allowed me to get started on sunflowers…let’s just say we’re rolling! There’s nothing I love more than being back outdoors, and to start up the tractor on a beautiful morning is one of the most rewarding sounds I know.
September 1 marks the opening of hunting migratory birds in Missouri. At Habitat Flats, the dove season is a great time to kick off another Fall with friends old and new. The past week started off discing sunflower fields to prepare the seed bed for planting. After applying fertilizer and pre-emergent herbicide to keep the grasses back, the sunflowers were planted by the end of the week! We will have 22 acres of sunflowers ready for the doves come the opener. I don’t know what is more fun, the dove hunt itself or the post hunt BBQ at the lodge!
If the weather holds, we will hopefully start planting corn in the bottoms by the end of the week. This is the time of year where I put on my farming hat and hope Mother Nature is on our side… Nothing can shape the success of a duck season more than the whims of nature, and we do everything we can to ensure that our preparations ensure skies full of fowl for our guests. The off-season has just begun, and there is much work to do…but at the end of the day, there is nothing I’m more thankful for than to love every minute of my profession. I wish you all the same, and I hope everyone is having a good turkey season!