The McMillan East Farm small property demonstration began in August 2012 on 150 acres in Marshall County, Oklahoma, to demonstrate wildlife and cattle management on a relatively small property. Demonstration subject matters include wildlife and fisheries, soils and crops, forage and range, livestock, and economics. The property has 63 acres of pastures, 84 acres of woods and a 3-acre pond. Pastures are a mixture of native grasses, forbs, bermudagrass and annual cool-season grasses. Very few management activities had been conducted on the property for at least five years prior to 2012, and no infrastructure (interior fences, corrals, power, water, etc.) was present. This article provides an update on the projects conducted thus far.
Wildlife and Fisheries
Prescribed burns were used on 94 acres of native grass and wooded areas to improve wildlife habitat, open up understory, and improve forage quality and palatability.
Eastern red-cedars were removed from a portion of the property using mechanical and chemical methods as well as prescribed burning to improve wildlife habitat, increase forage production and reduce competition with more desirable woody plants.
Timber thinning was conducted to promote grass and forb growth as well as demonstrate different thinning methods.
Uplands are managed for white-tailed deer and wild turkey to provide hunting opportunities.
Pond is managed for largemouth bass, bream and migratory ducks to provide fishing and hunting opportunities.
Three nest boxes with predator guards were installed to increase cavity-nesting songbird production.
A box-type parallel bar barrier was installed on the pond's overflow pipe intake to retain grass carp and harvestable-size sport fish and to prevent debris from plugging the pipe.
Grass carp were stocked into the 3-acre pond to manage aquatic vegetation, which was excessive for sport fish management.
A 4,212-foot 2-strand, high tensile electric fence was installed for better grazing management and forage utilization.
Fiberglass posts were placed every 75 feet and as needed. T-posts were placed in low areas.
A 5-strand barbed wire fence serves as the perimeter fence.
Electricity is supplied by a solar-powered fence charger with a deep cycle marine battery.
Corner posts were constructed out of 2 -inch pipe.
Holding pen has a 350-foot 5-strand barbed wire perimeter fence.
Bermudagrass and native grass areas were separated with a 951-foot 2-strand polywire electric fence so these different forages could be managed independently and appropriately.