harvesting buckwheat?

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I have seen several of you have raised buckwheat and mentioned havesting it for different reasons. Next spring I plan on planting an acre or two of buckwheat for my bees. My question is how do you havest? By combine or hand? Has any one let it go to feed the wild quail,dove and turkeys?

-- Debbie T in N.C. (rdtyner@mindspring.com), December 02, 2001


I dont do that much of it,, so I harvest by hand,, most farmers i know turn it into the soil. It doesnt have a set time to seed,, it seed throughtout the year,, thats why its good for bees. I collected seed this year,, by hand,, its a pain

-- stan (sopal@net-port.com), December 02, 2001.

My grandfather raised buckwheat as a grain crop occasionally, he combined it with a wheat head, he added the grain to his dairy grain mixture to raise the protein without using soybean. Grandpap never raised soybeans, he said they took too many chemicals to grow right and took too much from the soil. Gosh, he was smart, he knew the buckwheat would add free nitrogen cheaper and better than the soybean did, he used no chemicals or fertilizers on the buckwheat, it was a hardy crop.

He also enjoyed buskwheat pancakes as an extra added bonus for harvesting buckwheat, now those are an "aquired" taste!

-- Annie Miller in SE OH (annie@1st.net), December 02, 2001.

Over the years we've grown buckwheat by the acre here in Michigan. Some years you can combine it direct after a hard early frost to kill the plants. Other years with warm wet fall weather it never gets dry enough to combine before it collapses onto the ground. In some areas people cut it with a mower-windrower, leaving it to dry in the field, then combine it using a combine with a pickup attachment like the one used for dry beans. The best luck we had was having our Amish neighbor cut it with a grain binder. It was then left in the field to dry in shocks before running it through a thrashing machine. I hope this doesn't just add confusion and a feeling of hopelessness. Incidently, buckwheat is not a legume and does not produce nitrogen for the soil.

-- Bob Kidwell (rivendel@frontiernet.net), December 02, 2001.

buckwheat doesnt ADD nitrogen,,it fixes it,, so roots can take it more easily. BUt if you turn it under while green,,it will add like any other green manure

-- stan (sopal@net-port.com), December 02, 2001.

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