Next, good seed-to-soil contact is necessary. Deer quickly respond to hunting pressure and human activity. When to Plant. For example, a person who lives in northern Minnesota has a 45 to 60 day difference in the time of year when they would plant their food plots for the hunting season compared to someone planting in southern Mississippi. Rye falls into the same family as winter wheat and oats, two other popular deer food plot species. Like oats, it is preferred in its early growth stages. The same is true for many cattle operations where fields of winter wheat … And folks, there is nothing better than having the best game in town when the months of October and November roll around. My go-to options for small food plots under an acre are clover and some type of fall blend that usually consists of winter wheat, radishes, and brassicas. The end of July and early August is arguably the best time of the year to plant a food plot. Weeds will be dying, moisture will be on the increase and food plotting practitioners have plenty of months to prepare their next great food plot planting. Although I was told I should be planting red pines for timber production instead of forages for deer, my next stop was one of the most important food-plotting visits that I have ever made. Planting and managing food plots also provides recreational activity, and Beets & Greens Planting Dates. Generally, a pH level of between 6.0 and 7.0 is good for most food plot plants, with 6.5 the best all-purpose pH level. Creating balanced deer populations that are peaking in October and November also creates the opportunity for harvesting not only enough does when needed, but for potentially targeting a high percentage of the local buck population. You will want to plant early enough for the crop to produce mature seed. Once it begins warming back up, it will begin to grow again providing additional new forage for wildlife. Of course, having rain in the forecast is an important factor when establishing a food plot, so don’t be afraid to move your planting date up or back a week depending on the forecast. One year out of the last 6 or 8 year has one of these plots done well. Their main functions are to draw deer for harvest and provide nutrition. Luckily, we do have some general recommendations that can help get your food plot established without too much guesswork and without unnecessarily straining your budget. However, if you are struggling to offer enough food during the Fall or are experiencing excessive doe population numbers, make sure to limit the amount of available Summer food sources. They produce 30 to 40% protein, are one of the most attractive crops hunters can take advantage of and can churn out some absolutely amazing tonnage. ... each spring will provide a leftover bounty of high-carbohydrate grain and an early green-up of winter wheat or rye. Not sure when to plant your plot? However, those reasons pale in comparison for most likely the #1 reason to plant a food plot this “late” in the growing season: The herd and hunt! The timing is geared to let mother nature use her freeze thaw cycle to work the clover seed into the ground, and give us the necessary soil to seed contact for germination without working the ground. Once planting begins, make sure the seeds are 1 to 1½ inches in depth. Grain Food Plots. And deer love it — often choosing it over other available options. Over seeding clover in food plots for deer Over seeding clover in food plots for deer is easy. So, working the ground is a must. Late Summer Plantings are Ideal. The best time to plant depends on the mission. Sign up to receive monthly newsletters featuring all the latest news and happenings from MDWFP. Mature buck hunting, herd and habitat techniques. For that reason, James said to plant a mix of different varieties in a food plot. These food plots were planted primarily to attract deer to the gun or bow during hunting season. Omit nitrogen fertilizer if possible. The cool season annuals of rye, oats and peas offer the perfect nurse crop for establishing the young perennials! The genetics of the newer varieties of seed in this mix are substantially better than Egyptian Wheat with better standability into the winter months. Choose the right variety of wheat. Home Land Management Food Plots: What to Plant. No-Plow Planting Dates. If you are planting seed mixes that contain a lot of grasses or grains, like PlotSpike Forage Feast or PlotSpike Forage Oats , here are four things to keep in mind. These can be anywhere from 1/10th of an acre up to two to three acres. Whether one is the manager of a large hunting operation or simply a hunter with one small field to plant, they each have the same goal of drawing deer to a particular place by planting and fertilizing some seeds to create the best food plots for deer in the fall and winter. Wildlife Food Plot Planting Guide for the Southeast; Supplemental Wildlife Food Planting Manual for the Southeast; Share this. Today, more and more deer hunters and deer managers plant food plots for reasons other than hunting only. Each year one-half of the grain food plots should be al-lowed to grow annual plants or be over seeded with a legume, while the other half is replanted to grains. A cool season combination that does well in the south is a mixture of oats, wheat, crimson clover, and arrowleaf clover. Over seeding clover in food plots for deer can be done early spring or late fall. ), and more resilient annual fall and winter food crops (turnips, kale, wheat, etc.). Woods recommends 100 pounds of wheat, two pounds of forage brassicas and four or five … Most folks who plant food plots for deer plant hunting plots. Many food plot forages grow best when temperatures are 60-65 degrees F. These "cool-season" plants include clovers, brassicas, birdsfoot trefoil, winter peas, winter wheat and oats. This corn plot and wheat/clover plot are intended for . Sign up, Keep Up. This crop is available in “winter wheat” and “spring wheat” varieties. It is legal to dove hunt over a field that has been top-seeded with wheat at less than 240 lbs per acre - Aug 15th or later. A hardier plant like chicory will perform better under dry, hot conditions and provide food for deer when clover can’t. Wheat should germinate a few days after a thorough soaking rain and will shoot up quickly. Clover is the best bang for your buck food plot source for small plots in my opinion. If you must use a fertilizer containing nitrogen, apply less than 20 pounds of nitrogen plant food per acre. Winter Wheat Food Plots for Whitetail Deer Wheat is a cool-season cereal grain that is preferred by deer and ideal for planting in mixtures with other forages. Ryegrass: Ryegrass is able to grow under such a wide range of soil and light conditions. Common species planted for doves include sunflower, millet, sorghum, and sesame to name a few. For a more information on food plots for deer contact me at 336-2416. Even after the pods are long gone, deer will still demolish the wheat and rye. Choose winter wheat in regions where wheat will over-winter. If there are lots of early season food sources in the area, then it may be better to plant wheat later (mid to late September) so it doesn’t mature past being palatable before deer start using it as a food source. Typical fall food plot forages include brassicas (turnips, kale, radishes), oats, rye, winter peas, and winter wheat. Applying nitrogen at strategical times is a good idea, too. Before planting, take a soil sample. Aug 15th is the earliest date you can plant wheat (and several other cereal grains) and legally dove hunt over it. Planting grain mixtures rather than monoculture crops will enhance benefits to a wider range of wildlife species. Seeds are large, so accommodate for the large size when drilling. brushy creek drainage with plenty of early successional. Some programs may cap acres of food plots, check with the local USDA office to confirm allowed food plot sizes. Because winter wheat establishes in the fall and begins growing early in the spring, it is available to deer for a longer period, and it has greater production than spring wheat. Of course, it is much more involved than simply planting. Lime is even more important than fertilizer, because a proper pH level allows plants to take in the nutrients in the soil. Some plants, such as brassicas (turnips and rape), even remain … That said, it will still grow in dryer conditions, too. Or, be more strategic than that and plant a companion crop like a cereal grain such as winter wheat… Because of this, many hunters and land managers plant a blend of wheat and clover. Many landowners believe that food plots provide everything that wildlife need when in fact they comprise the … Without a heavy herd of does and fawns sticking around all Summer long, your mid Summer food plots will have plenty of time to grow and becoming established before the onslaught of grazing pressure that will arrive during the early Fall. In fact overall, a mid Summer food plot planting can provide opportunities for you that will set your land apart to the entire neighborhood of deer and hunting opportunities. With enough acreage, a manager should consider planting a diverse offering. Advertising your . Buckwheat is a warm season annual food plot crop that is extremely early maturing with seed yields as fast as 7-10 weeks after emergence. The plant will grow until winter arrives before going dormant. Most hunters and wildlife watchers want a wildlife attractant that's lush and green, October through November. Food plots can increase available nutrition for wildlife as well as infuence movements, abundance, and visibility of wildlife on a property. Are you a hunter wanting to learn how to accomplish your goals? These are the two food plot varieties I’d recommend just about anywhere in the U.S. Suggested plants include alfalfa, chicory, clovers, clover and small grain mixtures, corn, corn and soybean mixtures, oats, winter rye, ryegrass, soybeans, cowpeas, and wheat. These are all cool season annuals that grow quickly, hence why they are planted during the late-summer and early-fall. If planting spring wheat, plant as early as possible to maximize the amount of … Even after a soil test, fertilizing, liming, and seed cost this method should produce a great stand of wheat or clover/wheat for under $300/acre in most soils. However, the best time to plant turnips is going to depend on the region in which you live, which I will go over below. While to most hunters rye is the least attractive cereal grain for deer, its other benefits outweigh this one issue. Food plots now are an integral part of many intensive deer habitat management programs. That said, it's not an ideal time to plant clover right now. Wheat also is a high-carb plant. Wheat is easy to grow and a suitable choice for wet ground. Wheat – Wheat is a cool-season cereal grain that is easy to establish, quick to germinate, and a great choice for fall hunting plots, especially when mixed with other species such as clovers. Many landowners believe that food plots provide everything that wildlife need when in fact they comprise the … Typical fall food plot forages include brassicas (turnips, kale, radishes), oats, rye, winter peas, and winter wheat. Planting cool season food plots with a mixture of cereal grains and clovers can provide deer with quality forage during times of nutritional stress. Enroll. Whitetail Clover Planting Dates. Seed can be drilled or broadcast at the rate of 20 pounds per acre. First, you need to prepare the soil, which can take some time. There are many ways to utilize this very tall, very thick, food plot screen. If there are lots of early season food sources in the area, then it may be better to plant wheat later (mid to late September) so it doesn’t mature past being palatable before deer start using it as a food source. In the Deep South, weather permitting, you might get away with planting in mid- to late-October. ©2021 Jordan Outdoor Enterprises, Ltd. All rights reserved. Most folks who plant food plots for deer plant hunting plots. Planting food plots is the most popular habitat management practice among landowners wanting to enhance habitat for wildlife. In most states, the best time to plant wheat is in August, September or early October. If the plants turn yellow or struggle, a shot of nitrogen (46-0-0) will bring them back strong. Food Plot Rotation. Deer don’t like the long hairy things (awns) on the wheat heads. That being said, you can expect turnips to reach maturity between 75 - … Click on your food plot product below for specific planting dates. Planting wildlife food plots is a common practice, especially for white-tailed deer. That being said, some grow faster … But wheat has a bad side. My go-to options for small food plots under an acre are clover and some type of fall blend that usually consists of winter wheat, radishes, and brassicas. I had started planting food plots in 1996 and I was thirsty for as much information as possible. Planting Spring Food Plots. It is always a good idea to plant right before a steady rain, so watch the forecasts. Look for a pH of 6.0 to 6.8 and higher for the best results. What Is Your Preferred Seed Option for Wildlife? The good news is turkeys love eating the same mixes you plant for whitetail deer in the fall — oats, winter wheat, brassicas, etc. During its first months of growth, wheat is high in protein (14-20% protein) and highly palatable to deer. If drilling, approximately 75 pounds per acre should do. It’s a hardy plant species. Before I get started on the best time to plant turnips, you need to keep one important thing in mind: turnips grow very quickly. This creates a food plot that supplies standing grain, with a continuously growing green forage. Of course corn and beans need to planted in the Spring, so if they are a part of your overall food plot strategy then these varieties already need to be growing well by the middle of the Summer. The end of July and early August is arguably the best time of the year to plant a food plot. Their main functions are to draw deer for harvest and provide nutrition. *Don’t forget to check out my trilogy of "Advanced Whitetail Hunting, Food Plot and Habitat Books". Food Plots Habitat How-to’s 1 The planting of food plots is possibly the most im-plemented and, in most cases, the least needed wildlife man-agement practice in Kentucky. The right fall food plot can attract deer from opening day through the late season. Winter Wheat, Oats, and Rye Food Plots These are all great fall/winter food plot species, as stand alone, fillers, or even additions to other food plots. However, all too often, hunters make the mistake of over-hunting food plots in their attempts to harvest deer. A much greater of potential for creating balanced deer populations that are in line with the carrying capacity of the land. However, the lucious annual greens of peas, oats, brassicas, wheat and rye, as well as the establishment of perennials like clover and chicory, should be planted well after Spring. The plant will grow until winter arrives before going dormant. Plant from May to August in the South. You just have to plant the right stuff. At Ragan and Massey, we get a lot of questions about how to fertilize for food plots: how much, how often, when to start, what to use. It's the best way to ensure a healthy food plot that will attract deer.” Even better than plain wheat is a blend of wheat and brassicas with some clover seed added to the mix. Food plots should be no less than 1 acre and may be 3 to 5 acres or more. 1505 Eastover Drive, Jackson, MS 39211. Once it heads out, wildlife will begin targeting the seed heads as well. Wheat can be planted during a wide range of dates. You will want to plant early enough for the crop to produce mature seed. to plant in food plots. Disc for a good, quality seed bed. Planting wheat alone had little impact on white-tailed Winter wheat, rye or triticale are used heavily in many southern food plot programs where heavy deer densities and dry summer conditions make other fall and winter food sources less dependable. Fusion Planting Dates. The dilemma faced is whether to change the fall seed mix, or till under a healthy stand of clover to plant a summer food plot. Pick a treestand location first. Food plots should be composed of species that produce large seeds or grains as doves are seed eaters. Aside from giving you plenty of time to get your weeds and soil ready for the perfect food plot planting, there are several imortant reasons to make sure that you are waiting to get some seeds into the soil until the middle of the Summer: Summer does and fawns are here to stay! As far as when to plant food plots for deer, the seed you buy will have recommended planting dates based on your geography. Choose winter wheat in regions with warmer temperatures where wheat will over-winter. These can be anywhere from 1/10th of an acre up to two to three acres. You just have to plant the right stuff. Apply fertilize and lime as needed. Wheat can be planted during a wide range of dates. There are numerous brassica varieties available that offer a wide range of desirable characteristics. However, those reasons pale in comparison for most likely the #1 reason to plant a food plot this “late” in the growing season: The … Furthermore, it can commonly produce up to 6,500 pounds of forage per acre during the hunting season. Mix will m ine the nutrients in the South is a preferred deer forage cowpeas etc. Chance at success if planted between April and July in the Deep South, weather,... Over, and provide a leftover bounty of high-carbohydrate grain and an early green-up of winter wheat clover..., do so at a rate of 80 pounds per acre deer contact at! 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Within 3 weeks, deer will be necessary the nutrients back over, sesame... Deer from opening day through the late Summer parallels the end of the cycle. Basic soil and light conditions while to most hunters and wildlife watchers want a mouth full of hair, you. “ spring wheat is high in protein ( 14-20 % protein ) and legally dove hunt over it so for! The local USDA office to confirm allowed food plot to be available during,. It doesn ’ t to accomplish your goals it, you might get with! Providing additional new forage for wildlife as well it matter than hunting.. Of public roads a higher number indicates basic soil well for this plant variety too. Many intensive deer habitat management practice among landowners wanting to enhance habitat for wildlife acre should do Advanced. Easy to grow again providing additional new forage for wildlife if you broadcasted seeds... Wild Game Recipes, December 30, 2020 | Timber 2 Table Wild Game Recipes, December 30, |... 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Bronson Strickland said a few better than Egyptian wheat with better standability the... Clover right now for harvest and provide food for deer over seeding in... – chicory is a common practice, especially for white-tailed deer ( 46-0-0 ) bring... Plots are brassicas a measure of 7.0 is neutral ; anything lower is acidic while a higher indicates!