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food plot help

Old 11-26-2012, 05:01 PM
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Hey all, I am new to the food plot planting. I have about 4 acres of fields that I will be planting in the spring. I know what I will be planting as far as main food source goes, what I am curious about is the clover type of food. I heard through a buddy that full draw is the best of the best. I am curious as to what your thoughts are. I am very interested in hearing what has worked for you guys and gals. I am in WI and where my land is it is kind of sandy soil. I have no problem liming and will be getting a PH test done early spring. I wont be planting a ton of clover but probably a acre total over a large area. Thanks for your input....
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:38 AM
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I use Whitetail Institute imperial clover. The deer are in it all spring and summer. I also plant Chicory.
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:22 AM
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Find the seed and feed store the farmers use and buy their clover by the pound. I save lots of money this way and have had excellent results. Picture of one of my small plots; I plant in the fall here in NC. I use a combo of oats, grazing rye, rape, and perinnael clovers. Deer eat oats and rape first, then the rye, than the clover. Clover comes in strong in spring and attracts turkey.

Good luck!
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:15 AM
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Do you mow the food plots to keep the clover short and fresh? I have had guys tell me to do that. Guys have also told me that the clover is very aggressive and will take over. Not sure what is true and what isn't... Thanks for the info. Great pic gm4511..
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:52 AM
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I do mow once in the spring and once before hot summer arrives. I've also found it very helpful to control grasses and weeds with herbicide. I read an online tip that you can use a diluted amount of roundup (glyphosate) which kills the grasses but only stuns the clover. I tried and it works great. Grasses and weeds die, clover comes back strong. I use 1 1/2 oz per gallon of water, spray it with an atv sprayer, and apply it about 2 weeks after I've cut field. If it's really dry, I wait until after we've had some rain and everything is growing well. I also give clover a shot of 0-20-20 fertilizer in the spring.

Keep in mind it takes about two weeks before you see the grasses and weeds turn brown so be patient. You will have to spray more than once, just use your own judgment on how often and when based on how your field is doing.
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:29 PM
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Thanks GM, dumb question but do you fertilize after or before you plant the food plots?? Like I said, i'm plumb new to this..
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:22 PM
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Here's what I do:
1. Get a soil sample in March, takes about 6 weeks to process
2. Mow and kill all vegetation in plot around June.
3. Apply required amount of lime July, disc or till into soil
4. If needed mow and kill weeds again first of September
5. Couple weeks later with rain in the forecast, thoroughly disc field, drag smooth, apply fertilizer
6. Spread oats, and winter rye, drag field again.
7. Spread clover and rape on top of smooth soil bed.
8. Pray for rain and no hurricanes.
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:40 AM
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Awesome, thanks for the info guys. I will be using your techniques this upcoming year.. Have you guys ever heard of full draw?? If so what have you heard??
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Old 11-28-2012, 01:42 PM
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Get some alvina clover (white) and mix chickory as some have said. Buy from a farm seed store and it is much cheaper. You will have deer climbing your tree!
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Old 12-01-2012, 06:52 AM
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I have used both the commercial blends you see at places like Gander Mountain, as well as mixing my own while buying seed from farm supply sources. There does appear to be a difference...sometimes....maybe some of the hybrids used in some of the mixes are better.

As for Full Draw, it is a great annual mix to put down in mid-August. I planted some a couple different times and the deer tore it up!

One other note....clover needs moisture to establish and to keep going. I planted a new plot of clover last spring and due to the heat and drought much of it died off. I had chicory and some brassica in it (the brassica as a sort of nurse crop), and even though the chicory and brassica made it, the deer weren't terribly interested in the field once the clover was gone. So just something to keep in mind...if you are planting in an area that tends to dry out fast, like a hilltop or some other area that drains fast, you might want to plant something that is more drought resistant. Maybe have a farmer drill in some alfalfa for you, for example.
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