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Calling all food-plot specialists... need help!

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Calling all food-plot specialists... need help!

Old 09-21-2008, 10:19 PM
  #11  
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Default RE: Calling all food-plot specialists... need help!

yea definatly dont plant somethn that their not used to if u are on a budget... if moneys not a problem and they dont eat it this year odds are nxt yr theyll keep it cut to the ground
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Old 09-21-2008, 10:28 PM
  #12  
 
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Default RE: Calling all food-plot specialists... need help!

ORIGINAL: Greg / MO

Not sure about pH levels, but this is prime Illinois farmland backing up to a river bottom... crop rotation has been beans and corn for years, and the landowner employs no-till farming. Very fertile ground.
Get a PH test kit. $10-$30 you can get a battery operated kit. Push it into the soil and bam, you've got a reading for PH.

Each crop you're looking for will have different PH requirements. Based off of his soil you can make decisions from there. If you want to go with as is then you just find the seed that will grow best there. If you want to do it right, alter the PH to get your desired plot. There are numerous places and products to get these days. Aside from many articles andbooks, you could look here:

http://www.tecomate.com/

http://www.antlerking.com/

Not sure of all the info on the sitesthese days, but when we started them a few years ago this was our starting ground. The management minutes from way back when on Tecomate were a great read.

Chosing the right crop is based off what you want. Do you want nutrition, attraction, tonage, etc. Alsowhen do you want the food available. Different times of the year require very different diets. To put it simple, carbs/sugar in winter and protein everywhere else. Salt content is also I've been trying to read up on more lately. Short on time right now to read it all...

They have great alfalfa mixes with decent protein levels and tonage producing, which are the most popular. We've never done it due to no time and our own restriction, but turnips are a super attractant in the winter time. They grow underground and deer will dig for them!

Do as much research as you can. Read as much as you can. Then make an educated decision. Best tip I could give you is be patient. They're not kiddingwhen they say year one is the hardest on the crop. Good luck.
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Old 09-21-2008, 11:48 PM
  #13  
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Default RE: Calling all food-plot specialists... need help!

Greg, you still have time this year for a planting of rye (winter rye not rye grass) oats and wheat.

My deer in central Illinois don't like barrasicas so I dont plant them anymore. Its hard to beat standing beans and corn for late season attraction.

I think beans and corn left standing would be my number 1 choice. Followed by a rye/oats planting and a nice clover or clover alfalfa mixed plot in there too!!

How many acres are we talking about??

If the acres are limited you can broadcast a rye grain-oat mix right into the soybeans as soon as the leaves start to yellow. The leaves will cover the seed and you will have the best of both worlds in one plot!! I have had real good luck with this double crop method.
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Old 09-22-2008, 09:10 AM
  #14  
 
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Default RE: Calling all food-plot specialists... need help!

Well Greg, it's getting pretty late in the season, so you don't have alot of time. I am also assuming you are talking about a hunting (kill plot) vs a nutritional plot, so I will reccommend accordingly.

Fall hunting plots, especially on short notice, are best done with annuals. Annuals grow fast, and as such the protein/nutrient levels are very attractive to deer in the fall. Most folks don't realize the most nutritious parts of the plants are in the actively growing tips. Another thing I am really fond of is mixes. Different plantings will come in and out of their maximum attractiveness at different times, so a mix affords you more leeway.

The bottomland you are talking about probably doesn't have too many problems with acidity (ph), or fertility, but it wouldn't hurt to check it. The farmer probably knows the soil in his region very well, so I would leave that up to him. He will know if there are issues there.

What I tend to use for my fall attraction plots is a mix of cereal grains, brassicas, and usually some austrian winter peas (AWP). This year I mixed oats, AWP's, and Shot Plot (an econimcal brassica blend). Oats may not be quite cold tolerant enough for your area, wheat or rye may be better. On the cereal grain I would go with something that is not nearby. If there is a wheat field across the road, then use rye, or vice versa. AWP's are a legume, and as such fix nitrogen from the soil. Putting AWP's in the mix allows the cereal grains and brassicas to take advantage of some of the excess nutrients fixed by the bacteria on the nodules of the AWP's. Brassicas may not be touched untill it gets cold, and if it is the first year, maybe not at all. Second year they probably will though. After the first freeze, the starches in the brassicas turn to sugars, and palatability to the deer wiull change overnight. I have seen plots go from lush to near bare in a week or 10 days. May or may not work like that in your area, but worth it to throw some in just to see.

Main thing is that the cereal grains and AWP's need to be in the ground deeper than the brassicas. Your farmer will know how to plant them, but the brassica seedis small and only needs to be in less than 1/4". Plant the others, then broadcast the brassicas on top, and thne drag or pack it, do not disk them in. A rain right behind is perfect.

This is a simple, easy mix that should work well without breaking the bank, and be locally available. Any questions, feel free to pm me, I study plots and plotting alot. If you want to learn more, there are lots of books. There are a couple of good ones, let me dig up some links and I will post them.
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Old 09-22-2008, 09:27 AM
  #15  
 
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Default RE: Calling all food-plot specialists... need help!

Here is the first one I would get:

http://www.miqdma.com/flyer.pdf

and another

http://www.northcountrywhitetails.com/

These two have alot of good information in them, I own them both. I have quite a few books on plotting, but these two are what I would start with. The QDMA website has forums on it also, and a forum just for plotting, tons of good info there. That link is:

http://www.qdmaforums.com/

Good luck. And another thing, be sure and fertilize your plots, it helps alot.
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Old 09-22-2008, 09:57 AM
  #16  
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Default RE: Calling all food-plot specialists... need help!

Imperial Whitetail Clover....Just keep it mowed..
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Old 09-24-2008, 11:29 PM
  #17  
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Default RE: Calling all food-plot specialists... need help!

Buck forage and winter rye mixed with rape, turnips, clover or whatever that you like. sounds like your gonna be in for some good hunting
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Old 09-27-2008, 11:12 PM
  #18  
 
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Default RE: Calling all food-plot specialists... need help!

I do agree with the earlier post that suggested checking your soil PH and mineral levels but if you are going to plant a plot this year there are some combinations of seeds that should work great (definately take samples this fall so that you can lime and fertilize in time to have your soil conditions right for next year). Depending on how many plots you will have you can try some different combinations to see what grows the best and most important what the deer eat the best at certain times of the year. I would suggest a combination of dwarf essex rape and wheat and/or oats as a base seed blend that will work good within 3 - 4 weeks of planting through the end of the season (this is also a very cost effective blend that you can mix yourself).It seems that anytimeI have planted this combination it has workedvery well - approximately 40# - 50#of wheat/oatsmixed with approximately 4# - 5# of rapeseed per acre. You can modify thisas you likebut thiswill provide a good food plot for this fall. Another couple of good food plot seeds depending on your goalsare Austrian Winter Peas and clovers. You can mix the peas with oats to have an immediate attractant with the peas and the oats will provide food after the peas are gone (provided that the deer eat the peas like they usually do). Any of these seeds should do well in the area of the country that you will be planting in and definately don't be afraid to mix up these blends a little to see what works best for you.
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Old 09-29-2008, 03:34 PM
  #19  
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Default RE: Calling all food-plot specialists... need help!

If he would plant, say, winter wheat and then broadcast rape over the top, he would be able to harvest a crop off of it in the early summer. The rape would be gone........
The farmers here like to profit from my plantings.
Brian
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Old 09-29-2008, 08:48 PM
  #20  
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Default RE: Calling all food-plot specialists... need help!

first get a soil test if the soil is been taken care offor instance its been fertilized and limed like it should then it should be good to go. i plant clover and as long as you keep it mowed and and spray a weed killer called select on it to keep the weeds out it. if you keep the clover mowed about 8 in high the deer will like it more cause it isnt tough. and it will come up for a few years . in the fall i plant purple head turnips. hope that helps

ORIGINAL: Greg / MO

Not sure about pH levels, but this is prime Illinois farmland backing up to a river bottom... crop rotation has been beans and corn for years, and the landowner employs no-till farming. Very fertile ground.
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