Food Plot Plan

Bucks&Ducks

5 year old buck +
I have about 10 acres available to plant in one destination field. The field is an odd shape and has a lot of edge to it. The field is a major draw and the deer keep the rye mowed like a golf course. Our brassicas get hit early and are usually getting finished off about mid November.

So currently we have 50% in clover, 25% in rye, 25% in brassica mix. My issue is once the snow falls, the field seems to become much less of a draw. A few inches of snow covers everything up and the deer don't really seem too interested anymore. Similarly we have a few micro kill plots in rye and radish with the same problem.

I want to stick with the rye as it seems to really pull them in before the snow flies but would be open to suggestions.For the kill plots I am thinking about adding apple trees but am not sure what else to add. For the destination plot I am thinking of taking half of the clover and turning it into Soybeans for pod production but that would only be about 2.5 acres of soybeans. I could possibly do 25% clover, 50% soybeans. 25% brassicas and then overseed the soybeans with rye. I am not sure how much rye growth I would get if I wait until the soybeans turn. First frost is around Sept 20th. Deer density is in the mid 20's. This was just my initial thought and I am open to ideas.

Does anyone have any suggestions on what to do to get a good draw during November with and without snow?
 

SD51555

5 year old buck +
Got the same issue rolling around in my head. I didn't get much rye outta my plot this year, but it was enough to get noticed by the deer and then completely covered by 2 inches of snow. If you can plant enough of it, perhaps try corn. If it won't make it to November (I know I couldn't do it) maybe try adding a 10% WGF sorghum ration to one of your blends. I haven't planted it yet, but I'm going to try to get it into one of my blends next year. Supposedly it stays bitter until a few frosts and then becomes palatable to deer.

http://www.seedland.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=Seedland&Category_Code=WGF-SORG

wgf.PNG
 

Ben.MN/WI

5 year old buck +
I think it would be a good idea to try an acre + of corn and soybeans if they would grow in your area. Nothing provides a better late season food source than that combo. The tough part may be keeping the deer off the plot to allow the plants to mature. I wouldn't let that stop you though, give them a try and see what works. Both are pretty easy to plant if you go with a round up ready variety and have access to a small tractor or ATV.

If your soybeans get pounded hard during the summer, you can always overseed some brassicas at the same time you do the last spraying and let them fill in the gaps.

Brassicas are a good late season food source since the deer don't hit them as hard in the early season, but where I hunt they walk through brassicas to get to soybeans. Corn is also very good, especially since it can stand up to deep snow.
 

Bucks&Ducks

5 year old buck +
Is the WGF Sorghum different than the sorghum used in many screens? It looks like this should be planted fairly early in MN, which might not fit in well with my brassica and rye mixes. I could probably add strips of it between the rye and brassicas.

I do not have a planter. How well does it work to broadcast and lightly disc or broadcast and drag corn/soybeans. Is there enough of a time period to overseed the beans with rye and get much growth on the rye?

Any ideas for what to use in micro kill plots (1/10 acre)? Sorghum may work but that is going to really mess with my planting times.

Another question is 50% clover too much. It is really nice to cut down on costs and workload but is that too much?
 

SD51555

5 year old buck +
I'm venturing into territory I don't have much experience with...

Most seed rates have an upward adjustment for broadcasting. You do better when you can impact seed to soil contact. Rain will also impact that as well as surface moisture. If you can drag or drive sorghum in you'll probably see a bump in germination. I recall seeing feedback to go light with sorghum. That's why i'm shooting for around a 10% rate in my blend. I really just want enough to see if it gets eaten. When this time rolls around, I plan to switch my trail cam to video to capture more activity in the plot. I also wouldn't get too hung up on strips. I'm planting all mine together as one giant salad.
 

Bucks&Ducks

5 year old buck +
Makes sense SD.

Everything I have is in strips already or chunks may be a better description. My concern with mixing it in is as of now I don't do any planting until 4th of july (brassicas) and I wonder if that isnt too late for sorghum to mature.
 

SD51555

5 year old buck +
I'm not going to plant mine until later in July. I'm not saying I'm right or that mine will make it to maturity, but my plots are small enough that I'll only have about $5 worth of sorghum into it. That is if I can find bulk WGF near me.
 

Freeborn

5 year old buck +
I'm not going to plant mine until later in July. I'm not saying I'm right or that mine will make it to maturity, but my plots are small enough that I'll only have about $5 worth of sorghum into it. That is if I can find bulk WGF near me.
You can buy WGF sorghum at many coops in west central Minnesota, you should not have a problem finding it. I have planted some of the Pheasant forever seed mixes but the deer never touched them. Where you are located is there any Ag around? If not the deer may like it but where there is Ag I have some doubts that sorghum will be used by deer.
 

SD51555

5 year old buck +
There really isn't any ag around me. There is one guy with a few hundred acres of corn and soybeans, but that's a couple miles away. Otherwise, there are some ten acre hay fields here and there that sometimes get cut and bailed. We're about 95% woods and swamp.
 

Bucks&Ducks

5 year old buck +
I have some corn or alfalfa around me. Not quite as much as you Freeborn but a lot more than SD. I am right where ag turns into cattle country.

I may give some sorghum a try. I am thinking soybeans will be a must. I am hoping 2.5 acres will be able to withstand the browsing and produce some pods.
 

nwmn

5 year old buck +
I'd go with beans. Plant RR beans for 50% then broadcast rye and radish into the beans after your last gly application, or august 1. If you aren't sure about the clover, I'd try alfalfa for 12.5% and clover 12.5%. I've noticed deer pounding alfalfa late summer into September when they head to greens. Clover has been hot for me this year, but I don't want to dedicate destination plot space for clover, instead I'll utilize trails and plant clover between plots to maximize clover acreage. Winter peas is another idea, plant oats/rye/radish/turnips/rape/winter peas and you'll offer a ton of browsing variety. Just some ideas I've had for myself and that I've tried.
 

nwmn

5 year old buck +
Corn is also king,butlike others said, your location might not be suitable.
 

Freeborn

5 year old buck +
I'd go with beans. Plant RR beans for 50% then broadcast rye and radish into the beans after your last gly application, or august 1. .

I have not broadcast this early in the year because of the canopy from the beans. How wide are your rows? Do you have good luck with germination and survival broadcasting this early? August 1st is about a month before leaves turn yellow. Id like to have the extra month of growth as i would then add barasicas however with such a short fall growing season Im only broadcasting rye.
 

foggy

5 year old buck +
I broadcast a mix of brasica and rye into my standing beans this year....just as in the above. About 1 acre total in three plots. Not sure what went wrong....but I had very dismal results. ALMOST tilled it all under and started over....but it was too late. Fortunately I had enough other planted adjacent to the beans.

Never had rye not germinate. Gonna ask about this on land tour.
 

Bucks&Ducks

5 year old buck +
Corn will definitely grow. The entire 10+ acres was corn for years when I was a kid. Before I began doing food plots the guy who took horse hay off our land would plant an 1.5-2 acres in corn. It would grow but when it was only 1.5-2 acres it would pretty much all be gone by Nov 1. I think with rye and clover the pressure would be greatly reduced on the corn compared to before.

I have used oats and peas etc with the rye mix but it gets destroyed no matter what we use. So for simplicity I have been just sticking with rye.

One issue I have is what happened to foggy. If I am going 50% beans and overseeding rye is that if the rye doesnt take I am losing a major draw. How does the rye do in beans for most people? What about corn? Does Sept 1 give you enough growing time? Does the rye get shaded out if you broadcast Aug 1?
 

nwmn

5 year old buck +
I broadcast my beans and they were thin so I didn't need to worry about shading. this year our planter didn't do a good job and rows were 30", so I broadcast clovers alfalfa brassicas and it did alright at best. I'm getting better at this. I would agree that 8/1 is too early for rye, I'd wait until maybe 9/1 to broadcast rye into beans, depending on location. nw mn for me. all depends on moisture I guess too. worst case you're left with standing beans right? if it works you win the lottery. I plan to do this exact thjng this coming year. if you can, maybe try corn/beans 50/50 then do a strip of clover between woods and large grains? force them to browse out to your larger grains.

I'm not sold on broadcasting radish into standing crops yet. I haven't had much success uet, but I've seen some nice plants. I'm gonna keep trying and maybe learn how to get it to work. I can't imagine a better food plot than standing beans and brassicas all jn one spot. I'm in testing phase to see if I can get better plots and then work on maximizing acreage.
 

Freeborn

5 year old buck +
Corn will definitely grow. The entire 10+ acres was corn for years when I was a kid. Before I began doing food plots the guy who took horse hay off our land would plant an 1.5-2 acres in corn. It would grow but when it was only 1.5-2 acres it would pretty much all be gone by Nov 1. I think with rye and clover the pressure would be greatly reduced on the corn compared to before.

I have used oats and peas etc with the rye mix but it gets destroyed no matter what we use. So for simplicity I have been just sticking with rye.

One issue I have is what happened to foggy. If I am going 50% beans and overseeding rye is that if the rye doesnt take I am losing a major draw. How does the rye do in beans for most people? What about corn? Does Sept 1 give you enough growing time? Does the rye get shaded out if you broadcast Aug 1?

I plant a couple of acres of corn and soybeans and I do overseed about Sept. 1 with rye only as my first frost date is Sept 29th. I add the rye primarily for improving my soil and weed suppression for my next year’s planting. I do get some above ground growth in the fall but not allot. Rye spends allot of time putting roots down first so there is not allot of growth for a food source in the fall. In the spring I get tremendous growth and good weed suppression. I lightly till in the spring, plant my corn and soybeans and the rye grows back within the corn/soybeans until I do my first roundup spraying. This rotation helps my soil, suppresses weeds and provides some fall food but better spring food.

I did broadcast red clover this year also but I dod not see much for germination this fall but I will give it until next spring to see if that comes in. Rye seems to be the best cover crop for germination.
 

wildfire

5 year old buck +
My plots the last 3 years have been not as sucessful as the prevoius 5 years. We seem to get too much precip between late April until June, 12- 15 inches, then we go without hardly any after that, 3" until late Sept. Can not get into the fields until June 10, to late for corn and soybeans, to make a good food source for fall or winter. Brassicas and clover has to be my food source. This year there was not an acorn crop. Soil is loam, with clay underneath. Planted wr in to beans plots, on August 10, some of it germinated right away, but most of it not until late Sept. Weather has to be the greatest factor for me. Makes it hard to plan ahead for what to plant.
 

sandbur

5 year old buck +
In my location, crabapple trees are a great draw through Dec. Some of our trees are still holding fruit (even this year) and the deer seem to check them daily. I had pictures that I emailed to one of the apple experts on this site for identification of one tree in particular. All we could determine was it's some kind of cross between a dolgo and a flowering crab. Once I get 20-30 trees producing like this one in my neighbors yard, my food plotting will become nothing more than clover & rye management.
I've got a few that hold apples well past Dec. We need more of those.
 

Greta&Gus

5 year old buck +
I would reduce the amount of clover to about 2 acres of the entire plot. Clover is a great spring and summer feed but for sure dies out during November. I am surprised they are not hitting your brassica mix with snow on the ground because our deer are digging through the snow to eat our turnip bulbs every night right now. Others have posted that beans or corn are good winter draws, and they are, but you would need to devote a considerable amount of land to them if you wanted consistent usage. My beans are always hammered before November and have trouble producing many pods but with your size it would probably work.

Don't overseed your rye if you are going to broadcast it in. Plant the clover around the edge, rye next inside the edge, then plant a 5 acre bean plot and overseed the brassica mix into the beans at the end of July. The deer will eat the great bean leaves through September and then have the brassica and pods October through December. My biggest turnips this year I overseeded into a bean plot that didn't make it through August.
 
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