Hunting & Fishing  Best seed for food plots

ColbyLang

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Apr 23, 2012
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Guys,
Currently a member in a 2500+ acre whitetail lease in N Louisiana. We’ve been shredding, disking and planting (historically) during a work weekend about a month prior to the opening of rifle season. Our food plots suck. Been using Buck Busters Trophy Mix for the last 5+ years. Looking for ideas on what else to try to get some better growth and solid grazing. Our deer just tend to hit the protein feeders or the corn feeders without stopping on the grass. Thanks in advance!
 

TACC

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  • Jan 10, 2019
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    I dont know what you can plant that are going to draw them away from the corn feeders.

    We have planted about 5 acres of soybeans and they are a serious magnet, but have to ge kept fenced while growing or they will eat them down to nothing prior to them getting any serious size.

    We just planted this past month and are about 6 inches tall.
     

    300winemag

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    Mar 31, 2014
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    Soil testing and fertilizer is important. I try to grow plants that aren’t available nearby, so they can have something special instead of same old thing. Aside from those already mentioned oats or rye are good, alfalfa and radishes too but I’m in Michigan. If you have a big enough field plant 3 or 4 different things in different patches and see what your deer like, then do more of that next year
     

    tnc

    Molon Labe
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    Jan 23, 2007
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    Soybeans in the spring and wheat in the fall. We use eagle round up ready beans and buy certified wheat to plant. +1 on the soil tests. If you don’t know what you’re working with, you’re wasting money
     

    ColbyLang

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    Kinda late to do soil samples this year. We fertilize with 13-13-13 and harrow the plots the weekend after we plant. I may take the recommendations of planting sample fields to see what they actually graze on. Did iron clay peas one season. They loved em. Problem is they don’t regrow once eaten. The deer don’t stop crossing the plots. Straight to the protein or the corn. We used to get deer grazing regularly
     

    MtnCreek

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    These guys will turn around soil samples fast (e-mailed results in a few days last time I used them).

    Waters Agricultural Laboratories, Inc.
    P.O. Box 382 257 Newton Hwy
    Camilla, GA 31730
    (229) 336-7216 FAX (229) 336-7967

    I usually send in a USPS flat rate. Numbered samples and list the crop for each. If you want to get samples fast, you can take a small bucket (about 1 gal), drill a hole in the bottom that'll allow about a 3/4 auger wood bit to pass through. Mark the bit with paint at plow depth so you'll know when to stop. Cordless drill and the bit pulls the dirt up into the bucket. Several samples from the same field then pour in a paper bag. A lot easier than a shovel.

    Ladino clover (I assume that grows well in La) will hold over pretty good from one year to the next if it's cut in the spring once briars and other stuff starts to grow and the ph is kept high enough. Wheat and oats (or even just ryegrass) will give some good graze, but they're not going to be too interested in it if they have something high protein like clover. If I was planting a lot of acreage, I'd use clover and add some small grains, but not enough to shade the clover out. Don't mix rye grain with clover, it'll get up 4'+ in the spring and shade out anything else planted with it.

    Iron clay is going to play out early in the season. It would be a good thing to plant in spring and follow up with a fall planting of a cool season crop. Austrian winter peas is a good cool season protein source, but can't take the cold of winter like clover can.

    UGA is a really good source for info. If you have a school with a big ag program, might see what they have to say.

     
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    ColbyLang

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    Apr 23, 2012
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    In seasons past we’ve sent samples
    To LSU. It is an ag school after all. (I hate LSU). Anyway, we did the tests a few seasons, kept getting good results on seed blend growth and deer grazing on them. We started having a feral pig problem about 7-8 years ago. We kill 4/1 hogs to deer. They will push deer off a corn feeder instantly. We added gravity protein feeders on opposite ends of the plots away from the corn. Not uncommon to have deer on a feeder with hogs on the corn. We just never have deer eating in the middle of the plots. Maybe it’s the pressure from
    The hogs. Maybe it’s the crappy seed blend. Not sure. Gonna go to the local feed store and poke for some knowledge. Thank you all for your advice.
     

    Millsworks

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    Aug 14, 2019
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    As long as you know you have proper lime and fertilizer amount in the soil, yes stuff will grow.
    But planting something deer love is the important thing.
    Hands down, the best attracting plant I have ever planted for deer.......
    Rape seed is king.
    It's easier to grow than most other plants, and relatively cheap too.
    It is like candy for deer.
    It's very easily spread on with a broadcaster of any type and doesn't need to be covered very deeply to sprout.
    I highly recommend fencing off a few parts of the plot near a good blind or stand for exposure later in the season.
    Once they try it they keep coming back till it's gone.
     

    Hobo Hilton

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    Perhaps you might have an old retired guy, in your club, who raises a garden. Seems that deer like to graze in folks gardens more than around the feeders. Just plant a garden and see if they come and graze. I have an alfalfa field that the deer frequent regularly. Next to that I have a few rows of corn and currently they are eating the leaves off of the standing corn... Agreed that the wild pigs will make a mess out of a nice field.

    Best of luck.

    Hobo
     

    HeavyAssault

    Dog-Face One-Horse Pony-Soldier (AVN RGT)
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  • Feb 14, 2011
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    Just use what these guys talk about. It's not going to answer your specific area questions but the principles work. As already said get the soil tested.

    Ag-PhD
     

    krw

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    Feb 28, 2004
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    In S Ark we use Oats over wheat and rye. Always use rape, turnips, clover mix. Put all the Fertilize you can plus little more
     

    SSzelong

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    Mar 1, 2019
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    If you’re looking for advice on a company to try then I’d suggest Whitetail Institute. I’m in the northern zones so you would have to check what will work best for you down south. The seed has always done really well for me. I usually stick to clover, alfalfa, chicory for perennials and a tuber blend for an annual.
     

    300winemag

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    Mar 31, 2014
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    Not only what you put in the food plot is important, but so is where you put it. This is radish, turnups and sugar beets on the left side and oats on the right, properly located between the 500 yd and 800 yd target for easier range estimation. Plus the bench is a great place to sit and watch.
     

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    tymurrey

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    Grandpa Ray Outdoors has some really good mixes and seems to really know his stuff when it comes to food plots. I was on a budget this year so got the leftover soybean and corn seed from some farmer friends when they cleaned out their planters and used that. Can’t go wrong with soybeans other than they have a limited life span so I overseed them in the fall with rye grain. I always see deer in the alfalfa fields up here and if you can get it to grow it’s a great plot and lasts a few years but needs to be clipped throughout the year to be the best it can be. I’m in central North Dakota so things are a little different for me up here though.
     

    Ziggy12

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    May 2, 2018
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    May want to think about reaching out to your local field extension office. (If you have one) In Georgia they can help immensely with soil samples and tips on ph, lime, fertilizer and the right plantings as well.
     

    Court125sx

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    Jul 2, 2019
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    what part of North Louisiana? I currently manage roughly 13,000 (hunt-able) acres in NW La. Of that we regularly plant about 30 acres of food plots throughout the area. One good suggestion to improve health / size of deer, is to do Spring/summer plots also. spring plots plant soybean, iron clay, and alyce clover. Soil samples from each plot/ region of your lease will help, as needed levels can change immensely just a few hundred yards apart. We use a lot of 13-13-13 as well, for Fall plots we typically try to have seed in the ground by end of September. What has worked good for us the last few years _____ @ #s per Acre = Buck Forage oats - 50#, wheat - 50#, crimson clover - 13#, durana clover - 4#, Australian winter peas - 25#. As stated above you very seldom gonna stop a buck from going straight to a corn feeder, the food plots are mainly to help the growth of the buck throughout the year. We are shooting multiple 170-180 class deer annually, with averages in the 160 region.
     

    ColbyLang

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    Apr 23, 2012
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    what part of North Louisiana? I currently manage roughly 13,000 (hunt-able) acres in NW La. Of that we regularly plant about 30 acres of food plots throughout the area. One good suggestion to improve health / size of deer, is to do Spring/summer plots also. spring plots plant soybean, iron clay, and alyce clover. Soil samples from each plot/ region of your lease will help, as needed levels can change immensely just a few hundred yards apart. We use a lot of 13-13-13 as well, for Fall plots we typically try to have seed in the ground by end of September. What has worked good for us the last few years _____ @ #s per Acre = Buck Forage oats - 50#, wheat - 50#, crimson clover - 13#, durana clover - 4#, Australian winter peas - 25#. As stated above you very seldom gonna stop a buck from going straight to a corn feeder, the food plots are mainly to help the growth of the buck throughout the year. We are shooting multiple 170-180 class deer annually, with averages in the 160 region.

    we’re about 6 miles S of Mansfield, LA. Puts us about 45 minutes N of Toledo Bend Reservoir. Our land was recently sold, our new land owner (and his property manager) is all about herd maintenance. I’ll be curious to what he has to say when we meet up with him on opening weekend of rifle. He seemed like he wanted to help out in any way he could. When IP owned the land years back, they planted our plots almost year round so we didn’t mess up their pines planted for timber
     
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