Food Plot Salvage Tips

Don’t let drought, browsing pressure or weeds drag your food plot down! Instead, here is how to still build a beautiful field of food plot green for this deer season…


Boy this year with the food plots and The drought we've had we're really Fighting an uphill battle But the Saving Grace as we're getting Into the end of summer and we plant our Late summer plots going into early fall And uh and that's where you can save the Day because moisture is only on the Increase from this point on we actually Got an inch rain last night which is Crazy it's been so dry one of the Biggest rains we've had since the first Of May actually I think we had one other One at 1.2 inches this is was right Around 1.05 so Pretty happy with this but a lot of your Experiencing drought a lot of you had Great plans you know I know better just Through experience 25 years ago 30 years Ago but planting spring Clover is always A 50 50 proposition because if if you Get drought the Clover gets established Poorly if if at all I've had it where It's been smoked out completely say nine Weeks of less than an inch of rain in The up on sandy soil there was no Clover Left at that point Clover is not very Drought resistant when it's planted in The spring in that first year so you Want to plant with a cover crop we Planted Clover out here with oats you Can see behind Dylan over here you can See where there's a little bit more oats But when you don't get that growth you

Get a lot of weeds weeds always keep Coming so what I've done here is we've We Took care of the weeds before we started And planted so this is fairly weed free Now but I've even come back in here and Spot sprayed for weeds and killed out Our earlier season of seeding of clover And oats oats as a cover crop you want That nurse crop on just like the plant With Alfalfa the problem is again if you Have areas that don't grow the Weeds Start to creep in you don't get a really Strong covering of clover like we should Have had by now so then in this case we Want to plant Clover here this is what We want we want in this field it's just A pass-through plot we have a bigger pot Over here that's corn brassicas power Greens that's just a pass through onto That one and that sets up the redneck Blind really nice behind me where we can Actually hunt back there sneak in behind Here it's a great little pass-through Plot Leo two years ago missed lucky used 13 point then four-year-old really nice Buck so we have great opportunities here It's a fun place to sit and we want that Clover base we're not going to have it Going into this year well it's end of July and I hope most of you by this Point in the year have been able to Check out our food plot seed company whs Wildlife Blends we've had clients and

Customers in almost 50 states by now and The cool thing is you know I don't like You to pay shipping if you don't have to We're not going to have a giant dealer Network that's not the way we are we Built a business on experience and Providing good information and quality Products people ordered online but if You live in the southeast Minnesota Southwest Wisconsin area Nelson Agricenter out of Viroqua and Prairie Du Schoeners our only dealer in the country I don't know if that's the way it'll be In the future but they're very important To us because people in this region can Actually travel to them whether you're In Northeast Iowa or Northwest Illinois And pick up that seed without shipping So give them a call check them out and Check out the food plot company check Out the website if you haven't done so Already and I really appreciate you guys Giving us a look for your food plot Planting needs this season I like clover As a pass through they eat it down to The dirt anyways it establishes a Pattern to use they use the mock scrape Out here and it just again it creates a Great opportunity for uh for bow hunting Now I had to kill certain areas of this And what do you do at this point well in This case we still have some clover in Here we have some alfalf we have some Chicory some birds foot tree foil

That's part of our perennial plot power Blend we love that that's what I've Loved I've experiment with experimenting Those Blends for 25 years and that's I Really like that but in order to Establish this as a future plot of our Perennial plot power I have two options At this point well I could spray it out And just start over I think we have Enough volume Of the Clover in here and chicory Birds Foot tree foil and Alfalfa that I don't Want to do that and so the next option Is is I can establish this if I want to Keep it then I can come in here and I Can plant the same blend perennial blend Again and I can add a full boat a Brassica to it which is what we have Done so the added brasket to this we got It in before this rain we're getting Some growth got in before last rain Actually so some was a little bit older Because it's dry some is not even Growing yet but it's starting to come in We have little baby Brassica plants Right down here you can barely see this Little small ones little sprigs of uh Of clover coming in so we have a little Bit of Brassica coming in we have larger Plants down here But what I'd like to see in this area is A full cover of Brassica what's great About Brassica it doesn't compete with The Clover so you put the full amount of

Brassica here our blend is eight pounds Per acre we sell it in a half acre four Pound bags but I want to have that brass Skin here we plant the full per acre Amount it doesn't compete with the Clover The baskets eat Brassica gets eaten out And dies during the winter time and what We're left with this with in the spring Is pure Clover chicory bird's foot tree Foil Alfalfa it's that perennial mix That I want out here that we can manage For a decade or more to come which is Really cool with something like that on A smaller pot like this Now we have another option I could wait a little bit longer And I can plant Oats we have our cold hardy oats we have Our Tundra oats our Tundra peas that's Something that I could add peas or short Growing fast growing I could add that Mix in more Labor Day weekend the oats Die out over the winter time we get a Really good covering of oats and peas For a very quality blend going into the Fall some of this brass skin here would Have been you know we wouldn't have the Brass we just still have the perennial Blend so we'd have a little bit of The Perennial that's going to going to be Appreciated by October then we'd have The peas the oats the peas and oats die Over the winter time we're left with

Again pure Clover the following spring Next spring Now another option is we come in here And we look at boy this is a complete Failure And uh and it's already September 15th It's starting to get into closer to Within a month of our first Frost That means the oats aren't going to be Very appreciable get into the last week Of September you haven't been to the Property well you come back and there's Decent Clover here and there but a lot Of dead patches you didn't get much Growth awesome time especially more like October 1st around here would be 200 Pounds per acre of winter Rye more like 150 pounds per acre one Orion Mid-september and all the way into Mid-october if you still have some warm Growing left to do And some moisture coming some days in The 60s 70s in the mix in there great Time to put about 200 250 pounds per Acre of Rye the whole ID behind is that That is you want that low Lush Cropper Eye It'll act as a weed suppressant and Nurse crop going into the spring and Then before that rye gets two feet tall You can mow it out and kill it just mow It down to six inches won't hurt the Clover at all in fact it'll strengthen The Clover make it grow thicker

Or you can spray it with clethodim which Is a grass specific herbicide and you Get the Rye out it's kind of why I've Planted a lot of I used to mix them 50 50 meaning half the time I'd use brass Gun Clover the other half the time I'd Wait a month and use rye and clover I'd Never mix the Rye in Nebraska that's a No-No or wheat and rye oats and Rye keep Those separate But what I found over the years is I do Like the Nebraska option better you can Get full volume Brassica and and in your Area maybe they don't eat the brass as Well so you could use the tundra oats Rye combination oats and peas or Tundra Peas the cold hardy peas you can do that Too But what I like seeing in those cases is That with Nebraska or our Thunder oats There's nothing left in the spring all You have to do is mow the Clover take Care of it and it'll take care of you For a decade or more to come so bottom Line is when you get into this time of Year we've experienced a lot of drought Now we have plots out here that we've Gone into we have one down at the bottom Down here behind Dillon it's about a Quarter mile down that uh we can't wait To plant and we've had drought the Entire time I never it was a new plot we Just had a bulldoze so adding fertilizer Adding a lot of plot start to it and

Then what we'll do down there is we Bend Spraying spraying killing vegetation and We'll add a Brassica arbraska Big Boost Brassica our perennial plot power we'll Mix those two together and we'll be left With our perennial plot power in the Spring and Brasco be gone over the Winter time And and if all else fails even then if We plant that and we have no growth Because of lack rain we get into Mid-september we can add that 150 to 200 Pounds Per acre of Rye over the top and enjoy The season Bottom line is you have to take care of The weeds this this plot is doing pretty Well as far as weed growth there's some Areas of concern that we can mow out Next year with the Clover you might be Experiencing right now where you have a Mix of weeds and not much of your Intended target weeds are not good the Weeds that are growing out here the deer Do not eat that's why they're growing It's not a good thing they're not going To add any value when they turn brown in The fall they're just taking up space And nutrients from everything else Around So for some of you you're looking at Your plots right now as a total failure Spray them I'd spray with a mix of 24d And glyphosate one pint per acre of 24d

Two quarts break herb glyphosate you can Mix those two together spray it on your Plot wait about a week and plant Now if you're in Southwest Wisconsin Southeast Minnesota Southern Michigan Central Minnesota Central Wisconsin over Into New York then your timing for Planting a Brassica crop with Clover Underneath or just brass in general is You can plant that all the way up to Mid-august now if you're down south you Can almost push it to the end of August Down in Kentucky West Virginia all the Way down to Louisiana you can plan it Probably September 1st but bottom line Is you can get something growing here Can you even plant we have our perennial Plot power we plant that on one side Plant the brassque on the other that's What we typically do in a plot where we Want that diversity it's more of a Holding plot this is not a holding plot This is a pass-through pot holding plot We plan to hold the deer Until Dark Because it's big enough and has enough Diversity to do so So there's still options for you don't Give up there's a lot of people that use My ultimate no-till you know normally We'd have buckwheat on a lot of our Plots we're doing we have buckwheat About 10 12 inches high at most because We've had a complete lack of rain so we Had a failed germination partial

Germination some Fields look better than Others but we don't have that thigh high To waist high buckwheat like we always Do because it's been so bad this year With trout that we just haven't gotten That growth but it's not all for naught We still have a little bit of Buckwheat In those areas and a little bit of Buckwheat thatch when it's dead provides Great protection for Nebraska and even If it's open Bare soil like this we can Throw the seed on the soil before rain And expect great results so Brassica Clover Birchwood tree foil Alfalfa Chicory Rye oats wheat they all do Really well throwing on the ground and Letting the rain come and take over and Give them great germination now unless You're planting with a drill you can't Really take advantage of the moisture It's in the soil and someone today they Talk about disking it up and putting the Seeds in the ground and running over the Cul-deback and they're getting great Germination this year compared to last Year where they didn't get good Germination because they just screwed on The soil folks if you disc it up tilling It up you're drying out the soil you're Not bringing moisture to the surface You're drying out what moisture is in The ground and you're planting your Seeds into it so the reason that Person's plot is growing this year is

Because they had moisture immediately They didn't get rain for three weeks They stated last year didn't matter if He drilled that disc it tilled it called The Pact or whatever they did when you Seed and you wait three weeks you're Going to get very very poor germination No matter how you plant it a drill would Be the best But I'd say a drill applies to five ten Percent of you at the most out there or Less when it comes to food planting it's Very expensive you have to have Expensive equipment to do it I don't use It I don't think there's a need to There's certain times where I'd like to Have a drill But you don't have to have one to have Great food plots we plant a total of Over 20 acres in Wisconsin and Minnesota And we don't use a drill so when it Comes to salvaging your plots there's a Lot you can do rain really saves the day When you come in you're better off using A cold hardy oat or pea like our tender Oats and pea blend going into early September And you have the intentions of planting Brassica but you didn't get any moisture You're better off waiting for moist You're planting grains a little bit Later Than you are trying to push it early Without moisture no matter how you plant

So there's always a way to save your Food plots if nothing else out here if We get drought now until end of September well you can bet I'm going to Come in here about October and I'm going To plant just broadcast 250 pounds of Rye probably 100 pounds of our oats and Peas put a big mix in here and enjoy the Season because we'll have green I don't Care if it's low it'll be thick and Lush It's not going to grow up and compete With each other it's not going to get That height because we're planting it Late so we're just looking to fill space Horizontally not vertically there's Always a way to save the day don't fret If your food plots look really poor you Might want to just change your game plan Up a little bit Head into the season knowing that you Have some great plots of green there's Still a lot of ways to get it done we Hope we can help you with this Information and that you can go into the Season with beautiful fields of green And have a great hunt this fall

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