Food Plot Advice

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by harv418, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. harv418

    harv418 Member

    I'm working with some family in NE Ark on setting up a good food plot. What I can't figure out is what to plant. The deer have access to the Rice, Soybean, and Wheat fields around there, what could I plant that would hold their attention?

    So far my thoughts are
    Spring: Clover, Chickory
    Summer: Chickpeas, Rye, and ???? (something protein and nutrient based to kick off the antler growth)
    Fall: Turnips, and other Brasicalas.. (greens for fall, and roots for winter)

    Anyone got any advice? Things that would work better given the readily abundant forage that is already grown there?

    The Soil is Sandy, and there is an old creek that tends to stay as wet ground crossing a soybean field in the area I am talking about.

  2. TMHC

    TMHC Well-Known Member

  3. possum

    possum Moderator<br>2011-12 Deer Hunting Contest Winner<b

  4. deltaeta

    deltaeta Well-Known Member

    The deer in our are could care less for brassicas. They have worn out the clover and oats. Will eat the oats before wheat. We have standing corn and they still go to the clover. We also hunt in ag are with harvested corn, soybeans, cotton and milo fields next to these plots.
  5. caddoboy

    caddoboy Well-Known Member

    I've planted food plots for several years now and have used several different things at different times. There are several plants that are excellent, but a few things to keep in mind. Clovers are probably the best all around year round plant but you need to mow it frequently, some say twice a year, I say at least 3 times. Plan on replanting every 2 to 3 years depending on variety. Some white clovers aren't drought resistant, I've had several fantastic looking stands until late july then dust and weeds by august. Acidic soils is a big issue for most areas but it's stinking expensive to lime unless you have just a few small areas. I bow hunt so I like to have a nice green food plot by october this means planting by labor day and sometimes we just don't get enough rain. Seed seems to keep getting more expensive so I usually bargain hunt. I love Austrian winter peas when they were below $20/50 lb (but that day may never be back, this years it started out a $45 and I saw some at $30 late). If you can get some water on them at the right time and keep the deer off until they get a chance to grow it's fantastic. I always plant lots of blue top turnips, partly because they are very cheap, but I like a few messes of turnip greens myself. They grow easily, some of the most drought tolerant plants I've tried, but the deer generally won't hit turnips until it has frosted a few times say about late nov to first dec. Annual Rye is good because you can plant it late and on bare ground if your other plants dried up. With this years drought even my turnips were severely stunted but I planted rye at labor day, once at first oct, once at late oct and finally last broadcast got a stand up by opening gun season. I've had good luck with oats (generally cheap) and wheat. But I seem to get a better stand with rye grass. My approach is to plant around labor day, with a mix of annual grass (wheat, oats, rye), turnips (which is a type of brassicas), and clover. I prefer white clover, durana is good large type white, ladino is generally cheaper and easier to find, common dutch is probably more hardy. I don't lime but should, bagged lime is too exensive and I dont' have a good source of ground limestone. I can't get crimson to grow well probably because my soils are to acidic, the white clovers do very well for a couple of years. In NE arkansas you very well could have great luck with almost anything, I'm in the hills so sometimes finding topsoil can be a challenge.