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So in a effort to try to rotate crops I'm gonna do a small portion of my food plot in corn next year(1.5-2 acres). Where is everyone getting corn(im in mass and there is no farming to speak of in the area. If I get a bag of whole kernal corn From tractor supply will that work? Also I dont have a row planter so I will have to broadcast and till in. Recommend lb/per acre?
Many guys here plant or leave standing corn. I think they are too shy to answer, lol.
Not much need to plant it here. Walmart and everywhere else just sells it by the 50 lb. bag. It is labeled DEER CORN and many bags have a bulls eye printed on the outside.
Given the lack of a planter, small plot size, assuming no spraying for weeds? Along with the fertilizer requirements for corn, I would suggest you reconsider this crop. There are far better crops for broadcasting than corn without spending a fortune on fertilizer that will feed the weeds. I’d go with beans, peas, or oats. Brassicas if you’ area freezes during deer season.
This area is on northern mass right on NH border, most our hunting there is last few weeks in November and month of December. So it's all later season stuff. About 4 acres, this year , I had 1/2 acre of green patch + , 1 acre of radish, and 2 acres of soybeans and some clover. I am done with clover it wilts and loses it draw before the season, but they kill it all summer. The beans were unbelievable, biggest draw I've ever seen.....but we had a no acorn year and the deer destroyed the beans August thru 1st week of October then there was none left by hunting season. Deer have been killing the radish as we have had snow on the ground since 3rd week of Nov till a fee days ago. If I had it my way I'd plant it all in radish turnips. But I've already planted them too many years in a row. Hence the reason I've been breaking it up in sections and trying to rotate it . Corn is the one crop I haven't tried yet.... I do soil test, fertilize and spray as needed.
Corn will not work well broadcasted. If there is no other corn in the area there is a good chance deer will browse every tassel and it will produce nothing. Corn is the most expensive foodplot if done right, if done wrong it is the biggest waste of time and money
The one thing that has been deterring me from trying corn on a this small plot is bears....there's no shortage in the area. So I'm still on the fence
bears will eat the hell out of corn. If your beans did well why not replant them, go larger then fence them with a Fence to keep the deer out of it till late season.
I’ve successfully broadcast corn at about 15 pounds per acre. That said, row planting has proven far more successful. I live and plant my plots in agricultural southern Illinois. I favor soybeans as a forage crop. I like to rotate part of my plots to corn each year.
Definitely a good idea to rotate your plots. It’s never good to plant the same thing year after year, even soybeans.
Give Winter Rye a chance. You can broadcast it into the beans when they begin to yellow, it’s great for soil, and deer will dig in the snow to get it. As your other plots get wiped out from the pressure you can broadcast more Winter rye into the plot. It also greens up in the spring for more food. You will need to terminate the WR the following year before it goes to seed if you don’t want it to reseed itself.
Corn is one of the more difficult crops to grow properly without full-blown row-crop ag equipment. Weed control is critical, but more difficult and specialized with corn. And you also need to apply anhydrous ammonia or use some other method for getting a heavy dose of nitrogen into the young plants, or you'll get poor results. I'd love to have a big standing corn plot going into each fall, but it is not easy to do. If you have a farm operator nearby that can do it for you, that would the best option.
Deer corn bought at Walmart is a hybrid corn. It will grow but might not produce ears . Hybrid corn can cost $300.00 a bag.
You will need to get Seed Corn. Not the Tractor Supply stuff. If you plant corn be sure you get round up ready. I love corn as a food plot but with small acreage it will not work good because it will all get eaten before it makes. Also corn definitely works best in rows.
One more thing. Standing corn is a pain in the ass to get rid of the following year. If you harvest it it’s fine, but leaving the stalks standing will add a big chore for you next spring.
For sure get seed corn. Mowing with Brush hog works well after it has served its purpose. Older 3-4 row planters are relatively inexpensive.
You guys are talking me out of it.....open to suggestions.... Corn is the only thing I haven't tried . Been planting this since 05....here is what I've found over the years Clover = king april-september, wilts in out area in October, white is best
Radish = most widely utilized brassica, deer start eating tops in August, then move on to bulbs in snow/hard frost
Beans=biggest draw I've seen but so much so they are wiped out before season, gotta work to keep deer out till August
Turnips, same story as radish but dont eat tops till later
Oats= unimpressive, while they do eat it and nibble away not a hug draw , but easy to grow and fast.
Rye= same as oats
1 other thing I am thinking about trying this year is pumpkins for a late season draw. Probably plant them all around edges
I've seen late season deer demolish winter wheat or rye grass, as it is the only thing green besides pine trees. On a local state land area, they planted hundreds of acres of corn in 2017. The DNR must have stipulated that the farmer leave some standing rows, as after the harvest there was some left with obvious intention. Late in December last year a buddy and I hunted that area and there were tons of trails going to that corn, but his trail cam verified it was all after dark. Hard to find a remaining ear of corn there as well. A small plot that lasted to December would be nothing but stalks in short order.
You could look at fencing off your soybean plot (if you’re not already doing so)and leaving the fence up later into the season to slow down the deer from destroying them too early. I’d also interseed a cereal grain (rye/triticale/oats) into your standing beans in September for an additional draw. You could also do the same with brassicas as well, just do it a month earlier. You won’t get nearly as good of a stand due to the bean canopy shading things, but some would still grow.
best late season food,,,, sugar beets,,,,
Don’t sugar beats require a ton of water?
Soybeans are easy to grow and my top draw consistently every year
Soybeans are easy to grow and my top draw consistently every year
Good bean crop this year
Good bean crop this year
Not from my experience planting sugar beets. The problem I had was weed control with beets since they are spring planted and there’s nothing you can spray without killing them.
My go to is RR soybeans. Agree with t-Roy. Plant beans and wrap an e-fence around it. Take the fence down 2-4 weeks prior to your hunt.
If I was planting a small average food plot soybeans would be part of it for sure. When I said I love corn it is because we plant it as a crop. Hundreds of acres. I would not plant corn in a small plot.
As some here have said . Corn in the bag from tractor supply is a hybrid and will not produce. You have to buy seed corn and it is 300 and up a bag . Corn on small plots does not do well unless you fence it . If I had small plots I would plant them all in soybeans and as someone else said when leaves start to turn yellow broadcast your winter crop in beans . Works great. One other note if you can spray roundup one great plot we have done is mixing 10 lb of seed corn with a bushel of soybeans and broadcasting this seed mixture. Spray it to keep weeds out and you have enough beans for food , but enough corn for cover that deer will use it during daylight hours.
If you prep the ground and get a spreader you can spread 10 bags of triple 15 on that acre and than buy a small wheeled hand corn planter. Order a bag of seed online and give it a go. The other acre plant soybeans and give it a try. I have done it by hand and it works fine but it is a lot of work. If you want an absolute great drawing food plot just plant rye, plant it around 1st or 2nd week of Sept second week is best IMO. It grows easy and it will draw deer for miles. Shawn
One positive of sizable corn plots is they provide cover and concealment for deer, as well as food. Not important everywhere of course.
^x2.....that is what I was thinking as a collateral benny to have a few rows of corn around to provide cover for the deer so they feel comfortable moving in the daylight.
FWIW....I got one of these Earthway seeders off of Ebay used for something like $35. It had all the disks for the different seeds....corn, different types of beans, carrots, etc. I use it for my regular food garden. Works great....just make sure the soil is tilled good...no clumps or big rocks. I can plant some rows fast and straight.
KS Brand corn is the best I ever seen ...come in 50 pound bags. Figure 20 bags for two good piles....oh wait
Trial153....Charlie R recommends sitO brand ;-)
I personally use milo as my "corn" alternative. I plant over fourth of July weekend so it matures around October 15th and works really well for about a month. I tried corn and failed for several of the reasons mentioned above. Milo doesn't have the deer draw as regular corn and especially not Sito corn, but it is cheap, easy to grow, grows like a weed, deer don't touch it while growing and provides good cover. I actually like it as good as beans for my grain plots that aren't the greens I also plant it in corn and bean country so I think it gives them variety and a reason to move through my property.
Are you planting your milo in rows or broadcasting it, Reid? Do you spray for weeds or does it outcompete/shade out the weeds?
I spray mid June after the spring weeds have filled up the plot. Spring tooth, Fertilize, broadcast and drag. In a perfect world, the ground is a little wet so the milo beats everything else up other than a little grass. Not very professional, but works with my cheap equipment.
I have to tell you, I have a totally different take on corn than most. I have had great luck broadcasting Round Up Ready Corn purchased from the QDMA or NWTF that is a year old - $25 a bag. Broadcasting is simple: (1) till or disk your ground (2) broadcast the corn at a rate of 20lbs/acre (more if the older seed's germination rate is low) (3) cover by dragging with ATV or tractor and some sort of drag, then drive over if you want packing it with your tires. I have never had a failure due to my planting methods. Now, the soil has to be pretty good, I hit with Urea a month in when I first spray Round up can it again in another month depends on your soil.
If it fits in with your property and your management plan go for it, it's not rocket science. BC
Don't concern yourself with not having a planter, a lot of guys around here just dump the whole damn bag in a pile and call it good;)
I am similar to bow crazy, except I get my seed corn for free. It is the previous year’s test plot seed from the co-op. I am dead center in the middle of corn country, though. They cannot sell it because it is considered old seed, but I notice negligible germination issues with it. Soybeans, on the other hand, I have had issues with germination problems with old seed. I have been told that the higher the oil content in the seed, the shorter the shelf life is. PF and QDMA would be a good possible source for cheap seed corn in your area.
If you’re going to broadcast corn, I would suggest fertilizing prior to planting and incorporating the fertilizer into the soil, or spreading it shortly before a good rain. If you do not incorporate in or get a decent amount of rainfall, you will lose the vast majority of of the N portion of the fertilizer. There’s a product called Super U that is basically stabilized urea that will not vaporize quickly. Readily available here, but may not be in your area. I would hit it again, like bow crazy suggests, a month or so later with urea right before a rain. Good luck!!
Ya.....zero farming here. Big woods. No co-oops or qdma around. I have to order everything or go to cabelas or tractor supply for seed
Milo might be a better choice to try, then. I haven’t tried it yet, but have heard lots of positive things about it. I’m going to try some this next spring. From what I’ve read, 8-10 lbs/ acre if broadcasted is recommended. Seed isn’t too spendy and shouldn’t be too difficult to get. It definitely would be an additional option in your crop rotation.
Maybe Reid will jump back on here and give you some additional info on it.
Milo / sorghum sounds interesting ....can anyone better explain the differance? Which one would be better for late season ?.....maybe mix it with cow peas?
I can't tell you the difference, but I can tell you the deer POUND the sorghum during muzzle season here in Minnesota.
This is a pic of grain sorghum/milo. It gets approximately 3-5 feet tall. Some guys use other types of sorghum for screening, but it doesn’t have much feed value for deer. It gets pretty tall, sometimes 10’-15’.
I would never plant corn in place of beans. Corn is not easy for deer to eat unless you drive it over with an atv or something. They would much rather munch on beans where it takes little effort for them.
Yea, I am no expert and everyone has a different situation. The properties I own are overgrown cow pastures and cedar tree thickets located on hills above good corn and bean bottom ground. The dirt isn't great and water in the summer is very unpredictable. As mentioned above, I have had good luck in these poor spots planting mid summer 100 day maturity Sorghum/milo like the picture above. It matures right around the first freeze in my part of the country and that just happens to be when most farmers are pulling out their corn fields so as the deer transition from the summer fields to the winter thermal cover they also have a strong grain source available. Milo grows like a weed and does great in my bad soil where corn never stands a chance without quite a bit of effort. It does have down sides like Pat mentioned above. You have to brush hog the stocks the following March and if you have a high population of turkey, deer, and coons then it can get destroyed in a very short period of time so you might need to plant a bunch of it. It is also very attractive from the green dough stage to about a month after maturity then for whatever reason becomes less attractive slowly over time. For me that is October 15th to about November 15th so it works great with my rut and bow hunting season in Kansas. It does hold up well in snow. I saw Pat did some in his test plots this year so I am hoping to see the results. I am fairly certain it won't be the most attractive crop, but giving all the factors it has worked for me in my situation. Clover also does amazing here for early rut since I don't get to many hard freezes until Mid November. I just put the clover in my lower or shady spots so it doesn't drought out in the middle of summer. I dream for hidden bottom field of standing corn with brush hogged trails to my stand, but I just don't have that spot.
Never mind on the test plot I guess. I thought Pat was going to do some Milo, but after re-reading I don't see it.
Corn is a lot of work won't grow properly broadcast and small plots are a waste of time and money. Many better options.
I'm with Reid here. But... I'm in KS also and have found milo very easy to grow and deer love it for a short time when it's doughy. Once it's produced hard seed quail and other birds benefit too. For deer, combined with some clover and wheat you can have a full winter of attraction.
For you experienced milo guys......are the deer still attracted to the milo heads after the seed is hardened, and, roughly how many days after planting does it goes into the dough stage?
We plant 5-6 acres of round-up ready corn for food plots.We have the equipment to do it properly.Lot of cost and work but nothing else you can last through our winters up North. Everything else will be flattened/buried by the snow. We also plant milo,millet,soybeans,buck-wheat ,sorghum ect.but most is gone by January.
Growing corn isn't that difficult at all. Yes, it does take a little more work than other types of food plots, but it certainly isn't hard. Read Ed Spinazzoola's book, "Ultimate Deer Food Plots" for an easy ways to plant corn and soybeans using the broadcast method. I and others have outlined his methods above.
I am interested in the comments about Milo and Sorghum. I'm in Wisconsin, looking for maximum attraction in November into December? November is the main month of attraction I am looking for. I would miss the "dough" stage, what about the time frame when deer focus again on the heads? BC
Sorghum plot came up great!
Sorghum plot came up great!
I did grow sorghum/milo this year and it came up well. It will be included in our annual seed review that will be coming out shortly.