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Has anyone had luck planting dwarf sorghum for deer?
We have planted it and my main gripe is thay they really only use it for 1-2 weeks all year.......we had a great stand with tons of heads and they just wiped it all out in about 2 weeks around end of November. Didn't touch it before or after.
I had the same experience. Planted about 2 acres. Looked fantastic, great big heads full of seeds. Around August 1st when the heads were in the milky stage, the deer cleaned off every head in about 4 days. In large field I am sure it is a draw, but small food plot fields get wiped out.
Y'all just talked me out of sorghum
My experience is somewhat different but when the deer discovered it they hammered the plot over two weeks. It was only a half acre. But it was better than corn.
thanks for the info, I only have about half an acre to plant, tried some corn last year but the squirrels ate the most of the ears. I will probably try some to see because the rest of my field is broke down into a perennial plot and fall plots.
They hammer it in the doughy stage on my place.
I planted it in a Whitetail Institute mix called Power Plant and didn't experience what y'all are saying, but when it got ripe the hogs destroyed it and everthing else in the plot. Birds loved it though:-)
I planted it in my first food plots in 1981 and 82 The deer hit it pretty hard but it was the only thing other than native grass for about a mile. If the deer are hitting it in November, whats not to like? No matter what you plant, if it's a small plot, the deer will get pretty hard on it at some point. Having something that they devour is way better than nothing at all. Anything to keep them close.
Just a heads up....the sorghum I planted last year was a cover sorghum....not so much an eatin' type. The mix I got didn't state it was that type....lesson learned.
JSW, my thought is why not plant more winter wheat and rye that can withstand more pressure and actually grow some during winter instead of something that gets hammered out in 1-2 weeks.
I plant about 10 acres in several 2-4 acre plots, mostly for pheasants. The deer hit it pretty hard Dec through late winter, till it’s all gone.
Sorghum is most often planted with cow peas. Provides good structure for peas to vine on. I have planted with peas with very good results.
I like that idea with peas. Hairy vetch would also do well as a climber.
I like the idea of planting peas in theory but in practice it’s not practical unless you’re abandoning weed control programs. Good luck getting good sorghum yields when it’s being choked by pigweed and purslane.
I've planted peas with milo (and with just about anything else you can think of) and the deer love it. Love it so much that they never get more than a couple inches high. I think the only way I'll ever get peas to grow is with a fence.
Planted climbing beans with Milo and had great results. Good luck.
I believe milo and sorghum are the basically the same.Just depends on if grain or forage sorghum. I see most of my milo getting eaten during doughy stage when still green.As it ripens coons,birds eat most of whats left and if there is any when turns cold deer will finish it.Its an excellent crop for deer but there are issues such as planting to thick and reducing heads,sugar cane aphids,all the other critters that ruin field.
For those of you that have planted sorghum did you broadcast it or drill it?
I broadcast everything. I am not concerned about yields (though when weather cooperates they are excellent.), nor am I worried about some weeds, better known as forbs, a key wildlife food source.
Mine won't make a magazine cover, but the deer/turkey have never seemed to mind.
I planted cow peas last year and they grew great but I didn't get any beans on them, I am going to mix some in with the sorghum and see what happens, the deer did eat the cow pea leaves in the late summer.
My brother drills my sorghum. He’s a farmer and has 100s of acres of it every year. Probably takes him 30 minutes to plant my 20 acres.
Bullbuster made a good point. I planted Sorghum in the early 80's but I haven't planted it as a specific food plot in decades. For me wheat or triticale are very important. If I don't have some of it, i'm not happy and the deer aren't happy. The only thing that might be more effective for me is alfalfa. I'm going to find out how well clover works this year. Both wheat and alfalfa are very palatable after a hard freeze and pretty much all winter long. I've been favoring triticale over wheat because it seems to attract more deer. That said, I finally got caught up with my back issues of QDM magazine and their guy said its not as palatable and has less protein than wheat. Maybe my deer like it because it's different and there is usually more wheat around. I don't get too carried away with spring food plots because I always have the alfalfa and there is green wheat early, then soybeans and or milo on my farm ground. When the beans are getting mature and less tasty the wheat is just beginning to come up. And then there's acorns, mulberries, shrubs and someday soon, apples, pears, crabapples and persimmons. I think sorgham is a good food source for deer but I prefer soybeans.
My understanding with winter rye, and perhaps this applies to triticale, is that it brings nutrients up to the surface from considerably deeper than other cereal grains. Thus if you till it back into the soil in spring u have brought a lot of nutrients into the superficial layer.
I believe you are thinking of forage radishes, BullBuster. Radish taproots can grow up to 30” deep. They pull nutrients/minerals up into the plant and, after they die off, they turn to mush and the nutrients are deposited close to the surface for the next crop to utilize. They also help break up the hardpan that can develop from compaction.
There are benefits to rye as well. Rye does help increase potassium (K) levels near the surface, plus it has allelopathic properties that help inhibit some types of weed growth. It adds organic material to the soil as well. Not sure if triticale has the allelopathic properties or not.
The best production plot for me is broadcasted soybeans, and then right as they begin to yellow I broadcast rye grain and some winter bulbs and sugar beets. Maybe clover if leaving it next spring, and Frost seed more clover for turkey season.
Timed right, the bean leaves cover the seeds. The deer are used to the plot all summer, and so continue to use it all thru winter.
4 acres minimum in moderate to high density deer locations. Well fertilized, perfect pH and I am convinced it tastes better to the deer.