SG2
Looking for assistance on 2021 food plot
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Tca12666 14-Feb-21
Wildan2 14-Feb-21
Screwball 14-Feb-21
MQQSE 14-Feb-21
Tca12666 14-Feb-21
MQQSE 14-Feb-21
MQQSE 14-Feb-21
Tca12666 14-Feb-21
drycreek 14-Feb-21
goyt 15-Feb-21
Tca12666 15-Feb-21
t-roy 15-Feb-21
drycreek 15-Feb-21
Tca12666 17-Feb-21
From: Tca12666
14-Feb-21

Tca12666's DeerBuilder embedded Photo
Tca12666's DeerBuilder embedded Photo

I have been tasked with being in charge of food plots for the 2021 season. This will be in SW PA. I would like to plant both spring/fall plots. I have attached a photograph of the plots that will be planted. I have access to a rototiller, plow, roller, corn/soy bean planter. I’d like to get samples for the soil, but have never done that. In the past we’ve mostly don’t clover, chicory, and other random bags of seed all mixed together. Last year, we tried soybean in a few fields and corn in a few fields, but all were choked out significantly with weeds. Any suggestions/assistance would be greatly appreciated.

From: Wildan2
14-Feb-21
Corn and soybeans (if you get Round-up ready) need to sprayed after they are up.Around here the deer eat the soybeans as soon as they come up;fence if you want a crop. I gave up on soybeans and plant 3 acres of RR corn,sorgum,sunflowers and brassicas (August).

From: Screwball
14-Feb-21
We have given up on corn and soybeans deer eat them off before they get up. We have gone heavy into clover and alfalfa. North Central WI

From: MQQSE
14-Feb-21
Plus one for clover, alfalfa and winter wheat.

From: Tca12666
14-Feb-21
What processes are you guys using? Cutting them down, spraying, and then rotitilling?

From: MQQSE
14-Feb-21
If your field is already prepped I would frost seed the clover later this winter. I have had good luck with that in northern Missouri.

You could also mow and then a few weeks later spray your plot in the late summer. After that you could drill some winter wheat (or broadcast and drag) after a light tilling. I always add clover in the fall which will have a head start for the following spring. I would then frost seed that plot with more clover in late winter.

From: MQQSE
14-Feb-21

MQQSE's embedded Photo
These clover plots in the forest really are killer archery set ups.
MQQSE's embedded Photo
These clover plots in the forest really are killer archery set ups.
MQQSE's embedded Photo
MQQSE's embedded Photo

From: Tca12666
14-Feb-21
All of the fields have a lot of weeds in them. We will be buying a sprayer prior to all this, but gotta figure out what the weeds are in the fields also I guess.

From: drycreek
14-Feb-21
Glyphosate will kill the weeds, spray about 2 oz. per gallon of water about three mph. I’ve never calibrated a sprayer in my life and this has been working for me for 15 years. If you get it at TSC the surfactant is already in it.

I would wait 7/10 days before tillage and till only as deep as you need to to get rid of the weeds, roots and all. You should be getting your soil tests done ASAP so you’ll know what you need. I get mine from Whitetail Institute but there are other sources. You’ll put your lime down after the weeds are killed. You might possibly have to mow it if the weeds are too thick and tall.

For the last two years or more, when I’m starting a brand new plot buckwheat is my choice in the spring. A couple reasons, buckwheat is easy to grow while your lime is beginning to work, and it grows so thick that weeds hardly have a chance. You’re gonna appreciate that the first couple years because you have a helluva weed seed bank I promise. Wheat and medium red clover is my go-to in the fall, with a little daikon radish thrown in. Nothing wrong with RR beans either unless your deer density is too high. I’ve always heard you couldn’t grow beans to maturity on a two acre plot but I proved that wrong. Iron clay peas are also a good spring plot once you get your soil in shape, again, if your deer density is not too high. You can always E-fence them. Pat has all that info on the Deer Builder part of Bowsite.

You might want to check out some YouTube stuff also, but everything you see will not be tailored to your area, and some of it may not even be practical. Good luck !

From: goyt
15-Feb-21
Weed and grass control are one of our biggest challenges. Try to get rid of them before you plant. If you spray after green up, till and then spray again once they grow back it will go a long way in reducing the seed bank. Buckwheat can then be planted it further control weeds and grasses. Based on the timing you can then plant or spray again and then plant for for fall plots. Rye grain makes good fall plots. Clover can be planted alone or with some rye and then frost seeded again that winter to establish some clover plots. Brassicas can be planted and need to be planted earlier then rye to be mature before the freezing weather.

From: Tca12666
15-Feb-21
I don’t know much about buckwheat. Is it a preferred food source for deer?

From: t-roy
15-Feb-21
Buckwheat is not that much of an attraction for deer. They will eat it some, but the primary use of buckwheat is for weed suppression and soil building.

From: drycreek
15-Feb-21
Tca12666, I think the use of buckwheat by deer may be different from location to location. IMO some crops are universally used, some aren’t. Brassicas, for instance, are widely used in the northern states, but almost nobody plants them down here. Deer won’t touch them in my experience. I think it’s dependent on what else is available whether they will eat buckwheat or not. Mine do, not nearly as much as they eat peas or beans, but they eat it, and as Troy said, you’re suppressing weeds and building soil. I only plant them the first year or two on a new plot, then transition to something else.

From: Tca12666
17-Feb-21
Thanks for the help. Gonna get soil tests when things thaw out and go from there.

  • Sitka Gear