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Anyone try Milo?
Recently saw a video with a gent using Milo (both red and white) for both cover and food draw. I am wondering if anyone has tried it and what their experiences were related to it.
I love to grow milo in my food plots! It's a grass that loves nitrogen so it goes well in a rotation after legumes. The heads never make it past doughy stage, the deer hammer them at that point and demolish them in a week. I mow strips in it in the fall and plant cereal grains (winter rye and wheat) for winter and early spring nutrition.
I hunted an invitation only intensively DWR/Fed government managed facility this year. The food plot I was set up on was milo and deer /turkey were using it all day.
I’ve planted strips of milo in west central Ks for pheasant cover and food. Deer do munch on the milo heads but the dear don’t seem to be overly attracted to the milo.
around here (SC) it tends to be a good vertical cover in plots that deer like to be on the edge of while feeding on oats/clover/wheat.... It seems to make it through the fall and be good forage for the turkeys.
Some of my best dove hunts have been in Milo fields.
Does anyone have experience with it as pheasant cover? Thanks.
I can’t speak of it directly DanaC but if your ever in South Dakota you will see thousands of acres planted in it so I would assume pheasants love it
I have deer won’t eat it in Virginia, I saw zero benifit And I won’t plant it again
I planted the grain variety in NY. They didn’t know what to do with it until December but once they tried the seed heads the 1 acre field was decimated in one weekend.
IMO, far better crops to plant than Milo so it was one and done for me.
Both deer and turkey hammer it on our place plus the dove love it good luck Lewis
Dana, I have a buddy who farms in Western KS. He plants several thousand acres of milo every year and plenty of pheasants. But, in my experience you'd have to have a lot more ground devoted to pheasant habitat than most food plotters cover to attract them, but if you already have birds around I'm sure it wouldn't hurt to have an acre or two.
As I said above; it's super easy to grow cereals in standing milo so even if they eat the heads in a week (like they do on my place) you can still have the benefits of cover and a green winter crop for the deer.
That explains a lot Pat, I was having trouble reconciling what I've seen of deer feeding on milo versus others' experience with them ignoring it
I seldom plant milo as a food plot but when my farmer plants it, the deer really like it. I generally have milo, beans and wheat on the big fields.
Interestingly, last winter the deer seemed to winter more on the cut milo field, this year they like the standing beans better. Both were really crappy this year due to the drought. We didn't even cut the beans and the milo yield was the lowest I've ever had.
Milo is a good food source for deer and will grow with less moisture than corn. Beans, corn, milo, wheat, oats, brassicas, alfalfa, all have their uses.
Most of us can't do the hands on research that Pat has done so we really have to rely on what we think works in our area. Thanks Pat, for the research that you do, it has been a great help to a lot of us.
I planted one to three acres of Milo a few times. I had the same experience as Catscratch. The deer cleaned out the heads while the grain was still soft. I was trying to plant something that would benefit both the deer and Quail. There was virtually no seed left for the Quail.
Can't speak for milo,,,,a few farmers in my area plant sorghum & I'm assuming it's a non determinant plant, because in the fall they will spray it with roundup to stop its growth. I honestly don't know if deer eat it or not , what I do know is that more critters take cover in sorghum than any other crops I've sprayed. You name it deer, foxes, doves, quail, etc. They just love taking cover in the stuff. Not talking food plots more like 50 acres & larger
This is a small plot from this yr. Milo, sunflowers, millet, a couple types of clover, beans, etc. It grew fast and tall even though it was very dry this summer. Heavily used until the grains ran out. Then I put WW and WR into it which jump started use again. The cover is slowly getting lower, but it's still good. The last pic is what it looks like as of this afternoon.
Sorghum and Milo are the same.
I had my farm in milo this year in IL... a little over 20 acres. This was in ag production, so it was harvested. It was a letdown for me. In the growing season, I think it was a decent draw (no hunting). During the fall it seemed the deer would eat it, but they'd rather go elsewhere if there were options. My guess is that if it gets bitter cold, it'll get hit pretty hard, but we have not had that this year. Other cover is plentiful, so that is of no benefit to me. I've got a pile of doves right now, though.
Aspen….Winter wheat & winter rye
Junior, milo is sorghum, but some sorghum is milo, some is not.
Thanks t-roy. Beat me to it! WW and WR feed the deer after the grain is gone. The milo stalks add cover.
If a guy was serious about planting a sorghum you could start researching them. There's grain sorghums, forage sorghums, sweet sorghums, broomcorns, etc. Very large selection to choose from to get what you want.
So what I've gathered is for most its not a (deer) draw or great cover, but for some it is.
I was thinking about planting it on some cleared ROWs for an alternate and atypical cover/browse. I am not a fan of the poverty grass and random garbage that usually grows up there, dont want to mow them or have the time and presence to selectively spray out grasses. It was definitely a throw some "material" at the wall idea. lol
Thank you all for your sharing of comments and insight
Milo is my #1 preferred food source to hunt over. Closely followed by alfalfa
Maybe it is more a simple geography thing; its good south of the Mason Dixon or I-70 or something like that. Theres got to be some logic and consistency on where this works and doesnt.
"Theres got to be some logic and consistency on where this works and doesnt."
Garrett, I've been doing habitat and food plots since the early 90's. I'm on several food plot forums and follow all the trends. What I've come up with is a couple of different things. One is deer sometimes have to get use to a new food source. I've planted many things that went ignored, until it wasn't. Then they hammered it every year after that. Another is that soil composition may have something to do with it. I planted turnips for a lot of years. People all over the country swear they are the best late season crop you can plant. I had deer try them but never eat them. They just rot when I plant them. General consensus is that maybe pH differences produce a different "heat" to them. Another thing is weather patterns. Some crops seem to be eaten well when grown in places that have wet summers, or maybe dry summers. I think Heat Units may have something to do with it too. What I'm saying it if you want to try it then go for it. I don't think you'll be able to really predict how they will respond ahead of time. Good luck with whatever you decide.
I had the same experience with turnips as Catscratch. I planted them three or four years in a row and the deer sampled them but never really ate them. I have a rancher friend that plants turnips for winter grazing for his cattle. One year he put a bunch of heifers on a field of turnips and they were not eating them. He finally moved a couple of older cows that had eaten turnips before in with the heifers. After seeing the older cows eating the turnips, the heifers began eating them also. I assume Milo may be that way for deer. They have learn to eat it. Milo can also be very beneficial for upland birds if there are Quail or Pheasants in the area.
I wish my deer at turnips; they're super easy to grow and would be a great food source to stockpile for late winter!
I also wish deer didn't eat milo. I really want to grow a grain that quail can use in the winter but my deer wipe it out early fall.
Pumpkins are a fun one Two Dogs! Grow ya a pumpkin patch and once the deer figure out they taste good they hammer them.
I wish there were like(and love) buttons in this forum. Pure Gold there catscratch. Have seen it first hand with turnips, and even WR. Honestly I had never considered the weather variation but suspected the soil one. That definitely added some clarity to the "plausibility pile" of deer items on my mental desk.
Had pumpkins and they didnt touch them..cracked them open to rot and for whatever reason it became Game On for the deer.
I’ve tried Milo multiple times. I usually mixed it with sunflower and clover. Deer never did pay much attention to those plots. . This was a three year experiment.
Catscratch is spot on concerning new crops and deer utilization. Each and every time I have planted beans or peas here in East Texas for the first time somewhere it took a little while for the deer to eat them. An example: On a place I used to hunt I had room to plant about two acres of IC peas, so I planted them in early May. I put two cameras on that plot to monitor utilization. This was Spring of course so no hunting, just feeding. The peas got a head start because the deer didn’t know what they were and they were growing right beside a private dirt road that had lots of traffic during season but very little out of season. The peas lasted into early August. The next year, same crop, same place, same planting time, (or within a week). The peas lasted six weeks ! Once they knew the peas were preferred, the deer ate them to the vine in half the time. I didn’t plant them again because I gave up hunting that property as it was too far from home.
I've had a similar experience with sunflowers I have been planting yearly for doves. In years past the deer would eat the plants around the edges of the field, but I would plant enough ground that I would have enough sunflowers for some good dove shoots. This year however, one of the deer must have decided to try the sunflower heads and liked it. He/she and buddies cleaned out my entire 10 acre sunflower field over the course of a week or so There was not one sunflower head left, only stems. I would hate to know how much I had invested in sunflowers in Clearfield seed, fertilizer, expensive herbicides, diesel fuel and time. Never again.
If you're a dove guy sunflowers can't be beat (unless the deer eat them). My deer eat the heads when the get almost golfball sized. Great nutrition while in velvet but doesn't make for a dove hunt! You might try a mix of millets and broom corn. Deer don't bother them much but the doves love them. I like Proso and Browntop.
There are no doves or pheasants to speak of in this portion of Ohio.
I was able to find some bags on the cheap and will see how it does on a gasline ROW that was worked on this winter. Just throwing something at them to evaluate the response is basically what this experiment is.