August 23, 2010
Guest Blog: 5 Reasons To Plant Food Plots Now
By Dave Hurteau
Today I’m turning it over to my friend John Barsody of Frigid Forage Inc. in northern Minnesota. For any of you who think you’ve missed your window for putting in a food plot or two, John has some good news—and has generously offered to answer your questions about fall plots in the comment section below. (For those of you who cringe at the very idea of food plots, be nice.) Here’s John:
The agriculture industry preaches that “Spring is King” when it comes to planting. As a result, too many hunters think that if they miss that spring planting window, they’re out of luck. I’m here to say don’t worry. There’s still plenty of time. Corn and beans are really the only common food-plot crops that really needs to be planted early in the year. There are plenty of great options, both annuals and perennials, that can be planted right now with great results. Here are a five reasons I do almost all of my planting in late summer or fall.
1. Weed Control When you spray in the spring, it’s impossible to kill all the weeds, especially the many broadleaf weeds that don’t even germinate until June and July. Planting later gives you time to spray twice or more over the summer, resulting in a much cleaner seed bed which results in a healthier, longer-lasting plot.
2. Better Access By now the logging roads, tractor paths, and ATV trails that were too wet and muddy to navigate in spring are dried up and passable, allowing you to get back to those secluded areas that can turn into your best spots.
3. Better Weather Mid-summer usually means long periods of hot, dry weather that can make your once-lush spring-planted plots wither and even die—a hard pill for any food-plotter to swallow. Planting later usually means cooler, wetter weather.
4. New Growth Planting in late summer or early fall provides fresh new forage for deer at a time when many other food sources are maturing and drying up. Timing is important, and having the desired food at the right time makes a big difference in terms of where deer choose to feed during the hunting season.
5. Jumpstart for Spring Fall perennial plantings of clover and alfalfa will be up and growing in the spring long before most of us can even think about planting a new plot. Along with providing much needed nutrition after a hard winter, these new plots also get a jumpstart on competing weeds that are left in your field.