If you are a serious whitetail manager, you know that warm season food plots full of high protein forage are important for maintaining a healthy herd and growing bigger bucks. Warm season plantings like lablab, soybeans and peas are great additions to a deer’s diet, but they don’t come without some work. The two most common reasons for spring/summer food plot failure is over browsing and weed competition…and sometimes it’s both.
- Over Browsing - Many times guys are trying to plant a small food plot in the middle of hundreds of acres of woods and the pressure that plot receives is heavy being the only plot. Even with a moderate deer density, these small plots are quickly over browsed resulting in very little forage growth and often times complete crop failure. The 3 possible solutions to this problem is increased food plot acreage, less deer, or crop protection. Temporary fencing like BioLogic’s P2 plot protector kit can save your planting and give your plot a better chance at establishment and forage production.
- Weed Competition - The other enemy of warm season plots has been the thorn in mankind’s side since the dirt was new. Weeds are an inevitable part of farming and we have to deal with them. Do your research before planting and know what weeds you will likely deal with and what herbicides and other options are available ahead of time. There are hundreds of great herbicides available, but they have to be applied over the correct crops at the right time. Proper herbicide applications can be a major factor in being successful with spring/summer plots. Spraying when weeds are young and thriving gives you the best kill and can save your plot from being over-run. Weed Reaper Grass Control can be sprayed over any legume planting such as soybeans, peas, lablab, clover, alfalfa, etc. Herbaceous forbs like sunflowers and chicory are also safe to be sprayed with Weed Reaper, as well as nut sedge plants like chufa.
This tip is courtesy of the GameKeepers Field Notes, a weekly wildlife and land management email newsletter produced by the Mossy Oak GameKeepers.
A GameKeeper by definition is someone who truly loves AND lives the land, the critters and nature…not just during hunting season but all the time. A GameKeeper wants to be outdoors every day and work the dirt while living their personal “obsession”.
Find out more about what makes a GameKeeper by visiting our website.