We begin planting food plots for deer at this time of the year, in the early summer. We’re planting some Mossy Oak BioLogic BioMass. This blend has a mixture of soybeans, iron clay peas, and Lablab. This very nutritious blend can be planted in the spring and summer. These plants produce a high protein food that helps bucks build stronger and bigger antlers, and it’s really good for the does that are nursing fawns. When planted late in the summer, this blend of annuals can be a deadly place for that opening archery day.
To know exactly when you need to plant these different crops, you can check BioLogic’s Planting Guide. Here you will find a list of when to plant and what to plant, according to the region where you live. You also can talk to your county extension agent, and he can help you with all your wildlife plantings to know what works best for the soil type you have and the area of the country or state where you live.
Another place we plant chufas is in our dewatering areas that we use to attract ducks. We plant the chufas right on the edges of the shallowest water where when flooded, the water only will be about 6-inches deep. Ducks love chufas. The ducks come into the chufas in that shallow water and use their bills to get the chufas out of the mud. I've seen ducks feed on chufas where the water is only 2-3 inches deep. They’ll just stick their beaks in the mud and eat those chufas. They’ll eat the tubers just like the turkeys do. If you're trying to attract ducks and planting food for ducks, you really may want to consider planting chufas before you flood your duck ponds, so the chufas will be in the shallowest water.
We also plant Mossy Oak BioLogic Guides Choice for ducks. Where the water is waist-deep you may want to plant grain sorghum and corn. When the water is knee-deep to thigh-deep, you may want to plant Japanese millet.
Another crop we plant in the late spring/early summer is BioLogic Turkey Gold Chufa. Most turkey hunters know that chufa is a great crop for turkeys. Chufa, a nut grass that comes from Spain, has tiny tubers on its roots similar to peanuts.
We’ll go into a field in late June and break up the ground really deep. Then we use a turn plow and turn the field over. We let that field sit for about a week or two. Then we use a big disc harrow to disc up the ground. Prior to planting, we use a pre-emergence herbicide like Treflan - about a quart per acre. We spray that pre-emergence herbicide on the ground, come back with our disc harrow and incorporate the Treflan into the soil. Chufa can be broadcast planted or put in with a drill or planter. We plant about 35 pounds of chufas to the acre. Chufa is a large seed and needs to be properly covered at least 1-1.5 inches in the soil.
I have one caution for you. If you plant chufas in an area where a lot of feral hogs live, the hogs will eat the chufas before the turkeys can get to them.
Mossy Oak feels fortunate to have members of our Pro Staff who are seriously trying to improve habitat and food availability to produce more wildlife on the lands they hunt. One such GameKeeper Pro is Travis Sumner from Edgefield, South Carolina. Sumner is the Hunting Heritage and Habitat Manager for the National Wild Turkey Foundation (NWTF). He also manages the Mossy Oak GameKeepers Southeast Field Staff.