Guests - If You want access to member only forums on HSO. You will gain access only when you sign-in or Sign-Up on HotSpotOutdoors.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
vanwalleye

Food Plots?

22 posts in this topic

Hey guys my hunting party has roughly 200 acres private and surrounded by state land no other hunters within at least a mile, question is we have beenplaning for food plots for 2 years now, have spots cleared need to know where tobring a soil sample and also If I should stick to the same food in all the plots we will have 4-6 of them in like the 50' by 100' or should Itry and change them up would like all to change with the seasons and also should I stick to a brand which I will not use on here or would I be better off just getting the stuff a my local co-op any info would be great. P.S. had 19 different bucks Id'd this year only 3 would break the 130 class but we had 8 other 2-3 year old 7-10 but they have little racks put out some blocks are those the best for racks and what type of plot would also help

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would think your county courthouse could hook you up with an agronomist or someone else who could help you out. Another place to check is any farm based companies who deal with seed and fertilizer.

One thing to keep in mind is that some of the seed for food plots from some of the big name stores are actually an exotic species here in MN and may be illegal to plant.

In your search for someone to do a soil sample, I would also contact your local C.O. to see if they can help you out also.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as soil tests the U of MN extension offers them as does Biologic. I used U of MN and they were fast and inexpensive. If you have several areas I would experiment with different things like clover, brassicis, fall planted rye/oats. Keep in mind what other foods are in the area. Also if you have 200 acres you should look at getting a forest management plan done (if it is forested). They are free from the DNR. Food plats are fun, but really only just a small piece of habitat improvement. For more information call the local NRCS/FSA office, DNR, and take a look at the QDMA HSOforum. Lots of food plot info on the QDMA site. I'm not sure if the CO will be a big help and if you stick with known seed species you shouldn't have a problem with exotic species

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey thanks forthe help guys I do look forward to having another excuse to get up to the hunting land over the summer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your local ag coop can help you with soil samples.

You didn't say where you'd be planting at?

I would start with a clover blend, and then plant some more clover. You can't have too much clover. Then branch out to the brassicas, cereal grains like oats and rye, and maybe some alfalfa. Corn is great for this time of year but its tough to establish and is expensive.

Goto to the QDMA site, find the food plot section, they have lots of great info!!!

Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

QDMA all the way. There are masters at the art of food plot planting.

Camdu,

Who are you on the QDMA forum???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey thanks again, most of the plots are going to be on the high ground, we have several islands surrounded by mostly tmarack swaps, what I did is cleared where the ferns grew figured that there has to be good soil, another question is what about mineral blocks what kind straight salt or apple or acorn or a few of each, we also see many more bucks than does so will this help keep them 4-5 miles into the woods and away from the farm or is that just how it is going to be, and any harvest tips would be great what to take out thanks guys been hunting 15 years but this is only my 3rd year on private land and I just want to make it as good as possible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

better check on the mineral blocks with apple or corn in them it could be considered baiting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A friend is a CO and he told me any sapl lick that isn't white salt is baiting.

michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hunt 10 acres surrounded by public land south of solway. This year the farmer on the other side of the public land planted 50 acres of rye. This pulled all the deer off of our land and completley erased any patterns they established over the summer. We have a one acre field on our land and I am going to plant one half corn and one half Monster mix by Frigid Forage. The corn will be basically a wall that I can sneak behind to get to my stand. Does this sound like a logical plan?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

mn_archer

There is nothing wrong with a trace mineral block(brown ones).

If it contains salts or minerals, its all fine.

Back to plots.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I planted 6 acres of corn this year and 2 acres of sorgrume rye mix the sorgrum is holding pheasants way better and the deer are only on there way from bedding grounds to the corn when it get dark. I got the corn free from a seed corn dealer who gets it for free for test plots. the sorgrume comes for free from pheasant for ever I also sprayed some of the corn and not sprayed some the stuff thats not is way better cover next year nothing is getting sprayed or fertilized.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey BLB I'm not on the QDMA forum, but I have read most of their articles on food plots and habitat management. Adam, how tall did your sorgum get? I was thinking of planting some for the turkeys and for bedding areas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How spendy do some of your plots get? Thinking about starting one next spring

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot depends on size and what you want to plant. Seed is relatively inexpensive. It also depends on your soil composition... if you need to buy tons of lime and fertilizer aside from seed and equipment rental, it can get fairly costly. But planting and going through all the hard work is half the fun. With a little work, you can get a decent sized plot in for under $100.

Supplemental feeding is even starting to get expensive with corn prices. At least gas is a "bargain" making it a little easier justifying the trip north.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a renter , and have to figure in his lost acreage. If the soil needs to be tilled to get a good seedbed thats a 100 dollar trip, seeding is another, and so is weeding either with preemergent or burndown of the first weeds followed by a drilled seed plot.

The best I can figure is if you own the land but don't have the equipment you are looking at 300 dollars an acre minimum. If you buy standing crops from a renter it's more than that.

Pheasants Forever Habitat teams never started in SW Minnesota because the distance made it cost prohibitive. In other parts of the state they pulled out last year with the gas prices. I hope they start up again(anybody know?) but it seems to me there should be a good market for crews that plant food plots-but if PF couldn't make a go of it I don't know who could.

I'll be watching for tips myself on how to get a good food plot in for cheap

I'm going to work a cost share angle with CRP throught the FSA on my next plot because I can't justify the numbers any other way. Hans

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to work a cost share angle with CRP throught the FSA on my next plot because I can't justify the numbers any other way. Hans

Hans, what do you mean by that? How does the FSA help with food plots? I DO know that a certain percentage of CRP acres can be designated as food plots, as long as they're not buffer strips.

I still think your best bet Hans is to work out a deal with your renter, hes running the land and planting anyway, cut him a deal. Watch out though for him not doing a good job on your portion, like not putting as much fertilizer on or leaving the plot on a hill side where the corn is only 3 feet tall. Make sure what is left is comparable to what he picked.

I also have a renter and what I told him was that I wanted my plot in the center of the field, to reduce any hanky panky. I then measured the two acres. That worked well. I had another four acres that I let him farm for nothing, but he had to leave an acre of corn. The spot he left was closer to 1/3 of an acre than an acre. Learned my lesson there. Next year I will measure it out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Under WHIP(Wildlife Habitat Improvement Program), there is some cost sharing available for food plots in areas through the FSA/NRCS.

I have inquired about it, but if I remember right, if you have any ag in your area, they wont do it. Something like that. It sounded like a pretty particular program to get the benefit out of.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And watch out, it is addicting!!!! BLB got me started after I listened to him and bought some seed from him.

I think your initial costs can be bad and depending on the size of the plots you will probably need some equipment.

I bought a quadivator for my ATV and it works well ONCE the ground is broken and the seed doesn't need to go to deep. I paid someone to break ground for me and now its working well.

However the past year we went from 1 plot to 5 with plans for more!! It is addicting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Blackjack, I agree that the best choice is to work with the renter or a neighbors renter. I only mentioned the FSA office because the manager of our CRP plot is through the office in Slayton.

My understanding is that you can get cost share for food plots on CRP acres with prior approval-but haven't looked into it since our original sign up and rules could have changed.

I don't think you can get cost share on a food plot that goes into "non-tillable" or on non CRP land. A renter can't plow up and put a private food plot in CRP without prior approval. The land for a food plot would then have to come out of production and that's where the costs get expensive. So my plan is to enroll a new piece with a food plot component- if I can get a continuous signup piece approved- or I'll wait until the next open signup.

Any info with real numbers and accurate info would be apreciated by me and many others I'm sure. I'm just a city boy who married into a farm and am just learning the ropes myself.Hans

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So my plan is to enroll a new piece with a food plot component- if I can get a continuous signup piece approved- or I'll wait until the next open signup.

I think that is a good plan, work with FSA, our local guys are very helpful and will explain all the options. Some contracts do NOT allow food plots, like buffer strips but others will allow even greater than 5% food plots. Let them know that you want food plots included and ASK if they could modify a current contract to include a food plot. Or modify it when it comes up for renewal.

I wanted to add a two acre corn plot but its a buffer strip, but in 2013 when it comes up for renewal, we'll be changing that contract, or that two acres won't get renewed.

Also ask about 'mid-term' contract maintenace, you can get cost share for burning or interseeding bad stands.

Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For first year food plots, I would recommend planting anything "Roundup Ready" in all of them, whether corn or beans. Weeds and grass will probably wipe out clover or other non sprayable crops especially the first year. After planting RR seed, spray at least 2 times during summer with Roundup (glyphosate) and you'll have a nice plot year 1, and a way nicer plot to work with in year 2 and beyond. Weed and grass control is a big key to having good plots.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0