Spring Food Plots: Planting Corn

Discussion in 'The Lodge' started by lg_mouth, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. lg_mouth

    lg_mouth It's Trigger Time!!!

    Now that bow season has been out for a couple days, I figure it is time to start planning my spring food plots. I am seriously considering about half an acre to an acre of corn. I have very little knowledge on the cost of planting corn, so if anyone can give me an idea on what corn costs to plant an acre, I would appreciate it. Or if there are other ideas out there for spring plots that bring deer running like corn, feel free to let me know.

    Lg_mouth
     
  2. im not sure what the deer density is like in your area, but in most areas the deer will rape a half acre or acre of corn. Corn is probably the most expensive thing that you can plant for deer.
     

  3. Corn will be a waste of time due to the small size of the plot. Unless you are using it for cover, I wouldn't even consider it. Green plots will bring deer running in the fall winter also. Winter Wheat/Rye, Buck Forage Oats, etc. We have tried the 1 acre corn plots, and they will be tore up as fast as they find them.

    They use the green plots on a way more consistent basis, and the duration of the plot is much better.
     
  4. lg_mouth

    lg_mouth It's Trigger Time!!!

    Well, I guess back to the drawing board. I was afraid that small amount of corn wouldn't last long, but I was hoping.

    I have been interested in oat, would that small of a plot be large enough for oats?

    I tried winter wheat, but they gnawed it to the ground before it matured. I will still put some out because it is cheap.

    Thanks for the advice guys. Feel free to educate me further, as you can see I need the help!

    Lg_mouth
     
  5. i would suggest some kind of clover mix. Good ones will last several years and are tolerant to grazing, fairly easy to maintain, and fairly cheap.
     
  6. That size plot would be ok for oats. The only way that you are going to let the oats and/or winter wheat get a good start is to put something to keep the deer out of the plot for a couple weeks.

    Sometimes I do that by planting some "Decoy" plots close by with black sunflowers in them. Normally the deer on our property slam the baby sunflower plants, and leave everything else alone until they are gone. It's a cheap way to keep them preoccupied. They also sell a type of fence type material that you can spray with a repellent to keep them out. I have never tried this though.

    Keep in mind you are planting it so they eat it while it is green. I have never had any wheat mature. Sometimes I will have winter rye make it through until spring, and then I will get some seed pods in July, but not very often. Normally it gets plowed under, and planted with something else in the spring/ fall. The deer like the short, tender plants. Two foot tall wheat/rye won't get chowed on.
     
  7. For some reason the deer didn't do much with my rape this year. I'm going to try to split an about 1.5 acres in beans and turnips this year. Anyone had luck with milo?
     
  8. Birds seem to like Milo when it seeds. Give it another year with the rape. It will take a little getting used to before the deer will figure out that it is something that they like to eat. I had some plots that the deer never touched the first year....like a turnip mixture, but they left it alone the first year. Next year they figured out that they liked it. THat also happened with my first Brassica plot.

    I also like planting sorghum for a fast growing plot. Deer will eat the seed pods, as well as lots of birds. I will mix it with some beans and sunflowers. Makes a great dove hunting field if you mow some strips in it.
     
  9. That's interesting. I planted turnips, rape and bassicas and it went virtually untouched until January when I started dumping corn around it. Then they seemed to mow it down some. I guess I'll give it another year and see what happens.
     
  10. lg_mouth

    lg_mouth It's Trigger Time!!!

    Thanks for all of the ideas guys, it should help.

    I planted turnips last year because I was told deer wouldn't touch them until after a frost. Well, sometime in mid August they were mowed down over a couple of evenings.

    I planted some clover too but the drought didn't help much. Hopefully it will make a good comeback this spring.

    I believe I will mix oats and some other greens and see what happens. Anyone try winter peas?

    Lg_mouth
     
  11. Winter peas will grow good if you have a thick enough plot to deter the deer from getting in the middle of it. If i mixed them in the Sorghum, it give the peas something to climb up, and the deer didn't get them as fast, therefore producing well.

    When I mixed them with beans and chufas, they never got a chance to grow. They were mowed down quickly.

    Like I said, that was just my experiences, and it seems like all deer are different, especially depending on what food sources are in your area.
     
  12. lg_mouth

    lg_mouth It's Trigger Time!!!

    I have a buddy that loves to plant sorghum. One evening early last year he had 12 deer in a fairly small sorghum patch.

    I may look into mixing sorghum and peas. Never hurts to try.

    Lg_mouth
     
  13. Why not just plant clover? Clover is a solid food plot choice. Timing is important, I would plant at the early end of the planting window. You can mix white and red, which is available at any farm supply elevator for less than what the commercialed food plot seed companies sell it for. Clover provides a food source year round. Right now(winter) it may not look real impressive, but the deer still hit it. They eat it down to the dirt, and then they eat the roots. Spring, summer, and fall it put's out some serious poundage per acre.
     
  14. lg_mouth

    lg_mouth It's Trigger Time!!!

    My reason for not putting out much clover is that my neighbor has about 4 acres of clover and alfalfa mix that my smaller plots couldn't compete with. I am trying to give them something else to eat.

    Lg_mouth
     
  15. You'd pull deer with clover. We have 5 plots from a 1/2 acre to 4 acres in size. We have heavy browsing in every plot. Our neighbor just put in a brand new clover/alfalfa pasture mix this fall on 25-30 acres of former set aside. His field came up really well, and there were a lot of deer using it. It didn't effect our plots at all. In a high deer density area it take's alot of ton's of browse to sustain the herd.
     
  16. lg_mouth

    lg_mouth It's Trigger Time!!!

    Well, my lack of knowledge in these areas seems to shine through again :p It would definitely be easier/cheaper to plant clover and alfalfa. I will still probably try a small plot of sorghum and peas, just to ease my curiousity.

    Thanks for all the info guys. I do appreciate it.

    Lg_mouth
     
  17. Your not ignorant, it's a long learning process that never ends. I forgot to mention that you can spice up a clover plot with the correct fertilizer/ph as well. Take a soil sample into your extension agent and see what the ph is. The extension office and the farm supply center are both good sources of knowledge. Adjust ph accordingly with lime. We have a neighbor that spread composted hog manure on a pasture field several years ago. This field had a few deer in it before the manure was spread. It's a 40 acre field that had 1 acre fertilized with a heavy dose of manure. For the next year there were 10-20 deer in that 1 acre patch every night. The rest of the field was void of deer.
     
  18. Just like SuperCanoe stated, you aren't ignorant. You will never stop learning when it comes to this stuff. I don't know that the clover is going to be any cheaper up front due to the higher cost of seed, but due to the fact that with maintenance, it will last 3 great years, and possibly a year or two longer with moderate results. Also it is good to rotate your plots so that the same plants aren't in them year after year. In the end that will also help the soil.

    Sunflowers are also a cheap seed to throw in a mix. The deer eat them when they are young, and if they grow enough to make head, they benefit the birds in the area.

    It helped when we got our hunting property due to us having a farming background. The rest has been trial and error. We have had some great years of plots, and then some pretty bad ones too. The biggest positive to us is that we aren't relying on it to feed cattle or livestock, we are just planting for fun. It is a pretty enjoyable type of farming.
     
  19. lg_mouth

    lg_mouth It's Trigger Time!!!

    Well, ignorant or not, there is a lot I need to learn and you guys are definitely helping a lot.

    I am hoping to get a small tractor this spring to help with the heavy labor. I was using a big rototiller last year and it nearly beat me to death.

    I will get a couple of soil test kits and do that for sure. What kind of fertilizer do you guys recommend? I used triple 19 last year.

    I won't overlook sunflowers. I guess I need to start keeping a written list of these things, that way I won't forget them by spring.

    Lg_mouth
     
  20. I use way less nitrogen than that. Clover doesn't need that much nitrogen, and the nitrogen pushes up all the non desirable species. I want to do a frost seeding this year as a booster to our existing clover. Any one tried frost seeding?