EXTENSION CONNECTION: These are the 3 steps to successful food plots – The Northwest Florida Daily News

Jennifer Bearden | Special to Gannett| Crestview News Bulletin

When people put in food plots and are not successful, I normally see the following three problems as the causes.

First, they didnt consider soil pH or fertility.Second, they didnt choose the right plant varieties for our area.Third, they didnt manage weeds properly or at all.

Following these three steps can help establish a successful food plot.

1. Soil pH and fertility

Often wildlife enthusiasts ignore soil pH and fertility.If the soil pH isnt right, fertilization is a waste of time and money.

Different plants have different needs.Some plants need more phosphorus than others.Some need more iron or zinc or copper.The availability of these elements not only depends on whether they are present in the soil but also on the soil pH.

"Test, Dont Guess!"It takes a week or two to get the full soil sample results back and costs only $10 per sample.Thats a pretty cheap investment to insure a successful food plot.

2. Variety selection

Cool season food plots are generally used as attractants for hunters.They do provide some nutrition for the wildlife as well.The goal is to select forages that are desirable to the animals, as well as use forages and varieties that grow well in our area.

Some great choices includeoats, triticale, clovers, daikon radish and Austrian winter peas.We recommend a blend, because it extends the length of time that forages are available to the animals, as well as decreased risk of food plot failure.

For more information on recommended cool season forages, go to https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ag139.

3. Weed management

Often tilling the food plot prior to planting is enough to manage most weeds.This is OK when you have native weeds on relatively flat land.If erosion is an issue or if more problematic weeds such as cogongrass are present, a different weed management strategy is recommended.

Glyphosate is a good choice as it is a broad spectrum herbicide that will not negatively affect the food plot.Spray the area with glyphosate 3-4 weeks prior to planting to give it time to kill the weeds.

Also, remember that many herbicides are not effective during droughts, so we either need to wait until we have rainfall or work with your extension agent to find a solution that will work for your situation.

These three steps are crucial to successful food plots.

First, get your soil pH right and then fertilize properly.Next, choose the right forages and varieties to plant.Then control the weeds so they dont choke out your food plots.The next step is to enjoy this hunting season.

For more information on wildlife food plots, you can contact your local county extension agent.

Jennifer Bearden is an agent at the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension office in Crestview.

See the original post:
EXTENSION CONNECTION: These are the 3 steps to successful food plots - The Northwest Florida Daily News

Related Post

Comments are closed.