Loading
Discuss our Annual Food Plot Review
Food Plots
Messages posted to thread:
Pat Lefemine 15-Mar-17
t-roy 15-Mar-17
Pat Lefemine 15-Mar-17
Mad Trapper 15-Mar-17
Medicinemann 15-Mar-17
Medicinemann 15-Mar-17
drycreek 15-Mar-17
Pat Lefemine 15-Mar-17
Mark Watkins 16-Mar-17
Zap 16-Mar-17
Mark Watkins 16-Mar-17
Zap 16-Mar-17
rodb 16-Mar-17
drycreek 16-Mar-17
t-roy 16-Mar-17
Habitat for Wildlife 16-Mar-17
glunker 16-Mar-17
Pat Lefemine 17-Mar-17
Pat Lefemine 17-Mar-17
t-roy 17-Mar-17
Pat Lefemine 18-Mar-17
Michael Schwister 19-Mar-17
Habitat for Wildlife 19-Mar-17
DenOlano 19-Mar-17
Michael Schwister 19-Mar-17
Pat Lefemine 19-Mar-17
Pat Lefemine 19-Mar-17
Michael Schwister 20-Mar-17
njbuck 20-Mar-17
Habitat for Wildlife 20-Mar-17
Pat Lefemine 20-Mar-17
njbuck 21-Mar-17
Bowhuntingboy 24-Mar-17
elk yinzer 24-Mar-17
t-roy 24-Mar-17
Pat Lefemine 25-Mar-17
Bowhunter 27-Mar-17
Pat Lefemine 27-Mar-17
Bowman 27-Mar-17
Twanger 27-Mar-17
Pat Lefemine 28-Mar-17
Bowman 29-Mar-17
Glats109 30-Mar-17
t-roy 02-Apr-17
t-roy 02-Apr-17
Pat Lefemine 03-Apr-17
Glats109 04-Apr-17
Pat Lefemine 04-Apr-17
Medicinemann 04-Apr-17
Pat Lefemine 04-Apr-17
Glats109 04-Apr-17
Pat Lefemine 04-Apr-17
t-roy 04-Apr-17
Bowhuntingboy 05-May-17
Captain Awesome 08-May-17
Pat Lefemine 09-May-17
Bowhuntingboy 21-May-17
Pat Lefemine 21-May-17


Date:15-Mar-17

Pat Lefemine's MOBILE embedded Photo

Pat Lefemine's Supporting Link

Discuss our 2017 food plot and seed review which is now online at our DeerBuilder site.

Check out which plots rocked and which plots sucked!

By: t-roy
Date:15-Mar-17

On your existing clover plots, have you been frost seeding into your existing stands each year to prolong the life of them, Pat? It seems that the deer in my area are utilizing my brassicas more and more each year. The first year or 2, it seemed like it took some time for them to develop a taste for them. On new types of plantings, does that seem to be the case in your area as well? On your unfenced soybean plot, do you feel your bean growth just outpaced the browsing pressure or were your deer numbers low enough to not be a big factor?

Back before Roundup, lots of us farm kids made some spending money back in the 70s pulling weeds by hand out in the bean fields. Now, I spend a bunch of hours each year pulling them out of my food plots. I sure like the looks of a clean field. It's getting harder to do that here with the herbicide resistance issues we are seeing. You had some great looking plots last year, BTW!

Date:15-Mar-17

Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo

t-roy, I do not frost seed my existing clover plots. Those stands that are 4-5 years old are the original plantings. I've not had a need to frost seed them however I am considering frost seeding my ladino this year because it's got a couple weak areas due to grass invasion that I killed off with Clethodim last summer.

Regarding the deer getting accustomed to my crops... that's not been an issue for me. If I plant it they eat it. There are definitely priorities but eventually they eat everything I plant. Our deer are masters at survival due to our winters.

I was surprised my beans were able to keep up without a fence. And happy about that too. I think it's due to two reasons. First, my herd is around 15 dpsq which is far lower than what many of you guys have to deal with and second, I have several other plots right next to my beans so they have lots to choose from.

BTW - we don't have a problem with gly resistance in our area - yet. Hopefully it stays that way.

Date:15-Mar-17

Was surprised with the poor results of plot 5, but then saw the results of plot 7. Certainly the peas are a draw, but I am betting that they were mostly gone by November. I have had great results with the radishes from August - February (if there are any left). I have to fence off the peas and have had mixed results getting them to grow. They are certainly a great draw if you can get them to grow and last.

Date:15-Mar-17

All I know is that building and maintaining foodplots can be addictive.....especially if you correspond with Pat or Mad Trapper.

Date:15-Mar-17

Double post.

Date:15-Mar-17

Pat, once again I am envious of your food plots ! As one who normally plants around ten acres on three different properties I know how much work it is. Yours are really nice ! I actually started work on mine today by discing under my wheat plots from last fall. I'm sticking with iron clay peas on the upland plots and RR beans in the creek bottom plot.

I discovered yesterday that a clover plot that I thought was lost due to last summer's hot, dry July actually has lots of clover growing in it now, so the sprayer is gonna be put to use as soon as the dew dries off tomorrow. I'm wondering if I should try to overseed the dead spots after the herbicide does its work ? I know in Texas clover is best planted in the fall, but what is the Bowsite opinion ? BTW Pat, your clover plot looked fantastic !

Date:15-Mar-17

Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo

Thanks Drycreek, I don't think clover ever really dies from heat, it just goes dormant. The problem is some weeds can thrive in heat and the vacuum created by the clover lets the weeds get a foothold. Glad yours came back.

I don't think overseeding is going to hurt anything so go for it. Another trick that John O'brien has mentioned several times so I tried it last year, is lightly disking your actively growing clover. The disruption stimulates growth. I know it sounds crazy but when I tried it - it worked! Just don't disk too deep.

Last year I overseeded a field with my Woods Precision Seeder which incorporated the light disking technique above while seeding and packing at the same time. Results were phenomenal running that attachment over an existing hay field.

Date:16-Mar-17

Pat, Thanks for doing this thread every year. Valuable info that helps to short circuit learning curves!

A couple of questions:

1: Do you think your days of fencing off your beans are over? Are your Real World Beans forage or a more traditional pod setting bean? Which do you prefer and why?

2: How valuable do you feel the seeder is (vs broadcasting and packing) in getting strong stands of clover, brassicas, alfalfa, etc?

Mark

By: Zap
Date:16-Mar-17

Hi Pat, great information again this year. Two thoughts- have you tried planting your radishes a couple weeks early? I did last year and I got much taller and better top growth and even bigger radish bulbs. Planted here in Maine 7/23. Also I took Nutritionist's recommendation and planted Winfred Brassicas last year. It was the best crop and the most attractive to deer of all the plots we planted. It grew 3feet tall- amazing stuff. thx Brian

Date:16-Mar-17

Zap,

Did you plant a stand off 100% Winfred brassicas?

Mark

By: Zap
Date:16-Mar-17

Mark, we planted a half acre plot with Winfred brassica, right beside a half acre of clover. I always spilt this plot between annuals and perennials

By: rodb
Date:16-Mar-17

Thanks Pat, good info. I'm surprised that your clover usage drops off so much in late fall. I don't see that with my clover but clover is all I have. I've heard that if you cut clover too short during the hot season it could kill it. "My herd", interesting, I'm glad somebody else refers to the deer on their property as their own. Just be careful, there are people out there that will object to that claim.

Date:16-Mar-17

Pat, I have lots of grass and some weeds in that clover plot, but lots of clover too. Today I sprayed for both weeds and grass. We'll see what happens but I think I am going to overseed it. Hell, it's only money !

By: t-roy
Date:16-Mar-17

Drycreek..... that's my entire food plot philosophy!

Date:16-Mar-17

Thanks for great information! Really appreciate you sharing your motivation of why you do this. With some of the same practices I also am experiencing decent results on less than ideal property.

Thanks again!

Date:16-Mar-17

Pat, do you strictly fertilize according to soil test or other criteria? Was anything spread cast planted? I am surrounded by corn, beans and normally acorns in southern WI, any suggestions as to what you would plant to compete during Oct before farm harvest? Your results are closely followed to shortened the learning curve.

Date:17-Mar-17

Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo

Sorry I'm late to answering your questions, I'll take them one at a time.

Mark, Not sure if I will e-fence again. The reason I fenced was because I was afraid letting them browse the leaves would affect the bean crop. It did not. I had just as many pods and beans. And I had the benefit of a super nutritional crop for the deer to munch on. It was also fun to watch them. But, it was a strong year for other plants as well so I won't say no to e-fencing down the road. But certainly not next year.

As to the use of a seeder. I won't broadcast soybeans since I have a row planter. I did it once and had a good stand, but it was hard to spray and I get taller plants and healthier beans that way. As for other plots, it really is a toss up. All blends I have to broadcast. Same goes for smaller plots since I am very anal about washing out my seeder and keeping it maintained. It's pricey! But for all plots over .5 acres that are pure stands or similar sized seeds I like the precision of the planter and I get no waste.

Date:17-Mar-17

Glunker, generally yes. But I've also gone heavier on Potassium since that nutrient gets depleted faster than others in my soil. I may double the Potassium next season. I will admit that sometimes I get lazy (or cheap) when something calls for 10-15-19 and it's a small plot or fertilizer is unavailable I will throw my excess 19-19-19 at it but that rare.

Some of my plots were broadcast but I far prefer my seeder. It gives me nice clean plantings in one pass plus it gives me a much better seed to soil contact.

To your question about an October planting in WI to compete with the beans? The only thing I can come up with that time of year is winter peas and perhaps a blend with oats. For later attraction I'd use radishes.

By: t-roy
Date:17-Mar-17

Pat, are you done with planting corn for plots? I remember bears were a problem for your corn in years past. I'm sure glad we don't have feral hogs or bears here!

Also, with all of your snow cover, do your radishes "keep" pretty well through the winter? Ours generally get some hard freezes and turn to mush pretty quickly and the deer don't touch them much after that. Same for your turnips (tops as well as the bulbs)? We had a reasonably mild winter this year with very little snow till late. My turnips got froze hard a bunch of times and the deer didn't utilize them as much as in years past.

Date:18-Mar-17

T-Roy, not sure if in done with corn. If I plant it again it will be so I can kill a bear. There were other problems besides bears. Crows, blackbirds and coons hammered it too. But the biggest issue was it was a giant PIA to get rid of the stalks which were not harvested and left standing. Took me an entire day just to round them up and dump them. I don't have a flail shredder so I bush hogged them and raked them into a pile then made 11 dump trailer runs. All that and virtually zero deer use!

To your mushy brassicas? Yes they are gross come spring. But when I disk them it's pretty decent organic matter.

Date:19-Mar-17

Pat

These reviews and the follow on discussions are always very helpful. It is also interesting to note the regional differences in issues and solutions. This past review supports the idea that a quality genetic forage soybean matched with soil properly ammended (Base saturation K to 4% or greater) can and will stay ahead extremely heavy grazing, and give us larger and healthier fawns, as well as heavier racks.

Seeing past #1s on your property I noticed he was younger than past #1s. Do you have a predation or over-shooting scenario in 2016?

Date:19-Mar-17

To Michael's point....Just had a little over 14 tons of lime commercially spread on a little over 7 acres of plots. Been trying for a year, but the weather never cooperated with his schedule. This was done about 7 years ago for the first time ever on the farm I purchased 10 years ago. Hope in a couple of years to start seeing the results.

Date:19-Mar-17

What kind of planter did you use for the beans? I have broadcast them in the past but this year I have a single row JD 71 Flex planter. Curious to the row space and your seeding rate? I am looking for an idea on how many seeds its drops in a certain distance. Going to try and keep row space in the neighborhood or 20 - 30" wide. Never used the JD 71 before so it's a brand new animal to me.

Date:19-Mar-17

Pat

These reviews and the follow on discussions are always very helpful. It is also interesting to note the regional differences in issues and solutions. This past review supports the idea that a quality genetic forage soybean matched with soil properly ammended (Base saturation K to 4% or greater) can and will stay ahead extremely heavy grazing, and give us larger and healthier fawns, as well as heavier racks.

Seeing past #1s on your property I noticed he was younger than past #1s. Do you have a predation or over-shooting scenario in 2016?

Date:19-Mar-17

Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo

DenOlano,

I also have JD-71 planter. Mine is a 4-row. Love it. Perfect for Corn and beans. Never bothered with any other crop.

Date:19-Mar-17

Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo

Michael,

We always had a 6.5 year old buck running around somewhere, but after the 2014-2015 winter we lost a lot of the herd and I think the older bucks, depleted from the rut, didn't make it. We are aging my buck now however I know he's at least 4.5 because I've watched him for a few years. He dressed 195 so he wasn't immature, but certainly not like the 6.5 and 7.5 year old bucks we've had in the past.

There is a lot of hunting pressure around me, but we do a nice job keeping the deer population concentrated on us and that minimizes them floating around on the neighbors. Nobody is doing habitat and food plots so I have an advantage on my property.

Date:20-Mar-17

Thanks Pat

By: njbuck
Date:20-Mar-17

Pat, very informative info again, this thread is a wealth of knowledge each year.

Once spring breaks here and the snow finally melts, I am planning on building a 1/3-1/2 acre food plot here in NJ. Other than my 1/4 acre clover plot, there are no food plots in the area, or agricultural plots for that matter, so it should be a great draw once it is growing. With that said, the area is currently a mature oak forest, which I will be taking down. The entire area around me is all oaks and there are hundreds of other mature oaks on my property so taking a few down will not hurt. Step one is I need to take down the trees, clear the area and build the new field, and I will not be able to start this until June. My soil also at 5.6 acidity so I will need to lime the plot a bunch, and since I am getting a late start the lime probably will not help till next spring. Taking this all into account, I plan on using a bunch of fertilizer, but my question is, would you think planting brassicas of some type will first off, take to growing under some conditions and also help the soil for next years plot? What would you plant given the same situation?

Date:20-Mar-17

brassicas can tolerate a little more acidity, giving them a try mixed with a cereal grain might be an idea worth considering. Also will help loosen the soil on a new plot.

FWIW, my acidity was about 5.5 when I first started. I applied 1000 per acre, if memory serves me right, of pelletized broadcasted with my tractor a 3 point cyclone spreader (messy!) and had another 2000 pounds of ag lime commercially spread. The pelletized will help lower the ph quicker, the ag lime lasting longer.

That has been my experience and hope it may help. Good luck!

Date:20-Mar-17

Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo

NJbuck, Your plot is small so you should be able to lime it easily. My first plot was 4.8 so 5.6 - while bad - is not dreadful. I'd till it up as soon as you can, spread the lime, then till it in. Then I'd look at late summer tillage immediately followed by a planting of a perennial like ladino, durana, or red clover (or a mix of all three) and then a companion nurse crop of oats. That will come up quick and provide a hunt-able plot this fall. Next spring you'll have a nice lush clover field that should come up every year provided you mow it regularly and spray grass herbicide on it as needed.

I followed the very same method above to cultivate the plot shown in this photo. Maintenance is minimal. Driving my mower over it and spraying it with my quad. Simple.

By: njbuck
Date:21-Mar-17

Thanks for the info guys.

Date:24-Mar-17

What is your favorite plot you have used?

Date:24-Mar-17

I think a time and expense accounting for each plot would be very valuable info. Even fairly rough estimate which some of the reviews kindof have, some no. I feel the majority of guys I know are pretty casually into plots and looking for the best gains for their dollars and minimal effort, not necessarily the best plots theoretically obtainable.

By: t-roy
Date:24-Mar-17

Elk yinzer

Not sure I WANT to know! Definitely don't want my wife to know, on the time spent OR money spent!

For me, my food plotting is therapy, a hobby, and very enjoyable. (most days). I joke about quitting it & taking up stock car racing. It might be cheaper! It is very time consuming,a lot of work, and can get expensive, but other than bow hunting, it's my favorite hobby.

Date:25-Mar-17

Pat Lefemine's embedded Photo

elk yinzer,

It would be hard to quantify and make it relevant to you. Since I own my own tractor and attachments, plus a bulldozer and a mini-excavator, my annual expense comes down to fuel, seed, fertilizer and lime. If you need to rent equipment or pay a farmer you'll need to add in that cost. Last year I would be surprised if all of my plots came to $2k. I think I can estimate it at $125/average per plot. Don't forget that since I am doing so many plots I buy everything in bulk including lime, fertilizer, and diesel fuel. So I can leverage better pricing that way. Add 20% if you have to buy everything in bags.

I'll take a stab at my soybean plot.

Cost Breakdown - Soybeans

Seed Cost 75.00
Diesel Fuel (disking, planting, packing) 30.00
Fertilizer (19-19-19) 200# 60.00
Lime 0.00
Spray 20.00
Total 185.00

Date:27-Mar-17

HI I was wondering which you like better I live in Massachusetts which clover would you choose real world or whitetail institute

Date:27-Mar-17

Neither. I buy my clover raw from Hancock or Seedland.

By: Bowman
Date:27-Mar-17

Thanks for the site and the info.

Curious about Plot 5 and 7. PH in Plot 7 is even better than Plot 5. Not sure about how fast the lime improves PH, but 6 is better than mine so far. So I am guessing that the times of planting was a major cause for the difference in performance. What is your opinion?

Hancock seed says late August in northern US. Not sure where you are in New York, I am in Lewistion, Michigan, northern lower peninsula. What is your recommendation for my area?

Date:27-Mar-17

Pat, Thank you for taking the time to post your food plot results and to answer questions on this thread. I find it very helpful and informative. We have about the same acres of food plots that you have but we are not experiencing as good of results. We do have deer utilizing them but we could do a lot better if we up our level of effort. Your efforts will certainly help us.

Date:28-Mar-17

Bowman, the soil is better in plot 5 but it's very small so it doesn't get as much sun as Plot 7 and that is a major differentiator. I think that's a bigger factor than the later planting. I used the exact same seed and fertilized accurately.

By: Bowman
Date:29-Mar-17

Thanks Pat. I was not expecting that. Just another reason that this site is such a great source of info.

Date:30-Mar-17

Pat, being from New York as well I manage a property in a heavily hunted region with no agriculture. Based on your trials, if you had to select three mixes you've tried, one 3 acre plot, one one acre plot and one .5 acre plot what would you choose for a full season draw?

Ive noticed some common denominators in your success, seems like brassica with some form of winter grain seems to have the overall best draw through out the season.

I have a source for gmo sugar beets, so I have considered those. Overall I'm pretty uncertain year in and out and id love the insight of someone that has conducted so many trials

By: t-roy
Date:02-Apr-17

By: t-roy
Date:02-Apr-17

Glats...... Not sure about Pat's experience, but I've planted sugar beets a few times before, both gmo and non gmo. The deer really like them, but they are tough to grow, for me anyway. It's been hard for me to get a good stand with them for some reason. They don't like wet feet and the non gmo ones don't compete well with weeds. They need a longer growing season to mature than most other brassicas. Somewhere around 90 days I believe.

Date:03-Apr-17

Glats109, Sorry for the late response. I was up near Plattsburgh snow goose hunting all weekend and I missed your question.

I agree with t-roy on the beets. They are tough to grow. I do want to get my hands on the RR beets so maybe results are better with them. The deer love them when it gets cold, but generally I think Radishes perform better with far less maintenance. So if you are really ambitions and like a challenge, go with the RR beets. If you want a sure thing that is just as much of a draw on greens, and only slightly less draw on bulbs, go with Radishes.

So here's my recommendation. And since you didn't say what condition your soil is in I'll assume it's in decent condition with a PH of 6.5, good drainage, and acceptable organic matter:

For the 3 acre plot I'd do a mix of Radishes, Siberian Kale, Austrian Peas. That will be a killer combination.

For the one acre plot, consider a perennial Ladino clover

For the 1/2 acre plot consider Greens and Grains by Grandpa Rays Outdoors.

Date:04-Apr-17

Thanks for reply Pat. Hope you had a good time hunting the snows.

Do you have any suggestions based on your experiences when to plant the Radish plot & when you suggest planting the Greens & Grains. Being far from camp I need to try and plan my plantings far in advance. Thanks

Date:04-Apr-17

First or second week of August is good for both crops.

Date:04-Apr-17

Pat,

Was the previous landowner a pilot? Looks like you have clearings that were (or are) landing strips.....

Date:04-Apr-17

Jake? What the hell are you talking about?

You need to cut back on the opioids.

Date:04-Apr-17

Great, ive considered planting the border of the 3 acre field in corn to provide some cover. Have you had any luck doing this or never had the need?

Date:04-Apr-17

I've had bad luck with corn. Attracts too many bears in my area. Better luck with beans.

By: t-roy
Date:04-Apr-17

Glats, you might consider Sudan grass, Egyptian wheat, or another tall grass if you're wanting some sort of screen.

Date:05-May-17

This year, you should try out evolved harvest mega plot. If shot plot works, so should this.

Date:08-May-17

Pat, thanks for all the great information. I am just starting out this year with two half acre plots I have hollowed out in the woods by hand and have to say, it's all a lot to take in. If I wanted to replicate your plot seed mixes as close to what you used as possible, how would I go about doing that? Since this were not commercial, is there a simple way to replicate what you used? Thanks for your help.

Date:09-May-17

I can just tell you what my mixes were if you are interested. Let me know what plot mix you want.

Date:21-May-17

Hey pat, what are you planting this year?

Date:21-May-17

My perennials are ladino clover, alfafla+red clover, durana clover, red clover. They are all coming up nicely right now.

My annuals are Real World Soybeans. Radishes and SIberian Kale, Austrian Peas - so far. I am considering others, like Birdsfoot Trefoil, sorghum, and chufa.

Last year I planted chufa and nothing touched it until this spring, and it drove turkeys in like crazy. I am hooked, the downside is you are basically planting a weed and I am a weed killing maniac. In my strip of chufa I had all sorts of pigweed, lambsquarter, and grasses coming up. But the stuff worked. I may excavate a turkey plot somewhere on the land just for chufa.


Bowsite.com DeerBuilder on FacebookYouTube Channel Contact DeerBuilder
Registration
Facebook Page
YouTube Channel
Advertise
Bowsite.com
Copyright © 2012 Bowsite.com. No duplication without prior consent.