Fall hunting seasons may be finished, but there’s no time like the present to make plans for next year’s wildlife food plots. In fact, the groundwork for wildlife plots that meet your goals and fit your property starts with thoughtful planning.
One of the first steps is identifying your goals for the wildlife plot. For example, is the main purpose to attract trophy whitetail bucks to your property during the hunting season? Or are you looking to make your property more inviting to a variety of wildlife—to enhance viewing opportunities throughout the year? These goals will help you craft a plan and identify the types of plants to include in each plot.
Successful Planting With Planning
Another key step is assessing your property’s habitat assets, so you can plan plots to complement them. If the property offers ample cover for bedding and nesting but little in the way of food sources, you’ll want to identify options for increasing the amount of forage for wildlife. This can include short-term sources like annual crop plantings and long-term food sources like fruit and nut trees. Also, consider the land itself. Choose plants and management techniques to match soil type and moisture levels.
When it comes time to prep and plant your food plots, start with a soil test to help ensure your planting yields a bumper crop. University extension offices, co-ops, and mills are all resources to help you test your soil. When collecting samples, be sure to gather soil from different areas of the plot and mix it together, so you get a true perspective of what your plants will need to thrive.
The right machinery goes a long way toward making wildlife habitat plantings successful. Tractors, plows, rotary cutters, disks, and tillers are all helpful allies in your quest for the perfect lot. Your friends at Minnesota Equipment are always happy to discuss John Deere’s many industry-leading options in machinery and recommend choices that fit your needs.
For a deeper dive on wildlife plot planting tips, check out “Perfecting Wildlife Plots” in the Fall 2021 issue of John Deere’s “The Furrow” magazine.