Winter Annual Wildlife Food Plot Seeds
Winter annual food plots are very popular with hunters. More deer will visit your property with these plots present. Unless you plant something in the fall that lasts to late spring these plots will not help the herd much or the development of antlers at all. Winter annuals that are planted from late August and in September can be a great component of a year around food plot program. Our winter annual mix has sold out for several years in a row.
- This is a stable of winter food plots. It takes a while to establish and is often not well established until late November or December. It will die out in the late spring. This plant is great for early January to spring greenup for supplying a large amount of forage to elk, deer and turkey. Plant 20-25 pounds per acre if planted alone. This clover is used in our winter mixes.
- This clover is a good companion clover for crimson clover. They peak at different times so together they provide protein at a critical time of the year when atlers are being grown and does are in advanced pregnacy or have recently dropped their fawns. Different varieties are used according to the rainfall of the area in our winter mix. Arrowleaf is a winter annual white clover. Plant 12 pounds per acre if planted alone.
- Berseem is a winter clover in the Mid-South and and a summer annual in northern latitudes. This is the least winter tolerant of the annual clovers commonly used in food plots. For this reason we don’t use Berseem in our winter mixes. A strong characteristic of this clover is that it is a good reseeder. However, in many areas clover don’t produce seed heads due to the browse level of the crop.
- This is mild shade toleratnt clover. It will also tolerate somewhat low pH’s. Since this is winter clover and it does not reach significant size until the leaves have dropped in the fall the shade tolerance is of little value. Plant 15 pounds per acre if planted alone.
Austian Winter Peas:
- Deer browse on the peas as soon as they emerge from the soil. Even in a firm seed bed the deer will pull them up including the planted pea. They do leave a few to grow but usually not a lot. These winter peas do bring the deer into the plot and the peas they take are high in protein. Winter peas are an important part of our winter annual mix.
- Forage Oats are fairly easy to grow and come up quickly. Deer and elk will feed on oats as soon as they emerge. If you don’t have an exclusion cage you will never understand just how heavily quality oats are foraged. Oats are a key component in our winter mix and for use as a cover crop for perennial mixes. Forage oats supply solid protein in the fall and winter but this usually decreases by early spring. If they head out the grain will be used by turkeys and upland game birds. We have tested several varieties of oats and their is a difference. The best of the forage oats are browsed much heavier than wheat and are way ahead of all other cereal grains. Oats should be planted at 100 pounds per acre if planted alone. We stock a very high quality forage oat. It has tested stronger than any other oats that we tried. Plant 30 pounds per acre when using as a cover crop for perennial mixes.
- Winter wheat is an economical winter cereal grain. Winter wheat has tested second against the high quality forage oats in side by side testing. Combining winter wheat and oats as a cover crop for perennials at 30 lbs per acre combined. Plant 100 pounds per acre when planting alone. This is not as a prolific grower as forage wheat. Mature winter wheat seed that drops or shatters when you mow the winter plot provides seed that is a magnet for turkey, dove and upland game birds.
Range Master Forage Wheat by Eagle Seeds:
- This forage wheat produces a high tonage of palatable and nutritious forage. It is an excellent product to plant alone especially as a choice to break the cycle of continuous planting of brassicas. When planting alone 100 pounds per acre is needed when fertility and pH is low. However, if your soil is productive and your pH and fertility are high then plant 125 pounds per acre planted alone.
- The brassica family consists of leafy type plants commonly considered greens and often have a edible root such as turnip greens. Forage Tech test plots have tested several varieties of kale, rape, turnips and radishes. The best results (amount that deer foraged) were from certain varieties of turnips and radishes. Generally, planting of brassicas should be done for no more than two years in a row in the same field. Rotate by planting something else such as our winter mix without brassicas or forage oats or forage wheat. The brassicas will be foraged heavier after one or two substantial frosts. Fields planted in Forage Tech Winter Annual Mix often look like a turnip green field in October with some oat stalks sticking up. By late December the greens are usually eaten down to the radish and turnip bulbs. This is because the sugar becomes available in the folage after a solid frost or two and that is when the deer start foraging on the tops. This sugar is processed into protein in the deer digestion system. By January the deer will eat almost all of the bulbs of the turnips and forage radishes. Because of the short duration of the crop the turnips and forage radishes are most effective as part of a winter mix.