Food Plot Seed/Blends

Stock these three options for your customers who are putting in food plots.

Food Plot Seed/Blends

I was about to finish disking one of the many 5-acre fields where we plant wheat and clover each year to attract big whitetails when two middle-age men pulled up to bring me some more diesel. As I made the final round and headed back their way, I could tell they were in a deep discussion about something, likely concerning what I was doing.

After a little small talk, they began to put diesel in the old John Deere. “How many fields like this are you planting?” one of them asked. “Ten or 12,” I answered, “same as every year.”

They were still looking at each other quizzically, so finally I asked what it was that was troubling them. Finally, one got up the courage to ask the question they’d both been considering. “You do all this work just to feed deer?” 

“No, we do all this work just to kill deer,” I answered. Later, however, I thought the situation over and realized that the money, time and effort we put into our food plots probably seemed quite absurd to them. Like with most hobbies, where time and money are concerned, deciding how much is too much is an individual thing.

Of Food Plots and Deer Hunting

Planting food plots is just one of many methods hunters use to attract deer to their hunting property and keep them there for the hunting season. As an added benefit, such plots provide a good, ready food source for not only deer but a variety of other game and nongame animals.

All food plots, however, are not created equal, and there are some things your customers must know before planting season arrives. For one thing, there are two different main categories of wildlife food plantings—cool season and warm season. 

Cool-season forages are planted in the fall or early spring, and some grow throughout the year. They include forage plants like wheat, rye, oats, clovers and brassicas. Deer love brassicas, which are easy to establish, grow quickly and are suited for growing in a wide variety of climates and soil types. Most cool-season forages are perennials, meaning they will come back again the following year after planting, but some are not.

Warm-season plantings are typically planted in spring and grow throughout the summer and into fall. They include forages like soybeans, corn, sorghum, cowpeas and other agricultural type crops. Interestingly, some clovers, though often considered cool-season forages, are very versatile and can be used for either spring or fall planting. Not only does high-protein clover attract deer, but it also gives them excellent nourishment and even helps bucks grow bigger antlers.

If there’s one piece of advice I could offer those just getting into planting food plots it is to read the information provided by the manufacturer very carefully. It should tell you what region the seed will work best in, when to plant it, what kinds of soils are suitable, how to plant the seed and a number of other critical pieces of information. While tossing aside the directions and blazing away might be the way most of us tend to do things, the manufacturers know more about their product than anyone else, and those who ignore their directions do so at their own peril.

Let’s take a look at three high-quality seed blends for hunters to consider.

Pennington Rackmaster Dual Season

Pennington is no newcomer to the seed game, as the company started as a small seed store in Madison, Georgia, nearly eight decades ago. Producer of fine-quality seed for turfgrass and other residential and commercial purposes, the company offers several interesting food plot seed blends that have proven successful for drawing in deer.

Rackmaster Dual Season is an interesting mix of warm season grains and legumes that together make a great spring/summer food plot that will carry over into the fall. According to Pennington, soybeans, iron and clay peas, buckwheat, sorghum and clovers are included in this premium seed mix, which the company says once grown will provide the fuel needed to develop antler mass, body size and milk for developing fawns, along with enhancing overall health of your deer herd.

This seed mix is also ideal for late-summer planting to provide a quickly established, rapidly growing food plot for early-season hunting before the first frost. It does best in areas that receive a minimum of eight hours of full sun each day. Suggested application rate is 10 pounds for one-quarter acre, and liming to a pH of 6.0-6.5 and providing adequate levels of potassium and phosphorus are necessary to ensure a productive food plot.

Evolved Harvest 5 Card Draw 

The great thing about seed blends is that they offer many different species of plants, any of which might be preferred by different wildlife at different times of the year. Blends also offer the ability to have one plant at its most palatable age one week, then another just getting prime the next. Evolved Harvest has been delivering high-quality, high-volume food plot seed blends to attract and hold wildlife in an area for years, and 5 Card Draw is a very versatile blend.

5 Card Draw is a five-seed forage variety that works wonders for any planting schedule — spring, summer and even fall. The blend combines the growing power of oats, wheat, white clover, turnip and chicory for a food plot that is as diverse as it is palatable. According to the manufacturer, the forage variety’s annual/perennial blend is designed to be eaten, grow back, then be eaten again. With a deer favorite always growing, users will be able to build regular traffic to their plots throughout the season.

Not only will this seed blend attract and hold deer on your customers’ hunting property, but the nutritional value of the mix also ensures improved overall health for the entire herd. Available in a 10-pound bag, 5 Card Draw will cover about 11,000 square feet, or one-quarter acre. A 10-pound bag of the blend costs about $20 — just a few dollars less than the Pennington seed blend discussed previously.

Mossy Oak Biologic Hot Spot

One of the reasons many hunters give up on the idea of planting food plots to attract and hold deer is the amount of equipment required for clearing and planting, as well as the substantial time required to cultivate and plant the plots. Many companies now have alternatives that are attractive to those without the equipment and time to grow conventional food plots.

One that enjoys good sales throughout the country is Mossy Oak BioLogic Hot Spot. The experts at Mossy Oak know that remote stands often provide the best opportunity for big bucks, but also realize how hard planting plots in those areas can be. Their solution, Hot Spot No Till Food Plot Seed, is a scientifically selected blend of wheat, deer radish, rye and rape that is designed to be fast-germinating and extremely attractive to deer.

According to BioLogic, Hot Spot will germinate anywhere the seed can be raked into the soil, receive at least one-half day of sunlight and get adequate moisture. It is sold in a 5-pound bag that covers about one-quarter acre. Plant BioLogic Hot Spot in late summer or early fall, as it will typically germinate within one week and will remain very palatable for about a month and a half.


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