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THE KEY TO SUCCESSFUL FOOD PLOTS is in the soil.
Fertilizing and liming is worth every cent invested. Food plot demonstrations conducted
by county Extension agents show that wildlife consume more vegetation grown in plots
where soil amendments have been added than plots receiving no soil amendments. Similarly,
commercial seed products recommend following a soil test to enhance plant growth.
Even if seed doesn't germinate, wildlife will be attracted to fertilized and limed
plots. It just makes sense. Take an annual soil test to keep your plot on track. Sometimes soil amendments stay in the ground for several years, so reapplication may
not be necessary.
For more information about food plots, free soil testing, and unbiased assistance with interpreting soil test results, contact your local county Extension office.
Although wildlife food plots attract deer, wild turkeys, bobwhites, doves, and waterfowl
to a particular location for hunting or viewing purposes, wildlife professionals encourage
landowners to consider implementing additional habitat practices besides relying on
Those who lease land may be restricted from using habitat practices, in particular
hunting clubs leasing industrial forest lands. Planting grasses and forbs in food
plots provides patches of diverse habitat. By cultivating and seeding in strategic
locations, viewing and hunting opportunities are improved. Hunters can draw wildlife
into openings for selective harvest as one component of a deer management plan. Others
plant food plots or native grasses near homes or cabins to enjoy seeing songbirds
and butterflies, or hear a whistling bobwhite.
Following are resources for meeting your goals to attract wildlife and improve habitat
on small plots of property.