How Late Can You Plant Food Plots For Deer

what i wanted to talk about in this

webinar is not just one topic but

just several things i wanted to bring up

and one of them

is about seed variety planting dates

so depending on what you're planting

this fall there are different

times as to when you want to plant

different plant species and so that's

something i want to run through here

and the first one i want to talk about

is the brassica planting dates

so brassicas of course being turnips

radishes forage rate kale canola and


those are the most common brassicas that

we food plotters put in the ground you

know there's other brassicas too like

you know cabbage and broccoli

but you know who's who plants that in

their food plot right

so what i wanted to illustrate here is

just some general planting dates as to

when you ought to be planting your


so i i divided the country up into

thirds from north to south and you know

this it's not like this is set in stone

and it's not like you know if you plant

outside these dates in your area

that you know you're doing it wrong but

these are just a good

guideline as to what you ought to shoot

for you know because hey

a lot of guys are on vacation or you

know the weather's not cooperating it's

just too dry to plant

and so but this is just a general guide

as to

when the optimal time to plant is in

your neck of the woods so you can see

here john comp with his

monster brassicas and most of you know

john is up in menomonee michigan

which is up in the upper peninsula he's

right on the

michigan wisconsin border just about 45

minutes north of green bay

now when planting brassicas there's two

things that you can keep in mind that

will really uh

help you to grow some bigger brassicas

and really decrease your chance on food

plot failure

and that is to plant the seeds at the

recommended rate because brassicas do

not like competition

amongst themselves this is a food plot

here that i had planted a few years ago

and you can see that there's a lot of

spacing between the brassicas

and so this is going to allow them to

grow and

and not out compete each other now you

could plant other plants in here

like you know rye and oats and that type

of thing but it

that doesn't serve as a competition to

the brassicas

as brassicas are to each other but you

can see here

um it was early season and the deer in

this area

really loved the brassicas we had

nowhere near frost and they were already

hammering them

and you can see the exclusion cage right

here how tall the brassicas would be

so you know a lot of biomass i got a

little bit of purple

leaves going on over here which means

it's kind of low on nutrition

and that's because it was in pretty

sandy soil but

you know in this little plot uh it was

kind of a test plot

just really wanted to see if i could

grow brassicas in a sandy food plot and

you know it worked okay um you know i

didn't get bulbs near as big as what

john's was

but uh you know because i put on the

correct fertilizer and i got the ph

right and i didn't plant it too heavy or

too thick

you know one of the uh one of the

mistakes i think that some landowners

make is

they try and plant brassicas in a food

plot that's just too small

and you know the deer are gonna

overpower it way too quick

if you're in a high deer population area

and you've got small food plots you know

brassicas is probably not your best

choice for producing the most tons of

food per acre

because they they're not very browser

resistant you know they nip the tops off

and then the bulbs don't grow

and then the whole point of brassicas is

kind of out the window so

now this is a food plot of a client i

visited uh several months ago

and uh this was the pictures that he

took of his food plot

uh last year but you can see here that


this there's almost no spacing between

these brassicas i mean it's almost

a solid green carpet on the ground so

you know quite a bit of difference

between the open ground that you see


because this here was planted at the

recommended rate

whereas um you know the client he

noticed that he was uh putting it on a

little bit too heavy

um something malfunctioned on his

spreader and

all of a sudden he looked and the

brassica seeds were almost all gone you

know and and so

it was coming out way too fast and he

didn't realize it so

anyway you can see here though that uh

the the other thing about

having it planted too heavy is there's

just not enough nutrition to go around

and we got a lot of yellowing leaves and

purple leaves here so that's a

sure sign of a lack of nutrition you can

barely see

right here there's a trail camera on

this real little tree

that trail camera right here prevented

deer from

browsing on these brassicas right near

the camera you can literally see the

green line

the browse line i mean they they browsed

about up to here and they would not get

any closer to this tree

they haven't been browsed down they're

they're more healthy where

when you get to the brow beyond the

browse line you've got a lot of uh

they're a lot shorter

and a lot more stressed you know and so

think about that you know if you've got

you go through all this work to put a

food plot out

and you know whether you're tilling up

the soil or going out there and spending

money on fertilizer and seed and all

that good stuff

and then you put a camera right here

three feet off the ground

serving it up on a silver platter for

the deer to come over and sniff it and

get all nervous about it

you know why not just put that thing up

eight to ten feet up in a tree right

just take one section of climbing stick

put it on the tree step

up on it and then put your camera up

there or you know use a few

um ameristep screw-in tree steps you

know man we go through all this work to

put in a food plot

and then you know don't shoot yourself

in the foot by putting a camera right

there on a t

post or on the side of a tree right on

the edge of the food plot at three four

feet up like you see on tv

if you're in iowa i guess that's not a

big deal but most of you guys are not in

iowa so

i would just highly encourage you guys

this year to really try and get your

cameras up at least eight feet off the


just wanted to show you another angle of

this same

section of food plot here that my client


this right here is the tree that the

trail camera's on you can barely see it

but again you can see the browse line

from the other angle

i mean they didn't even come any closer

to that tree than than right there so

i mean if the does and fawns and young

bucks are not gonna come over by this uh

camera and browse can you imagine how

freaked out the mature bucks

are about that camera i mean they

probably not even gonna come into this

food plot so

you know just something to keep in mind

now like i said you know too much

brassicas in the same plot

is going to cause too much competition

amongst each other but you can plant

other species of food plot seeds in that

brassica plot

and even though it'll be overcrowded

it's not going to stunt the brassicas

because it is a different species and

you know some of these plants really

work they have a symbiotic relationship

where you know one species will help out

the other

when you're thinking about planting the

food plot and you're thinking are you

gonna throw in some purple top turnips

you know well

you know don't just plant purple top

turnips you know don't ever plant

a monoculture food plot you know we

don't want monoculture in our woods and

we don't want monocultures in our food

plots always think about planting blends

and and

i would shoot for at least you know five

or six way blends

because you know it's going to give the

deer some variety but these plants are

going to help out each other

and you'll create more biomass when you

grow a species than if you ever grow a


so we can see here we got some hairy

vetch hairy vetch is really good at

generating nitrogen they create these

nitrogen nodules

on the roots and so that's something

that the brassicas need

you can see we've got some oats and and

some radishes over in here

so you know just a good variety it's not

gonna out compete each other because you

can see there's a lot of spacing between

these brassicas you know we got a purple

top turn up here we got we got radishes

over here

and so uh you know we got no brassicas

right here so spacing is good

and a good variety of plants in that

food plot

now when it comes to the grain blend the

grains being your winter rye grain

winter wheat forage oats winter peas

that type of thing

and that by the way is what is in john

comps fall forage over at northwoods


and so in the northern tier states you

want to plant these

almost a month later than you do you

know the brassica blend so

you know in the northern tier stage

you're looking at august 20 to the

you know last day of august and then in

the mid-tier stage you're looking at

september 1 of september 10

and then uh september 11th to 20th in

the southern tier states

and so i know a lot of guys are really

kind of getting nervous once they get to


middle to late august they're really

getting you know

impatient or worried that you know the

the deer are not going to find the food

once it starts growing because it's so

late or they're afraid that if they have

a food plot failure it's going to be too

late to plant again

and i get all those concerns but i'm

telling you the

the the grain blend really does grow

fast and so even though you're planting

you know your brassica blend a good

three to four weeks before the grain


once you get that grain blend in the

ground and it starts growing it's going

to grow right past those brassicas

and the grain blend is a lot more

attractive in the early stage than the

brassicas are because remember the


have a very bitter taste to them before

a frost the alkaloids are very bitter

but when we get a hard frost the

alkaloids in the

brassicas they turn sweet and they turn

like into sugar and so that's when the

deer really start hitting them

so before we get a frost that's why we

have the grain blend

on a different part of the food plot so

that they start hitting the grains

and then they leave the brassicas alone

so that the brassicas can grow bulbs

and some of the most attractive plants

in that grain blend is the oats and the

peas i mean that's like

ice cream you know and even the rye

green you know that's very attractive

too when it's nice and young

but the problem is you don't want to

plant this too early and

i've seen some guys on social media post

the fact that they've already planted

their grain blend already for this fall

the problem with that is if you get it

in the ground too early

is it's going to be too mature it's

going to get too stemi

and some of those uh like the you know

the oats and peas might even go to seed

you know by the time we get to the

opener of bow season well

you know generally by the beginning of

bow season you want young

tender plants that are actively growing

you don't want plants in your

food plot that are already gone to seed

right because then deer might visit your

neighbor's property because maybe their

grains are a lot more tender and growing

so here's an example of oats that have

matured in seven weeks

look at all these oats seeds and you

know we got the uh the buckwheat is


this is only seven weeks so if you

figure out we've got uh

you know from august 1st to october 1st

we've got eight or nine weeks

eight and a half weeks something like

that you know it's it's gonna be uh it's

this stuff is gonna go to seed

and at this point you know these plants

aren't as as attractive anymore

so don't get too worried you know that

the deer aren't going to find the food

the deer know

everything that's going on on the

property and so when it comes to

planting blends there are some

species that actually produce nitrogen

and those are the legumes

plants like alfalfa bird's foot tree

foil clover hairy vetch

peas soybeans and sunhem and so these

all produce nodules on their roots

and so you can see these right here you

know after

the plant has taken up the amount of

nitrogen that it needs itself

then it starts to produce these uh

nitrogen nodules on its roots and

they're really easy to see and so this

is why we like to throw some radishes

in our grain blend because they really

benefit real well from the peas

that produce nitrogen and the radishes

can actually store

the nitrogen and other nutrients in its

big tuber

it's like a storage tank and it just

holds it there in the soil

for the next planting which if you do

the three strip method

you know after the grain blend the next

year will be brassicas

and so then you'll have all that

nitrogen stored

in these tubers that are in the ground


then the brassicas are going to be able

to utilize that and take that up again

the next year so that's one reason why

we don't like to mix

our grains and brassicas together we

like to split them up you know

doing a three three-strip method because

um there's just more benefit to

splitting them

up than to putting them together and so

you know this is a famous picture of

dave brandt

in central ohio and you know he really


that when he planted peas with his

radishes wow his

radishes really got a lot bigger and

that was because of the

nitrogen available to it by way of the


and you can see he's got a pretty good

blend out here he's got a lot of

different varieties of seeds

you look right here you see this little

brown hint right here this is a

you know a weed has got another weed

right back in

and over here and so big deal right i

mean look at these radish tubers that

he's growing

it's just uh pretty incredible and so in

one of dave's seminars he was talking

about how

200 years ago ohio soil had a four to

six percent of organic matter

but today it only averages one and a

half to two percent

and that's a direct result of declaring

war on soil

with plows and discs and tillers and all

that and also because of synthetic

inputs you know fertilizer and that type

of thing

and so that's one of the big reasons why

lake erie has such a big problem with

algae blooms in it because of all the


and he said the average ohio farm loses

five tons of topsoil per year to erosion

due to disking and tilling and so if you

think about that how in the world can

they build or maintain

organic matter when they got so much

erosion and runoff that's going into the

you know the ditches and the

streams and the creeks and the rivers

and eventually all out into the lake you


there's a lot of phosphorus out there a

lot of fertilizer and a lot of manure

and you know so it's no wonder they got

this big algae bloom out there in lake


so on the flip side you know dave is

working with nature

dave's farm only loses a hundred pounds

of topsoil a year

and that's because he's always got

something growing

he's always got you know the soil

covered and you can see here he's got

radishes hairy vetch in here this is

probably rye

and so he plants that stuff just before

he harvests a corn or just after he

harvests the corn

and so as soon as the corn is gone you

know by by the time it's off the field

he's already got green stuff growing

and so you know this uh this ground is

not going to be bare

it's going to suppress weeds he's not

going to have a huge weed problem next


and because he's got green growing stuff

on here he's got a good root base

so that in the spring he can get his

equipment in here

and you know plant right into it with

his equipment much

earlier than his neighbors can who do

conventional tilling

and just have a mud hole because they

got bare dirt out in their fields right

so you know lots of benefits to doing

that and so dave was saying that

his blends produce five to six times

more biomass than any single species


so in other words if you are planting

one single species

that species is actually going to grow

more biomass

if it's planted with other species

because it has a symbiotic relationship

with some of these other plants and they

can actually

thrive much better when they grow


one of dave and gabe brown's famous

sayings in their seminars is the fact


when you start no-tilling you minimize

carbon loss

and when you plant multi-species cover

crops you maximize

carbon input and so if you can do both

of those things man you are really

turning the corner and heading in the

opposite direction toward

building your organic matter and

nutrients in the soil

which is going to allow you to put in

you know less fertilizer

the crops are going to taste better

because it's not using synthetic


so so dave brandt hasn't put fertilizer

on his fields from

in i don't know how many years while his

neighbors that do conventional tilling

are putting on nitrogen every single

year and

dave is out producing county average in

corn of bushels per acre

even without putting any uh nitrogen on

his corn

i think he threw a number out one time i

believe he was producing somewhere

around 200 bushel corn

and the county average for conventional


was like 175 bushel corn so think about

the cost savings that

dave is realizing by not adding

fertilizer by not running his diesel

tractors over the field you know three

four times during the year

and uh you know the neighbors are

killing themselves and they're they're

actually getting less corn for it right

so and and i'll bet you dave's corn

probably tastes much better

than his neighbor's corn do as well and

it's a lot more nutritious because it's

you know it's working with nature it's

it's all more natural

rather than all the synthetic stuff

another interesting tidbit that dave

threw out in one of his seminars was


he averages 25 to 30 earthworms per

shovel full that is an amazing amount of


and the other thing he said is that

worms will turn over

seven inches of topsoil every five years

so he says man why are we killing

ourselves to turn over our soil why

don't we just let the worms do it right

seven inches of topsoil every five years

that is a lot

and you can see right here all the look

at all the pore space in this profile

you know you've got

you obviously have the worm channel

you've got little root channels but you

have all these little

you know aggregate holes in here so you

know this stuff is like black

cottage cheese it's a it's pretty


a lot of pore space a lot of room for uh

rain water to collect in here it's like

a big huge

porous sponge you know and you take that

versus you know a tilled field so here

we got

no-till that hasn't been plowed in 30

years and look at all that pore space

all the root channels and and all that

area where water can just

flow right down and sink in here and and

get stored for

during drought periods versus you get


tilled field look at it's like powder

you know the the

the discs and tillers they have just

turned that to aggregates into powder

and so you can imagine how much less

water is going to infiltrate into this

kind of dirt

than into this kind of soil here now

speaking of rainfall

i know some of you guys are not resident


right so your property is like three

four five hours away from where you live

and during the food plot season boy it's

really nice to know

how much rain your food plot got even

though you're nowhere near

so what i do is i go to this site which

is a national oceanic and atmospheric

administration and i'll i'll give you a


to this site and i'll put it below this

video so you can just go down there and

click on it

maybe you might want to save it and put

it in your favorites or something like

that if

this is something that is going to be of

any interest to you

but once you get once you click on the

uh on the link

and you get to this page here you want

to go to the surface maps

which is the left hand tab go down here

to radar

and then it'll take you to the map of

the united states

so search for a location i don't worry

about that i just get rid of that little

box there

because i'll just put my location like

right in the middle of the map

and then i'll go over here to the top

right corner and i'll hit the little

plus sign to zoom in

so you know maybe i'll go one more time

that's about all i need

so if i do my uh my home of grand rapids

area let's say

then right now this is the current radar


and if we go over here to the left side

let's say i wanted to find out uh how

much rain did we get yesterday

or you know i can go back i can go back

three years i can go back ten years if i

wanted to i can go back to a specific


and you can check it out for yourself if

you know exactly what day and time

uh you had rain in a certain area you

can just verify it with us right here so

pretty cool but anyway i'm gonna go back

in time and

i'm going to put it at uh let's see

let's put it at 1400

there 1400 hours and now i'll set it uh

i'll update the map to this time so i

don't want to click this one because

this sets it to the current time which

is right now

and that's what i know what it looks

like right now so i want to go

update the map to this particular time

so i'll hit the little blue button and

it automatically updates it that quick

so what i can do is i can move in five


five minute increments and so if i want

to go ahead five minutes

i can just click this button if i want

to go back five minutes i just click

this one so we're just gonna go ahead

i'm just gonna

every every time you hit click it with a

mouse it's going to uh

move the map and you can see it's it's

moving across the page here

and so it'll show you exactly whether or

not you got rain or not

and you know if you want to even zoom in

a little bit more

to give you a little bit more detail

because you know maybe the

maybe the system went right by your

property and you're not quite sure if

your particular food plot got rained on

right because it's that close

so you can you can really zoom in and

then uh just click the

little five minute increment and it'll

keep right on going by

so i think that was pretty cool so i

mean we can go way

back in time you know we can go back so

if we go back to august it's

2017 let's pick uh august 1st

so then it drops it into the box come

down here hit the update map

button and that's what we got so

we're going to zoom out here and it

doesn't look like any rain

so if we uh maybe move ahead another day

see what happens no rain again

must have been a dry spell huh guys

update the map

oh there's some rain right up here so

anyway pretty cool

you know you can go back pretty much any

date basically see how much rain your

food plot got

so now here's another historical map

that i found to be

pretty helpful in my line of work what

this is

is this is a site called wind

and i'll provide a link to this one as


below this video so the reason i like

this uh

the site here is because it tells me uh

what wind directions are most prevalent

during the hunting season

so all these blue dots represents an


around the country and so let's say um

let's say i'm gonna be over in um well

let's say fort wayne

so what i'm gonna do is i'll put fort

wayne about somewhere in the middle

i'll come up over here to the left side

and i'll zoom in i think you can just uh


click on the airport too so now i can

see that this is fort wayne

you can see that you know this one is uh

this is chicago midway

this is uh o'hare this is gonna be kent

county ford

international airport so anyway once you

get it zoomed in a little bit then you

can find the individual airport that

you're looking for

in the area so i'll find the airport

that's closest to the hunting property

that i'm going to visit for a client and

if it's going to be near fort wayne i'll

click on the fort wayne

button and it pops up as fort wayne


so now what it shows me is this is the


of the wind by direction and you can see

that it's uh the wind is most frequent

out of the west but that's for a whole

12 months out of the year so what i want

to do though is i want

i want to know what is the most frequent

wind or the prevailing wind

in october so each one of these letters


the a month out of the year and i want


and november so now it's only looking at

those two months and you can see how

it's changed

during the hunting season the wind is

out of the southwest

most of the time or not most of the time

but out of all the directions it's out

of the southwest

more than any other direction pretty

close to the west

but you know you can see here that we

still do get some east winds

so you know get northeast and uh east

northeast east northeast

and so you know you start adding all

these up well shoot the wind's coming

out of an easterly direction

about i don't know throw a number out

there maybe 35 percent of the time

and 65 of the time is coming out of some

sort of a westerly direction

so you know this is just something that

i like to uh show

landowners uh because a lot of

landowners that i run into

try to set up their their tree stands

and in

blinds and whatnot on the east side of

the food plot or east side of wherever

they want to hunt because they figure

the wind is always coming out of the

west northwest or southwest

but in actuality there's coming out of

the east a lot more often than what they


and 11 of the time the wind is calm so

anyway i thought that was kind of

interesting um if we go to

another um location let's say

um let's try a location

way up here in the in the upper

peninsula so

this would be we'll go back to october

and november and you can see this one is

most of the time it's out of the


let's try another one let's try this one

over here in northern pennsylvania

and if we go to act so that's uh all 12


and if we go to october november it

didn't change too much

but you can see how it comes out of the

uh the south southeast

uh at a fairly um regular clip i mean

almost as much as it does out of the

west uh

northwest so kind of interesting and

every every place around the country is

different and so

if this is something that you're

interested in as to you know what kind

of wind directions uh

happen on your property during the

months of october

and november then just go to this site

here wind and

i'll provide a link to that underneath

this video as well