God’s creation is extremely diverse and there are no monoculture plant communities in natural settings, so why should wildlife food plots be any different? Whether you’re targeting a specific wildlife species for hunting or merely supplying a wildlife sanctuary, it’s all about creating a balanced oasis. Wildlife will thrive and be more resilient to droughts, diseases, and heavy predator pressure when the ecosystem is managed as a whole and the principles of soil health are followed. Tillage buries food sources below the surface and shelter is destroyed for smaller wildlife, such as quail. Increasing plant diversity will support a greater variety of wildlife by supplying multiple food sources like seeds, insects, and green plant material and also allows animals to balance their diet better than monocultures. Consistency of food and shelter from year to year is very important for reducing predation on desired wildlife like deer and quail. By starting out with these simple steps, you will begin to improve your ecosystem functions and wildlife health. When planting a diverse mixture try to keep this information in mind:
The deer foodplot industry is “big business”, with fancy mixes available for outrageous prices at sporting goods stores. Green Cover Seed has all of the same foodplot species that are in fancy mixes for a fraction of the cost. Deer gravitate towards high protein, nutritionally dense forages, which is why most deer plot mixtures contain brassicas and legumes. Big biomass grasses such as sorghums can provide safe bedding and browsing areas. Let us help you put together a deer foodplot mix that meets all of your needs and puts big bucks in your sights as well as putting bucks back in your wallet!
99% of a dove’s diet consists of seeds with a high attractiveness to corn, sunflowers, wheat, sorghum, millets, buckwheat, etc. They prefer open, clean fields in which to feed, so you may want to bush hog the biomass a few weeks before you intend to hunt.
These game birds consume a variety of food sources including insects, greenery, and seeds. Quail chicks under eight weeks old have a diet consisting almost exclusively of insects. The key to upland bird success is to produce plenty of blossoms, seeds, and insects under a moderately dense canopy with an easily traveled understory.
Turkeys have similar tastes as the smaller game birds, but will also browse more like deer on vegetative material. Plant material will make up 90% of an adult turkey’s diet while young poults consume protein-rich insects in the first 4-5 months of their life.
Many producers have discovered that when they plant diverse cover crop mixtures for increased soil health, they get the added benefit of drawing an array of wildlife. Don’t be fooled by slick marketing promoting high dollar food plot seeds! Green Cover Seed can provide the same plant species with very similar results at a fraction of the price. If you are currently using a wildlife plot seed mix that you like, give us a chance to mimic or even improve it for more wildlife benefits and boost your soil ecosystem all in one shot.