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My Summer Food Plots are Making Progress

by John Mueller 30. June 2011 13:36
John Mueller

Six weeks after putting seeds in the ground, my food plots are doing very well. I'm very pleased with the progress and the growth the plants have put on so far. The weather has been a little crazy for growing good food plots this year. We have had more than enough rain, cold weather, and extremely hot weather for this early in the season. I was actually lucky to get them in when I did. I know a few guys that are still hoping to get something planted because of the weather and time constraints.

My corn is looking really strong this summer. I planted it a little thinner this year because last year it was too thick and a lot of stalks didn't produce ears. The corn is well past knee high before the end of June. This should give it plenty of time to make ears before the bow season starts. That is if I can get the deer to stop nipping the tops off the corn stalks. The hot weather in the next few weeks should really help the corn put on a growth spurt. Once it's a little taller, the corn will be a source of food as well as good cover for the deer to bed in.

Here is a small part of the 2+ acres of corn I have planted.

I believe my soybeans are a little behind right now. We got a very heavy downpour right after I planted them which made them work extra hard to poke through the crusted over soil. Now that they have exposed themselves the plants have really taken off. We've had good moisture the last couple of weeks and the soybeans have been putting on plenty of new leaves. Hopefully there will be lots of beans left in the pods for the late bow season. Last year my standing beans were the food of choice after the snow blanketed the ground.

After a slow start my soy beans are adding new growth.

I am also trying an experiment this year. I planted a mix of corn and soy beans in part of the field. This will give the deer a little bit of both in the same location instead of having to travel all over the food plot for corn and beans. You never know which one they might be in the mood for when picking a stand to sit that evening. This way I have both bases covered.

My experiment. A mix of corn and soy beans with the milo and millet in the background.

The milo is probably showing the most growth right now. It is putting on the leaves in preparation for producing seed heads. The millet is already producing seed heads. One nice thing about these two crops is the deer only eat the seeds and not the foliage. This allows the plants to mature undamaged unlike the corn and soybeans, which the deer eat as soon as they emerge. My quail and turkeys will surely appreciate these tiny seeds too.

Mix of milo and millet.

The millet is already heading out.

Even if my food plots don't produce a ton of food this year, my deer will have plenty to eat. If the White Oak Trees inside the woods are anything like the ones along the edge of my food plot, there is a bumper crop of acorns this year. Just check out this cluster of baby acorns. And the whole tree is like this. That means the deer will be spending a lot of time in the woods this season. I think I'll be hanging a few stands near the White Oaks this summer.

Looks like there is no shortage of White Oak Acorns this year.

Now if I can just keep the hail storms away from my food plots I think I will have a good draw to keep the deer on my property this season. A neighbor just down the road had to start over after hail destroyed his food plots after 4 weeks of growth.

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