How to ... salvage a food plot flooded by rain

  • Article by: BILL MARCHEL SPECIAL TO THE STAR TRIBUNE
  • Updated: June 26, 2014 - 3:23 PM
hide

Oats are a fine solution for flooded food plots. Even a late August planting will produce forage for deer and other wildlife in the fall.

Photo: Bill Marchel • Special to the Star Tribune,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Minnesota farmers are dealing with flooded or soggy fields, thanks to Mother Nature dumping copious amounts of rain this spring and early summer — not to mention the heavy runoff from last winter’s deep snow. Those who farm for wildlife by planting food plots face the same problems. The wet conditions are widespread across the state.

Right now my plots are waterlogged, which means I wasn’t able to do the planting I planned for this June. But all is not lost. There are still several options available to me and other wildlife-watchers who want to grow high-quality food plots before the freezing weather arrives.

Food plots have become popular in recent years. Companies specializing in wildlife food plots have introduced a variety of options that can be seeded as late as early September, even in Minnesota, while still attracting deer and other wildlife later in the fall.

Since it’s too late to plant corn or soybeans, I’ll be focusing on oats and brassicas when my plots dry out.

Here is my plan:

Since a healthy crop of weeds has taken over my muddy plots, I’ll spray the weeds with a herbicide or disc the weed infested food plots as soon as the soil is dry enough for me to work in it. I’ll plant oats around mid-August, just before or after a good soaking rain. Some land managers prefer wheat or rye to oats, but I like oats because they are not cold hardy and will die during the winter. Next spring the food plot will be comparatively clean, allowing me to disc or cultivate without all the old plant stems, which tend to clog my implements.

By the mid-September archery deer opener, my oats food plot will resemble a lawn. Deer relish the new green growth and will gravitate to the oats. Sure, oats don’t provide the year-round nutrition that a food plot of, say, clover would. But remember, this is only a temporary fix due to the wet weather. I hope to plant more perennials next year in addition to my usual annuals under better conditions.

Another late-summer remedy for a failed food plot is to plant brassicas. Brassicas, such as rapeseed, grow quickly and stay green into the winter. The large leaves are more palatable to deer after a few hard frosts. Brassica food plots make excellent spots for late-season bow or muzzleloader hunts.

It’s true that a plot planted with brassicas in late July or early August will not produce the same amount of vegetation as an earlier planting, but it’s still a fine solution for this year.

A number of commercial seed products are designed for August planting. Check out options by the Whitetail Institute of North America, Biologic and Frigid Forage, to name a few.

Bill Marchel, an outdoors writer and photographer, lives near Brainerd.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.

ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
Toronto 110 FINAL
LA Clippers 98
Boston 88 FINAL
Washington 101
Orlando 102 FINAL
Charlotte 94
Memphis 103 FINAL
Miami 95
Indiana 110 FINAL
Brooklyn 85
New Orleans 100 FINAL
Chicago 107
Atlanta 90 FINAL
Milwaukee 85
Philadelphia 71 FINAL
Utah 88
New York 117 1st OT 4:49
Sacramento 117
Minnesota 70 4th Qtr 6:50
Golden State 96
NY Islanders 3 FINAL(SO)
Buffalo 4
Detroit 3 FINAL(OT)
Ottawa 2
Carolina 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
New Jersey 1 FINAL
NY Rangers 3
Boston 2 FINAL
Columbus 6
Winnipeg 4 FINAL(OT)
Minnesota 3
Washington 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
Dallas 4 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Nashville 4
Anaheim 1 FINAL(SO)
Arizona 2
Chicago 5 FINAL
Colorado 2
Edmonton 1 3rd Prd 1:01
Calgary 4
San Jose 1 3rd Prd 3:50
Los Angeles 3
Indiana 87 FINAL
Georgetown 91
Maine 43 FINAL
Seton Hall 72
UNC-Wilmington 82 FINAL
Minnesota 108
Georgia State 61 FINAL
Green Bay 78
Jacksonville St 61 FINAL
Jacksonville 75
Kentucky 58 FINAL
Louisville 50
Northern Ky 55 FINAL
Northwestern 76
UAB 58 FINAL
North Carolina 89
IUPUI 55 FINAL
Pepperdine 53
Santa Clara 60 FINAL
St Marys-CA 73
Oakland 56 FINAL
Maryland 72
Gonzaga 87 FINAL
BYU 80
Mercer 77 FINAL
Georgia 86
San Francisco 77 FINAL
Pacific 71
Wright State 55 FINAL
Ohio State 100
Presbyterian 65 FINAL
Virginia Tech 87
Brescia 42 FINAL
Western Ky 89
Tennessee St 46 FINAL
Tennessee 67
Kennesaw St 45 FINAL
Illinois 93
Colorado State 58 FINAL
New Mexico St 57
Portland 61 FINAL
San Diego 58
Wayland Baptist 63 FINAL
Utah State 75
Bristol University 59 FINAL
Weber State 109
Sacramento St 74 FINAL
Utah Valley U 49
Southern Utah 45 FINAL
UNLV 79
SD Christian 50 FINAL
San Diego St 72
Illinois 18 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 35
Rutgers 40 FINAL
North Carolina 21
NC State 34 FINAL
UCF 27
Cincinnati 17 FINAL
Virginia Tech 33
(15) Arizona State 36 FINAL
Duke 31
Miami-Florida 21 FINAL
So Carolina 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Penn State 31
(25) Nebraska 42 FINAL
(24) USC 45
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
Tennessee
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
East Carolina 1/3/15 11:00 AM
Florida
SMU 45 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 96
UCF 64 FINAL
Houston 50
BYU 62 FINAL
Gonzaga 78
Pacific 92 FINAL
San Francisco 54
St Marys-CA 62 FINAL
Santa Clara 61
San Diego 87 FINAL
Portland 65
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Should the lake where the albino muskie was caught remain a mystery?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close