EXTENSION CONNECTION: Hunters, here's how to attract more wildlife

This exclusion cage on the Quincy food plot shows how much planted forage was eaten by wildlife.

This exclusion cage on the Quincy food plot shows how much planted forage was eaten by wildlife.

JENNIFER BEARDEN / Special to the News Bulletin
Published: Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at 02:37 PM.

It’s time to start planning cool-season wildlife food plots. (These attract deer and other wildlife to your property, and they provide some nutrition.)

First, choose an appropriate location. Remember: Wildlife like to stay close to cover, but plants need sunlight. Cool-season food plots are generally smaller than warm-season food plots. (About an acre or so is sufficient.)

Next, have your soil tested. Soil test results provide important information like pH, phosphorus levels and potassium levels. Perform the soil test now so you have more time to adjust the pH. Adjust pH if necessary with lime applications.

Finally, choose from cool-season forage options as follows.

•Legumes: arrowleaf clover, crimson clover, ball clover, red clover, white clover, vetch and winter peas, to name a few.

Legumes need to be inoculated with a rhizobium bacteria before planting. This allows the plant to manufacture nitrogen and eliminate the need for extra nitrogen application.

•Grasses: ryegrass, oats, wheat, rye, and triticale (a human-made cross of wheat and rye).



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