Deer Mineral 202

I have made some deer mineral posts recently and here is also some more things to consider. Many deer minerals on the market contain too much salt. The acceptible levels of salt in ANY free choice mineral is in the 15-25% range. Why is this? Salt encourages uptake, but if you have too much salt it will also limit consumption. Deer need salt but once they get they get to to about 1/4-1/3 oz/hd/day they will stop consumming. This is true with most ruminants. If you want to prevent an animal to lick too much of a palatable mineral, you simply add extra salt. Many deer minerals on the market don't have enough calcium and phosphorous. Antlers are made up of 22% calcium and 11% phosphorous. The av

healthy soil, healthy rumen?

As a nutritionist, I realize the relationship and similarities between healthy soil and a healthy rumen in ruminants, which deer are. The ideal pH in soil is 6.5 and that is also the ideal pH in a rumen. In the soil low pH is considered acidic. In the rumen it's called acidosis. In the soil we want a lot of organic matter to help keep the soil loose as well as reduce water and nutrient loss. In a ruminant we also want to have a lot of "effective fiber" which also is organic material. In a ruminant, that slows down the rate of passage, resulting in better utilization of anything that goes into the animals mouth. So, most people understand the value of a balanced diet that is full of the major

What yield does your soil support?

Today, during a meeting with a company that I will be testing their new technologies, this headline topic came up. As a nutritionist, I am very aware of diet formulations and if there is not enough energy, protein and minerals in the diet, the diet will only support so much milk or meat production. For the crop farmers out there, some people live in areas that only grow 30 bushel per acre soybeans or 125 bushel per acre corn. No matter the location you live or the soil types you have, how you manage your soil will determine current as well as future yields. This topic is another reason I want everyone to take a soil test before you plant. If your soil pH is low, no matter what you plant, you

The most important thing to work on is your soil...

Whether I am reading posts in food plot forums or when people approach me at seminars or at a show, the most common question I hear or read is.....What is the best thing to plant? Nothing in food plotting or farming is that simple. It's sort of like a farmer saying to his seed corn salesman to "just bring him a bag of his best corn and he will plant it." Even with seed corn or soybeans, there are many different types of hybrids. Some hybrids tolerate dry soil, where others handle wet or heavy soils better. Some varieties have better disease packages. Some need really high fertilities to be better. So, with that being said here is where it all starts....the soil. What does your soil test say?

Corn....what most don't consider

I was out looking at some property yesterday and the topic of corn came up. Whether you have high deer densities and not enough feed for your deer or are on lower deer density lands with limited land bases, why not maximize your potential? The goal of every crop farmer is to maximize yield per acre and reduce input costs. So, many food plotters could see up to 25% increase in yield and another 10-20% increase in nutrition per acre by doing these simple steps. 1) Plant the right genetics for your soil type and location. 2) Fertilize according to soil test. 3) Use an effective herbicide program, which includes use of herbicides that give residual control. 4) Use micro nutrients via dry or a li

Genetics Play a Large Part In Finding The Best Brassicas for Deer

So many people think there isn't much difference in finding the best brassicas for deer when it comes to general seed selection. Here is a brassica trial from a couple years back showing on the right, a common brassica used in many mixes in the industry. To the left of it is a newer and improved variety that out yields and is way more palatable. You can even see there is some early consumption by whitetail deer on the more green, less diseased brassica. Both varieties are 60 day maturity but in years where you have wet conditions, plant diseases can come into play. Grandpa Ray's uses multi graze varieties of brassicas that are newer and improved genetics. Wonder why the deer are not eating y

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