Benchmarking, where are you now?

No matter if you are a first time food plotter or seasoned veteran, have you recently done any benchmarking? Do you know where your program is compared to the norm? Where have you came from and where are you now? Where are you going in the future with your food plot and wildlife program? I challenge each and every one of you to ponder this.

For me, I got into managed intensive grazing consulting back around 1992. I have been an independent nutritionist since 1991. The first food plot seeds I ever planted were turnips, chicory and kura clover. Over the years many of the forages we see now in the wildlife industry I was selling to the farmers and graziers. It gave me a lot of hands on insight as to which mixes grew best where and how the cafeteria style approach was usually the best.

That all being said, here is where i believe I am today. I have the educational plot in the ground and even though almost every forage in the ground I have planted before, there is still some new one's i look forward to learning about. My goal is to continue to research and find forages that fit into many situations. I want those with great disease packages and nutritional quality. I aim to continue to research and test new products and technologies. I think i'm at the top of the chain when it comes to practical experience but yet I believe i'm 20% below where i can be. The potential is endless.

So, I believe i am way ahead of the curve now and i have numerous goals that I will continue to evaluate at the end of every year.

So here is my questions to you all.

Are the forages your planting below average, average, slightly above average or way above average as far as yield per acre and nutritional quality per acre?

Do you know how the forages you plant test ?

Are you attracting the number of deer you want to attract?

Are you keeping the amount of deer on your property all year around?

Are you seeing bigger and healthier deer this year compared to last year? How about 3 years ago?

How do you rate how your affecting the soil?

Are you mining the soil, maintaining the soil or building up the soil?

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