I believe it is very easy for all of you food plotters to increase your food plot nutrition and efficiency by 25%. No matter how small or large your plots are, if you are able to provide 25% more lbs of dry matter and units of energy, protein and minerals, you will be able to support 25% more deer. Say one has only enough area to plant 2 acres of food plots, if you are able to increase your available groceries by 25% it's like you just added an extra 1/2 acre.
So what can be done to make this happen?
1) Test your soil and maintain 6.0-7.0 pH on them
2) Use the correct amount of fertilizer. Putting only 100 lbs per year of potassium on your legumes when they need 200 lbs of potassium will not give one maximum growth.
3) Increase soil organic matter levels. Having the ability to hold nutrients in the root zone as well as reduce water run off/increase moisture holding capacity is very important.
4) Plant legumes like alfalfa and not just clovers.
5) Use foliar plant foods. They increase growth, protein, mineral and energy levels.
6) Don't overlook sulfur. 81% of soils in many areas of the US are deficient in sulfur. If you have a good amount of nitrogen added but not enough sulfur, your crops might appear to be short on nitrogen, resulting in stunted growth.
7) Plant high germination count seeds that contain low levels of weed seeds. Look at your labels closely
8) Use dry or liquid humics. They help loosen your soil. They help increase utilization of the fertilizers you put down.
9) Use fungicides and insecticides to reduce plant stresses.
10) Make sure your legumes and soybeans are inoculated. Forgetting to inoculate legumes will result in poor nodulation, rooting and nutrient uptake and growth.
11) Clip clip clip. Once your forages get past late vegetation and begin to produce seed, they become less palatable and stop/slow down with growth. Clipping to the proper height will stimulate new growth, resulting in more fresh available forages.
Many of these things cost very little money to do.....food for thought!!