Plant For Tomorrow, Part 1
It is typical of people to plant their food plots randomly. Whether it be a mix that some celebrity endorsed or a friend or family member. Maybe they took a soil sample. Maybe they got a recommendation on how to fertilize their plots. In the end, most are not thinking ahead. Not thinking ahead can be costly in many ways.
Over 90% of the soil samples I get back are deficient in potassium. About 50% are short on phosphorous. There are reasons for this. Way too many of you are using 10-10-10 or 15-15-15 fertilizers and putting down a generic amount like 200 lbs per acre. When your getting good growth, you also are mining the soil because of improper fertilization. Once you completely mine the soil, you will affect growth and overall nutrition of those forages. You also will affect their ability to attract wildlife as nutrients also affect things like sugar, protein and effective fiber.
What we want to do is match what you plant to the current soil conditions. If your soil is depleted, it isn't wise to plant a forage that requires more nutrients per acre for effective growth. It also gets very expensive that current year to fertilize those plots. You need to not just fertilize for current growth but to add some extra nutrients to try to rebuild up soil reserves for the future.
Another area where people overlook is what is planted on your soil the current year and it's influence on the following year. Some forages will benefit future crops like radishes, ethiopian cabbage, buckwheat, sorghum and annual clovers. Others can affect future germination, nutrient levels and soil moisture contents like winter grains, corn, soybeans and alfalfa.
What my challenge to you all is to learn what nutrient levels are needed per ton of growth by what you decide to plant/ Learn how to fertilize to maintain fertility or to rebuild up your soil fertility levels for long term sustainability.
In the 2nd part of the series, i'll be getting more in depth on proper food plot rotations. In the farming community most are required to have a nutrient management plan. I want to help you create your own nutrient management plan by keeping it simple. In my business that is what I do for my clients, tell them what to plant, how to fertilize it and what we want to do the next year or two on that plot of land.