So many people only look at the now and not of the future. Without knowing how the now affects the future, the future could be grim.
Here is why I do research on everything i sell and recommend. When I plant and forage test various forages, I'm not just looking at the nutritional aspects but i'm also looking at the agronomic aspects of them. A forage test will mimic a soil sample. If your forages are low in nutrients, it typically is because your soil is also low in those same nutrients.
When wildlife companies give fertilizer recommendations to the mixes you plant, those are generic guestimates. I choose to help all of you to fertilizer more accurately. This will lead to long term sustainability, reducing the odds of you mining your soils. The higher the nutrient percentages in any forage you plant, the more of those nutrients are mined. The more growth you have of the forages, the more nutrients are mined. Without knowing how much growth you received from your seed mixes, you have no idea how many nutrients are removed from the soil. Without knowing how your forages test, you have no idea how many nutrients are removed.
An example would if you plant a forage mix that grows 2 ton of food plot forage. Let's say all of it is consumed by deer. If it a field of oats that is 2% potassium, that would remove 80 pounds of potassium from your soil. If the mix was of a brassica blend that was 3% potassium, you would be removing 120 lbs of potassium from your soil.
Here is another way of looking at things nutritionally. If you plant a field of oats that yields 2 ton of forage that is devoured by deer and it's 17% crude protein on average during the growth cycle, compare that to a plot of perennials that is 26% crude protein during the growth cycle. The perennials would give the deer 360 lbs more protein. For those of you who supplement, that would be equivalent to 900 lbs of supplemental 20% protein deer pellets. That would be an added value of over $135.
If that field of oats contains 0.50% calcium and compare it to a field of perennials that would contain 1.30% calcium. That additional 0.80% calcium at 2 ton of consumed forage per acre would be 32 lbs of additional calcium. If one compared it to using a 16% calcium deer mineral, that would be equivalent to 200 lbs of that deer mineral. That is also a value of over $150.
So, my challenge is why not do better so you know exactly how to fertilize and also to reduce any supplemental purchases. If all this is too complicated for you or you don't want to take the time to worry about it, that is where consultants can help steer you in the right direction. Buy added value and expertise. This is why I post all the things i do to help people understand things that very few companies in the wildlife industry do or will ever take the time to do. Yes, there is variability because of mother nature and real life factors. But the more information one has, the less variables. Remember the soil is the powerhouse. Without a balanced soil, all life growing is out of balance. Why spend $1,000s of dollars on gear, seed, equipment and fertilizer and not spend that extra $12 on a soil sample and a forage sample? By doing those 2 things, your tilting the table, in your favor to have success.