So many people look at seed as the means to food plot success. That is where it all starts but not where it ends. When people ask what I sell that is different than other options, my answer is simple, roots. Here is why I talk about roots all the time.
I believe it is easy for people to understand the importance of roots when they are planting their fruit trees. We need roots to help keep those tree standing. It is the support system of the tree. With forages here is why roots are essential. Once that seed starts to germinate, the roots are beginning to develop. Most only are aware of how fast that shoot pops out of the ground and the speed that it grows upwards. What is the powerhouse of the plant to allow rapid growth is the roots. The roots begin to take on water that is in the soil. The roots begin to branch out. Roots become ever important when soil conditions are dry. On dry years we want a well developed root system to scavenge any available moisture that is present. In wet years like this one, we typically do not see as elaborate of root system and that also affects the above ground growth.
Roots are needed to uptake the macro and micro nutrients from the soil. A well developed root system will more effectively uptake these needed nutrients and the result is more growth, healthier growth and an overall more vigorous forage that is being grown. This also leads to higher concentrations of protein, minerals and sugars in those forages.
There are various ways to improve root development. For a number of years i've use growth promoters. I've also tested many different types. Some of these growth promoters help get the seed out of the ground about 3 days faster than normal. Some of these growth promoters help produce 1/3 to 1/2 again as much root volume. There is also natural growth promoters. Many of my clients are producing their own growth promoters. There is a reason for the forages i choose and the blends i choose. I am helping my clients develop roots for future crops.
One last important benefit of well developed roots is the ability to keep the soil loose. Loose soil helps increase water infiltration, reducing erosion and water loss. You also increase your soil oxygen levels and that is another overlooked benefit.
This is a basic, simplistic view of roots but something to stop and ponder more on. When you buy that seed, that is just the start, the proper development of that seed all through the growing season takes many steps. Many of these steps people are not doing properly. Life is a balancing act. Every action has a reaction. A well planted tree or plant only is as good as it's base, it's roots.