Clover for food plots
Clover....what is clover?
When people talk clover, there are many different types of clovers that yield anywhere from 1.5 tons- 8 tons of forage dry matter per acre per year. Some grow fast. Some grow much slower. Some tolerate wet better than others. Some tolerate drought better than others. Some are more appealing to deer. Some last just 1 year and others can last 20-30 years.
The term clover is vague. The results are even more random. When I work with clients or formulate blends, there is science behind "clovers." Mother nature always comes into play. Biodiversity of clovers helps reduce risk of plot failure. In an industry in love with ladino clover, there is a lot more out there than meets the eye.
The concepts are simple. What grows the fastest, lasts the shortest. What grows the slowest, lasts the longest. What grows the fastest tends to be more appealing to deer earlier. What hates wet, doesn't have as high of nutrients nor appeal during periods of wet and vice versa with periods of dry.
My strategy is simple, yield matters. Anything that is a slower grower or lower yielder like ladino clover should have a nurse crop, companion crop or sacrifice crop. Some scoff at annual clovers as nurse crops but it's been in my arsenal since the early 90's.
Now once you plant your "clover blend" then what? Did you plant the right depth, the right time and the right way? Did you plant to grow roots? Did you do what you could to help the roots uptake nutrients? Did you Fertilize for the yield goal?
Yep, many just want to plant to see deer. Did you know the same factors that attract deer are also the same factors that produce yield, and increased sugars? In a world of buy my seed, the difference between poor and great can be a fine line. I've never met a bag of seed that lead to success. I teach men on how to tilt the table in your favor to achieve success.
Something to chew on.