Here in Midwest Monster country we had a very, very, very wet year in 2016. In fact, according to our friends over at Farmlogs.com (and we love your app!), we were about 51% above average on rainfall this past food plotting season.
Now like the country song says, Rain is a Good Thing. But a lotta, lotta, lotta rain... well, there are limits...
But this weather pattern, like all weather patterns, just reinforces some good food plot practices. Every year we learn something, but I think from time to time it's good to reflect on what we should remember when planning for next year:
The past is the past. This year I've had just a terrific year growing Midwest Monster's Brassicas Bender. I've never had a Brassicas Bender plot that looks this good!
So even I catch myself thinking, "I've gotta plant more of this next year! In fact, I should plant a whole plot of it!"
Don't do it! Do not base next year's decisions on the growing conditions you experienced this past year. The past is the past. When it comes to the weather, as the commercials say, past performance doesn't indicate future results. The goal should be to produce consistently attractive and nutritious plots. You have to be flexible and look at each season as a clean slate. Work with the conditions you have, not the conditions you had last year. You can certainly make a plan, but if the weather or other conditions are against you, change your plan.
Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Diversify your plot crops every year!
In larger plots, that means plant different crops in strips or different areas of the plot. Mix in both spring and late summer/fall planted crops with perennial crops like clover.
Resist the temptation to go "all in" on annual crops. Believe me, I know it's tempting when you see 15 or more deer rooting around in your brassicas plot to think, well, why not just plant all your plots in brassicas?
Because bad things happen to good plots sometimes, that's why. Over the long haul, having solid perennial plots like our Mega Clover Plus and high-value annuals like Eagle Forage Soybeans and Brassicas Bender will pay the biggest dividends.
Food plots. They're not just for hunting anymore. Remember, the deer and other animals on your property don't get big and grow big racks just from what they eat during the hunting season.
Plan your strategy to include plots that will provide food for as much of the year as possible. In parts of the country that get significant amounts of snow like our Minnesota home farm here at Midwest Monster, that includes trying to plant "standable" crops like soybeans and grain blends that will stick up above the snow for as long as possible.