Okay, so your carefully-thought-out plan--let's call this Plan A--for this year's spring food plot planting didn't work out. It rained too much, your kid's softball team went deep into the playoffs, that pesky ol' job once again cut into your fun by demanding overtime, you had 4 weddings and 16 graduation parties, and so on. Basically, Plan A went up in smoke.
What now? Just give up and wait for next year? No way! If your spring didn't go the way you planned, it's time for Food Plot Plan B.
Is it really too late to plant? Are you sure? Keep in mind, we food plotters are not real farmers. If a farmer is 4 weeks late with, say, soybean planting, it's a disaster. But we're just growing stuff to feed deer! Our food plotter timelines aren't so tight.
So take my state of Minnesota. Even if you plant Eagle Forage Soybeans in mid to late June in Minnesota, you're still going to grow something that feeds deer. You may grow 10-25% less of it, but would you rather have 75% success or 0% success? Moisture is really the key. If you get consistent rains, it is still possible to plant "spring" crops well into the summer months.
Mid-summer crops can be just as good. Brassicas is often planted in mid-summer and a good plot of a brassicas mix like our Brassicas Bender produces a terrific plot come late fall.
A lot of the hunting TV media says brassicas should be planted in the fall and that's one reason that many land managers I talk to have had limited success. If you live in Alabama, that's true. Here in the northern tier and the Midwest, you have to plant brassicas in mid to late summer to give it enough time to grow.
The bottom line is brassicas can provide an excellent Plan B if you didn't get your corn or soybeans in in the spring.
There's plenty of late-summer options. Yes! You can plant crops in the late summer and still have the deer coming to them this season! The key is to select the right time and the right seed.
Generally, late summer crops in the norther tier and Midwest states are planted from August 1 to early September. The further south you go, the later the planting season extends.
Clover blends like our Mega Clover Plus is a great late summer option. Especially if you plant it with a nurse crop like rye. Another option is to grow a grain plot like winter rye, winter wheat, or a blend.
Don't let a spring that didn't go the way you planned it cut into your food plotting success. If you have questions or need help with your Plan B, just get in touch.