Food Plot Seed Mixtures are the key to Success!
Hancock Seed Company has over 35 years experience growing, harvesting, processing food plot plant species. Over the years we have determined that there is no one single forage specie which can provide a completely balanced nutritional diet. Deer do not graze like cattle. Deer consume small quantities of a multitude of plant species to accomplish a balanced diet. Therefore, planting one species of forage insures that you will have a food plot visited only occasionally by deer for a very short period of time. By planting a mixture of several different forage species you insure that your food plot will attract more deer, more often, for longer periods of time. The more different species in your food plot the closer you get to a balanced diet for your deer herd. The salad bar effect as we like to call it is the only way to go. If you are going to go to the extra effort to help your deer herd with a food plot it is simply foolish to plant “one- single forage specie”. Plant mixtures so you accomplish the “Salad Bar Effect”.
When selecting various species of plants choose plants for soil type, drought tolerance, wet tolerance, fast growing, browse tolerance etc. In other words pick different species for different weather conditions. Select a few species which are more drought tolerant, a few which are wet tolerant, one or two which are fast growing to help protect the slower growing species from overgrazing. These various selections help assure your food plot continues to produce forage during adverse conditions such as drought, excessive rainfall, heavy deer pressure etc. So, by planting mixtures you insure that most likely something will be growing well in the different weather conditions.
There is no specie that can grow year around providing all the nutrition a deer needs. All plant species have certain periods of maximum available nutrition and this varies from plant to plant, so the more different species you have growing in your food plot the chances are you will always have something providing optimum nutrition throughout the season. Also, remember all deer species are browsers by nature and are interested in a variety of plants. By planting mixtures you stimulate your deer’s interest in the variety of species in your food plot. The deer will come more often and stay longer in your food plot browsing all these different plant species.
Another benefit of planting combinations of plant species is to help determine what species grow the best in your food plot area. You may determine the first year that some species just do not do well and others thrive in your food plot. Using this information you will plant more of the successful species the next year and little or none of the less successful species. Become your own food plot expert as it pertains to your food