You are here

Food Plots

Planting wildlife food plots is a common practice, especially for white-tailed deer. Many landowners or club members believe that a properly managed habitat and deer herd includes planted food plots. While the contribution of supplemental plantings to deer management should not be overlooked, more benefit can be realized through manipulation of native habitat. Practices such as well-timed prescribed burning of pine forests or proper timber harvesting techniques will provide abundant, high-quality forage and cover for deer at little or no cost to the landowner.

Consistently productive food plots require careful thought and planning before they are implemented. Factors to consider include the following.

  • Location:
    Plots should be located on fertile soils with adequate drainage. Cover should be located nearby or scattered across the plot. Food plots should not be established near a public road or waterway due to the increased possibility of poaching.
     
  • Size:
    Plot size and shape may vary with local conditions, but to provide adequate sunlight to meet forage production requirements generally should not be less than one acre.
     
  • Spacing:
    Plots should be scattered over the entire property if possible. It is more beneficial to establish 10 plots 2 acres in size than to have a single 20acre field. Cost may dictate total acreage planted.
     
  • Soil Testing:
    To ensure productive food plots conduct soil tests for fertilization and lime requirements. The local county agent (MSU-Extension Service office) can provide information on soil sample collection and where to send them for analysis. Be sure list the potential crops to be grown when sending in soil samples for testing.
     
  • Planting:
    Be sure to select a plant species or combination of species that will grow on the particular soil type and site that you have. If unsure, ask the county agent, wildlife biologist, or local seed supplier. Proper seedbed preparation will increase germination and yield more productive food plots. Plant crops at the prescribed seeding rate and during the proper planting season. It is critical that legume seeds (clovers, peas, beans) be inoculated with nitrogen fixing bacteria before planting.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Food Plots Publications

News

A bird eats seed from a feeder.
Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Plants and Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife October 15, 2020

RAYMOND, Miss. -- When all things “pumpkin spice” start filling up your social media feed, you know it’s time to start winter preparations for backyard wildlife.

Many people feel invigorated to get outside and do yard work in the first cool days of October.  To help you channel this energy, here are some easy tips on how to provide needed habitat for our critter friends while still tidying up the yard.

An assortment of litter retrieved from a watershed displayed on a wooden dock.
Filed Under: Coronavirus, Places for Wildlife, Natural Resources, Waste Management, Water, Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife September 17, 2020

Are you tired of seeing used masks and gloves dropped in the parking lot at the grocery store? Me, too!

“Pandemic litter” is a relatively new problem, but pollution is nothing new. I grew up watching the ad that admonished, “Give a hoot, don’t pollute!”

Battling the coronavirus requires the use of some single-use items, but they don’t have to end up on the ground!

Here are three tips to help keep Mississippi beautiful!

An assortment of litter retrieved from a watershed displayed on a wooden dock.
Filed Under: Coronavirus, Places for Wildlife, Natural Resources, Waste Management, Water, Wildlife, Urban and Backyard Wildlife September 10, 2020

Increased littering of single-use items related to the novel coronavirus pandemic, including masks, gloves, and disinfecting wipes, has troubling consequences for the environment.
When trash is not properly disposed of, it makes its way into watersheds, where it travels by water flow from rivers and streams into the ocean.

A man holding a shotgun and a boy dressed in camouflage walk in a grassy meadow.
Filed Under: Wildlife September 1, 2020

With dove season opening Sept. 5 and the first deer season opening Oct. 1, many would-be hunters are gearing up and making sure everything is safe and legal for the upcoming hunts.

Filed Under: Poultry, Disaster Preparedness, Disaster Recovery, Nuisance Wildlife and Damage Management August 27, 2020

Poultry producers across the Southeast have plenty of experience cleaning up after storm damage to broiler and breeder houses, but they now have new guidelines for hurricane preparedness and recovery.

Success Stories

A man wearing a green collared shirt stands smiling.
Natural Resources, Wildlife, Chronic Wasting Disease
Volume 6 Number 1

Mississippi became the 25th state with a confirmed case of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in February 2018. Since then, state agencies have been working together to protect the state’s deer population.

A white sign with dark green lettering reads, “Monarch Waystation: This site provides milkweeds, nectar sources, and shelter needed to sustain monarch butterflies as they migrate through North America. Certified and registered by Monarch Watch as an official Monarch Waystation. Create, Conserve, & Protect Monarch Habitats.”
Wildlife Youth Education, About Extension, Master Gardener, Insects, Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Herb Gardens, Places for Wildlife, The Story of Plants and People, Vegetable Gardens, Urban and Community Forestry, Urban and Backyard Wildlife, Wildlife Economics and Enterprises
Volume 4 Number 2

See what's new in Extension: a new monarch garden, a storytelling series will begin, the Garden Expo highlights Extension education, and Keep America Beautiful recognizes MSU Extension.

A smiling woman with blonde hair, a red scarf, a denim shirt, and black pants rests her arm on the side of a “Welcome to the Mississippi Gulf” sign.
Community, Natural Resources, Environment, Fisheries, Marine Resources, Waste Management, Water, Wildlife
Volume 4 Number 2

Kelly Griffin remembers when Harrison County began its recycling program.

“I was in elementary school when the county began curbside recycling,” she says. “My sister, brother, and I would argue every week about who was going to take the bin out to the road.”

Three men, all wearing orange life vests and baseball caps, hold a shark, and the bearded man in the center prods the animal’s side with an orange-handled instrument.
Natural Resources, Environment, Fisheries, Marine Resources, Water, Wildlife
Volume 4 Number 2

The Mississippi Master Naturalist volunteer group, trained and supported by natural resources experts with the MSU Extension Service, learned about marine life during a recent boating trip off Gulf Shores, Alabama. Marcus Drymon (center), assistant Extension professor, measures and tags a great hammerhead.

Wild hogs caught in a trap.
Nuisance Wildlife and Damage Management, Operation HOG
Volume 3 Number 3

Trevor Garrett stays busy. He divides his days between farming soybeans with his father, Johnnie Ferrell Garrett, and working as a research associate at Mississippi State University's Pontotoc Ridge–Flatwoods Branch Experiment Station.

Watch

Farmweek | Entire Show | February 22, 2018
Farmweek

Season 41 Show #34

Friday, February 23, 2018 - 7:30am
Venison Stroganoff January 14, 2018
The Food Factor

Venison Stroganoff

Sunday, January 14, 2018 - 7:00am
Farmweek | Entire Show | August 10, 2017
Farmweek

Season 41 Show #6

Thursday, August 10, 2017 - 2:30pm
Farmweek, Entire Show, January 26, 2017
Farmweek

Season 40 Show #27

Thursday, January 26, 2017 - 10:30am
Farmweek, Entire Show, Oct 23 2015
Farmweek

Season 39 Show #16

Thursday, October 22, 2015 - 7:00pm

Select Your County Office

Your Extension Experts

Portrait of Mr. Bill Hamrick
Senior Extension Associate
Wildlife & Fisheries
Portrait of Dr. Wes Neal
Extension/Research Professor
Fisheries Extension
Portrait of Dr. Bronson Strickland
Extension Professor
Wildlife Management