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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.

 

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Food Plots Publications

News

A fisherman in rubber waders stands in a small, quiet stream and casts a lure toward the viewer.
Filed Under: Wildlife September 17, 2018

Everyone wants to get more than they paid for, and no one is ever excited about paying taxes. With that in mind, hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts can make a small investment with many happy returns.

Dust billows out of a trailer on a large truck driving across a small, grassy area surrounded by tall trees.
Filed Under: Wildlife, White-Tailed Deer September 7, 2018

Planting food plots for deer and other wildlife is common practice in Mississippi, and for good reason: Food plots provide much-needed nutrition for deer and viewing opportunities for hunters.

A large buck walks through a brown field.
Filed Under: Natural Resources, Wildlife, Chronic Wasting Disease, White-Tailed Deer August 31, 2018

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi hunters will be on the front lines of the battle to protect deer from spreading a deadly disease throughout their herds.

Last February, a 4-year-old buck in Issaquena County tested positive for chronic wasting disease -- or CWD. This contagious, terminal disease affects members of the deer family, ultimately causing holes in their brains. Infected deer lose weight and “just waste away.”

Filed Under: Environment, Forestry, Forest Management, Marine Resources, Wildlife August 31, 2018

Landowners and charter boat owners who want to branch out and earn extra income are invited to attend a Natural Resource Enterprises (NRE) Business Workshop on Sept. 26 at the Longfellow Civic Center in Bay St. Louis.

Tall, thinned pines in a wooded area with visible sky overhead. Ground plants are slowly beginning to grow.
Filed Under: Forestry, Longleaf Pine, Wildlife August 24, 2018

Acres of pine forests cover Mississippi and the Southeast, but good forest management is not necessarily good wildlife management.

Success Stories

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

Listen

Tuesday, August 28, 2018 - 2:15am
Tuesday, August 21, 2018 - 9:21pm
Tuesday, August 14, 2018 - 2:00am
Thursday, August 9, 2018 - 5:00am

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