Separate Your Greens/Grains - Don Higgins Seminar Takeaways from the Iowa Deer Classic - Article #3

Let me start out by saying that this isn’t a cut and dry rule for every scenario…


However if you have the food plot acreage to sustain your deer herd throughout the hunting season I believe separating your green and grain plots can give you a great advantage!


Lets jump right in and cover scenarios where this probably would not apply.


If you have limited food plot acreage/small property/heavy browse pressure due to high deer numbers. In these situations the odds are pretty high that you won’t get much of a grain crop if you planted it anyway so you’re probably much better off going with greens like brassicas/oats/rye and clovers across the board. I would still focus these plots rather than have a bunch of small plots scattered around the property if this was the scenario though.


You have 1 major food plot that sets up extremely well to hunt. This would be Ideal in my opinion and due to topography, buildings, or other constraints it may focus the deer into this one plot and create great stand locations already so you wouldn’t want to make a second plot just to separate your green/grain plots. You may want to split this plot however and put grains on one side and greens on the other so that you can have closer shots and pick the stand on the side the deer are feeding heavier on at that time. This also allows you to make a good crop rotation which is vital for soil health.



Now let's cover the scenario where this would be a great option and actually be better than having everything in 1 plot or having a little of everything in every plot.


You have enough food plot acreage to sustain deer through the season. If you have carried deer through the season before and planted both grains and greens then you might want to consider separating them into 2 different plots. Here’s why. During warmer falls the deer will typically prefer greens over the grains, however during cold falls the deer will prefer the grains over the greens. So by separating them into 2 different plots preferably in different locations you can focus in on the one that is the most attractive during that weather. Creating this focus makes picking the right stand location much easier and gives you higher odds of success. Doing this with 2 plots also makes it easy to rotate your crops each year.


In an Ideal world I would have everything in 1 main food plot (separated greens/grains) but those scenarios rarely exist from my experience. What tends to happen with these is the plots get too big to hunt effectively so although it does a great job at feeding the deer it does a poor job at giving you good shot opportunities with a bow in hand.


Another thing I might add is I’m not opposed to overseeding the grain crop with cereal grains like winter rye when you split the 2 plots (and If 2 plots isn’t an option I’d totally recommend overseeding into your grain crop to add more food). However I would tend to broadcast the rye later than normal so that it germinates and establishes itself but doesn’t get any significant growth that fall. The rye would basically be used as a cover to keep soil in place and build soil for next year's planting.


I hope this article helped in some way, if you have any input I’d love to hear it!


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