Clover vs. Soybeans in South Carolina

By GrowingDeer,

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Great video as always!  I hope you get that buck you’re looking for.  I live and hunt in South Carolina on 125 acres.  I planted 10 acres of soybeans this year along with clover.  The clover won’t really come into its own until the spring and the next few years.  Do you think I could bypass planting soybeans and just plant white clover for the deer (say a 5 acre plot)?  I saw deer this year, but I don’t feel like the soybeans were any more of a draw than the clover and I need to devote more of my acreage to bedding areas and cover.  Would a single large plot be better on my property than several smaller plots?



I select food plot crops based on my mission for the plot (feeding vs. attraction, etc.) and what crops perform best in the soils where they are to be planted.  I lived in South Carolina for a decade and still work on projects there.  Except in the mountains, the summers tend to be a bit hot and dry for most varieties of clover.  Clover rarely remains green and succulent during these periods of stress.  If your mission for the plot is attraction and it rains during the time of year you plan to hunt, clover may be a good selection.  It’s tougher to control weeds in clover than soybeans.  If nutrition is your goal, then soybeans will usually remain green and succulent in drier conditions than clover.  If the beans are allowed to mature, the pods are an excellent source of nutrition and attraction for both deer and turkey.  Soybeans are usually more palatable to deer than clover. However, soybeans can be over-browsed when they are young.  If this occurs it’s best to protect them with a Gallagher Food Plot Protection Fence or plant a more browse resistant crop such as clover.

If providing quality nutrition is the goal, I’d plant one large plot near the center of your property.  If creating locations for frequent hunts is the primary mission, than multiple, smaller plots may be a better strategy.  Combining both would be ideal!

Growing Deer together,