Due to the wet weather here in New York there are some fields that will not get planted in either corn or soybeans as it will be too late for them to mature. I still want to plant something that will be a late season attractant for hunting in these areas. My thoughts are to put in wheat and/or oats at a very late date so it does not get too tall and lose its attractiveness for the deer. At what height is winter wheat or oats most attractive to deer? I will try to time it right on planting based on what you recommend for maximum height. Is there a better option? I know clover will work, but they don’t have great luck for late season. Brassicas are good but more costly than wheat or oats.
I like wheat as most forage varieties are more cold hardy than oats. Wheat fertilized appropriately is very palatable to deer and nutritious while it’s in the vegetative stage. Once wheat begins to produce a stem, it decreases in both palatability and nutrition. However, this occurs during the late spring, usually when other types of forage are available. If you are leaving these areas as plots, it might be worth considering planting clover with the wheat. Clover won’t be very productive during the first fall after it’s planted, but usually adds lots of biomass during the spring and is very attractive to both deer and turkey. Clover is tough to kill with glyphosate, so if the plan is to return these fields to Round-up Ready soybeans or corn, I would suggestion not establishing clover.
Most forage brassicas are very cold hardy and palatable to deer, especially after a frost. If mixing with wheat, I typically only add a pound or two of brassicas to the blend per acre. Brassicas can be a great attractant during the mid and late hunting season. Appropriately fertilized wheat is a fine food plot crop, but such plots can usually be enhanced, especially in northern states, by the addition of some forage brassicas.
Growing Deer together,