What food crops should I plant near Clare, Michigan?

By Grant Woods,

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We own 120 acres of what was formally pasture land near Clare MI. The seed bank is full of cool season varieties including birds foot trefoil. The ground is primarily low lands with spotty pieces of high ground located throughout. We have had good luck planting brassica’s, chicory, and forage oats for our approximate 3/4 to 1 acre food plots. For cover, we have had good luck planting prairie grass mixes and pure stands of switch grass. We have limited woods (25 to 30 acres) and have done a little hinge cutting to thicken that woods up. Autumn Olive has also contributed to a lower understory in our woods. Our land is located among primarily corn and soybean agriculture. Corn and soybean harvest takes place several weeks before season and continues through the end of gun season (11/30). What is your opinion on planting a large stand of corn (say 3 to 5 acres) with the objective of attracting and holding deer during hunting season as well as providing food for the deer and pheasants over the winter months? Please feel free to call if you need more information.

By the way, I find your videos most helpful.

Best Regards,



It sounds like you own a nice patch of cover in an area of production agriculture!  This can be an ideal situation!  

I like the idea of planting five acres of corn or some corn and soybeans and leaving the crops standing!  I suspect once the crops are harvested from the neighboring properties a majority of the deer whose range includes your farm will seek feed and cover at your property.    

It will be just as important to hunt the farm in a manner that doesn’t alert deer or condition them to using it only after dark.  I’d also create stands/blinds for each wind direction and ways to approach and exit the stands without alarming deer throughout your farm.

Enjoy creation,


November 17, 2015