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Ask Winke
General Food Plot Advice

  • ken from WI asks:
    I have two small food plots that are prone to flooding in spring and summer and one gets plenty of sun, the other gets very limited filtered sun. What should I plant for fall hunting? I am leaning towards chicory and clover.
    Winke Responds:
    Ken, I think the clover is an OK choice, but I would also use oats or winter wheat to add quick forage. Neither does well in shade, but then you have to realize that it takes clover a while to produce any significant amount of forage (several months, actually). I think I would be looking at something with brassicas (big leaves improve growth in limited sunlight)A in it like Frigid Forage's Autumn Quick Plot or just going with straight Big N Beasty. But you are getting past that planting window for Big N Beasty now. We still plant it in late August, but it doesen't produce the tonnage as when planted in mid-July. Good luck. (8-21-14)
  • Mitchell from KS asks:
    Bill, I am going to interseed Big and Beasty in to a food plot that is already in standing beans. I am going to row cultivate in between the bean rows to loosen the soil and then once the seed is spread I am going to drive between the beans and pack the seed in to assure soil/seed contact. I think this should work but do you have any tips. My real question is what I should put down for fertilizer with the Big and Beasty. This is virgin ground but pretty rough dirt as I just ripped it up a couple years ago. What kind of results should I expect if I do not put any fertilizer down? And if I do is 15-15-15 a good mix?
    Winke Responds:
    Mitchell, I think that will work very well, but will likely not produce a lot of Big N Beasty growth until the beans start to dry down so they aren't creating a canopy over the new plants trying to come up. I would top dress with a bit a nitrogen before a rain after you see the Big N Beasty starting to grow - when it is just a couple inches tall. I think you will get decent results the first year without the fertilizer but it will do a bit better for sure with the triple 15. I realize the beans fix N but not sure it is available right away. I am just not knowledgeable in that area. We interseed and don't fertilize, so I know it will work, but will not be as robust as when you do fertilize. The second year, (if you do it in the same spot) you will need to add more N as it will be depleted quickly by the Big N Beasty. Good luck. (8-21-14)
  • Mike from MO asks:
    Hi Bill- I am looking to create a new food plot and will have to cut some cedar trees in the process. I think i have seen you put something down on the stump after you fall a tree? is this to kill the stump and roots that are left and if so what is this product? or is there a product you recommend so we can breakdown the stump in the future to till the ground? thanks! Mike
    Winke Responds:
    Mike, Yes, it is to kill the stump and roots. It is called Tordon RTU and you can find it at most farm supply stores. There is also a product called Stump Remover (there are a few different brands) that you can pour into holes that you drill in the stump (after you kill it) that will cause it to break down within a couple of months allowing you to remove it with an axe easily. I have not tried this route, but I understand it works. You can order online or possibly buy at a large home supply store like Lowes, Home Depot, etc. Good luck. (8-20-14)
  • Allen from GA asks:
    I noticed in your Big-n-Beasty planting videos that you pour the seed directly into your spreader without mixing in any sand or what not. With the seeds being so small, how far are you opening the slide to keep an even distribution and prevent wasting seed or over-seeding? What kind of pace are you keeping? Maybe they could coat the seeds in a fluorescent orange coating so I can tell where I've been. Haha. Thanks!
    Winke Responds:
    Allen, It flows through there pretty well. I have seeded clover with that too, directly - no additives. I think I have the spreader set on 2 for Big N Beasty and I walk pretty fast - probably 4 1/2 to 5 mph. My top walking speed anyway - whatever that is. The coating is a great idea. I like that. Good luck. (8-18-14)
  • Rob from IA asks:
    are you aware of any throw and grow type of product for a smaller shaded area?
    Winke Responds:
    Rob, I am not a big throw and grow advocate. I am thinking brassicas like Big N Beasty have as good a chance as anything though because it is an aggressive germinating plant and will do decent with limited sunlight. Good luck. (8-14-14)
  • Joe from WI asks:
    I recently planted the big n beasty I am wondering what is the best way to spread fertilizer over it now? Can I use my ATV with a pull behind spreader or do you think that will cause to much damage?
    Winke Responds:
    Joe, I think the ATV will be fine. Big N Beasty can handle that kind of traffic without damage. Good luck. (8-14-14)
  • mike from IL asks:
    Bill Over the weekend I got a a couple of my food plots put in. Since then I been already thinking about what I'm going to plant next year. Treestand set ups and plot screens. My first question is in one of my soybean plot I was thinging about commimg in later in the year and planying big and beasty. I was thinking with the combination of the two it should draw some deer in. When should I plant the big and beastly with the beans. When leaves are off beans or when they start Browning ext. Also with fridgid forage plot screen is that a perinail or annual. My last question is on your bean plots what brand of beans do you plant. Are they a normal ag soybean a forage bean.
    Winke Responds:
    Mike, Plot Screen is an annual. So you have to plant it every year. For permanent cover you can consider trees like cedars, but that will take a few years to establish. I think I would plant (broadcast) the Big N Beasty in late July if the beans are thin or I would wait until the leaves just start to yellow if the beans are thick. By the time the beans drop their leaves the Big N Beasty will be starting to grow and will benefit from the sunlight. I normally just plant ag beans because I think they produce the best fall/winter food. The forage beans are great for summer, but I have a lot of summer foods, usually, and the ag beans have been more attractive in the fall/winter here than forage beans. Good luck. (8-14-14)
  • Ben from WI asks:
    Bill, Currently I'm living in Virginia, but I am preparing to move to Wisconsin. I can not leave the area until August 25th and would like to try and broadcast brassicas into a standing been field. Unfortunately I probably won't be able to do it until around september 1st and I don't have any one available to do it for me. Do you think it would be a waste of time since they are getting put in so late? The beans in the field are also getting harvested do you think that there is a chance that the brassicas could cause damage to the machinery when they come in to take the beans? Thanks for you time and an awesome show! -Ben
    Winke Responds:
    Ben, I think you can still get a decent amount of forage in that time, but winter wheat might be a better choice. If the brassicas get more than a few inches tall by harvest time the farmer will not like it at all. It will gum up the combine. Basically, I would not broadcast sooner than about two weeks before he harvests to assure the brassicas are just getting started. If he get delayed by wet conditions and the brassicas jump, you have a problem on your hands. Good luck. (8-14-14)
  • Tom from MN asks:
    Bill: I live in SE Minnesota and planted 2 acres of soybeans in June. Typically, I put up a double fence to keep the deer out of the plot until mid-September so they don't wipe it out early... This has worked to perfection in the past. My thought process would now be to let them in the plot at some time during the summer so they can eat some of the leafy forage before the beans turn color and drop their leaves. How tall should I let the beans get before I "open the gates" per say?? Or would you just keep them out until September? Thanks! Tom
    Winke Responds:
    Tom, I would say that by now they can sustain some browsing pressure. Personally, I am never for want of summer food, but I do run out of fall/winter foods at some point each winter (most years) so I would be inclined to keep them out and let the beans reach full maturity before opening it in mid-September. However, if you lack summer food sources in your area, then I would open it early to be sure to lock the deer in the area prior to the season. Good luck. (8-14-14)
  • Allen from PA asks:
    Hi,Bill I have very little knowledge on farming or food plots, as I have only 1 acre of woods.Most of it is briers and sumac.However,my wife decided not to plant her garden this year.So! I talked her into letting me plant turnips for the deer this fall and winter. When should I plant the seeds? Should I actualy plant them in rows or scatter them by hand? Also,should I rototiller it prior to seeding? I appreciate any advice Bill. Thank you. "CANT WAIT" for August shows to start!!
    Winke Responds:
    Allen, I think that is really cool. You can just hand seed it. It will work out just fine. The key is not over seeding it. If you plant too many seeds the plants will not grow well. I would fertilize first and then till it up. Spread the seeds on top before a rain and they will work into the top layer of dirt. You don't want them too deep, for sure. I would plant in late July or early August. Good luck with the garden plot. (7-11-14)
  • Keenan from MN asks:
    Just a follow up to a question a little whe ago about a food plot in sage brush/prairie. We finally got it mowed out today into a rough shape. And we found out there is a ton of cactus in the plot. Should we disc then spray it to uproot the cactus? Or is there a chemical that will kill out the cactus. Thanks Keenan.
    Winke Responds:
    Keenan, I don't have practical experience with this but RoundUp will kill it. Keep a fairly heavy dose - 2 quarts per acre in your mix - and it should do the job. Then, I think it would wise to burn it with fire after it dies, just be sure the area is controlled enough that the fire won't jump. Good luck. (7-11-14)
  • Brett from OK asks:
    I have a 3 acre field that the beans fell through on and I was unable to spray so I'm going to be planting it again for a fall blend. I'm very interested in big n beasty but I was considering adding winter wheat and or winter peas. Have you ever added another winter hardy crop? My thinking is that the winter wheat will help me control the weeds come next spring as well.
    Winke Responds:
    Brett, I have done that, but you have to cut the Big n Beasty rate about in half. I would personally rather have the full rate of Big N Beasty if my growing season is long enough (if I can get it in my early to mid-August at the latest) because it produces so much forage. If later than this timeframe, the fast growing oats, wheat or peas would be a good option. I agree on the weed control part. Good luck. (7-11-14)
  • Corey from IL asks:
    One other question...went to my farm this wknd after not being there for 1 month. Get to my clover plot and see that the farmers "help" sprayed half my food plot with roundup (while he was spraying the beans that butt up next to it. Will it come back? Then the other half of the plot had weeds probably 3-4 ft tall (all in 1 month!!) I mowed everything down (that's the second mowing of the year already). Please tell me the clover didn't get choked out by the weeds?? I sprayed clethodim in may but didn't spray the 24db because I figured I could control the weeds with the mower. Had no idea they would jump 4 feet in a month. Thanks for any help
    Winke Responds:
    Corey, It may come back. Clover can take some Roundup without dying. It stunts for a while but eventually pulls through. It depends on the dose he was using and how hard he hit it. I doubt the clover got choked out on the other end. It is amazing how it can hang in there under the taller weeds and then spring to life when you open it up. I once found a clover plot overtaken (totally covered) with 6 foot tall thistles. I mowed it (it was like mowing a forest) and within a week the clover was thriving there again. I think you will be fine on the part not sprayed with RoundUp. You may have to plant the RoundUp'd part to Big N Beasty this summer if the clover doesn't bounce back fairly quickly. Good luck. (7-11-14)
  • Larry from WI asks:
    Bill, I searched the archives because I recall you talking about it before, but I can't find the answer to how long I have to wait to plant a plot that I plow under for green manure. Going to plant some Big and Beasty and Oats in a Rye/Clover plot that I am plowing under. Some websites say at least 30 days - what say you? Thanks again - Happy late 4th and good luck this season! Larry
    Winke Responds:
    Larry, I will defer to the experts, but I don't ever have 30 days for anything so I would plant shortly after plowing down, for better or worse. I am sure the nitrogen in the plants escapes as they rot underground and that is not an overnight process, but it takes a couple weeks for the Big N Beasty to really put down the roots anyway. A small dressing of nitrogen fertilizer would be good to get it started (ideally tilled in when you turn down the existing plow down crop). That way you have some N that is available right away. Weed control is also a problem if you wait 30 days to plant after tilling. You will have to spray before you can plant. Like I said, that may not be the very best strategy, but it fits most people's schedule a lot better than plowing down and then coming back 30 days later to plant. Good luck. (7-11-14)
  • Jeff from IL asks:
    I was looking at fall food plot seeds to plant. I am planting some frigid forage big n beasty but looked at buck forage oats and found this quote on the website..... "Unlike all brassicas, oats, clover, chicory, and Southern peas contain no toxins such as alkaloids that can cause diarrhea, anemia, abortion and even death. We never recommend brassicas for deer, especially stressed post-rut bucks and pregnant does." Have you ever heard of brassicas causing these problems or do you feel like this is just a way to try to sell their product (oats)? Thanks for taking the time to answer my question. I really respect your opinion. Even though you have sponsors I don't feel like you force them on people.
    Winke Responds:
    Jeff, No, I have not heard that. Sounds like marketing to me, but I don't know everything. I am pretty sure if this risk was real it would be a more common message. I know many deer managers and biologists alike that plant brassicas for deer. If someone knows more about this than me, please add to the conversation. Have a great day. (7-10-14)
  • denny from AL asks:
    what kind of spreader are you using for your seed? Ie brand name. And do you like it? All the ones I have used have cheap gears and bind up? Thank You
    Winke Responds:
    Denny, I use an Earthway EV-EN-Spread 2750 model. They also make a higher end professional model called the 3100. I have not had issues with the gears going bad, but I only use it over about five or six acres per year. Happy holiday. Good luck. (7-4-14)
  • Alex from IA asks:
    I was wondering if you have done any work with establishing a food plot in similar manner to your poor man plot, but later in the season, say mid July and using an annual like forage oats or brassicas. We have a secluded spot that is land locked by standing crops right now, mostly just grass, some weeds. Has been pasture for some time. Would it work to kill it, burn it, and broadcast seed it mid to late July with brassicas or oats or a mix? Or what do you suggest?
    Winke Responds:
    Alex, That would definitely work. You have to do pretty much the same things we do with the clover plots. Just be sure to rake up the soil some so that when you put the seed down you get decent seed to soil contact when it rains. You want the seed to get embedded into the top layer of soil and the only way to do that is to make sure the top layer is a bit loose. Good luck. (7-2-14)
  • Dan from IA asks:
    Does killing clover before plowing it down affect its nitrogen input into the soil? Or would I be better off keeping it green and plowing it down and just expect a few weeds to grow back? Thanks for your time!
    Winke Responds:
    Dan, Everything I have read on this suggests that you should plow it down green, but that doesn't mean you can't spray it first. I would only wait a few days after spraying to plow it down though. If you wait too long the nitrogen escapes and is lost as the plant is dying and breaking down. Good luck. (6-29-14)
  • Ken from IL asks:
    Hi Bill. My question is about the application of Round Up. Do you use the "concentrate plus" or "super concentrate" when you spray? According to their website, one works in 12 hours, the other takes 4 days so they must have a different mechanism of action. I do not live near my farm and have no water source available to mix a full tank of the Round Up. I do have a stream on my property. Could I use water from the stream to mix in the tank? Or will I just need to cart water in? Do you use a certain application rate or just spray until the plants are visibly wet? Do you use a dye in it or something like crop oil to help it adhere better? Thanks for all the advice.
    Winke Responds:
    Ken, I am not sure which one it is. I think it is the 40% concentrate or something like that. I mix it at 1 1/2 quarts per acre for most applications and 2 quarts per acre for mature grass. Mine is the 4 day stuff for sure. If the creek water is clean (no sediment suspended) it will work fine through the sprayer. You don't have to wet the entire plant to kill it, but often that is the result when spraying with "amateur" equipment that we use. I don't use dye but I believe it is a good idea and I do use some crop oil to help the RoundUp to stick to the plant better and be absorbed. Good luck. (6-29-14)
  • Frank from MO asks:
    Bill - first of all I am a older person (near your age) that is a new fan of your show. I see your show more for the deer hunters that are past all the shows that basically are 100% about the shooting of big deer and like your approach of the educational topics. I also like your honest approach to what works and does not work in your opinion based on experinace. But to my question - I bought a farm that is 90% wooded located in the very northern part of missouri and will be looking to put food plots in strategic areas and in some cases will need to clear some areas in the woods. The woods already have a trail system that allows mew access to many areas. I am struggling with advice on what would be the perfect size of equipment type that I should be looking at that will allow me to best put in these food plots. I think the very light weight equipment looks great in magazines and in advertisement but doubt it would be effective. What would you suggest for tractor size that would give me
    Winke Responds:
    Frank, Older person that is near my age? I am not an older person! Just kidding. Thanks for your support. I believe you are right. The small, lightweight stuff is not adequate for serious long-term food plot work. I would go with a minimum of a 5 foot tiller and a 40 HP tractor and a 5 foot to 6 foot brush cutter. A 100 gallon 3-point hitch sprayer would also be good. That setup will work. If your plots are only very small and you don't have many of them, you could go a bit smaller, but the size I recommend is good for bigger plots (up to a couple acres) and several of them in a season. Good luck. (6-26-14)
  • Pat from NY asks:
    Bill, Just a tip on how I do the Poor Man's plot, I spray them early June, July, and end of July, then clean out the remaining debris, by then everything is toasted and broken down, then rake and seed to Big and Beasty first week of Aug before a rain. The following season I frost seed to clover and it always works out well. Tried your way and had poor results in my area due to inconsistant rain, similar to what you have experienced the past two years.
    Winke Responds:
    Pat, That is a good tip. No doubt that frost seeding has advantages related to more available moisture for a longer period during the young clover's life and that translates into deeper roots and a better chance of surviving the summer dry spells. Good points. Thanks. (6-26-14)
  • Keenan from MN asks:
    Hey Bill, hopefully you're starting to find back some of your big deer and some new up and comers. My question is about a food plot. We want to put in a 1 to 3 acre food plot that's by a small crick. It's ground that's never been touched and it's got a bunch of prairie grass and sage brush we were wondering how to go about doing that. We have farm equipment so that's not a big deal. Thanks Keenan
    Winke Responds:
    Keenan, At this point, you have two good options for that spot, either a brassica blend like Big N Beasty or winter wheat/oats. I like the Big N Beasty because it produces a lot of forage. Start by mowing the area now and also get a soil sample from that plot tested. Get the area cleaned up good and then let it start to regrow before spraying with RoundUp around mid-July. Let it sit for another two weeks (roughly the end of July) before applying the fertilizer, lime needed and then till it all in. Big N Beasty will have some planting suggestions on the bag to help you determine how much fertilizer it will use. At this point, you can either broadcast the seed onto the ground and hope for rain to work it in or you can use a cultipacker style seeder like the Cabela's seeder or a Brillion to pack the seed in. You are pretty much done. Good luck. (6-25-14)
  • Dan from WI asks:
    Hi there. Got a question about thistles in my clover plot. I believe they are canadian thistle (tall flower bud on top). I have been using a weeding fork to get the most of the tap root I can but am concerned about trampling the young clover. There is a lot of them! I have spent many hours pulling them On 3 occasions now. Is there a better way? Chemical treatment? Too many to spot treat I think. If I have to keep pulling that is okay, the harder I have to work for that mature buck the more rewarding! It is amazing what you do, I what you to know I really appreciate you answering our questions. Thanks.
    Winke Responds:
    Dan, There aren't any really good chemical treatments out there that I have tried. I have heard of 2-4-DB as being an option, but I have not tried it. It is supposed to kill broadleaf plants out of clover without hurting the clover. Just be sure you get the right stuff. 2,4d will kill your clover. 2,4db will not. 2,4dB is also called Butyrac 200 and will kill a wide range of broadleaf weeds (not 100% sure if it will kill thistles, but I believe it will) but will not damage clover or alfalfa. Something to consider. Also, just mowing the plot down low will also help to suppress the thistles a lot. Good luck. (6-25-14)
  • DOUG from MO asks:
    Hi Bill, we burnded off some over grown fields this year hoping to make them in to bedding areas however the fields have mostly grown up in weeds and not so much grass. I was hoping it would come back as grasses so I could just let them grow and produce cover. Should I mow the field now to try to slow down the weeds and then maybe the grasses will take over. Also some of this vegetation may be useful to the deer I am not very familiar with all the different types of vegetation.What do you think is the best thing to do
    Winke Responds:
    Doug, Weeds can sometimes be a good thing as deer will eat many of them, but you have to be careful because there are also some that are considered invasive that no one wants to see get a foothold. I don't know them all either so my sense is that you should focus on growing what you want in that area rather than hoping something good will spring up. With that in mind, it sounds like what you really want is switchgrass. In your area I would probably be looking for Cave In Rock switchgrass as it stands up well in the winter. It is the only grass that I know of that produces semi-permanent cover. You can keep the area mowed this year to control weed growth and then spray with RoundUp to kill it in September and then lightly till it in October. You can then frost seed with switchgrass during the late winter and you should be off to a good start come next year. Then, after the switchgrass gets established, regular burning will increase the habitat because the switchgrass will continue to take over. Good luck. (6-25-14)
  • Dan from WI asks:
    Hi Bill. New food plotter here and think i might have made a rookie mistake. I spring seeded white clover in a half acre plot and got worried that it was not doing well at the 3 week mark (patience right!) and broad cast t-raptor and radishes over the top just to get something going. Well turns out the clover is coming in pretty good but now so are the radishes and rape.. Is there something I can kill the radishes and rape with that will not hurt the clover? do I need to be concerned about it? Also one more thing. Can I spray clethodim for grass over very young clover? A lot more grass than I would like to see. Thanks!!!
    Winke Responds:
    Dan, Sounds like you got impatient there. I would let them grow together a bit longer (until the brassicas start to overshade the clover) and then just mow it. The clover will respond faster after the mowing than the brassicas so the clover will start to dominate. I have sprayed young clover with clethodim so that should be OK. In fact, I have a field like that too, that I need to spray. Good luck. (6-25-14)
  • Dylan from WI asks:
    Bill, I am a huge fan of the show. I am even trying to cure my summer lull by watching every show you have on here from the beginning. I have a possible poor man plot but it is a little on the shady side but unfortunately i am not allowed to cut down trees. The soil is well drained as it is on a ridge, though. Is there any seed blend you could recommend for southwest Wisconsin under these conditions?
    Winke Responds:
    Dylan, Thanks for the support. There is tons and tons of video there. So get some popcorn and plan to burrow in for a while. Big leafed plants tend to do better with less than ideal sunlight so consider something like Big N Beasty. I have also had decent success with clover in narrow strips (almost like lanes) so I am sure it will also do well in semi-shade. Both are good choices. You might consider Big N Beasty the first year and then frost seed clover in March. Good luck. (6-21-14)
  • Lee Strohe from PA asks:
    Quick question on using RoundUp and a backpack sprayer for clearing deer trails: It seems you are using a mix when pouring it into your sprayer. Is this your method or is there a suggested mix ratio? And what exactly is the mix....Water + RoundUp? Thanks for all you do. Dreaming Big!
    Winke Responds:
    Lee, I just use about 2 quarts per acre (I feel that I can cover about 1/4 acre with one four gallon tank on the backpack sprayer). So I am putting about 16 ounces of RoundUp in there and adding some water conditioner (crop oil) to work as a surfactant so the RoundUp and waterd don't run right off the leaves. Good luck to you. Keep dreaming big! (6-21-14)
  • Drew from KY asks:
    Hello Bill, I am curious as to the outcome of seeding a small soybean field with a brassica blend via broadcast/no-till towards September. In your opinion would it produce positive results? Regards, Drew M.
    Winke Responds:
    Drew, You can do that as soon as the beans turn yellow because the leaves will be falling off soon and that will provide the sunlight you need to get the brassicas growing. I have done this many times and it works very well as long as you get a timely rain to germinate the brassicas. Good luck. (6-21-14)
  • Joe from IA asks:
    I just got my soil test back and they are calling for 34-0-0 at 176 pounds acre. I have clover there now im going to plow in and plant turnips when do I fertilize and does it have to be that exact number
    Winke Responds:
    Joe, I would fertilize right before you plow down the clover. No, as long as you are close to the recommended amount, you will do just fine. Good luck. (6-21-14)
  • Neil from WI asks:
    Hi Bill, sorry to see your off season show end! Will have to find something else to look forward to for the next 2 months. You've probably answered this question before but couldn't find it in the archives. When mowing your clover plots, what height do you mow them at? Do u mow them as low as possible or just "give them a trim off the top"? Thanks Bill, can't wait for august!
    Winke Responds:
    Neil, I mow low (just above the ground) if there is sufficient moisture that the plants won't be stressed when they regrow. I have learned with experience that clover will outcompete most everything else if you cut everything low. If it is dry, I cut it at 8 inches or I don't cut it at all and just wait to see if we get rains. Thanks for the support. We are starting to get excited for the new season too. Have a great day. (6-20-14)
  • Matt from MO asks:
    I hunt in north central missouri and I am wanting to put in a few big and beasty plots. When do your start preparing the ground for them? Do you spray them now, till them up 2 weeks later, then let them sit for a few weeks before planting? Thanks.
    Winke Responds:
    Matt, I would start now with a soil test and then work on the ground starting around July 10 to 20th. Spray to kill and then wait about two weeks to spread the fertizer and lime as needed and then till it up at that time. Spread the seed or drill it in after tilling. If you spread it, pull something across the plot to work the seeds in to the very top layer of ground. Good luck. (6-20-14)
  • Doug from WI asks:
    I made a small poor mans plot sprayed with round up let it sit for 3 weeks mowed all the grass and raked it all off. The ground was really tough couldn't get a walk behind tiller thru it so I limed it and spread clover mix on it then raked it in the best I could . Lots off seeds showing so I took the grass I raked off and sprinkled it back on the plot to cover seeds to keep moisture in and seeds covered. Was this a good idea?
    Winke Responds:
    Doug, I think that was a great idea. Anything you can do to hold the moisture close to the seed for as long as possible when the seed is on the top of the ground is a great idea. Good job. I would like to hear how it does for you. Best regards. (6-20-14)
  • andy from IA asks:
    Bill I think you kind of answered this question, but I'll ask anyway. I want to work on a poor man's plot, yet this summer. Won't be able to spray it until the 4 of July. Less than a 1/4 acre inside the timber. Is clover still a good idea to plant mid to late August? Or should I plant brassicas? Also, I have friends that plant buck forage oats. I can't recall you ever planting oats, any reasons why?
    Winke Responds:
    Andy, Clover is OK if there is still sufficient rainfall in the forecast to get it started and growing. It is always risky that late. You might want to wait until mid July to start it and then plant to Big N Beasty. Oats are a good alternative if you can't get your brassicas planted in time. They will germinate and grow fast. Donwside is that they just don't produce as much forage as Big N Beasty. They are also not winter hardy like clover so you have to replant each year. In the right situation (late planting in September, for example) they are a good choice. Good luck. (6-20-14)
  • jody from IA asks:
    Hi Bill, this past spring and friend and I put in a couple half acre clover food plots. Both are coming up well. We also just sprayed with clethodim ps this past weekend. Im hoping the herbicide wont stress the young clover as the plants were about 2 inches tall. Do you innoculate your clover seed? The co-op guy said the seed was pre-innoculated so I did not innoculate. There are mixed reviews on pre-innoculated seeds, i know it is best to innoculate before planting. What are your thoughts?Thanks for your time and I hope your site stays up for years to come...good day!
    Winke Responds:
    Jody, You should be OK with that. We have sprayed clover plots with young clover and done fine. I don't innoculate, but I am sure that I should. There is plenty of science to back it up. I just plant the Frigid Forage Pure Trophy Clover and don't do anything to the seed. The site is not going anywhere. We only plan to make it better as time rolls along. Have a great day. (6-18-14)
  • Tim from TN asks:
    I was watching a hunting show and they were discussing soybeans. Then man said all soybeans are tolerant to roundup. Is this true? Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Time, Most soybeans now are Roundup Ready. Not sure you can even buy the other type without special ordering it, but I would never go so far as to say that "all" soybeans are RoundUp Ready because I am sure that is not true. There are always non-GMO farmers out there and they would not be planting RR beans so they have to be getting the seed somewhere. Good luck. (6-9-14)
  • Matt from TN asks:
    If there wasnt any round up ready corn, and I had to plant just regular field corn for my deer, how would i be able to keep it clean? Is it just going to be a waste of time? Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Matt, We did it for years. There were a number of herbicides that were used for that which had a residual affect. You sprayed them on right after planting and the chemicals kept compeition from growing. I can't remember the names of all those products, but I don't think it was less expensive than just using RoundUp. Also, the old time farmers used to field cultivate shortly after the corn got up and growing to clean out the rows so that the corn could soon shadow out the competition. That is how my dad and granddad did it. They had a little four-row cultivator on a Farmall C. There has been some backlash against RoundUp because it is thought to possibly contribute negatively to human health. So a Roundup free solution might be back in the cards at some point. Have a great day. (6-8-14)
  • Neil from WI asks:
    Hi Bill, thanks for taking the time to answer all of these questions! I know you're a very busy guy, but your information is very helpful. Question: when planting clover to plow under, does it matter if you spray to kill it? Or should you leave it green and turn it over for green manure? I'm using small atv implements. It's easier to kill off a plot to turn it over compared to leaving it green. Is there a difference for maximizing nitrogen put back in. Thanks!
    Winke Responds:
    Neil, From my research, there is no difference as long as you turn it under soon after spraying. For example, if you wait a couple of weeks to turn it under, some of the nitrogen in the plant will be lost to the air. Good luck. (6-5-14)
  • Scott from WI asks:
    Bill, I saw where you posted you thought atv disc where not tough enough to get good tillage and where raking would be good. Do you think a chain drag harrow would work after roundup and use aggressive spike side to scratch up surface and then after seeding turn over to flat side to cover seed. I am planning clovers, cereal grains and brassicas and I think they don't need much coverage. Scott
    Winke Responds:
    Scott, I think that would work well, but I would place extra weight on the harrow (like a big branch) to force the spikes in a bit deeper. We used to drag steel panel fences around with medium sized logs on them when doing ATV work to work up the ground a bit before planting and then take the logs off and drag them again after seeding. Pretty crude, but it did create better seed to soil contact than just spreading the seed without doing anything to soil. The main thing is to create some porosity or texture to the soil so the seeds can settle in. Good luck. (5-31-14)
  • Ross from IA asks:
    Bill, How tall (in inches) do you usually let your clover plots get before you cut them? Also how many times a summer do you usually cut them and at what height (in inchs)do you usually have your mower set at when you do cut them?
    Winke Responds:
    Ross, I am more interested in the weeds than the clover. If the clover is clean (not many weeds) I may only cut it once (not at all in a dry summer). If it has a lot of weeds in it, I cut it in about mid-to-late June regardless of the height of the clover in order to clean up the weeds. I like to mow low to the ground to really wipe out the weeds. I realize most people suggest mowing high, but I have learned that mowing low does a better job of cleaning things up. If you have a clean clover patch and just want to mow it for purposes of keeping it lush, then sometime in mid-July would be good as long as you have sufficient moisture for it to grow back well. Then I would mow it moderate height, a three or four inches off the ground. Good luck. (5-30-14)
  • Brock from IA asks:
    Can I use 13-13-13 fertilizer on my clover and big-n-beasty food plots? It says it is for lawns and trees but I have some laying around and I was wondering if it would work. Thanks.
    Winke Responds:
    Brock. You can use it for Big N Beasty (use about 400 pounds per acre because it is not very concentrated at the 13 rate) but it is not ideal for clover. It will work but is kind of a waste of money. Clover doesn't need the nitrogen (first number in the series) so a mix without any N would be better (and cheaper). I would try a local co-op to see what they have on hand or can bag up for you. Tell them you want to fertilize clover and how big the area is and they will know just what to mix up for you or recommend off the shelf. Good luck. (5-29-14)
  • Jake from WI asks:
    Bill, How about doing an "average man's plot" where you use only ATV equipment? Getting access to an ATV and ATV implements is easier, cheaper, and easier to transport than tractors and traditional farm equipment. Also, it would really help to see what works in the real world. I've got 2 spots I could put in plots this year, but the ground has never been broke (like your poor man's plots). I've been told by friends that an ATV won't have enough weight/power to break the sod clumps even after spraying. Should I sacrifice a couple of weekends and roll the dice that I can get a nice plot to grow?
    Winke Responds:
    Jake, Not a bad idea, except I don't have any of those items. I am with those who say that an ATV disk is not heavy enough to break up sod. If the plot has been dead for a while, you can get through it, but if you spray it and come back ten days later, I seriously doubt the ATV implements will do a bit of good. I don't even think the small tractor pulled disks will really do much in that situation. A tiller will work, or a heavy disk, but otherwise, you need the root structure to be mostly decayed and the ground more or less bare to have any impact using lightweight tillage equipment. To be honest, I think lightweight tillage equipment is waste of time and money. I would be more inclined to do it the Poor Man's way and kill it, burn it off with fire and then use a rototiller or rake to rough up the ground before broadcasting the seed. That will work, just as well (or better) than trying to break up the ground with an ATV disk. Good luck. (5-29-14)
  • Dennis from WI asks:
    How many oz per gallon of 41% glyphosate do you mix to hand spray with the back pack sprayer?
    Winke Responds:
    Dennis, I base it on the amount of area I think I can cover. With the five gallon backpack sprayer I think I can cover about 1/4 acre max. If a really good kill comes from 2 quarts per acre, then I figure 1 quart on 1/4 acre is going to smoke everything it touches. So I put one quart in the backpack sprayer. I am sure I could go with less, but it is not that expensive and I really don't want to have to come back and touch up any areas that I may not have hit with a full spray. With the more concentrated solution, even those fringe areas get enough coverage for a good kill. Good luck. (5-29-14)
  • Jason from WI asks:
    Hi Bill, After watching your last episode about the "2014 poor man plot" I became a little concerned about how you apply herbicide. I'm a professional herbicide applicator and I do this for a living and with relative frequency. But I saw you making a large mistake that most untrained applicators make. Could you please where some nitrile or rubber gloves and a pair of safety glasses when you mix and apply herbicide? Your a role model for tons of people and I think they would want you to be safe. Not to mention your family. Two other quick tips. 1. Use a blue/red dye indicator to help you see your application coverage. 2. Spray while walking backwards. That way you minimize the contamination on your clothing and you can see your coverage as you walk backward. Always fun to watch. Jason
    Winke Responds:
    Jason, I am sure I am not careful enough and I appreciate the tips and words of caution. I will take them to heart. Thanks for your support and for sending in the note. Have a great day. (5-29-14)
  • Paul from MI asks:
    Hi Bill Love your show, very informative. Just starting to learn more an more about property mgmt and food plots and you've been a big help. Was wondering, I have a 10 acre field of corn this year that I am not going to harvest and I was thinking that this fall, maybe septemberish, I would go in and knock over some of the corn in trail systems that lead to tree stands and also bc I've read that the deer prefer it on the ground in late season as opposed to standing. Do you think just using the loader bucket on your tractor set a foot off the ground would be best way to do that or would you use a brush hog thinking that maybe the brush hog would "broadcast" some of the corn all over the ground more than the bucket? Also thinking maybe the brush hog would make it easier to walk thru vs just tipping the stalk over w the bucket edge. Hope this makes sense. Thanks for any input!
    Winke Responds:
    Paul, The bush hog is probably better at spreading the corn and clearing the trails, but I kind of feel that it crosses a line and may be seen as too close to baiting. The loader bucket would do an OK job too. I have even driven through corn with my truck at times to flatten it. However, just be sure this legal where you hunt. Again, the bush hog would likely achieve your goals better, if legal. Good luck. (5-29-14)
  • Paul from MI asks:
    Hey Bill, was wondering if you had any opinions on buying a skid steer vs a utility tractor. I know you promote cabelas new line and I am checking them out, but I am entertaining the idea of a skid steer instead. Can get tillers, brush hog, bucket, etc for implements/attachments. They're much smaller, turn on a dime and so getting thru wooded trails and small food plot areas I'm thinking they might b more versatile? If I was doing 5 plus acre food plots or more I think tractor would be best but most of my plots are 1/2 to 2 acre size. Believe they r comparably priced. Any thoughts/input?
    Winke Responds:
    Paul, For sure skid steers are nice for certain projects. Our first year we had Cat as a sponsor and we had access to a skid steer and a number of their skid steer attachments. They are awesome for serious dirt moving projects, but for the rest of the projects on the farm, the tractor is better. Let me put it in simple terms, you can move some dirt with a tractor but you can't plant beans with a skid steer. If you can afford both, that is ideal. If you can afford only one or the other and have a typical farm as you describe, I think the tractor is better. I haven't found a spot yet that I can't slip into with one of the 50 hp Cabela's tractors. I would love a skid steer (they are super fun to use), but I need a tractor. I hope that makes sense. I am sure you can make both work, but the tractor and attachments are optimized for field work whereas the skid steer and attachments are optimized for dirt work, in my opinion. Have a great day. (5-29-14)
  • Russ from MI asks:
    Hello Bill. I try not to ask questions that you'll find stupid, but this one might be, so, sorry in advance. We've had a very late Spring here in Michigan so I just got my Poor Man's Plot seeded to clover. Come August, should I plow it under and plant Big & Beasty or, assuming that it grows well and the deer are eating it well, should I leave the clover through the fall? I've had great luck with the B&B on my lease in Iowa, but have never tried it here. Thanks Bill. A little late, but Happy Memorial Day to you and your family.
    Winke Responds:
    Russ, Thanks. Happy Memorial Day to you too. I would keep the clover for a couple of years to see how well the deer go for it. If it comes in well, clover is a great choice (as is Big N Beasty) for a poor man's plot. I would then plow it under in the second year and plant the Big N Beasty at that time. Good luck. (5-27-14)
  • Lance from MN asks:
    I am creating a new food plot on land that has been in pasture for a number of years. Is it better to spray for weeds first before I till it up or till it up first and then spray for weeds?
    Winke Responds:
    Lance, Spray first and then till, for sure. Give it at least a week to kill the grass/weeds before tilling. Good luck. (5-27-14)
  • Jeremy from WI asks:
    I want to broadcast big n beasty into my standing soybeans to make more food and better late season plot. When's the best time to do this is WI to reach maturity.
    Winke Responds:
    Jeremy, Ideally you would do it about two weeks, or so, before the beans are harvested if a commercial crop. If the crop is not harvested (a food plot, for example) I would broadcast into thin areas (usually around the edges) where the Big N Beasty can get some decent sunlight earlier. In that case, you can broadcast as soon as early August (again, assuming the areas will have sunlight to the ground). If you want to go into areas where the beans are thick, you will have to wait until about the time the bean leaves start to turn yellow because they will fall off soon and that will provide sunlight. That may be later in the growing season than is ideal, but it will still provide some good forage. I have done it both ways and both work. Good luck. (5-27-14)
  • Ross from IA asks:
    Bill, Love what your doing here with Midwest Whitetail. It's extremely nice to have a website/place where a hunter can go and get some quality advice and insite from other fellow hunters. I very much appreciate it and keep up the good work! I am currently in the porcess of making a 1 to 1 & 1/2 acre deer food plot. I have yet to exactly measure it out as I'm still in the porcess of removing the brush from it. I'm however planning on planting Big N Beasty in it this summer sometime in Late July or early August. I'm also in the process of getting the soil tested but am still waiting for the results to come back. The three questions I have for you are: 1.) What do you believe is the ideal pH and N-P-K for a Big N Beasty food plot? 2.) What is the idea time that you have experenced here in Iowa to plant Big N Beasty. 3.) I've talked to others hunters that have planted Big N Beasty before and they have warned me not to plant it too soon so that the rape bulbs do not grow too big. They b
    Winke Responds:
    Ross, Thanks for the support and kind words. I appreciate both. 1. I believe anything between 6.5 and 7 is ideal for most plants (but not all) and the brassicas fall into this category that like the neutral pH. N-P-K is a tougher one as the soil test will tell you where you stand on those nutrients and you will have to add as needed not only to just bring the soil up to par, but also to feed the plants. I suspect that most areas are at least decent in P-K but low in N (as it is not nearly as naturally occuring as P & K). For that reason, I am sure you will need to fertilize, but the soil test will tell you how much of each you need. 2. I think you have the timeframe right. Early August is good as you can catch any August rains (there are usually a couple of them). 3. This part of the question got cut off as it exceeded my word limit. If you plant at the time discussed, the plants will mature the correct amount without over maturing. Good luck. (5-27-14)
  • Rick from IA asks:
    Bill, i love your show keep up the wonderful episodes! Now to my question, what is the best time to plant soy beans solely for use of feeding deer during the season?
    Winke Responds:
    Rick, Thanks. I appreciate that. I like for my soybeans to mature and produce beans so the deer use them during the late fall and winter. For that reason, I plant them in May or the first three weeks of June in Iowa. Those are good timeframes for most areas except the south where it may turn dry early in the summer. In those areas you have to plant earlier. Some guys like the beans to be green in the fall so the deer are attracted to them. They plant later, but the downside is that bean plants will stop growing and the pods stop filling after the first frost. After that, the plant turns black and basically is no longer attractive to the deer. That is not my gaol. So plant them early and they will produce summer forage and fall/winter grain. The best of both worlds. Good luck. (5-27-14)
  • Ben from GA asks:
    Bill, how late can you spring plant clover in the southeast? I hope to plant before a rain sometime this month. Here in north Ga, May and June can be dry and hot at times. Love the show, you do an awesome job! Ben
    Winke Responds:
    Ben, I am not sure. I would call the seed dealer. My guess is that you are pushing the limit right now. You will need more than one good rain before it shuts off dry or the seedlings will die after germinating. Here in the Midwest we only have a couple more weeks. Good luck. (5-26-14)
  • Darin from MN asks:
    I sprayed with glyphosate 41%. Can I disc that up the next day or should I wait a set amount of days before digging. Thanks Bill.
    Winke Responds:
    Darin, I would let it work for a week at the least because you want the plants to take it up and die before you disk the ground. Good luck. (5-17-14)
  • Joe from IA asks:
    I asked a question about fertilizing when rotating between clover and turnips awhile back. Can I fertilize that now on the clover or do I need to wait till I disc it in?
    Winke Responds:
    Joe, You can fertilize clover on top of the ground. In fact, if you apply fertilizer annually, as you should, there is no other way. It will work its way down into the soil. Good luck. (5-13-14)
  • Matt from MO asks:
    How are your clover plots that you frost seeded doing? I frost seeded a couple acres on bare dirt back in March and I have been very disappointed with the production. We have had a few really good rains. I am not sure if the seed was washed out or not, but we had very little germination. Any ideas as to why we had such bad results?
    Winke Responds:
    Matt, My guess is that it is still coming. It can take a while for the seeds to germinate well if the weather is not warm. It requires warm soil and moisture to germinate. Keep watching but I am guessing you will still have clover. Best regards. (5-5-14)
  • Matt from TN asks:
    I have a clover and alfalfa plot that i planted a while back that is growing well. However, native grasses and weeds are beginning to get it. What can i spray that wont harm the alfalfa and clover?
    Winke Responds:
    Matt, I would spray something with the active ingredient Clethodim for grass control. There are other possible products too, but that one comes readily to mind. You can find a number of specific brands that will work, you can either do an online search or talk to the agent at your local ag co-op. For the broadleaf weeds, the easiest way to control them is to mow the plot. If you want to spray for them, I think the chemical Slay will work. Whitetail Institute sells that. Good luck. (5-5-14)
  • Mike from WI asks:
    Two quick questions I have a small clover plot here in wisconsin that is getting hammered this spring due to the terrible winter. When you spread Big and Beasty into thin areas of your plots do you have to replant the whole plot (we just replanted last year)or could we just frost seed next spring? Also, if I only hunt weekends would it be to much pressure to hunt the same stand once a week assuming the right wind?
    Winke Responds:
    Mike, I would not try to broadcast Big N Beasty into clover. Big N Bassty must be planted in late July/early August and the clover plot will be way too thick with clover or weeds by then to get any seed to soil contact. I would be tempted broadcast a half rate of clover seed into the plot right and hope for enough rains to get it to germinate and start growing. If not, I would probably kill it in the summer and replant to Big N Beasty for the fall/winter and then frost seed clover back into the plot during the late winter. I am sure that hunting it once per week would be fine. Good luck. (5-4-14)
  • Regi from IA asks:
    When your over seed Big N Beasty into your soybean plots in the fall what do you spray for a herbicide on your soybeans either pre-emergent or post in the spring?
    Winke Responds:
    Regi, You just treat the beans like you normally would. Assuming it is RoundUp ready, you just spray with the RoundUp to keep weeds clear and then broadcast into a clean (weedless) field in the late summer. Good luck. (4-24-14)
  • Joe from WI asks:
    We just received about 3 inches of snow here in Northeast Wisconsin, shocker. I was wondering can I frost seed my clover right on top of the snow, because next week the temps are suppose to be in the 60's and 70's. However, this was an older clover plot with weeds starting to takeover so should I just wait spray the plot and plant later? Thanks for the time.
    Winke Responds:
    Joe, Man, that does stink. We had flurries here, but nothing stuck. You can frost seed into the snow and the seed will work its way nicely into the ground when it thaws, however, if you have weeds, I would probably wait until it starts to grow and kill it and start over. Actually, I would probably look at a rotation at this point. I would just maintain that plot as best you can (possibly spray with a selective grass killer in late May) and then kill and till in July and plant to Big N Beasty in late July/early August. Then you can frost seed the clover next winter into more of a bare ground (the Big N Beasty will either be eaten or will rot by late winter/early spring). Have a great day. (4-16-14)
  • Ryan from IN asks:
    Bill, Just a comment about your most recent video on "Lime Application". Contrary to popular belief, pelletized lime does not change the PH at a quicker rate than bulk Ag Lime. Please visit this link for more details: http://www.uky.edu/Ag/Agronomy/Extension/ssnv/ssvl189.htmhttp://www.uky.edu/Ag/Agronomy/Extension/ssnv/ssvl189.htm Whenever possible, I would try to save your hard earned money and buy your lime in bulk and not in bags. Thanks, Ryan
    Winke Responds:
    Ryan, Interesting info. Thanks for sharing that. I had always heard that the pelletized lime worked faster. I have another option available to me and that is liquid lime. I have three 50 gal barrels of it in the shop and will try some of that this year too. I need to get some traditional ag lime spread here for sure. Have a great day. (4-15-14)
  • jeremy from OH asks:
    I am planning on planting mean bean crush mix in last years oat\turnip\brassica plot. My queation is should I plant them late so they r geen n early season or should I plant them early so they mature & overseed turnips @ leaf drop & oats later? The surrounding plots are in clover & chicory & I hate to give up my turnips & oats for late season but want the beans for summer forage. Any help on this matter would b appreciated.
    Winke Responds:
    Jeremy, I did a little research on this and I think you should plant it early so that the plants provide summer protien for the deer. If they clean it out in the summer you can then go into the same plots plant your turnip, oats blend in the late summer and still have forage there for the fall. I guess, that would be my plan. Good luck. (4-15-14)
  • Nathan from IN asks:
    Hey Bill! Love the show! After I seed my plots, do I need to drag it or anything to cover the seed or just let it be? Bout 1/4 acre is size. Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Nathan, Ideally, yes, you would drag it even if just with a large branch behind your ATV. It is best to cover the seed with a thin layer of soil. However, if you tilled the ground and the soil is soft, small seeds like clover and brassicas will get pounded in by the next rain and do OK without dragging. However, larger seeds like corn or beans need to be dragged to cover them up or the birds (turkeys, crows, etc.) will pick you clean and the seed will not be deep enough to put down roots before it dries out after a rain. My feeling is that if you are planting just a 1/4 acre plot, it really needs to be clover or brassicas (like Big N Beasty) or the deer will wipe you out anyway. Good luck. (4-15-14)
  • Matt from MO asks:
    How late into the spring can you plant clover to get a strong growth? Thanks for all the great work that you do.
    Winke Responds:
    Matt, You can normally go into early May as long as there is decent subsoil moisture and you have a good rain coming. The risk you have if you wait too long is that the spring rains will dry up and your small clover, once germinated, won't have time to put down roots before the heat and dry of summer kill it. Good luck. (4-14-14)
  • Brian from OH asks:
    Hi Bill, love the show and the offseason tips/tricks are very beneficial and give me alot of things I want to try this year. But my question is, have you ever thrown clover or brassicas into a corn/bean field after the farmers have planted? Where I hunt, it's crop fields and woods and I was trying to get your thoughts on throwing some seed down inbetween rowns or corn and if that seed would grow and provide another food source after the farmers have taken the crops off? Thank you - Brian
    Winke Responds:
    Brian, Thanks for your support and for watching the shows. No, I have not broadcast after they have planted, but I have broacast brassicas much closer to harvest time. I don't think it would grow in the summer as the row crop would shade it out. Besides, the farmer is not going to like that at all iff it did grow as it would rob nutrients and moisture from his cash crop. Right before harvest time is another story though. You can spread some brassicas (Big N Beasty) and have it produce a nice second crop for the deer (assuming the harvest is relatively early (beans, for example). You will need good favorable growing conditions (no early frost and some rains to get it up and growing). It does work at that time, but not in the spring. Good luck. (4-12-14)
  • Beau from IL asks:
    Hello bill, can i overseed a brassica blend into clover without having to disk or do anything to the existing clover or would i have to tear up the clover then plant the brassica? would mowing the clover very low before planting help? also i like the cooking segments! keep em up. Thanks, have a good day
    Winke Responds:
    Beau, I like those cooking segments too. You have to kill the clover, or at least disk it under, before planting the brassicas. They won't grow with that much competition. Good luck. (4-8-14)
  • Mike from IA asks:
    Hey Bill, great information, great show! I plan to plant some cedar seedlings in a grassy area. Do you know if I need to spray before hand? and if so do I need to wait before planting? Thanks!
    Winke Responds:
    Mike, It would be ideal to kill the grass in those areas where you are planting the cedars first, but it is not always practical. You will get your seedlings when the nursery is harvesting them and your order is ready. That dictates timing, not whether it is warm enough to get a killing spray. If it is green and growing during the days before you get your trees I would be tempted to spray then even if you don't get a full kill. The spray only needs a day on the grass before you plant so there is no need to wait for the grass to actually die. That will happen during the next couple weeks after spraying. Good luck. (4-8-14)
  • Adam from NC asks:
    Hey Bill I have what I believe to be a great spot for a food plot, very easy entry/exit and I get a pretty good bit of deer movement through there already. Right now it's just grown up grasses and briars and has never been planted before so I'm wondering if you think big n beasty or clover would be better? I already have a couple of clover plots on the farm. Also I was wondering if there is an email I could send you pictures of deer and see what kind of potential you think I could have. And I speak for all of us when I say thanks for answering our questions and comments.
    Winke Responds:
    Adam, I think since you already have some clover plots, you might as well give the Big N Beasty a try. If you didn't have other clover plots, I would have it in clover the first couple of years. You can mow in mid-summer, spray a couple weeks later and then till and plant a couple weeks after that. In your area, I am guessing early September maybe? I discourage people from sending in photos for me to evaluate. I would find myself looking at a lot of photos if I started that. Thanks for the support. I appreciate it. Have a great day. (4-2-14)
  • Brandon Hirsch from WI asks:
    I am looking at planting clover in early spring due to mineral sights being illegal now. I planted Big-N-Beasty last year in this plot. Can I just spread clover and chicory over the top when the snow is gone without discing up the stuff from last year? Then I plan on planting Big-N-Beasty again in August. Are there any other tips you have to make this a smooth transition? Thank you very much Bill and I love the show.
    Winke Responds:
    Brandon, You can if there was no weeds in the plot last fall. If you can get good seed to soil contact the frost seeding strategy will work well. Since you are just going to disk it back under in the summer, I think this is a great plan. When disking the clover, you should try to mow it right before you turn it under so it goes through the disk easier. By turning it under green, you incorporate all the nitrogen in those plants back into the soil really improving the productivity of the dirt for the next round of Big N Beasty. You may consider adding some fertilizer to the plot anyway, but you won't have to add as much as you would without "plowing down" the clover. Good luck. (4-1-14)
  • Art from MN asks:
    Hi Bill, I have very sandy soil and would like to plant either the clover or Wall hanger in a little over an acre plot. I do have the ability to water this plot when needed. My plan is to plant another acre of Big N Beasty between the tree line and the clover/wall hanger plot in August. Just wondering what you think would work better, the clover or Wall hanger. Thanks for all your help and God Bless.
    Winke Responds:
    Art, I would call John at Frigid Forage and find out what blends work best with those soils. He will have a better feel for that than me. Either the clover blend or the Wallhanger will work fine for attracting and feeding deer. I would go with the one that does best in the sandy soils. Possibly the Wallhanger will get the nod there as it has some pretty drought tolerant varieties, but John can speak to that better than me. Good luck. (4-1-14)
  • Kurt from PA asks:
    Bill, Do you "calibrate" your hand seeders? If so, how? Thanks.
    Winke Responds:
    Kurt, Calibration depends on seed size, rate and walking speed, so it is something you have to do yourself. Clover being very small you need a small opening, so start with the seeder at about 1 1/2 or a tiny bit wider. Walk fairly quickly. Then as you seed an area of a known size, compare the amount of seed to the size of the area to see if you need to change the setting. Big N Beasty has some bigger seeds in the blend so I start with the seeder at roughly 2 1/2 and see where that leads. This for an Even Spread from Earthway. For other size seeds, you will have to experiement on your own. Good luck. (3-28-14)
  • Corey from IL asks:
    Hi Bill - I have 2 clover plots. 1 established and 1 first year. Frost seeded both already. My question is what is the next step? When do I spray, fertilize and mow and in what order? Also, I plan to put 200lbs per acre of 0-0-60 on each plot. Does this sound ok for fertilizer? Thanks for all your help!
    Winke Responds:
    Corey, I would fertilize as soon as the ground is solid enough to drive on with the spreader. Wait to see how much weeds you have and what kind they are. If grasses, spray in early May with a grass selective herbicide and then come back in late May early June to mow to clean up any broadleaf weeds that appear. If mostly broadleaf weeds, just mow in late May to clean it up. You probably should add some Phosphorus into the fertilizer mix too. That is what the fellows at the Co-Op always mix up for me. The ideal annual mix would likely be more like 0-60-60 at a rate of 100 pounds per acre. If you can't find that and all you have is 0-0-60, then I guess 200 pounds will definitely help. Good luck. (3-27-14)
  • Chad from MI asks:
    Hey Bill, I've seen plenty of your articles/videos and other information about frost seeding. In Michigan, I still have about 6-12 inches of snow on my food plot. Recently I attended a food plot seminar by the QDMA and they commented that frost seeding overtop of snow is a good thing to do, even 1-2 ft (which is what I had at the time of the seminar). I'm just shocked that as many articles and information I've seen on frost seeding I've never seen this tactic before. Should it be called snow seeding? :-) Wondered what your thoughts/experience is on this.
    Winke Responds:
    Chad, I have heard the same thing, but I have always waited until just after the snow melted to broacast the seed. It just seems like it would be easier walking, etc. However, I guess there is no reason to wait. I guess the seed should work down to the ground and get nice seed to soil contact as it goes down with the snow. Good luck. (3-27-14)
  • Joe from WI asks:
    I hunt in Grant county and am planting a brasicca blend food plot. When is the ideal time to plant the plot so it attracts deer for bow and gun season? Thank you for all your help.
    Winke Responds:
    Joe, In your area, the best time is likely late July or early August. Hopefully, we get some rains at that time. If so, the plot will be very full and lush by season. Good luck. (3-25-14)
  • colin from NY asks:
    Is there any value in frost seeding an existing clover plot that has been in for two full years? Can I extend the life of that plot by doing so? if I was to frost seed an area like that, how long until I could spray it for weeds or grasses?
    Winke Responds:
    Colin, That will prolong the plot for at least another year. I would use about a half rate of seed. Eventually, you will need to cycle the plot out into something else, kill everything and start over. I would not try to spray until the grasses are actively growing - not sure in your area, but likely early to mid-May. If you spray when the grasses are not growing fast, they don't die. Good luck. (3-25-14)
  • Jeffrey from LA asks:
    Bill - Wondering if you could give a very rough estimate of cost of a 10 acre (Eagle) soybean plot, including fertilizer and other miscellaneous costs. Just a very crude number. Also I am in a high deer density location, would you recommend an electric fence for 10 acre plot? I was thinking of putting up a fence for 4-6 weeks and then take it down. thanks! Jeff
    Winke Responds:
    Jeffrey, I would guess it at about $1,700 to $2,000 - very rough estimate. That fence will definitely work. It will be expensive (though re-usable) for that big of an area. If you get the beans at least a foot tall, they should be able to handle the browsing pressure in a plot that big. Good luck. (3-24-14)
  • Zack from IA asks:
    Hey Bill, I had a question about planting clover. From what I have read it seems that Fall planting is the best option. Do you agree? If so, is it best to plant with a cover crop of wheat to provide forage for that Fall? My biggest question is how to adjust the seeding if planting both clover and wheat? How much of each per acre do you seed with? Thanks for your time! Zack
    Winke Responds:
    Zack, If you have a dry spell in April when you can get in, spring planting works fine because the seeds and seedlings should have plenty more moisture through the spring to get roots down before things turn dry. In late summer seeding (late August and early September) I have always gone with the normal rate of clover and wheat as the clover will barely get up in the fall and the deer should eat the wheat pretty aggressively so that combination works well. Frigid Forage makes a product like this that is already blended called Wild Game Buffet that has a small amount of brassicas for a cover crop. That way in the spring you don't have to worry about wheat growing too fast and shading out the clover at that time. Good luck. (3-23-14)
  • Joe from IA asks:
    I rotate clover in the spring and summer and turnips in the fall and was wondering what and how I could fertilize the plot.
    Winke Responds:
    Joe, There are probably several ways to do this, but here is my strategy. I would hit it hard with P & K (phosphorus and potassium) (about 60+ units per acre of actual) every year when planting the brassicas along with a maintenance dose of nitrogen. Because you are rotating, you have a good amount of N in the soil from the clover - especially if you disk or plow it in green before planting the brassicas. That means you will need something like 30 to 40 units actual N per acre. For example, if you are applying Triple 13 (13% by weight in the bag of all three (N, P, K)) you will need enough bags to equal 30 to 40 units actual N. If they are 100 pound bags, you will need 2 1/2 to 3 bags per acre. If the fertilizer breakdown is different (different percentages) you simply adjust to get the desired amount of actual. Same applies to the P & K. You can put that on with the N because the P & K will stay in the soil longer and some will still be available the next spring for the clover. I know it sounds a bit complicated, but think of the numbers on the bags as % of actual in the bag and then try to get enough for rouhgly the 40 pounds N and 60+ pounds P & K. Often co-ops will custom mix to your needs. Good luck. (3-24-13)
  • Bill from MN asks:
    Do you plant fall food plots? When, what, and why?
    Winke Responds:
    Bill, I do. I plant a lot of Frigid Forage Big N Beasty in the summer each year. That grows well into the fall and the deer here really are drawn to it. I don't plant anything in the fall itself because I want to be sure to have as much food there as possible, not bare dirt from a freshly planted field. Late July and early August is the ideal time to plant the Big N Beasty and grows to produce a very nice, lush and thick food plot with lots of forage by the time the first hard frost stops it from growing. It works really well when preparing an area where you can frost seed clover during the winter to have a nice clover plot the next year. It also works well to plant the Big N Beasty into food plots that failed to produce (rescuing plots you planted in the spring). We have done a lot of that these past two drought summers. Good luck. (3-12-14)
  • Larry from WI asks:
    Bill, My wife thinks I am a little nuts going to the computer every Monday morning to check the latest episode of MW. I have a problem. Anyhow, I have 450 acres, good habitat. Ridges, river and creeks. I am putting in about 13 different plots ranging from .5 to 3.5 acres. Too many different plots to direct movement? Thanks, Larry
    Winke Responds:
    Larry, I appreciate your dedication to the Midwest Whitetail shows each week. Thanks. I don't think that is too many for that sized property. I know that less plots potentially concentrates deer for easier hunting but it also makes the risk of hunting each spot higher, because you can educate a lot of deer at one time with a mistake. I would rather spread them, hunt less deer and get away with more (less risk). Therefore, I am a big proponent of having lots of places to. If you bump deer in one spot, you still have many other fresh areas to hunt. I think that is super important to sustain an entire season of hunting. Good luck. (3-11-14)
  • Scott from WI asks:
    Hey Bill hope all is well. My question is where was the final verdict on Round Up on existing clover plots, I planted my first 1/3 acre clover plot last fall with an annual cover crop of Autumn QP. I am anticipating have to spray the clover plot at some point this spring early summer? What is the best option for spraying this plot?
    Winke Responds:
    Scott, I never got a consensus on that. Some people still say that a half rate of RoundUp, (about one quart per acre) will clean up the plot without any long term affect on the clover. The word is that you need to do it early enough that you have some good moisture so the clover can recover. It will take a hit, but not die (in theory). I never tried it because we had such a drought I was afraid of killing the clover too. I guess you can try it in one corner of the plot to see what happens. You will know within two weeks. I would say then you can decide to do the rest the same way or spray with a grass select killer like Arrow, etc. and mow after all the grass is dead to control broadleafs. My guess is that the RoundUp will work if you get the rate right. Good luck. (3-6-14)
  • Mark from TN asks:
    Hey Bill, If im wanting to replant clover on an old clover plot, how would I go about fertilizing it? Thanks.
    Winke Responds:
    Mark, You can fertilize it any time. The P & K that clover consumes is kind of like sand or fine gravel. It won't wash off easily and won't evaporate. In fact, many farmers put their P & K on their fields in the fall so it is available the next growing season. However, I am not so sure I would plant clover in there again without first cycling something else through the plot. A rotation program is always good for the soil. I would be tempted to plant it to RoundUp Ready beans this spring, get a good kill, fertilize heavily and then put into brassicas like Big N Beasty this fall (broadcast into the beans if they are growing well or till them up if they aren't). Then the next spring I would frost seed the clover again. That will give you good weed control and good rotation for a year. Best of luck. (3-6-14)
  • Nic from OH asks:
    What's the best food plot to plant on a 30 acre farm and when do u put lime in a food plot (before u put the seed in or after u put the seed in)
    Winke Responds:
    Nic, To keep things simple, I always recommend that someone start with clover in a small plot - 1/2 acre is ideal - and get their feet wet that way before they start getting into other crops and bigger areas. It is best to get a soil test. In OH, there are likely some local ag co-ops where you can take the soil sample for testing. They will tell you what the soil needs to grow your desired crop. If it needs lime, I would put the lime down as soon as you can, before you till and plant is best. Good luck. (3-5-14)
  • matt from TN asks:
    Hey Bill, I can't tell you how exited I am now that the off season shows have started up. I watch you and Grant every Monday morning! I have been itching to get on my tractor and begin planting for thus spring. We are in for some very warm temps and rain through out the rest of this month. Would it make since to go ahead and turn up then dirt on this old plot or just frost seed clover. I'm wanting to plant soybeans in this same plot so the soil will have to be turned up anyway. Would this and fertilizer speed up the soil warming for planting at the end of this month? Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Matt, I appreciate the support. Thanks. If the ground is already bare, you can frost seed. If it is not bare (has grass residue etc.) you will need to wait and kill the grass, till and then plant. I would not frost seed clover if you are going to plant soybeans there this springs. Waste of money and also it can be hard to kill clover sometimes. Turning it up will speed up warming, but you run the risk of erosion if you turn it up and then get several rains before you get it planted. Tilling will have the same affect (warming the soil) if done when it dries out right before seeding too. No big rush on this. I would fertilize as soon as you can though. It takes time for P & K to break down into the soil. I would not spread nitrogen for soybeans and I would never spread nitrogen unless you can incorporate it (disk it in) almost immediately. It is volatile and will go into the atmosphere if you spread it and then don't disk it in. Again, no Nitrogen for beans. Good luck. (3-4-14)
  • Matt from MO asks:
    I am wanting to frost seed some clover in a few spots on our farm. One of the spots had Big N Beasty in it last fall. The other plot is a new fence line that is about 30 feet wide by 600 foot that was cleared last fall. We had a dozer go over it to clear out trees and all that is exposed now is bare dirt. My questions: Can I frost seed clover into these two spots? Would it be better to seed the clover into the snow so that when it melts away the seed works into the soil more? When is it best to fertilize? I am afraid that if I fertilize when the ground is still frozen that it will wash off. Thanks.
    Winke Responds:
    Matt, Yes, for sure. Assumeing the Big N Beasty plot was not filled with weeds, it should be bare dirt by spring and the area that was graded is also bare dirt. That is one of the main keys to success with a frost-seeding: being able to get good seed to soil contact. I would say the ideal time to seed is when the snow is melting, yes. It will still work after that time too, well into March in your area, but the ideal time is when the snow is melting. I would wait to fertilize until after the ground firms up. P & K fertilizer doesn't really wash off that easily (not like Nitrogen fertilizer) so that is not the biggest issue there. I would still wait until the ground is firm enough to spread with an ATV if that is your choice - it would make for a lot of heavy hand spreading otherwise. Good luck. (2-12-14)
  • Corey from IL asks:
    Hi bill - I messed up last year and didn't spray arrow (clethodim) until it was too late. Here in Central IL, when would you suggest spraying for grasses in clover plots? Also, when should I start looking for sheds? I don't want to go in before the big ones drop and spook them out never to find their sheds. Thanks as always!
    Winke Responds:
    Corey, Best time to spray is when the grasses are actively growing so they die off better. In IL, that would be anytime from roughly mid-April in southern IL to early May in the north. As long as you have several good warm days in the forecast, you should not delay - get out there and spray it. I think Feb. 20 is a good rough start date for what you describe. I think by then roughly 70% of antlers are on the ground, possibly a bit more. I think they drop a bit less than 10% per week thereafter. Almost all bucks are shed by the end of March. Good luck. (2-4-14)
  • Trevor from PA asks:
    I frost seeded clover last spring about 1/4 acre. It did really well. Should I leave it for another year or should I plant something late summer
    Winke Responds:
    Trevor, It should be good for at least two years. Be sure to fertilize again if it needs it and spray with grass killer (something with active ingredient Clethodim, or other) and mow if it gets hit with broadleaf weeds. With simple maintenance, I have seen them last three good years. You will probably need to plant something new there (brassicas) the summer of 2015. Best regards. (2-3-14)
  • Brian from IL asks:
    I am thinking about planting some food plots this year and wanted to ask a question about milo. I was wondering if adding milo to some edges of my timber will help hold deer for the late season. I have four to five plots planned for this year. All of these spots are 1/4 to 1/2 acre plots on about 200 acres. I am thinking of planting some turnips (big and beasty) in one, ladino clover in one and milo in the others. Will milo provide a good late season crop if we leave it for the deer?
    Winke Responds:
    Brian, Deer will eat it in the late season and I have planted it many times in the past. One thing I like about milo (aka sorghum) is that the deer won't mess with it in the spring and most of the summer. They will start to hit it when the seeds take shape and turn doughy (usually September depending on when you plant it). When they get used to eating it, they can wipe out a milo plot in about a week during this stage. The first year or two you can probably get it past them and into the late season, but after they get to knowing it is there you will have to watch it carefully to make sure they aren't wiping you out early. When that happens you have no choice but to plant something else. Good luck. (2-2-14)
  • Chris from MI asks:
    Dreamin Big hear in Michigan, Sound advice, thanks. Here it is in a nutshell. Folks don't understand their own woodlots, how can they expect you to? There are a number of Timber harvest practices that will fit your tsi goals. You now grid your land with your local soil survey(instead of square grids, now you can micromanage individual quadrants) and understand what those grounds grow what best, Go native. Beyond that stewardship is required, find your local subcanopy plants for resoration and your new trails from tsi can easily hold alot of legumes, finds spots that the sun works. Now use treestand trails to avoid feeding deer everywhere. Cutting it short for now, but I bet it'll make a good blog, got any suggestions where to place it.Cant wait for the off season shows. Better deer hunting the goal, the dream, the passions is paying off. Good land can provide so much for folks willing to educate and get reconnected to it. And I think this post could cut down or make better qu
    Winke Responds:
    Chris, It is a good amount of solid advice here. Thanks. I think breakig the area down by small quadrants is a good idea. I break my farm down by roughly 40 acre chunks and try to have everything a deer needs in each 40 acres. I feel that compresses the size of their ranges and allows more mature bucks to live on one piece of property. If they have to roam far to find food, water or security, they will run into each a lot and that will lead to more conflicts than if their ranges are smaller. You are also right from the standpoint of TSI. Look at what is already on the ground in terms of plants and that is what will really flourish when you open up the canopy. If you are looking for a place to write about this process in more detail, you can create a 300 word blog with a couple of photos and we will post it on the MI page. If you want something higher profile, you could see if the local outdoor magazines (like MI Sportsman, etc.) would be interested in this subject. Good luck and keep dreaming big! (2-2-14)
  • Adam from NC asks:
    Hey Bill. I have a 3.5 acre field that is never planted. I was thinking about planting 2 acres of soybeans and on one side of that plant .5 acre of clover and on the other side of the beans plant .5 acre of big n beasty. Do you think this is a good idea or is it too much?
    Winke Responds:
    Adam, If you have lots of deer that is probably not too much. I think the variety is very good. If you can afford it, do it. If the deer don't blitz it this year, they will next year once they know it is there. Good luck. (2-2-14)
  • Connor from WI asks:
    Hey Mr. Winke Looking ahead to planting season and just wondering if you can mix big n beasty with winter wheat?
    Winke Responds:
    Connor, I am sure you can, but not sure it makes sense. The brassicas (as they grow their big leaves) may end up shading out the wheat. I think I would be more inclined to plant them next to each other in the plot, not mix them. Good luck. (1-31-14)
  • Brandon from MO asks:
    Bill, Is it worth planting clover blends in small, less than 1/4 acre wooded food plots if you don't have the time or accessibility to mow them each Summer? I have a small, probably 8,000 square foot hunting plot that is tough to access when the crops are standing. I've always done fall plots with backpack sprayer of Roundup and hand rakes, but I was considering doing soybeans with an electric fence this year as I can access it easier in the Spring and spray Roundup. Appreciate your input and thoughts, thanks! -Brandon
    Winke Responds:
    Brandon, No, I would not plant them if you can't mow them. They will get taken over with weeds in no time. I suppose you could spray them with separate applications of specific broadleaf killers (Slay) and grass herbicides (like Arrow). But that would be expensive. Soybeans with the electric fence might work, but there is a downside to the small timber plots: they don't get much sunlight and the trees can really suck the moisture away during dry times. I guess that is the case with anything you plant in these areas though. The beans/fence will work in a plot that is 6,000 square feet. I would try to lay back a few of the trees along the edge, if you can, to let more sunlight in and to kill the tree (hit the stump with Tordon). Good luck. (1-28-14)
  • AJ from GA asks:
    Bill thanks for your help in advance...we just purchases 400 acres in western KY that is surrounded by crops..This 400 acres is all wooded with several cedar thickets..There have been 2-3 boone and crocket deer killed every year off this farm upwards of 200"..We were told that if we put food on this farm that it would be unbelievable!! So that's what we are going to do..my question is if we planted the wild game buffer in march could we realistically still have a good plot to hunt come bow season in September? All plots will be 1/2 acre or so..Or would u recommend planting just clover? Or just wait till August and plant?..these are all 1st time plots..Thanks for your time You guys are the real deal!!!
    Winke Responds:
    AJ, Not sure I believe they have killed three Booners per year off it, but I guess it is possible. Regardless, sounds like an awesome farm. I agree, with several small to medium plots scattered around you will have awesome evening hotspots. Small plots, like your 1/2 acre size, can be great morning spots too when tucked in the cover. I think I would plant the Wild Game Buffet in the spring. If you have to mow it in the summer to control weed growth, you will lose some of the brassicas, but the real heart of that blend is the clovers anyway. Sounds like a good strategy. Tell me if you kill three Booners off it this fall. If so, I am going to try to buy the land next to it! Just kidding. Have a great day. (1-27-14)
  • Jason from MO asks:
    Bill, You all had a great season despite the less than perfect conditions you faced with deer numbers. We experienced the same here in central Missouri. Low deer numbers! What clover mix do you recommend. My management plan this year is to involve more forage oats and clover mix but im a little confused to what mix I should use in the 4 acres of ground that is normally non productive hunting area. When should I be on my toes to get it in the ground for frost seeding? Thank you!
    Winke Responds:
    Jason, I use the Pure Trophy Clover Blend from Frigid Forage. It has produced nicely for me in a wide variety of conditions. That is the benefit of a mix, at least one of the varieties will do well in nearly any condition. You don't want to frost seed unless the ground was cleared and the vegettion killed off it last fall. Otherwise you won't get good enough seed to soil contact. In other words, you basically need bare dirt. Then, I would say Feb would be a good month for you to frost seed in Central MO. Good luck. (1-25-14)
  • Nathan from IN asks:
    Bill, I love watching your show. You are very informative and I think you help more people than you know. I live in Southern Indiana about halfway between Louisville and Evansville along the Ohio River. I am going to plant 2 separate food plots this spring, what would you recommend? Small size plot 1/4 acre maybe a tad larger. Thanks, Nathan
    Winke Responds:
    Nathan, Thanks for the support. I appreciate that. I think the first year I would go with clover in both until your food plot feet wet. Then you can get more creative and plant brassicas like Big N Beasty on one each year - rotating them. Clover is easy to establish, feeds a lot of deer and will make for a good area to hunt most of the season. Good luck. (1-23-14)
  • Hunter from OK asks:
    Bill, congrats to Greg on his late season buck. Would broadcasting Big N' Beasty into alfalfa work well? I assume the ideal time would be the last cutting in early-mid October or would it work better to do it the second to last cutting prior to that? Would I need to do any other prep work or is broadcasting all that is required? Thanks for another enjoyable season!
    Winke Responds:
    Hunter, Thanks for the support. No, I don't think that will work. I don't think you can get enough seed to soil contact and then if you do get it to germinate, I think the afalfa will shade it out as they both try to grow. You can seed into soybeans right before or after harvest, but that is because you get good seed to soil contact and the beans are not limiting sunlight. Good luck. (1-8-14)
  • Brandon from MO asks:
    Bill, Love the show, keep up the good work. Would 1/2 acre of standing beans or corn be enough to draw deer off a neighbors property approximately 1/3 mile down the fence line? If it's in beans, could I seed Big N'Beasty into it during the early Fall to enhance the food? I have a secluded 1/2 acre field that butts up to heavy timber that I'm thinking about planning for next year's late season, thanks! -Brandon
    Winke Responds:
    Brandon, Sounds like a good spot. Yes, if the area is short on food they will move to find it. Especially when it gets cold. Also, broadcasting Big N Beasty into the soybean in late summer (about the time the bean leaves start to turn yellow) will result in more food and is a good idea. It will do well if it catches a couple of early rains. Good luck and have a great day. (1-3-14)
  • Eric from OH asks:
    Forage beans vs. Ag. soybeans - I am thinking of putting in a 1-2 acre food plot and I want it to last thru the winter hunting months. Do you have any knowledge and or cost per acre information comparing Forage beans vs. Ag. soybeans. Whats your opionion if any?
    Winke Responds:
    Eric, I have messed with the forage beans some and so have my neighbors. Not enough to be experts, by any means. We have noticed that the forage beans are the last to attract deer in the winter. They prefer the ag beans once it has frozen. Up until first frost, the forage beans are attractive. Remember, their strength is forage (lots of leaves) and not necessarily bean production. Our experience may be isolated, but that is what we have seen. Good luck and have a great day. (1-3-14)
  • ken from WI asks:
    I have two very small food plots, one has alot of sun and the other is in the woods (limited sun). They both are prone to flooding but mainly spring till mid summer. What and when can I plant to attract the deer from sept.- nov?.
    Winke Responds:
    Ken, I would plant brassicas - like Big N Beasty in late July or early August. You can get a couple of years out of a plot before you need to rotate to something else. Be sure to fertilize to get maximum growth. On the rotation years, I would plant to clover and winter wheat during about the same time frame. The clover will still be there in the spring and if it doesn't flood that year, it will be a nice summer food source. Good luck and have a great day. (1-3-14)
  • luke from AL asks:
    What would be a good herbicide to use on a small clover or brassica food plot?
    Winke Responds:
    Luke, If you are looking to remove grass type weeds, a herbicide with the active ingredient of clethodim is a good choice. I am sure there are others but I have used Arrow, Select Plus and Intensity. You can get some of those off the internet, I think, or go through a local co-op. If you are trying to remove broadleaf weeds from clover and brassicas, I am not sure what you will need. I have not tried that route. I have always just mowed the clover to remove the broadleafs and I have just let them go in with the brassicas (not usually a problem when planted in summer). I understand Slay works for this in clover, but I don't know if it will work in brassicas - I would be very leery of that. Have a great New Year (12-29-13)
  • matt from MO asks:
    Bill, This question is about seeding a fall attractant into soybeans before it is harvested. Can you do this early september? Will it cause problems with the harvest of the beans. I want to approach the farmer with this,But do not want to insult him or make him think Im overstepping my boundaries.It just seems the big and beasty would need to be tilled before the next planting of crops.Thank you for your time. keep up the great work.
    Winke Responds:
    Matt, You can for sure. As the leaves turn and drop sunlight will get to the ground and the young plants should start growing. It won't cause a problem with bean harvest as long as the beans come out at in a timely manner. Obviously, if you plant in early September and the beans drop their leaves in mid-September and you get a bunch of rain and the combines don't run until early November you will have an angry farmer as the vegetation will impeded proper harvest of beans. But if the beans come out as soon as they are ready, there should be no problem. The Big N Beasty would not need to be tilled. In fact, some farmers actually plant brassicas now after taking out their beans to bring nutrients up the top soil from deeper in the ground. Good luck and Have a Happy New Year (12-29-13)
  • Cole from AL asks:
    Bill I saw you over seeding a dried up food plot on your show. I hunt in a place with no place for a food plot. I was wondering if I it would be a good idea to spread seed out in my beans and corn so that I would have food in the late season. Also what kind of seed should I plant if I do this. Thank you for the help and Merry Christmas.
    Winke Responds:
    Cole, If you are thinking of this year, it may be too late. I am not sure on the growing seasons there, but I am guessing that next year might be better with a planting date some time right after the crop comes off the beans or just slightly before (when the leaves are turning yellow). I don't think it will work with corn as the residue I think will be too heavy after the combine is done to permit good seeding. With the beans, I have seeded Big N Beasty right before harvest and I have also heard of guys seeding winter wheat. Just spread it out on the ground and hope it rains. The other option is to wait until after it is harvested and drill the seeds into the ground with a no-till drill, but only if the harvest is reasonably early. In the north, it is not good to plant Big N Beasty much past about September 1. You can plant winter wheat past that date but not past about September 15, or so. In the south, I am not sure, probably add a couple of weeks to those dates. Good luck and Merry Christmas (12-25-13)
  • Seth from WI asks:
    Bill- I am having a discussion with my father about FY 14' food plots. We plant 40 acres worth of food plots. We were discussing the cold weather and came across the topic of which is more preferable to deer. Scenario: Late season. Unseasonably cold for a period of time. 6 inches of snow. What's your opinion: what do you believe the deer prefer more of: standing corn or a big purple top turnip plot.
    Winke Responds:
    Seth, Corn, for sure. Beans and brassicas second. Good luck and Merry Christmas (12-25-13)
  • Torrey from NY asks:
    My neighbor has been planting high quality food plots of turnips and corn. Based on snow trails he is pulling deer in from EVERY surrounding property. Not try to have dueling plots he is cool with me planting plots im not interested in creating ill will. I have about 40 acres total but limited areas for plots, about a half acre in the woods w/ a swampy pond, about an acre bordered by a thick gully/stream, hardwoods,and a pond, and an acre bordered by thick overgrown apple trees, pond, hardwoods, and standing pines. Any suggestions for plots especially for late bow season thru gun(nov-late dec). Appreciate your help! Don't have the money to experiment for years.
    Winke Responds:
    Torrey, I would plant Big N Beasty (brassicas) in about half the acres and clover in the other half. In those one acre plots, you may even choose to split them and plant half and half. The clover will attract in summer and fall and the Big N Beasty will attract in fall and winter. I think that will greatly improve your property because you will have a place to hunt the deer and start to put together patterns. Good luck and Merry Christmas (12-15-13)
  • Andrew from MO asks:
    Bill, Is there a particular food source that deer tend to gravitate to when there are no food plots or farm land? I have 70 acres of hardwoods, that's pretty much surrounded by a subdivision development. I have captured some very nice bucks, including a non-typical 17 pointer, on trail camera but all were in the evening and early morning. Early season, Ive kicked up a couple good bucks bedding down in a cedar thicket that is also relatively close to a small pond. Would you recommend hunting the edge line of the thicket under the right conditions? Thanks for your time Bill!!
    Winke Responds:
    Andrew, You are going to have to talk with a local deer biologist about what browse species the deer prefer in your area. I am no expert on that. I am guessing that they are traveling at this time of the year to find food and may not still be there like they were early. Once that browse is gone, the deer aren't going to stick around much. The edge is where you are likely to find the best browse since the sunlight makes it to the ground. Good luck and Merry Christmas (12-18-13)
  • Aaron from IN asks:
    What is the best time to plant soy beans for a 2 1/2 acre food plot?
    Winke Responds:
    Aaron, In your area I would say that April to early May would be ideal. Good luck and Merry Christmas (12-18-13)
  • Bud from VA asks:
    Hey Bill, I have enough land to plant food plots, If you had the choice Of planting food plots from frigid forage, what would you plant? I'm interested in planting something that will help from spring to fall and them that one magic hunting plot for deer season. I'm thinking two plots. Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Bud, I would plant the Trophy Clover blend in the "year around" plots and probably Big N Beasty in the honey hole spot. The clover plots will also be very good to hunt over but the Big N Beasty will get better as you get into the later part of the season. Good luck and Merry Christmas (12-18-13)
  • Jim from MO asks:
    "FROST SEEDING"- I read in my D&DH Mag about Frost Seeding & was wondering if it would work in my AREA? I'm in the Clinton-Warsaw area (Mo.) & we have SANDY SOIL! I have no acess to a DISC or HARROW & was wanting to PLANT some kind-of White Clover! Can YA HELP ME OUT HERE? Thanks! Jim
    Winke Responds:
    Jim, It will work, but you need a bare seedbed, more or less, so the seed can find its way into the ground slightly. It won't work very well just seeding it over an area with grass or weeds. Any kind of clover will respond well to frost seeding if it can find its way down to the soil. We like the Trophy Clover Blend from Frigid Forage. We usually prepare the seedbed the previous late summer or we frost seed into Big N Beasty patches. We normally frost seed in mid-February here, but late January would likely work too if you area gets warm sooner. You want to try to catch a couple of frost, if possible. It is not absolutely necessary as the spring rains can also drive the seed into the ground, but a couple of frosts are nice. Good luck. (12-14-13)
  • Joe from WI asks:
    Mr. Winke, This year I planted Big N Beast in the fall and had great success. I am thinking about frost seeding clover into the plot this year. What time is the best to do so and how successful can the stand be given the proper growing conditions? Also do I have to spray the clover when it is time plant the Big N Beasty or do I just plow the cover under and plant?
    Winke Responds:
    Joe, I would do it roughly a month before the time when things start to green up there. It can be very successful. I nice full stand by late spring. I would plow it under before replanting to Big N Beasty. I would not kill it first. If it is too tall to plow under, mow it and then plow under the green vegetation. That will supply at least half your nitrogen needs for the next crop of Big N Beasty. I think John at Frigid Forage is even coming out with a plowdown mix that you can frost seed that adds maximum nitrogen when plowed under. Good luck. (12-14-13)
  • Matt from MO asks:
    We planted Big N Beasty this year for the first time. Our farm is in Northern Missouri and we experienced similar drought situations as you did. We got it planted, it sat for about 2 weeks waiting on rain, but when it finally did things came up well and thick. However, after about 8-10 inches of growth, things kind of peaked and there are no turnips underneath. Do you think that was due to lack of sufficient rain, lack of early rain so the growth was cut short due to an early cold season, or did I over seed the area? Thanks for your help, I am simply trying to learn to make corrections for next year!
    Winke Responds:
    Matt, Not sure. Mine always produce bulbs (some of the plants are not bulb forming, but most are) unless they remain very short. Yours may not have gotten mature enough or ran out of moisture, as you state, to grow enough to trigger the bulb stage. Not sure how that works, but if the plant gets to a certain age it will start to produce a bulb if the moisture is sufficient. I don't know if you overseeded it. If you followed the bag instructions for planting rate and fertilizer rate you should be fine that way. I would just follow the instructions and you will be fine. Plant in late July, if possible, fertilize and lime if needed and get good seed to soil contact with that seed (but not too deep). Big N Beasty is pretty simple to grow. Good luck. (12-3-13)
  • Lane from IN asks:
    Hey Bill! I have only planted fall food plots in the past but this year I want to plant some in the spring. Any advice on which kind to plant? Thank you!
    Winke Responds:
    Lane, Depends on the size of the plot. If it an acre or more, beans are a good choice. If under 1 acre, I would plant clover on part and then in the summer plant some brassicas such as Big N Beasty on the rest. Other spring plots would include corn and sorghumn. I have planted all these and the rotation of clover and Big N Beasty is a good combo for smaller plots and rotation of beans and corn or sorghum is a good combo for larger plots with some clover/Big N Beasty in the corners. Good luck. (12-3-13)
  • andrew from MI asks:
    not a question but a thought on the wheat question. on our farm we have to grow bearded wheat or the deer will really eat it bad once it starts to ripen in late June. If a guy wanted to grow it for a plot, they would want to grow red wheat, letting it ripen all the way would make it a good food source. If the deer would leave it alone till hunting season would be the real question!
    Winke Responds:
    Andrew, Good information. Thanks. Good luck. (12-3-13)
  • nathan upchurch from IA asks:
    Hey bill I was wondering I am purchasing a farm from my grandfauther in law in troy iowa just east of bloomfield right now he has given me full reign of the property I was wondering if I could get your expert advice as to were to put food plots and what kind of food plots to put in. I know your probably a busy man but I would like for maybe you to come visit my farm and me take you around it and get some advice
    Winke Responds:
    Nathan, I'll be honest, it is not going to work. I appreciate your confidence in me, but it is hard to fit any new projects into my schedule. I am sure you can figure it out if you spend the time thinking and studying. Plus, that is at least half the fun of land management - thinking about what you want to do next. Good luck and Happy Thanksgiving. (11-28-13)
  • Britt from VA asks:
    Bill, some of my question got cut off earlier, but you answered most of them. Thanks on the fence option. To finish, the clover/chicory is growing, but browse pressure, drought, and not great dirt have held it back. I plan to double the plot size (1 to 2 acres) this summer. How can I freshen the plot up (ground is packed hard) without starting over or should I start over (tilling the whole plot)? And how would you plant the Big 'N Beasty into the existing plot/new ground in August? My wife and I started our own web show based on your influence, and it has really helped market our outdoor business. Thank you and God Bless.
    Winke Responds:
    Britt, I would not start over. I don't think you need to freshen it. The winter freeze and thaw will do that. Just keep it well fertilized. Big N Beasty: fertilize to bag specs, till, broadcast before a rain or drill very shallow into the ground and let the stuff grow! Good luck on your web show. Have a great day and great Thanksgiving. (11-27-13)
  • shawn from MI asks:
    i have about 5 acres of land that is very poorly protected for the deer. my friend and i are planning on planting plot screen around the outside surrounding the property, and we are planning on planting 1 maybe 2 small food plots. is there something other than switch grass that would grow well in Michigan or do you recommend trying switch grass for bedding. please help. hope to hear from you soon.
    Winke Responds:
    Shawn, Switchgrass will work for bedding, but a more permanent solution would be to plant some cedar trees too. In the right soils they can grow fast and create good visual screens and bedding cover for deer in conjunction with the switchgrass. I would also talk with a local forester about the types of shrubs that might grow fast inj that area but are not invasive. Pockets of thick cover (cedars and shrubs) within that switchgrass would be a good thing. Good luck. 11-26-13)
  • Britt from VA asks:
    Bill, I have two questions. First, I own a small farm in Missouri just south of you. I have someone helping me with food plots, and we have been developing two over the last 2-3 years, but as you know, the drought has been tough, and trying to work them from 16 hours away in Virginia is not easy. We’ve got one doing very well. It is a perennial clover/chicory patch in good to better dirt, and with some frost seeding early and then fertilizing/mowing later in the spring/summer, it is coming along every year. The second is where I need your help. It is not in the best of dirt lying on the side of a hill. However, it is in the BEST location surrounded by big timbered ridge, and the bigger bucks frequent it because of its seclusion. Also, it funnels deer. We plowed it under during the winter of 2011 and limed/fertilized it heavy in the spring of 2012 and planted it in clover/chicory. The combination of lesser dirt and heavy browsing pressure is holding it back. We just frost seeded and f
    Winke Responds:
    Britt, Your question ran long and got cut off. If the plot receives too much pressure to grow chickory and clover, I am a bit worried that nothing may grow there. Chickory grows just about anywhere. We have it along the roads here all the time. You might try fencing the plot. We experimented with fencing a 3/4 acre plot this past year and it kept the deer out great. The system comes from Non-Typical Wildlife Solutions and is called the Hot Zone. I think I would be tempted to wait and plant something like Big N Beasty in there in late July and then fence it. If you get a few decent rains and fertilize, B N B will grow well in most soils. It is worth trying. Otherwise, I can't think of anything other than what you are already doing: clover/chickory blend. Happy Thanksgiving. (11-26-13)
  • aaron from WI asks:
    I planted 10 acres of crp in warm season grasses 2 springs ago with seed drill. We had a drought that year and only broom grass returned.should I burn to give the seeds a chance to grow?
    Winke Responds:
    Aaron, Yes, I would burn it. Then give it a summer and see where you are. If no warm season grasses by late summer I would spray with RoundUp in September to get a good kill and then re-seed it. Switchgrass can be a fickle animal to establish. Ask the local NRCS for suggestions on how to establish. They may even recommend frost seeding if the mix is suited to that. Happy Thanksgiving (11-26-13)
  • John from MO asks:
    This is my first year planting the big and beasty mix. How long from a frost do deer start normally eating the leaves? And if they are not used to this type of plot how long until like it?
    Winke Responds:
    John, It may take until December this year (or a few hard freezes). In the future they will take to it much sooner and will eat part of the blend early and save other plants (and bulbs) for later. It can take some deer a season to get used to eating brassicas. Good luck. (11-4-13)
  • drew haugen from IL asks:
    I am planning on putting a food plot in next spring in an area of my farm that holds water very well. The soil is almost too wet sometimes. I was wondering what type of seed you would recommend for very wet soil in about a 1/2 acre food plot tucked in the woods, adjacent to a big agricultural field.
    Winke Responds:
    Drew, Probably a clover that is well adapted to moist conditions. I have used alsike in the past in wet areas and it does pretty well. It will flood out if it is under water for any length of time, but if the soil is merely moist (not standing water) it sticks with it for a couple of years. I would mix the alsike with some red and white so there is variety, but the bulk of the seeding should be alsike. Good luck. (10-18-13)
  • Jonathan from TX asks:
    Hey Bill, My father, my brother, and I have 98 acres here in northeast Texas. We have just started planting food plots(this is our second year). We have only planted during the fall so far and I was wondering if planting summer plots as well would help us hold more deer on and around us for hunting in the fall. Also what would be best to plant for a fall plot? Keep in mind we get very little or no rain from mid June to early September and usually have a few weeks of 100+ temperatures. Thanks for any advice.
    Winke Responds:
    Jonathan, I am guessing it would definitely help to have summer food. You will need to do some deep tillage to create a sponge for the rains to soak in and not run off in the spring so that you have decent sub-soil moisture for as long as possible. Options for drought hardy plants are soybeans, alfalfa, chicory and Lablab. I don't know much about Lablab, but I understand it is similar to a soybean but adapted for dry conditions. I would try the alfalfa/chicory mix first to see how the deer relate to it. Frigid Forage makes a blend called Alfa-Chic for your convenience. I would think that prsents the best chance for success because both plants have deep roots. Good luck. (10-17-13)
  • Eric from ON asks:
    Hey Bill, i also have a pretty Big HAIRLESS Yeti on my property, what should i do? haha just playing. On a serious note, i just have a couple questions. My first is, I have a 160 acre piece of property and the biggest open area for a food plot that i can plant is kind of a swampy marsh area. Its always moist and theres long grass growing there. What would my best approach be to planting something there and what would you recommend planting if its even possible? The area is about 2 acres in size. I figure its too late now to start planting anything but hopefully for next season. And another question is, at the beginning of summer i was getting pictures of a really old mature buck in that marshy area when i put corn out. but i wasnt being very careful with my scent. i was wearing running shoes and walking through the long grass with my work pants on. I only have pictures of him coming in that area for about a month and a half and then he vanished early summer. Do you think he may have ca
    Winke Responds:
    Eric, I hear you have those tough-man Yetis in Canada. The hairless ones are the coolest when you see them run across the road in front of your truck. You might be able to get Dwarf Essex Rape to grow there. It is a tough situation though as few plants that deer like to eat will tolerate constant moisture. I would spray a small area with RoundUp and just broadcast the seeds on it to see if it will grow. If it does, you can consider a larger area in the future and do it right, including using some fertilizer. That would be a summer planting (late July in your area). If that buck hung arond that long, it wasn't your scent that drove him out. It was something else, or he just changed ranges. I would suspect that he will show back up again sometime. It is hard to know why they move from one area to another. It could be any of a number of reasons or for no reason at all. Good luck. (9-30-13)
  • Andy Yackle from IA asks:
    Bill, I'm pretty new to food plot management, but when you plant your spring beans are they Round up ready or just straight old beans. Wasn't sure how deer would react to roundup ready. Probably easier to get a hold of free Round up ready (North Central IA) but if they don't like them i will look for regular.
    Winke Responds:
    Andy, RoundUp Ready for sure. Much easier to manage the weeds with RoundUp Ready. The deer will eat them just fine. Good luck. (9-30-13)
  • Daniel from TX asks:
    Hey Bill I got another question for you. What would be a good food plot in west texas. We have always planted winter wheat about this time of year for deer season. Would any of the products you use work down here or any type of drought resistance type crop made by frigid? Id like to grow a summer type crop for the deer to have food source. I read a article on poor man alfapha that grows good in low rain fall type areas like west texas. Any recommendations? P.S been scanning through all the recent questions and couldnt belive the guy that commented on music overlaying your voice. I think its perfect and I can hear you just fine. Thanks and Remeber to always dream big :)
    Winke Responds:
    Daniel, Alfalfa and Chicory are good options for dry areas. Frigid Forage does make a blend called Alfa-Chic for that situation. I have not tried it myself. It is one I would consider for sure. I think people have different sensitivities to sounds and that might be why we get the comments about the background music from some people. Dream Big yourself. (9-30-13)
  • zach from MO asks:
    what is your opinion on the forage beans. I can't keep enough regular beans in my plots without the deer eating them into the dirt. I wondered if the forage beans would give me a summer plot and also a late season plot if they put on pods.
    Winke Responds:
    Zach, They may work. I have limited experience. I tried them last year, but it was a drought year, so not a good test. I think it is worth a try. You may end up needing to try another option at some point. Consider: thinning doe numbers, offering more food, using an electric fence to keep the deer out of the plot until the beans get established. I tried this on one 3/4 acre plot this year and had good success with the Hot Zone from Nontypical Wildlife Solutions. Good luck. (9-27-13)
  • Lin from GA asks:
    rejuvinating clover in GA.....got a year old plot of Durana clover, chickory and small burnet. Current state is dried up clover (some is green) with intermittent chickory and small burnet and weeds. When I mow down in a week or so, would it serve a purpose very lightly disk the clover to encourage thicker growth? I spread chicken litter 10 days ago. It was very thick and lush all summer with rain we've had in GA all summer and it turned dry a month ago and sure enough the clover wilted. I have no experience with clover except what I have learned in the last 12 mos. Thank you Bill.
    Winke Responds:
    Lin, I have never tried that, but I would not lightly disk it. I am not sure what would happen. I think you would just encourage more weeds by opening up the soil. I think mowing and another shot of rain will bring it back nicely. That is what I would bank on. Good luck. (9-26-13)
  • Zach from MO asks:
    I seen some old questions on forage beans and in a few of your answers you said that you were going to be trying them and then you would have an opinion on them. Have you tried them and what is your opinion? I can't seem to keep the deer from eating regular beans into the ground before I get any late season good out of them. What info I found on the eagle brand forage beans is that they seem to put on a lot of pods. thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Zach, I did try them last summer (drought summer) and had mixed results. The growing conditions were tough and they didn't do any better than the other beans I had planted on the farm, but that was likely not a fair test. I think the forage bean may be a good thing for you to try. If it doesn't work, consider planting larger plots, thinning your deer numbers down or possibly putting an electric fence around your beans until they get established and can handle the browsing pressure. We have been experimenting with Hot Zone fence from Non-Typical Wildlife Solutions. It does work. Good luck. (9-24-13)
  • josh from OK asks:
    Alright Bill, I live in south eastern oklahoma where it is mostly hot and dry. I would like to plant something for the deer to eat preferably year around but i do not have any ideas what i could plant . 1st i do not have large fields to plant in most areas would be .5-1.5 acres in size. i saw the video about the clover being the best for small plots. so does frigid forage have any planting instructions for my area?
    Winke Responds:
    Josh, You will have to contact John at Frigid Forage for suggestions. If things keep up like they have been here, I will be right with you trying to find something for hot dry areas. Normally, I would say that clover is ideal for small plots, but given the dry conditions there may be other options. Possibly Chicory is one option. Alfalfa is also drought hearty. Frigid Forage sells Alfa-Chic that combines these. It might be a good choice. Again, John is your best source of info. www.frigidforage.com. Good luck. (9-24-13)
  • Drew from KY asks:
    I planted my food plots a couple of weeks ago and we've only had a trace of rain, if that, since then. Should I let the seed lie and just wait for rain or should I add more seed? Thanks!
    Winke Responds:
    Drew, I would not replant them. The seed is still there and it will germinate when you finally do get rains. Good luck. (9-24-13)
  • andrew from IA asks:
    How late does Big N Beasty grow? I'am concerned it won't have enough time to mature before winter.
    Winke Responds:
    Andrew, It will grow right up until it freezes hard. The rate of growth will slow as the amount of daylight and temperature drop, but it will keep growing until hard frost. Most years in Iowa that is roughly mid-October, possibly a bit later. Good luck. (9-24-13)
  • Scott from WI asks:
    Hey Bill thanks for your help with my food plots all worked out very well! My question is in portions of my BNB it is turning a yellow and purple ish....And behind in size. These appear to be in the lower spots of the plot. Other portions are green, lush, and beautiful! My thought is the rain is shedding to the low and sitting for a day or two and causing stress? i am almost 2 hours from plots and can't keep close eye on. Or could it be a lack of nitrogen in these spots. Currently there is no standing water, we have had plenty of rain but nothing crazy. Will these spots come back to geen and grow? Add Nitrogen? Thxs!!!!
    Winke Responds:
    Scott, Some of those brassicas in the blend don't like to be too wet so that is possible, but it takes a fair bit of rain for that to happen. They almost need to be soaking wet for several days to cause stress. Possibly as you noted, the soil is not as good there and you have a nutrient issue. You can try a bit of fertilizer (you may need P & K too, depending on the soil) before the next rain. If it is a nutient issue, it may snap out fast. Good luck. (9-19-13)
  • Gil from IL asks:
    I planted a deer mix of brassica, rape, turnip and sugar beet on a 3/4 acre plot about 3 weeks ago & we haven't had rain yet. I used a hand spreader and then packed the seed in. Is the seed still good or should I reseed again when there is rain in the forecast?
    Winke Responds:
    Gil, It should still be good. I would not bother reseeding it. Good luck. (9-19-13)
  • Cody from MN asks:
    Bill- Could you elaborate on your hunting/legalness of using the fencing around food plots? Prucha does this too. When I saw him doing it I figured that would be something you wouldn't do. I feel like this is something you probably considered. Although legal, this is a way to keep most deer out, then open the gates and they flood in. Not literally, but you get the point. I considered this for my plot this year, but I couldn't bring myself to this point. I just feel like this has gone past the point of real hunting. Looking forward to your thoughts.
    Winke Responds:
    Cody, I am a fair-chase advocate so I would never open just a small area to bring the deer closer to my stands. I will take the entire fence down when the time comes - probably this week. I don't think fencing is an ethical issue at all as long as you use the fence to concentrate deer. By the way, there is plenty of food on the outside of the fence - in fact, right outside the fence if you look at it closely. I don't think anything will change behavior-wise for the deer there when I pull the fence down. I just wanted to make sure that at least a part of that important plot got past the deer in the early summer when beans are most vulnerable to browsing pressure. However, I do think the bigger ethical issue with the fence is what it does to nearby commercial crop fields. If you divert the pressure off the food plots in the summer the deer spend more time in the farmer's fields and that is not right. I feel that you have to use this tool responsibly and not just as a band-aid for holding too many deer that you can't feed them. You still have to manage the deer numbers to be in line with the carry capacity and expectations of local farmers. Good luck. (9-13-13)
  • Nathan from IA asks:
    Love the show! Keep up the great info and videography! We have a one acre food plot in southern Iowa that was planted with soybeans. Due to the drought conditions the beans didn't get too big and the deer have basically ate up what did grow. We decided to throw Big-n-Beasty in between the beans on August 1st praying for rain which unfortunately didn't come.. Now we are thinking of disking it up and planting something new or leaving it and hope a rain comes soon to kick off what was planted over a month ago. Any recommendations? What are you doing on your Big-n-Beasty food plots? Thanks?
    Winke Responds:
    Nathan, I think the seed will still be viable in those plots and you don't have to replant. I guess if the beans are completely gone, you could just cultipack the plot to improve the seed to soil contact with the Big N Beasty seed insuring better germination once it does rain, but even at that, I think you will be fine just leaving it and letting the rain work it in. Hopefully we get some soon. Mine have been sitting there that long too. I am leaving them for the rains. I am not replanting. Good luck. (9-12-13)
  • robbie from IL asks:
    Hi i would just like to start off by saying i am a very big fan of your guys show. I have learned so many tactics an stratagies from your show an i would like to thank you for. My question is i have prepped two of my food plots and seeded them and they have just barely got a couple little showers on them do you think i should overseed them agian when we get another rain agian or what would you do.
    Winke Responds:
    Robbie, I would not overseed them again. The seed is still there and viable and when a good soaker comes through they will germinate. Good luck. (9-7-13)
  • david from LA asks:
    hey bill just wondering my food plots full of soybeans are getting tore up before season and i saw on yesterday show that Prucha has an electric fence around his food plot. To me that seems like it would hurt the deer and they wouldnt want to come back anyhting helps thanks.
    Winke Responds:
    David, The deer do get zapped once but it doesn't scare them away, it only keeps them away from the fence. I have seen this done many times in many areas and it works well as long as you set up the fence right. The company Scott got that fence from is Non-typical Wildlife Solutions. They make the Hot Zone fence. I have a 3/4 acre fenced on my farm too, just to test it and it is working very well. Good luck. (9-8-13)
  • Andrew from MO asks:
    Bill, I planted Big & Beasty in early August. Do you think the seeds will still germinate when they been in the ground for almost a month without any moisture? We have not had a drop rain in almost a month. I'm just trying to figure out my next move with my food plots. Should I wait for rain and see what comes up? Should I start over and replant everything? Keep up the great work & Good Luck this season!
    Winke Responds:
    Andrew, Yes, I do. I think they will be fine and germinate when the rains finally do come. Hopefully soon, I am in the same boat. Good luck. (8-29-13)
  • Jonathan from MN asks:
    I know you have talked a lot a about frost seeding clover after having a fall crop of big and beasty or other brassica. I was thinking of trying that this spring, what are your thoughts of spraying round up at first spring green up and than just running a cultipacker over the clover seed right before a good rain. You think that would give you a cleaner clover plot in the long run or is it better to get that clover seed down as early As possible. ( area I plant is in east central MN) Thanks for all your good info and for being a good role model to all of us. Jonathan
    Winke Responds:
    Jonathan, That will work, but really you may as well just till it and plant it into a fresh seed bed if you are going to wait for green up unless it is just too wet to till. I would rather get the clover seed down in March and then let it come up with the new growth. It will get a nice jump start. If the plot has lots of grass in it now you may have a problem trying to frost seed. In that case you have three options: 1. Spray with a grass select herbicide this fall to clean it up and then frost seed as planned in March. 2. Frost seed as planned in March and then spray with a grass select herbicide in the spring when things are growing actively - probably late April/early May. 3. Do what you suggest and spray with Roundup in the spring. Of the three, I like 1 or 2 best. Good luck. (9-2-13)
  • Ryan from MN asks:
    Hey Bill, Loving the pre-season episodes, can't wait to see some action! Only a couple weeks left till we can start flinging some arrows up here in MN. After watching your success last year with Big n Beasty, I planted roughly 1/2 acre. It is coming up well, but the deer are already pounding the plot. My question is: Do you think the BnB will produce bulbs and grow to maturity if it is attacked too quickly by the deer? Thanks again Bill, love your shows.
    Winke Responds:
    Ryan, Some of the blend is attractive now and other plants aren't as attractive at this time (that is why I like blends) so the ones not being eaten now should do well later. Basically, from what I have seen, the deer like the Dwarf Essex Rape (doesn't produce bulbs) and possibly the radishes now and eat the forage turnips later. Good luck. (8-29-13)
  • Lin from GA asks:
    Soybean seed year to year....Bill, hey, will soybean seed leftover from one year germinate OK in the following year?
    Winke Responds:
    Lin, Yes, it should. Germ may drop 5% or possibly even 10%, but it should do well if kept dry. Good luck. (8-28-13)
  • doug from MO asks:
    Hi Bill we haven't had any rain in weeks and it doesn't look like we will. Do you think I should go ahead and get my fall food plot seed down anyway and just hope for the best its getting a little late but I have been waiting for rain. thanks Doug
    Winke Responds:
    Doug, I hear you. That is what I did - I planted anyway. However, you might be able to save some money by watching the weather and only planting when the chances for rain are high. The seed will keep until next year if you don't plant it. Just keep it dry. However, the downside of that strategy is that you may miss the one big rain that kicks everything to growing. I decided to compromise. I am planting but not fertilizing until I see the seeds germinate. That reduces total cost somewhat but still allows me to benefit if the rains come on quickly one evening. I guess if you can afford to eat the cost of the seed, that is my advice. Good luck. (8-30-13)
  • Chux from WI asks:
    Hi Bill, I just acquired a 40 acre lease. The majority being swamp/Cattails. The land owner grew some beans late. They're Roughly 5 inches tall. Would I be able to plant some bignbeasty along with the existing beans to attract deer?
    Winke Responds:
    Chux, I think that would work fine. I would ask the landowner first to make sure it is fine, but I am guessing the beans will stay green until frost and by then the Big N Beasty will have kicked in. Good luck. (8-29-13)
  • JOhn from IL asks:
    As always, MW is the Number #1 show in my book!!! Love it!! Question - I am going to cast some Big N Beasty in the beans for food. Should I cast this in about 2 weeks before the farmer cuts the beans or wait until he has taken them out? I don't expect great results but any food in this area will be a bonus in the late season where I'm at. Keep up the GREAT work!! Good luck!!
    Winke Responds:
    John, Thanks. I appreciate it. I would throw them out a couple weeks before he combines so that they have time to germinate and start to grow. That would be a good strategy. Even three weeks would not be too soon. Good luck. (8-20-13)
  • Connor from WI asks:
    hello Mr. Winke, Thank you answering my previous question. So I have one more question. Is it to late to plant a big n beasty plot? Thanks for taking your time to answer our questions.
    Winke Responds:
    Connor, Not knowing exactly where you are in WI, I can't say for sure, but in the southern half of the state you can likely get by with it planted as late as Sept 1. In the north, your growing season will be too short to plant that late. You can still plant, but the plants won't produce as much forage. In that case, I would likely plant something that grows really fast (but doesn't produce nearly as much forage), something like Autumn Quick Plot or if you want to keep the costs low, winter wheat. Good luck. (8-20-13)
  • Joe from IN asks:
    Can I use a ground clear type grass and weed killer to clear a spot for a food plot? Will the seeds grow after using this type of spray?
    Winke Responds:
    Joe, You just have be careful so that the chemical doesn't have a "residual" affect on the ground. Some herbicides kill on contact, some kill "pre-emergent" and some do both. You don't want to kill the area with a herbicide that has any pre-emergent qualities. That is why I suggest just sticking with RoundUp or one of the generic versions of RoundUp and don't mix in any chemicals that might have a more lasting affect on the soil itself. Good luck. (8-16-13)
  • Larry from WI asks:
    Bill, I will say it again - by far the best hunting show and website on the planet. Us hunters/land managers are greatful for what you do and the time you devote to the Q&A. I planted Big and Beasty three weeks ago. We have not had much rain in west central WI and much of it hasn't germinated yet. I broadcast it after discing and ran out of time to culitpack it. Do I leave it or try to replant it when I can get to the property next week? Thanks again for the ability to tap one of the great minds in the industry. Larry
    Winke Responds:
    Larry, I apprecdiate the comments. Thanks. I would leave the Big N Beasty. I guess you could still cultipack if you wanted to, but when the next rain comes, the remaining seeds will germinate. Last summer it took three different rains to fully germinate the Big N Beasty I had spread on top of my dried up bean plots. It all came in good eventually. As long as you get a good soaker, you should be fine. Good luck. (8-15-13)
  • Burt from MN asks:
    Bill,a farmer wasn't able to plant corn this spring on about 125 acres because of the wet ground. He's planting a cover crop of rye and radishes which will be ground cover for insurances purposes. Would this be similar to your Big and Beasty plots?? What would be the best hunting times over this field.
    Winke Responds:
    Burt, Similar yes. The Big N Beasty is all brassicas (no rye) and has several different varieties of brassicas so if the conditions aren't right for one variety, another will kick in. Also, deer tend to favor different ones at differnt parts of the season. For example, our deer tend to hammer the dward essex rape early and leave the other forage varieties for the late season. I would think that field will become productive as soon as the rye starts to get some size to it (especially attractive when other farmers are harvesting their crops) and will remain attractive until it gets really cold and frosts the rye down. I have not hunted over a sold stand of radishes before, so I am not sure when the deer start to hit them versus other brassicas, but likely they will stay on them all winter. I believe, if you get some rains on that field, that your deer will eat very well this year! Good luck. (8-15-13)
  • Lois Buttray from PA asks:
    Bill, What is the latest I can plant clover/ chicory? We are in Northwestern, PA. Just finishing up a food plot and hope to lime it this weekend. Would love to get the clover in to have it show some green for our opener in early Oct. Would you recommend anything else if you don't feel the above will work? Thanks, Lois
    Winke Responds:
    Lois, I would say that if you have it in by Sept 1 you should be fine. Also, I would add oats for a cover crop because the oats will grow fast this fall for attraction and will die off in the winter so the clover and chicory can take over next spring. Clover and chicory will grow too slow to offer much forage this fall. Good luck. (8-15-13)
  • Chris from KS asks:
    Bill: On our lease this year we have corn (and lots of it), some soybeans, and quite a bit of triticale stubble. Question is....What do you believe the deer will be using the most for early season?...like before the corn is cut. And then as season progresses I'm assuming corn is king? Especially when it's cold? Any point in putting out a feeder with corn early before the standing is ready to eat? Thanks for your help. Chris
    Winke Responds:
    Chris, Early season, I would say the corn or beans if the beans have dried down to the point where farmers are picking it. The deer don't like the beans as much when the leaves are turning yellow and the pods are still wet. They will eat corn at that time. After the beans dry down, they will be as attractive as the corn. Yes, as it colder, the corn becomes the stronger draw. The deer will eat the standing corn as soon as the kernel start to dent. That means they will be eating it in early September, probably, depending on when it was planted. If you want to put corn out with the feeder, they will use it. They are opportunists and would rather eat the kernels off the ground than work for them to get them off the ear. They will eat triticale well, but only when young and green, not when mature. So some of the regrowth, if you get some rain, in that field may produce some feeding activity too, but not like the corn and beans. Good luck. (8-15-13)
  • Miles from ME asks:
    I planted Frigid Forage Trophy clover earlier this year (about the time you did the poor man plot) and was pleased to see sprouts a week later since then they haven't grown more than 4 inches or so in height. Now my plot is in a low area that tends to wash with heavy rains and most of the surface area is canopied by large timber. I'm curious to know if there are any further steps I need to take because I fear that my plot wont be ready by the time Nebraska archery opens.
    Winke Responds:
    Miles, The canopy is likely the biggest problem there. The only option you have is to open up the canopy (cut off branches or cut down trees). If the plants aren't getting regular sunlight they will grow very slowly if at all. If they are getting at leaste a few hours of direct sunlight per day, it could be that the soil is very infertile and spreading some nitrogen fertilizer before the next rain may be enough to get them jumping. Good luck. (8-15-13)
  • Ted from LA asks:
    Bill: I am tired of trying to bribe someone every year to help me plant my foodplots. Would you recommend any disc that I could pull behind my fourwheeler? Tractor is out of the question-too many headaches with used tractors. Ted
    Winke Responds:
    Ted, I know that feeling. It is hard to get someone to work on small plots like that when they either have their own to plant or much bigger ag fields to do. Those 4-wheeler discs are very lightwight and it is hard to get them to cut into the ground. I have not tried them, but even the larger size that you pull behind tractors are often too light if they aren't really big. I know that Kolpin makes an ATV disc. I have not tried it, but it might be worth taking a look at. I am sure you will need to be sure the sod or weeds are very dead and that you have weight on the disk to make it work. Good luck. (8-15-13)
  • jason from IA asks:
    I have a farm outside albia and am having trouble getting my beans to grow. People tell me that its just for food plots so fertilizer is not necessary. what are the steps you would take? by the way it is poor soil (30 to 40 csr)
    Winke Responds:
    Jason, I fertilize my food plots every year. Planting food plots is no different from planting a commercial crop. You need to fertilize if you expect to get anything. Good luck. (8-8-13)
  • Doug from IA asks:
    Hi Bill. A couple of us took yesterday afternoon off and did all the steps suggested for planting Big n Beasty. We were forecasted an 80% of rain - and we didn't get a drop. The next rain is a MAYBE on Monday. Do you have an idea how much germination we will lose if we don't get rain for say a week? Do we start over? Overseed it again? Thanks for your patience in answering all these questions. Happy Huting...
    Winke Responds:
    Doug, You won't lose germination. The seed will just wait there until the rains come. The biggest problem that can occur is when the seed germinates and then it turns really dry before it can put a root down. That will kill the plant. Big N Beasty is very drought hardy from my experience, so it should be just fine. Good luck. (8-7-13)
  • Chris from LA asks:
    Bill, One of the larger ponds on the property I hunt has lost enough water that there is a large area of the bottom exposed. I can't get equipment back there to make or disc a food plot. Would it make sense to throw some seed out on that exposed mud to make a food plot? I don't think the water level is going to rise any time soon.
    Winke Responds:
    Chris, I would say that will work fine. You will also need to fertilize it a bit once the seed starts to grow. I have had good success broadcasting Big N Beasty before a good shower and having it sprout fast on open ground. I would then hit it with some nitrogen (again before a rain) when you know it is going to produce something. Good luck. (8-9-13)
  • Patrick from MO asks:
    Mr. Winke, I was planning on planting Big N Beasty in 2 small plots this year. I was hoping to spray the weeds this weekend but now we are supposed to get rain all the way up until next week. When is the latest I would be able to plant BNB? Could I just disk the plots without spraying? If not, how long to I have to wait to plant after spraying? Thanks for your time!
    Winke Responds:
    Patrick, You should be able to plant that up until early September and still get a good crop in your area. I would definitely spray them first. You will get too many weeds if you just disk them and plant. You should wait at least five or six days to disk after spraying to give the plants time to pull the herbicide into their roots and start to die. Good luck. (8-9-13)
  • Matt from MO asks:
    I hunt a farm in north central Missouri and we are putting in our first food plots. We are planning on spraying this weekend. We bought some big n beasty and were wondering when is the cutoff to plant? I we spray this weekend and plant in mid August, would that work? Thanks for all that you do.
    Winke Responds:
    Matt, You should be fine for a few more weeks. I have planted as late as early September and had a good crop of Big N Beasty. Ideal time for you is probably Aug 1 or thereabouts, but even this coming week will be fine. Good luck. (8-7-13)
  • Dave from MI asks:
    Bill, I know you get questions all the about how to spray clover plots but I just want to make sure I understand it correctly before proceeding and potentially making a HUGE mistake. I just re-watched the video blog your intern did regarding the subject. Am I supposed to mow the plot, then spray Clethodim? Or do you spray the Clethodim and come back 2 weeks later and then mow similar to the waiting period for glysophate? Thanks so much for your desire to want to help people become better hunters and for not charging people to ask questions (at least not yet).
    Winke Responds:
    Dave, You really don't have to mow it at all if the grass is young and actively growing. The herbicides are most effective when the weed is actively growing. It is harder to kill mature weeds. That is why we sometimes mow first - just to get the weeds growing actively. You want to give it enough time after you mow that the weeds are showing some signs of regrowth before you spray - and that they are starting to push up through the residue left from mowing. If the weeds are covered up, the chemical can't get to it and then is not effective. So to keep it simple, if the weeds are growing you can spray without mowing. If they are stagnant in the their growth and fully mature, you will get a better kill if you mow first and let the regrowth start (probably about two weeks) before spraying. Good luck. (8-7-13)
  • Jim from IL asks:
    Bill, do I need to spray the clover I frost seeded before planting big n beasty? or can I just till it under, cultipack and plant the fridgid forage seed and cultipack again? Would the clover come back and compete with the big n beasty?
    Winke Responds:
    Jim, You should just till it under and then plant. If the clover is not buried, you may need to disk it twice before planting. The better you get it under the ground, the better it will be at increasing the nitrogen content of the soil. Good luck. (8-6-13)
  • Brandon Kohler from MN asks:
    Hello! It is almost August here in MN and I am looking to plant my first food plot in the woods to create an attractant for those big bucks to stop at before hitting the open field. I have done a lot of research to make sure I do it right, but there are still a few questions I have. I want to plant it all in two days, including killing the weeds. I have very powerful weed killer at the farm that acts fast. If I spray my area 2 or 3 times in one day, is it safe for me to plant my clover the next day without harming the growth? a Also, is there a way I can send you a photo of my land and ask for some advice on where you think the best spot would be? Thank you! Brandon
    Winke Responds:
    Brandon, It is probably OK, but you have to make sure the weed killer you use is only a contact (post-emergent) killer and doesn't have any properties to kill pre-emergent growth. If it does, you can't use it for this. I can't let you send the photo. Unfortunately, I just don't have the time to look at those and think through the strategy. You really need to do that anyway. It is a good way to learn to be a better deer hunter. You learn by trial and error and those lessons are the best ones. Good luck. (8-1-13)
  • John from MN asks:
    I own eighty acres with about twenty acres of it being hayed. The hay is in wheat this year and will be reseeded into alfalfa next year. There is also plenty of alfalfa on adjoining properties. I am considering quoting my half acre food plot because I feel nothing can compete with the alfalfa. What's your thoughts
    Winke Responds:
    John, Alfalfa is a strong attraction in the summer and early fall, but as winter comes in it is less attrative. I would focus on brassicas for your plot, rotating every third year to clover. Frigid Forage is right there in your home state and their Big N Beasty is a very good choice. Good luck. (8-1-13)
  • josh from IN asks:
    Hey I have a question about food plots im going to be planting my fall plots the first weekend in august I was wondering can I put down my 13-13-13 fertilizer with my lime the same day I put down my seed or should I put my fertilizer and lime down first then wait to put my seed in the ground. Thanks and keep up the good work with the show.
    Winke Responds:
    Josh, You can do it all at once, but I would till it under to get the best benefit from the lime and fertilizer. Good luck. (8-1-13)
  • Pat from NY asks:
    Bill, I noticed in your recent blog that your clover fields were mostly grass and weeds. Mine are not much better :(. Is this normal for clover to look like this this time of year? If so, is it really allowing your bucks to obtain optimal nutrition throughout the summer or is it only used as an early spring nutritional source until they can transition over to soy beans and then again in the fall as a kill plot?
    Winke Responds:
    Pat, They will generally clean up pretty well if the weeds are mostly broadleafs and thistles and stuff like that. If the weeds are mostly grasses, you have to spray them to clean them up. It is fairly normal for clover to look pretty rough in the summer if the stand is more than a year or two old or if it was stressed hard the year before (like it was in last year's drought). It is not optimal, but normally in the summer there is more clover in a typical plot than the deer can eat. They start to play out in September when the growing period begins to drop off and the deer keep eating it. You definitely want to clean it up as soon as possible. If it doesn't clean up, you still have time to plant it to Big N Beasty. That is what we are doing on a couple of them this year. Good luck. (8-1-13)
  • Jim from IL asks:
    Bill I planted the big n beasty last fall and shot 3 does out of a 1 acre plot. I couldnt believe the size of the turnips and radishes! I had deer in the plot all winter long. I followed up this feb. with frost-seeded red clover and its thriving. My question is should I spray the clover to kill it or just disc it under? Im curious if I should leave some clover for early season? Im in crp and have 13 ac. enrolled with the 12' firebreak around the perimeter also in red clover. Thanks Bill!
    Winke Responds:
    Jim, I would be tempted to save a bit of clover for the deer to eat this fall too. Don't kill it first. Ideally you would disk the clover stand without cutting it first, but if your disk won't run deep enough to turn that much greenery under, you can mow it first and then disk it under immediately. You will lose some Nitrogen if you let that vegetation rot on the top before plowing it down. Good luck. (8-1-13)
  • Bruce from PA asks:
    I just got permission from a farmer friend of mine to put in a small food plot on his farm. The spot is across the creek behind his barn. He also has corn planted behind this barn. What do you think would work best in this space. It's a wooded area and the side hill behind it was logged last year. Kevin, the farmer said that I could do what ever I wanted. I'll be waiting for your answer. I watch your show all the time and I can't get enough of it.
    Winke Responds:
    Bruce, Thanks for your support. I appreciate that. I would put in Big N Beasty, I think, for this year. You stil have time to plant that and it will produce a lot of forage for this fall. Then I would probably frost seed it in the winter to clover and have a clover plot for a couple years before rotating back to Big N Beasty again. Good luck. (7-31-13)
  • Bo Lindabery from NJ asks:
    hi Bill, what selective herbicide do you recommend to kill all broad-leaf weeds and grasses in a clover plot? Thanks, Bo
    Winke Responds:
    Bo, I understand that Slay from Whitetail Institute will kill most broadleafs from clover and I have used a number of differnt herbiides with Clethodim (active ingredient) in it to kill the grasses. I personally just mow to control broadleaf weeds and spray to control grasses. That seems to work pretty well. Good luck. (7-29-13)
  • Mark from IA asks:
    Hey Bill I have a soy bean plot that the deer are keeping trimmed down and I don't think it's going to amount to much so I was wondering if its possible to broadcast big n beasty between the rows of beans without any discking and have good results? Thanks, Mark
    Winke Responds:
    Mark, Yes, that works fine in most conditions. I have done it severeal years. Be sure to spray with RoundUp (or generic version) before you broadcast so that you can be sure to have a good clean seedbed. After a rain or two the Big N Beaty will take off. Yon can top dress it with some nitrogen fertilizer before a rain once it gets growing. Good luck.
  • Jake from WI asks:
    Is there an optimal time to mow clover before the season opener so it's most palatable to the deer at that time? Also, is there any way you could air the new episode of Northern Waters on a different day of the week? Once your new shows start to air again they'll be on the same day. I'd like to spread out the fun a little bit... Thanks for all you do.
    Winke Responds:
    Jake, I think mowing it right now is about right. You would like to catch the August rains (if you get them) with fresh cut clover so it can grow back lush. Also, if you plan to fertilize this would be a good time to spread the P & K too. It will benefit this year's crop a bit but also help with crop next year. Good luck. (7-22-13)
  • Jake from WI asks:
    I am planting bnb for the first time, what do you do with your bnb plots in the spring and early summer? Cover crop? Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Jake, I frost seed them with clover in the winter and then either keep the clover for the next fall or till it under and plant Big N Beasty again the next summer. You don't want to go too many years back to back with the brassica blends so I would limit to two straight years in Big N Beasty and then rotate out to clover or plant to soybeans for at least one full crop year before rotating back to Big N Beasty again. Good luck. (7-20-13)
  • Josh and Jake from VA asks:
    Hey Mr. Winke, me and my buddy jake are planting a 1 acre Big N' Beasty food plot at the corner of a hay field. I have hunted here for my entire life and we usually only kill 1 or MAYBE 2 deer off this field per year, and thats when we hunt HARD. But not too hard to disturb them much. I was wondering if you have any good tips for the tillers. The pin on mine keeps breaking, i can only till about 10 yards before it snaps, im only 15 and far from an expert on farming, im talking about the pin that hooks the PTO to spin the tiller, its getting late and im worried i wont have my fields prepared in time to plant. Ive put so much work into this project, and alomst all my ideas come from your show, my hopes are to get my nephew into hunting, and the best way is to see deer, correct? Yep you taught me that, i want this to be so i can see deer every evening and maybe, just maybe kill that once in a lifetime buck. And 1 more question, is fertilizer ABSOLUTELY nescasary? ive got the perfect spot,
    Winke Responds:
    Josh, You had better talk to an implement dealer on that one. It doesn't sound right to me. Either you have the wrong kind of pin or you have something that is choking your tiller to the point where it won't spin freely and thus sheering the pins. My guess is that there is something wrong wtih the tiller. If it spins freely without any noticeable effort when it is out of the ground, then maybe you are trying to till too deep or going into ground that is too hard. I would talk to an implement dealer. You still have time for the Big N Beasty though. We haven't even started planting it up here yet. Yes, there is nothing like seeing deer to get someone hooked on deer hunting. You need the fertilizer, yes. Any food plot will do much better when fertilized, but especially the Big N Beasty (and any brassica) because it thrives on a good dose of nitrogen and will grow much better. Good luck. (7-20-13)
  • Steve from MN asks:
    Can you give some sort of an estimate as to how much it costs to prep, plant, fertilize, etc. a 1-2 acre food plot? I went through a bunch of the questions and answers regarding food plots and haven't seen one where costs are discussed. I understand that it probably varies depending on the condition of the site and what is being planted, but even a rough ballpark estimate would be great.
    Winke Responds:
    Steve, If you have the equipment (or have a friend who does) it won't cost much to plant and prep the soil. If not, plan to pay someone roughly $75 per hour to do the tillage. You are probably looking at $75 to $100 per acre for tillage, roughly. Fertilizer and lime cost will depend on what you plant. If clover or beans, probably about $50 per acre. If brassicas, sorghum, corn (needs nitrogen) then about $100 per acre. Seed is pretty cheap compared to the other expenses - and time - so be sure to get good stuff. Maybe about $20 to $30 per acre for seed. Depending on all the variables, you are looking at anywhere from $70 to $230 per acre (roughly). Good luck. (7-20-13)
  • Scott from NY asks:
    Hi Bill, Just wanna say cant get enough of Midwest Whitetail. In my 20 plus years of watching outdoor tv you guys nailed it! Very enjoyable, very informative, leaves you on the edge of your seat. Great job ! Anyway I have a 1/2 acre plot I want to plant to clover this fall. It sits between a creek on one side and a thick bedding area on the other. I can easily access this plot from the other side of the creek by way of fishing waders or a few large trees that have fallen that now act as a makeshift bridge. But keep in mind this has all the makings of a poor mans plot. right now the plot is choked with Skunk cabbage. Need some info on how to kill it off and how soon after I can plant Thanks !!!
    Winke Responds:
    Scott, Thanks for the support. I appreciate the kind words. I am sure that the RoundUp will kill that stuff. If you go with a backpack sprayer with a five gallon tank you will probably need to plan on three fills, roughly. So take enough water with you for at least 15 gallons. If you put half a quart of RoundUp (depending on the concentration - look at the label) in each tankload you should be fine. In other words, use about twice the amount you would need if you were spraying a large area. I use roughly 1 1/2 quarts per acre of RoundUp when spraying mature grasses or weeds. If you put 1 1/2 quarts total on the 1/2 acre you should not have to worry much about killing it. It should be pretty well dead and brown within two weeks. That is when I would plan to burn it off or otherwise remove the residue from the plot before fertilizing and planting. Good luck. (7-20-13)
  • luke from KY asks:
    Turnips are such a small seed and you don't want to plant them to thick. Do you mix anything in your broadcast spreader with the turnip seed when planting them?
    Winke Responds:
    Luke, I don't mix anything. I just set the seeder wtih a very narrow opening and then I shake the seeder regularly to be sure it is not clogging. It works fine. Just start with a small opening and work it open further as you go. It may take a few passes on the first plot to come up with the right setting to match your walking speed, but once you have it calibrated you can just write it down somewhere and you are good to go forever. Good luck. (7-20-13)
  • Corey from IL asks:
    Hi bill - looking gorward to the season. Good plot questions. I sent a soil sample in last week, should get it back this week. I sprayed 2 weeks ago an tilled virgin pasture ground yesterday. Should I wait 2 weeks and go back and spray glyphosate again, then wait 2 more weeks and plant big n beasty? Or do u think I an get away with going back over in 2 weeks and spread fert/lime and plant? I then plan to make it a clover plot next year. Any help is much appreciated. Thanks!
    Winke Responds:
    Corey, If you are going to wait a few weeks after tilling to plant, I would wait until you are ready to plant and then check to see how much weed growth you have at that time. If you are going to no-till the seed I would spray if weeds exist. If you are going to till again, I would not worry about killing the weeds the second time, the tilling will do most of that. I would not wait to plant after spraying the second time. Just go ahead and plant the seed and spread the lime. However, I would not fertilize until you know you have some rain coming or the nitrogen is likely to just evaporate into the air. I would overdo the P & K in the fertilizer so you have plenty for next spring's clover. Then frost seed with the clover in the late winter and you should have a nice clover plot for next year. Good luck. (7-18-13)
  • Larry D from WI asks:
    Bill - thanks for giving us the opportunity to pick your brain. Quick follow up to the rotation question. I love brassica plots and understand they suck a lot of nutrients out of the ground. If I planted beans in the spring and over-seeded with brassica every year, does that accomplish "rotating"? Would rotating with forage oats help rather than clover? Thanks.
    Winke Responds:
    Larry, I don't know how the ground will react to that long term. It might be OK, but you are going to need a lot of fertilizer each year to pull that off. Rotating with oats might be OK if you fallow the ground through the spring and plant the oats in August before the "rainy" season. That's why I like clover because you can frot seed it into the brassicas in winter and have clover coming up in the spring and all summer. No fallow ground. Good luck. (7-15-13)
  • Patrick from MO asks:
    Mr. Winke, I am in the process of getting food plots established and so far I have 3 small clover plots spread throughout the farm, all fertilized and ready to go. I am going to do some Big N Beasty as well after seeing your success with it. I still have a few areas that I could plant something else and I was wondering what you would reccommend other than clover and big n beasty? The farmer did put soybeans in so mainly something that would go good in smaller plots. What would be a good route to go? Thanks for your time! Can't wait for the shows to start!
    Winke Responds:
    Patrick, Small plots do best with clover or Big N Beasty. You could also try a mix of oats and winter wheat, but personally, I would probably keep planting clover and the Big N Beasty. I have always done very well with both of these and am not sure how well a grass/grain will grow if the plot is small and gets limited sunlight. If the plot gets good sunlight, the oats/winter wheat option is a better one. Good luck. (7-15-13)
  • Tim from OH asks:
    Bill- Bought a 1 acre bag of Big-n-Beasty last summer. Only used about half of the bag of seed on our small food plot. The rest of the un-used seed remained in the bag, but was stored in the toolbox of my truck for an entire year. Because of the extreme hot and cold temps that it no doubt endured, would it still be good to plant this year? Or should I get another $40 bag? Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Tim, As long as it didn't get wet or even moist, it should still be OK. I would do a quick germination test on your window sill. get a wash cloth wet and then wring it out and then fold it up and place about 20 seeds in the middle. Now lay it into a bowl or dish with just a bit of water in the bottom (not enough to get up to the height of the seed, but enough that the cloth will wick it up as it dries out). Set it in the window where it will receive warm sunlight and check it in about four days. Most seeds should have cracked and started sprouting a root. If not, time to buy a new bag. Good luck. (7-15-13)
  • Larry D from WI asks:
    Bill - as always, great show with great info. I find myself hitting your website daily. I know that it is a good idea to rotate plantings in plots. Does going with a seed blend or mix eliminate the need for rotating every year? Thanks, Larry
    Winke Responds:
    Larry, Thanks for the support. I appreciate it. No, you still need to rotate. For example, brassicas (even blends) will take a lot from the soil and rotating into clover for a couple of years (while fertilizing aggressively) will bring them back again. Same goes for corn. Beans can build up a disease base in the soil if not rotated at least every couple of years. Rotating is very healthy for your plots. Good luck. (7-13-13)
  • dean from MI asks:
    what grass killer do you use to kill grass from a clover plot?
    Winke Responds:
    Dean, Look for herbicides with the active chemical clethodim. I know many people who have had good success with Arrow. I have used Select in the past. Good luck. (7-6-13)
  • Larry from MI asks:
    Hi Bill, My son and I planted two small 1/4 acre food plots using no-till easy plot with clover, rape and brassicas in April. We were not thinking and probably should have waited to plant in Aug. If we keep mowing the brassicas down will that slow their growth and still be good come Oct and Nov when it turns cold or will they mature early and rot ruining the plot. Thanks for your help.
    Winke Responds:
    Larry, I think if you mow the brassicas they will disappear. You can try it, what do you have to loose? The rape can still be attractive to the deer if planted early. I have seen them browse dwarf essex rape quite a bit in late summer and early fall. But some of the other brassicas are likely to exceed their maturity before the cold weather makes them more attractive to the deer. I am not sure exactly what will happen. It might still work out fine just letting them go. At this point, it is worth a try. Your other optoin is to tear them up and start over. Good luck. (7-13-13)
  • Johnny from NY asks:
    Bill, I Just cleared about a few acres of hardwoods for a food plot and am preparing to lime it. What is the rule of thumb on how much lime per acre annually, and does that very depending on which type of lime you use? For example, I have heard you need 2-3 tons per acre of AG lime, and only 600 pounds per acre if you use pelletized lime. Also, does the ratio of calcium to magnesium change these numbers?
    Winke Responds:
    Johnny, The only way to get that answer is to use a soil test. It will tell you how much of different types of lime to apply per acre. Normally, the ag lime is not a fast acting but it produces a longer term change in the pH. You may have to apply the pelletized lime every year, or nearly every year, whereas the ag lime may be every several years. Good luck. (7-10-13)
  • Matt from OK asks:
    Hey Bill, cant wait to see some of the bucks for this seasons hit list! Ive been seein some good ones myself. I had a wuick questions. Will Trimec Lawn weed killer be okay to spray on my corn and clover plots? It names all the weeds but I wanted to double check. Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Matt, Not sure on that one. Remember corn is a form of a grass so there is telling how it will react - and clover is often considered a weed in lawns so the chemical may be pointed at killing that. In fact, tri-mec is designed to kill clover, now that my memory kicks in. It might work in corn to kill broadleaf weeds, but unless the product is specifically labeled for that crop, using it is too risky. I would not do it. Good luck. (7-10-13)
  • Andrew Blaker from IA asks:
    How long does big n beastly take to germinate?
    Winke Responds:
    Andrew, With rain, just a couple of days. I have seen it within three days, but with rain and warm temps at the most four or five days unless planted too deep. Good luck. (6-30-13)
  • Jerred G from IL asks:
    I know sugar beets are supposed to be planted in late may or June, but I'm not gonna be able to get back home (IL) until July 17ish. I have a clover plot that needs to be redone, its about an acre in size, IM GONNA HAVE MY DAD spray round up, a week before iget home, i plan on putting in brassicas in almost half the plot, and I thought about putting sugar beets in a spot of the plot by itself, likely only 1/4 of an acre, will they put on enough growth before the first frost to do any good? I plan on doing the other half when I go home in sept in some rye, clover, oats, and peas, and have u ever planted any sugar beets? Why or why not
    Winke Responds:
    Jerred, I don't know enough about sugar beats to be able to predict what that will look like. I personally would not take the chance. I would focus on something proven to work in those conditions - like the Big N Beasty - and then know that you have done all you can to have a good plot. I want to have good plots each year as my late season hunting depends on it, so I don't like to take chances with something not growing well. Good luck. (7-10-13)
  • Tim from MN asks:
    I have purchased 120 acres in northern Minnesota a hunting property for my family. I have approval for a one acre food plot and a mowed firebreak around the perimeter of the property. The soil is peat based so I believe it is pretty acidic. The firebreak has been disced multiple times and I will drag it to level it. I have two questions: 1) What would you suggest I plant in the food plot that can handle the peat based soil with minimal supplemental fertilizing? 2) What would you suggest I plant on the firebreak in terms of a grass variety? Thanks, Tim
    Winke Responds:
    Tim, I am no agronomist, so I don't have all the answers when it comes to this kind of stuff. There may be something that does better than other food plots in acidic soils, but best plan is to alter the pH by adding a high amount of lime. I don't see a good shortcut from that. Contact a local agronomist to find out where to find ag lime in your area and who will apply it. Bite the bullet and add lime. Do a soil test first. Frigid Forage offers a soil test kit is easy to use. If there was something that deer liked that didn't require much fertilizer or lime, that is all we would grow since it would be the most cost effective. It is not out there. For the firebreak, I think I would plant clover instead of grass. After the clover runs its course in a couple of years, I would then go with brassicas such as Big N Beasty for a year and then cycle back into clover the next year. I guess I would not try to plant anything useful without first getting the soil right. Have a great day. (7-5-13)
  • jason from IA asks:
    I mowed my clover a week ago, its now all bloomed out, how long can/should i wait to mow again to keep it from turning brown before fall?
    Winke Responds:
    Jason, I don't believe it will turn brown. Clover blooms, seeds and stays green. It won't turn brown unless you are hit with a drought or if it gets a hard freeze or two. Good luck. (6-30-13)
  • Larry from MI asks:
    Hi Bill, Great show. I have property in southern Michigan and have a food plot question. I have a long strip approx 2 acres that I plan on planting in August. Will it be ok to plant brassicas together with buck forage oats. Thanks Larry
    Winke Responds:
    Larry, I don't believe I would mix them. I would plant then separately though (an acre each, maybe), in the same plot next to each other. The brassicas, when they get going, really shade out the other plants and that really limits what can grow in the same plot. Good luck. (6-26-13)
  • Scott from WI asks:
    Good day Bill, hope all is well this summer for you. I have a question on exact timing of the stages of food ploting. I am planting Pure Trophy Clover in one plot and BnB in the other - late July. I will have land all cleared in early July. I plan to wait 10 days for weeds to grow and spray down weeds, wait 10 days for weeds to die. Then I would complete all of the following in 1 day. Apply lime and fert from soil test, then till in, then level with some sort of drag, then apply seed, then lightly drag to pack. Is this the correct process? Basically when is the best time to apply the lime and fert in the whole Food Plot process.
    Winke Responds:
    Scott, That timing should work great. Apply the lime as soon as possible as it takes time to leach in and break down, otherwise the rest of it looks good. I would not plant the clover with the Big N Beasty as the Big N Beasty will shade it out. You need to plant them separately. Good luck. (6-27-13)
  • Larry from MI asks:
    Hi Bill, Planted clover last year and than frost seeded this March, plot is doing very well except I have thissle weeds that have popped-up in certain areas. What can I do to get rid of, I mowed once in late April. Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Larry, You can mow again. Thistles are usually pretty easy to get rid of with mowing. Good luck. (6-27-13)
  • Matt from OK asks:
    Hey Bill, Love to see that the show is still goin on! I had a couple of questions, I am wanting to to start planting clover...but I could never really get it down, Could you explain to me what is needed to haf a good stang of clover? Also, when you plant this fall, would it be better to till up the dirt and wait for the weed seed to grow before spraying? or just spray and then till. When do you distribute fertilizer? Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Matt, A good stand of clover is pretty simple really. You want to eliminate weeds before you plant. You take soil test, spray with RoundUp, let die, spread fertilizer and lime per the soil test, till, broadcast the seed and then drag something lightly over the plot or let the next rain work the seed in. There are short-cuts and other options, but that process will get you a good stand nearly every time. Mow for weed control as needed the first year and spray with grass killer for grass weed control as needed the second year (along with mowing). Your suggestion of spraying, tilling and then waiting to spray again is a very good one if you have the time. Good luck. (6-27-13)
  • John from NJ asks:
    Winke I have 3 small plots in the Catskills of NY that equal about 17,000 sq ft. I wanted to plant just radishes due to the nutrients and how they bust up the soil, then I saw the Big n Beasty. Now I'm really confused. Can I plant radishes mixed the the BNB ? If so how much of each? 1 plot is 5000 sq ft another is 11,000 sq ft and the other is 1000 sq ft. Thank you, JOhn
    Winke Responds:
    John, You could mix some in, but there are some radishes in the Big N Beasty. I would go a half rate on your pure radishes and half rate on your Big N Beasty and mix them if you want more radishes. I never like planting just one variety of brassica (or one variety of clover too, for that matter) because if the growing conditions are not perfect for that variety, you get a poor plot. Whereas, with a blend, usually something still does well. As to rate: an acre is 43,560 square feet, so when figuring your planting, consider what portion of an acre you are planting and adjust your seed amount accordingly. You don't want to over-seed that stuff so don't be tempted to lay it in thick. That will result in stunted plants and no plot. Forage radishes go about ten pounds per acre and the rate for Big N Beasty is on the bag as well as on their website. Good luck. (6-27-13)
  • Zak from DE asks:
    I would like to start out by saying that I love the show and would love to get some advice. I have a property that is around 100 acres. Almost half of it is marsh and has a creek running through it. I have set up around five food plots, and have spoken with several of the adjoining landowners. All have agreed to only shoot quality bucks, but I have several problems. The soil is pretty sandy and I have a hard time getting much to grow. My property is also party surrounded by state land, and sadly 90% of the guys who hunt there shoot anything that walks. Which is their right, but bad for my managing. I need to try and hold more deer and get some food plots going. Any suggestions ?
    Winke Responds:
    Zak, I am not well-versed on how to grow things on sandy soils. I am sure there are certain plants that deer like that do well there, however, I am not sure which ones they would be. Chicory might be one option since it puts down a deep root. Other options would include grain sorghum, soybeans, peas and possibly even peanuts. I would consult with a regional agronomist. Another thing to consider with sandy soils is that if they are acidic, it takes a lot of lime to get the pH up since much of it leaches. Again, I would find a local expert. Good luck. (6-28-13)
  • Connor from IA asks:
    What is the best way to test your soil for deciding the right food plot?
    Winke Responds:
    Connor, I guess the best route is to choose some of the better soils you have to work with. In Iowa, that means flatter land. The sidehills in many areas tend to be poorer. So you are looking at ridge tops and bottoms. Then decide what you want to grow (probably clover, Big N Beasty or soybeans for starters), do a soil test and indicate what you want to grow on the test sheet and the results will tell you how much fertilizer and lime to add. Good luck. (6-28-13)
  • Brandon from WI asks:
    I recently asked you about planting Big-N-Beasty food plot in a rocky area. Well I went out there to prepare the area and noticed that my neighbor has put a food plot in tight to the property line. Would you still plant the big-n-beasty on my land or just see how his new food plot affects the deer movement?
    Winke Responds:
    Brandon, I think I would still plant it. If you get along alright with that neighbor you can both agree not to shoot on the other guy's plot and see what you can do between the two of you. I am sure the food plots will pull deer, especially late in the season. If he has one and you don't, the deer will be feeding on his side all the time. It would be good to have something to pull out in the open on your side. Good luck. (6-28-13)
  • Corey from IL asks:
    Bill - I havent fertilized my 2 acre clover plot for about 2 years. It's once again taking off great however someone told me it needs to be fertilized to be attractive to the deer. Is this correct? 13-13-13 is price! Im thinking of doing a 0-0-60 potash since clover produces its own nitrogen. Will the 0-0-60 do just as good as the 13-13-13? Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Corey, The healthiest plots are the most attractive, for sure. You need both P and K for clover. So what you really need is somthing like 0-50-50 or similar. The N (first number) is not important for clover and is just wasted money. Go to a co-op and ask for a good blend P & K for clover. They will know what to give you. If you can't go that route, I would use the 0-0-60 rather than the triple 13. Good luck. (6-16-13)
  • Joe from MO asks:
    Bill Planted oats wheat and clover last fall, followed up with a dormant seeding of clover and the clovers taking off and doing good. The oats and wheat are beginning to head out but not shade the clovers. Should I mow the plot and when or should I spray the wheat and oats to eradicate them. How early can one mow new clover that's proly 10" tall now. Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Joe, If they are not shading out the clover, I would just leave them and let them run their course. I would mow when the weed growth starts to show up or when the clover gets very tall. If the deer keep the clover mowed off and the weeds never hit it hard, I would not be in any big hurry to mow it. Good luck. (6-11-13)
  • Tyler from MN asks:
    I recently plowed up a 2.5 acre plot that just came out of CRP this year (In Minnesota). I plan to plant half Pure Trophy Clover and half brassicas. When would be the best time to plant the clover in order to get a fair clover crop for this Fall? Would it make sense to plant in within the next few weeks? Or should I wait until until late summer/early Fall to plant it and not plan on getting much of a clover crop this year?
    Winke Responds:
    Tyler, If you have the moisture, I would still plant the clover now. This may seem too late for a dry year (and it is) but with sufficient soil moisture in your area, it is still OK to plant clover. Good luck. (6-11-13)
  • Drew from IL asks:
    Bill, I hunt just south of Pike County,IL, a whitetail hunter's heaven. On top of the buff I am trying to create a small 1 acre food plot. I have a few different seed mixtures that mostly compose of brassicas with a touch of clover in them. This project will be similar to the "poor man plot". The more I read into different brassica mixtures I keep reading to not over seed or you will have many small/immature plants. I was wondering if you had any advice on this topic. I just know that the plot will be deep in the woods and will get pounded so I don't want to under seed either. Thank you.
    Winke Responds:
    Drew, You are always better off using the correct seed rate. You need the healthiest possible crop. If the deer pressure is too much you may have to change to straight clover. I am not a big fan of planting clover with brassicas. I never get much from the clover. The brassicas, if they do well, will shade out the clover and it won't grow. I would try the brassicas at the suggested seeding rate and then if the deer pound it too hard, switch to clover next year. Good luck. (6-11-13)
  • Peter from KS asks:
    Bill, I am going to plant a 5/8 acre big and beasty food plot here in South Central Kansas. I am planing on planting it around a rain. Do you think mid August would be a good time for this area. Also I will be spraying it with round up 3-4 weeks prior to planting. My biggest question is do you think a spring tooth will be good enough, or should I rent a tractor and tiller, not sure how much of a seed bed I need. Should the ground be fluffy or more packed. Thanks for your help.
    Winke Responds:
    Peter, I think your timing looks good, possibly you can go a week or two earlier if the weather looks promising, but I would rent the tiller. You can do OK with the Spring Tooth harrow but it will not scar the soil sufficiently, especially if you have some existing vegetation, to create good seed to soil contact. If you get persistent rains, you will be fine, but if you get just one good rain and then nothing for a few weeks, your seeds will not do well unless they have good soil contact. I would want it fluffy when I broadcast and the rain will pack it, or you can pack it after seeding. I would not pack it before seeding. Good luck. (6-11-13)
  • greg from WI asks:
    I have small food plot about football field size, What would you plant to provide food all though season? In partial sun, mix like oat and something? Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Greg, That would be roughly an acre to acre and a half. Not sure on the oats. I think I would lean toward splitting it up and planting half to clover and the other half to a brassica blend like Big N Beasty. After two years, rotate them and plant the clover where the Big N Beasty was and the vice-versa. Good luck. (6-11-13)
  • Nathan from PA asks:
    Bill, Just an FYI since this question gets asked a lot. Whitetail Institute sales a product called "Slay" herbicide. It kills broadleaf weeds in clover plots. Expensive, but it will work. Great site! Thank you
    Winke Responds:
    Nathan, I had heard of that one but had hever tried it. Thanks for the heads up. Have a great day. (6-2-13)
  • Chad from MI asks:
    Several years ago I made my first attempt at growing a clover food plot. The first year was mostly weeds and the 2nd and 3rd year were phenominal. The 4th and 5th year dwindled tremendously. I have spent the last 4 years trying to get the clover plot re-established with zero success. Last year may have been because of the drought. I have done various combinaions of killing off all the weeds, fertilizing, rototilled, rolled, raked and this year attempted frost seeding in March and yet all I have to show is about 1% clover under a shady portion of my plot with zero over 75% of my plot. I've been able to grow brassicas no problem on the same ground late in the summer since there is no clover present but the deer in my area don't even think about using those until late Jan - Feb. We have heavy thunderstorms forcasted with warm weather this week so now I am contemplating mowing down the weeds, spreading some more seed and hoping that maybe the weed cover, warm weather and plenty o
    Winke Responds:
    Chad, It is not uncommon for clover to flourish for three years and then fade fast. You need to rotate that plot into something else for a year and then come back with clover again. You also have to keep up with the fertilizer. Clover does much better in fertile soil. My thoughts would be to let the plot go fallow this spring, spray it in mid-July and then till it up in early August and plant to something like Big N Beasty for this year. Fertilize it well with plenty of extra P & K to carry over for the clover. If the plot is clean during the winter (not many weeds) go ahead and frost seed the clover into it in March. If not clean, wait until green up and then kill it and till it. Adding more P & K at that time. This should allow you to establish a really nice clover plot in that area again. You are right though, in areas with trees invading (with their roots sucking moisture from the soil) clover will die out in a drought. Good luck. (6-7-13)
  • Alex from WI asks:
    Bill, Thank you for doing the poor mans plot. It is a amazing resource and a benefit to many including myself who do not have access to big farming equipment. My question to you is I live on a ridge top surrounded by very mature Forrest. right now it seems like no light makes it through the canape. I dont want to cut down the mature trees. If I cut the junk around them and clear the forest floor could i grow big and beasty (or as a second resort clover). 2. can you talk planting fruit trees. thanks, Alex
    Winke Responds:
    Alex, If you can make the openings big enough you can grow something in there, but you need at least a few hours of unbroken sunlight hitting the ground each day to grow most food plot crops. My guess is that the opening has to be at least 30 yards square with the bigger trees well away from the sides so they don't overshade the whole thing. If you can find a spot like that, you can create a food plot and grow either Big N Beasty or clover. Good luck. (6-7-13)
  • Todd S. from MO asks:
    I recently broadcasted Eagle Seed Big Fellow Forage beans for a summer food plot. About 2 days after planting them they got pounded by a heavy, hard rainfall. When I went to check them I noticed a lot of seeds on top of the soil, but starting to bulge. Will the beans germinate and grow on top of the soil if I leave them alone, or should I try harrowing them under once the ground dries?
    Winke Responds:
    Todd, If it stays wet enough they will. If the soil dries out before the seeds can put down a root, they will die. I am not sure if harrowing will help after things dry out. I beleive I would look first to see if the seeds are putting down roots before you jump in there and shock them with the harrow. If they aren't, harrowing is worth a try. Good luck. (5-28-13)
  • Tim from MI asks:
    Hey Bill it's Tim from Michigan again. While my clover and brassicas is starting to come there are some broadleaf leaf weeds as well as grasses comming on too. When and what should I use to control these weeds? Thank you so much for help
    Winke Responds:
    Tim, You can use a grass selective killer that won't affect the brassicas or clover, but it won't kill the broadleaf plants. I have used Select Plus but others use Arrow to good effect. Anything with Clethodim as the active ingredient will kill grass while leaving most broadleaf plants unaffected. I am not sure if there is anything that will kill the broadleafs without also killing the clover and/or brassicas. In straight clover plots I always just mow to control broadleaf. You may have to do a bit more research on this one but I am guessing you won't find a chemical that will kill broadleafs out of clover and brassicas. Good luck. (5-27-13)
  • josh from WI asks:
    Bill,love the show and website. Also like how you offer your advice to inferior bowhunters like myself on the website,it is much appreciated. So here's my question....i recently planted roughly half an acre of imperial whitetail clover not far off a gravel road on an 80 acre parcel, and plan to plant about a quarter acre of big and beasty further back in the woods in mid july. will this be enough forage to hold deer on property during hunting season? about 40 acres of the property is thick cover (crp and tagalder). there is alot of pressure around me, but i am only one with food plots for about 200 acre radius. also was browsing some old ask winke question and found out you are a vikes fan, so i cant help myself for saying GO PACK!! hope you still continue to answer my questions.
    Winke Responds:
    Josh, We like the Vikings. I like both, but don't get the kids started. It is probably not enough, but it is better than nothing. Those plots will hold up fine early but late season will likely be a different story. I would would want to see a couple more clover plots and two larger (one acre) Big N Beasty plots. That should be enough, but you will learn as you go and can increase if you need to. Good luck. (6-7-13)
  • Matt from OK asks:
    Hey Bill, love the show! I was wondering when it would be too late to plant beans for deer. Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Matt, I would say sometime in early to mid-June it starts to be too late. I have planted them clear up to June 20 before and had them do fine, but if you have an early frost you can loose them before the pods fill. If you are buying the seed, look for shorter maturity beans (less time to grow to maturity) if you plant late. Good luck. (5-22-13)
  • Tim from MI asks:
    Hi Bill, Love your show and website. I planted clover that is just stating to come up. I did not fertilize when I planted, when would be the best time to add fertilizer now? thank you
    Winke Responds:
    Tim, Anytime is fine. P & K fertilizer needs time to move through the soil so the sooner the better. In fact, many people feel that the best time to fertilize clover is the fall so the fertilizer has time to break down and get into a form that the plants can utilize. Good luck. (5-22-13)
  • lois from PA asks:
    Bill, What do you spray your clover with? I have a great clover food plot but some grass is beginning to come through. I would like to spray it to control the grass? What type of spray do you use that is safe for the clover. How much spray per acre? Thanks, Lois
    Winke Responds:
    Lois, Use one with Clethodim in it. I have used Select Plus but many people I know have had good luck with Arrow. You can buy it online. Just read the label instructions for the correct dose. Each chemical is just a bit different. My guess is that you can find that info quickly online too by doing a search. Good luck. (5-22-13)
  • Joe from IA asks:
    Is there a fertilizer that I can spray on my food plots once they are up and going or does it still need to be spread on somehow?
    Winke Responds:
    Joe, There are foliar treatments, but they are not true fertilizers. Most I have seen stimulate the microbial activity in the soil which helps with plant uptake, but to get actual fertilizer you need to spread it on - at least to my knowledge. Good luck. (6-7-13)
  • Stewart from GA asks:
    Hey, Bill.I don't have any experience with food plots. If I wanted to plant something that would feed my deer through the winter stress months, what should I plant, and when?
    Winke Responds:
    Stewart, In GA, you have different weather/climate conditions so the timing is going to be trickier for me to suggest. However, it is hard to beat soybeans at first and then progress into brassicas (like Big N Beasty from our sponsor Frigid Forage) for a percentage of your plot acres each year. It comes down to how many plot acres you have to work with. With just an acre or less, I would shy away from beans and stick with Big N Beasty. You can plant that in mid-to-late August. With larger plots the beans are more realistic because the deer won't wipe them out too quickly. They are both good options. My guess is that beans need to be planted there pretty soon. Good luck. (6-4-13)
  • Dan from MO asks:
    Will deer get used to electric fences that have been recently put up on property? Will they jump them or just go around the property or just move onto new property all together? Thanks for your info.
    Winke Responds:
    Dan, They will jump them without any worries. The only way you can make electric fences "deer proof" is to use a double row of wires (one about three feet beyond the other) so the deer aren't comfortable jumping them. I have seen this work as some of my neighbors have used this strategy to keep deer out of their food plots for certain parts of the year as the plots grow. However, the basic cattle fencing will not stop a deer from jumping. Good luck. (6-4-13)
  • shawn from WI asks:
    hi. bill just wondering what would be a good food plot too plant for late fall and into late bow season in wisconsin.also when is the best time too start hanging trail cams.are there any bow stabilizers you would suggest over others. thanks. cant wait for bow season too kick off again.looking forward too your shows again. i had a rough season last falls shot a nice 150 class buck blood every were never found him.that can ruit a guy real quick.thanks.
    Winke Responds:
    Shawn, There are two food sources I like to plant for fall/winter: soybeans and Big N Beasty. I will often do both in the same plot. I will plant beans if they don't grow well I will come back in late July/early August and plant Big N Beasty in the same area. By mid-July the bucks have grown pretty good sized antlers and you will have some idea what bucks you are looking at. That is about the best time to start with the cameras unless you just like to look at photos of deer at other times. I have been using the Fuse Carbon Blade stabilziers. They are nice looking and do help reduce the vibration in the bow slightly. Sorry to hear about your problem last season. I hope it works out better for you this year. Best regards. (6-3-13)
  • trey from OK asks:
    Any ideas of how i can get briars out of my poor man plot the poor man way?
    Winke Responds:
    Trey, I had one visitor to the site recommend using a piece of rope and pulling the briars over and cutting them off at the ground as you pull. That way you never have to crawl under a big patch of them with saw in hand. Other options are to spray them with Roundup and wait a couple weeks and then burn them off with fire. RoundUp will kill them and once they dry out good, they will burn. Also, some weed eaters have optional brush saw blades that would cut them off nicely. Something to consider. Good luck. (6-3-13)
  • Joseph from MS asks:
    Bill,how much corn, if any, are you planting this year? What is the average cutoff date for corn planting in your area of Iowa? I love the show and I thank you for the time you took to talk with me at the Iowa Deer Classic this year! Thanks, Joseph
    Winke Responds:
    Joseph, Not planting any corn this year. Too expensive for food plots. The fellow planting the 70 commercial acres on this farm was going to plant about 15 acres of corn, but it is getting a bit late for that. Unfortunately, he has the nitrogen down so he may have to either eat the cost of the nitrogen and plant beans instead or take his chances with late planted corn. Around here, June 10 is normally figured as the typical cut-off for corn - some guys will push a bit past that with 90 or 95 day corn. Good luck. (6-2-13)
  • Corey from IL asks:
    Hey Bill - Are you supposed to fertilize your clover plots every year? My 2nd clover seems to be growing, however if I need to, can I or should I still fertilize? Im in central IL
    Winke Responds:
    Corey, For best results, you should fertilize every year. It does better when fertilized. It will grow without fertilizer (generally), but will never do as well as it would with fertilizer and the deer won't utilize it as much. Good luck. (5-21-13)
  • Jamie from ON asks:
    Hey Bill In the last episode you talked about the spray that took weeds out of clover plots.... will this kill all grasses including wheat or rye because my plot also has that in it too, and what is your favorite spray for this? Also of all the properties you hunt how many acres does it add up to??
    Winke Responds:
    Jamie, I believe it will, but I am not 100% sure. You can test it in a small area or read the label carefully for details. I have used Select, but others I talked to like Arrow. I hunt about 1,000 acres total. Good luck. (6-2-13)
  • Corey from IL asks:
    Hello again Bill! And thanks again for the best show/site around! My farm is an hour away in Central IL and I havent been able to get over there in the last few weeks to spray my 2 acre clover plot. When I was over there a month ago, the weeds and grass was already starting in the plot. I am hoping to get over there next weekend and spray Arrest and Slay (Butyrac 24DB). Question is..Am I ok to just spray it and then mow later, or should I mow and then come back after a week or 2 and spray?
    Winke Responds:
    Corey, You are OK to spray now and mow later. You don't want to mow too soon after spraying because you want the weeds to be as healthy as possible when actively pulling the herbicide in. That will kill them the quickest and surest. Good luck. (5-28-13)
  • Larry from WI asks:
    Bill - I recently picked up a 210 acre farm adjacent to my family's existing 240 acres. I have rougly 5 plots on the existing land and am planning to add more plots to the new parcel. I penciled in one large, 6 acre plot in the middle and roughly 10 satellite, "kill" plots ranging from 1/2 to 2 acres. Question is, is 10 smaller plots too many or should I go with fewer, larger plots? Worried about scattering the deer vs. "steering" them. Thanks, Larry Donna
    Winke Responds:
    Larry, I am a big fan of spreading hunting pressure so having a lot of smaller plots is OK. The biggest factor is the time involved in getting all the work done. If that is not a problem, then I don't think you have too many plots. Good luck. (5-27-13)
  • Jamie from MI asks:
    Hey Bill, I was wondering how long you should wait to plant after spraying round up on the food plot. I am planting clover. Thanks.
    Winke Responds:
    Jamie, If you are no-till planting (with a no-till drill) you can plant right away. If you need to till the soil first plan on waiting about 10 days for the weeds to die down and then till it before planting. Good luck. (5-15-13)
  • Pat from NY asks:
    Bill, I cut out about 3/4 acre of mostly maple trees for a food plot I will be planting with Big and Beasty the first week of August. I have about 120 stumps that I will need to dig out once I get all the wood out and brush down hill to funnel the deer up to the plot. Should I brush these stumps with Tordon or will I be okay to let them sit until late July when I pop them out and rough grade in prep for the August planting? I sprayed everything last week before I cut the trees down as it will take time to clean up the trees and I did not want the weeds getting a strong hold.
    Winke Responds:
    Pat, I think I would kill them just to be on the safe side. I believe they will be easier to bust out of they are dead. Sounds like a great plan. Good luck with the plot. (5-22-13)
  • Pat from NY asks:
    Bill, I frost seeded about a half acre plot with clover that had previously been planted in brassica. I notice alot of very small clovers starting to come up but there seems to be alot more grass. I think that this clover is too tender to spray with grass killer at this point, should I wait a few weeks? or Spray now before the grass chokes the small clover out?
    Winke Responds:
    Pat, You can wait a few weeks. Best time is mid to late May anyway so the grass is growing well and taking the herbicide in aggressively. Good luck. (5-22-13)
  • Andy from MI asks:
    Hi Bill I live in southern Michigan and lease 80 acres. 40 acres are timber and 40 acres is planted with standing corn. The farmer is going to pull the corn in mid September and will take the whole stock leaving very little food. Do you think I would be able to plant something after the corn is taken? If so what do you recommend I am new to food plots. Thank you for your time good luck this year!
    Winke Responds:
    Andy, I would say your best bet is something like Big N Beasty from Frigid Forage. It can grow fast in good conditions and will produce fair amounts of forage by November. Other options are winter wheat and oats. Better check with the farmer first before you plant anything though. However, all three of those are annuals so there is very little worry of carryover to the next year. Good luck. (5-27-13)
  • mike from MN asks:
    greetings im going to start food plots this year. i have just shy of two acres.an acre per. what would you plant. have most everything to plant with, just not sure what would would effective.have a soil test sent in. have yet to see the results. i would really appreciate a couple of ideas you may have . perenials and annuals for both early and late season. secondly i have picked up bow hunting and have you to thank for learning as i go. i enjoy your cabela segments and look forward to reading and watching your work.you are very well versed. wanted to take the time to say thank you for all you do for hunters and the sport.again im a big fan of yours and look forward to some day meeting you. thak you for your time!! mike mcginty, glenwood minnesota
    Winke Responds:
    Mike, I appreciate your support and am happy that our show and site were able to help you learn more about bowhunting. I will enjoy meeting you day, as well. I think I would split them in half the long way - 1/2 of each to clover and half to brassica (we like Frigid Forage Big N Beasty). That will give you good summer and fall/winter attraction and forage. Good luck. (5-21-13)
  • Ryan from MN asks:
    Hi Bill, A quick q. for you here. What would you suggest putting into a small field in early spring (now) before planting B n B in the fall in the same spot? Which plants work well as "green manure"? Thanks again.
    Winke Responds:
    Ryan, I think clover would be the best bet. They produce a lot of forage in the meantime and if you would mow it and then plow it down you would get a lot of benefit when you prepare for the Big N Beasty. Good luck. (5-21-13)
  • JOHN from MS asks:
    Hi I do all my hunting in south Mississippi. I'm going to plant a couple plots this year for the first time and I'm not sure whats the best seed and the best time of year. I read a little about Big and Beasty and it sounds pretty good. Not sure what time of year though. Any suggestions Thanks John
    Winke Responds:
    John, Plant that in mid-August in your area, or at the right time to catch any late summer rains. If you see a rain coming, it would be good to get it in the ground in front of that rain. Good luck. (5-15-13)
  • Drake from IN asks:
    We successfully planted our first food plots last weekend. Your advice was a huge help. We spread our clover on wet worked ground and rain is forcasted for 5 of the next 7 days. Also, we are planting a 1/4 acre Poor Man Plot. Our current plan is to spray the area a couple more times this summer with the hope of having it bare by late summer. Then sowing clover along with a nurse crop to protect the clover and provide some hunting opportunities this season. I know a lot of guys like Dr. Woods like wheat, but what do you think about rye (the grain not the grass)? I have read that it is much more likely to germinate in a no-till broadcast than wheat, and has better cold weather characteristics. What are your thoughts/experiences?
    Winke Responds:
    Drake, Congrats on the plots! It is fun isn't it? I have not tried rye grain nor ryegrass. I have planted oats, triticale and winter wheat and all were attractive. I would suggest one of those three because I know they work. Rye might be fine, but I have just never tried it so I can't make any kind of recommendation. Good luck. (5-13-13)
  • Brian from IA asks:
    Small food Plot next to a Corn Field? Bill, First off thanks for offering your knowledge to all of us. I hunt on a 40 acre corn field circled by timber. There is a small 1/2 acre spot where I could plant some BNB between the edge of the timber and the fence surrounding the corn. Is it worth it to plant that close to the corn? Thanks in advance for your anwser, and keep up the great work on your show.
    Winke Responds:
    Brian, I think it is worth it. Deer need some diversity and they will definitely seek out your small plot on a regular basis if for no other reason than just to see what other deer are in the area. Good luck. (5-6-13)
  • mark from WI asks:
    Which clover works best in food plots red or white, or does it relly make a difference?
    Winke Responds:
    Mark, A blend of the two is ideal. White has a higher percentage of protein, but the red tends to grow better in a wider range of conditions. So using some of both is a good plan. If I was going to do a small plot in just one or the other, I would use the white. Good luck. (5-6-13)
  • Josh from WI asks:
    Bill, What type of fertilizer would you use on your clover plots and the big and beasty? Or does it really matter on the ph? My other question is what kind of herbicide could I use to get the grasses out of my clover plot? Your shows are great and very informational Thanks Josh
    Winke Responds:
    Josh, You have to get the pH right too, but you need fertilizer in most cases unless the soil is unusually rich. I would just go with the bag instructions on how much to put on. I put on a blend that is high in P & K for clover (probably something like 50 to 60 pounds of actual for each) and one that has a good bit of Nitrogen (N) too (in the 50 t0 60 pound range) when fertilizing the Big N Beasty. The fertilizer codes tell you what percentage of the total weight is actual (active) ingredient. So if you want 60 pounds actual of a blend you purchase at the co-op that is 30-30-30 (N-P-K) you will need to put on 200 pounds of total per acre. I hope that makes sense. Good luck. (5-6-13)
  • Jamie from MI asks:
    Bill,, I am just curious, when talking about fertilizers, what is P&K. Or what does it stand for. Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Jamie, K is potassium and P is phosphorus. They are the primary elements of fertilizer, in addition to N (nitrogen). When applying fertilizer, the number (for example 13-13-13) is the number of pounds of active N-P-K per 100 pounds applied. When someone says, I applied 20 pounds of P & K, that means they applied a mix where they ended up with 20 pounds active for each of these per acre. Good luck. (5-4-13)
  • Scott from WI asks:
    Hey Bill, I will be planting my 2 - 1/3 acre food plots this late July. BnB and Pure Trophy Clover. Snow just left a few days ago here in N. WI. I was thinking of tilling the lane in our woods that runs between the two food plots... the land does not see a lot of activiy as we are an hour away. Wild Game Buffet...? just want to provide more food for the deer on our small 40 acre piece. Not a lot of sun light will get to it... I will not be hunting this. Bad idea? Waste of time? Neighbors do a lot of corn pile baiting, just attempting to provide as much food as possible? Thanks!!!
    Winke Responds:
    Scott, If the lane is north/south I would not bother planting it as it will not get much sun. If east/west I would go with Pure Trophy Clover, I think. It does decent in moderate light and as a perenniel, you won't have to plant it as often. Lots of forage too. Good luck. (5-2-13)
  • Matt from IA asks:
    Bill, I appreciate the integrity of your show. Unlike a lot of professionals out there, you are killing your own deer on your own farm and using your own hunting strategies. Pat yourself on the back. My question is in regards to food plots. I have done some searching on the internet and found little information on this. I hope you can give an honest answer in spite of your sponsorships. Is it really worth spending three or four times as much money for specially designed “food plot” seed, as opposed to going to the local feed store and buying the same thing? Is there a big difference in the seed?
    Winke Responds:
    Matt, The advantage of the commercial blends is that, at least in theory, they have been selected with some thought to varying conditions and hardiness, etc. For example, a good blend will have something that is appealing to the deer at all times of the season. With Big N Beasty, there are some brassicas in the blend that deer eat in Sept and October and others that they eat in December. In clover blends, you hope that the person selecting the varities pays attention to a wide range of growing conditions and has at least one variety that does well on wet years and at least one that does well on dry years, etc. Also, some of the "deer seeds" have been selected to handle grazing pressure better than some other varieties. I can't answer you question specifically because each co-op likely carries a different variety and it is hard to know for sure what conditions it grows best in. For peace of mind, I have been buying blends since well before I had any sponsors. It takes the guess work out of it. I would just hate to have the plot do poorly when it could have done better with more carefully selected seeds. My season often rides on the success of my food plots. I just don't want to take the risk to find out. To me it is not worth the cost savings, but someone else my see it differently. Good luck. (5-2-13)
  • Brandon from WI asks:
    I am planting 3 new food plots this year on our property. 2 acres are in Big-N-Beasty and the other is Chicory Plus. With these seed blends and proper ph with liming if needed, is it a necessity to fertilize or would they be ok without it?
    Winke Responds:
    Brandon, You always need to fertilize, unfortunately. If you want to take the guesswork out, you should get a soil sample and apply fertilizer based on that. Otherwise, a fertilizer blend with some P & K and a good dose of nitrogen for the Big N Beasty and Chicory Plus is ideal. Good luck. (4-26-13)
  • Stewart from GA asks:
    Hey, Bill. I live up in the north GA Mountains, and I'm planning on make a poor man plot in the timber near my house. The problem is, the ground is rocky, and extremely "rooty", how do I fix this problem? I don't know much about food plots, but I'm learning!
    Winke Responds:
    Stewart, On a Poor Man budget, I am not sure there is anything you can do short of pulling the bigger rocks out by hand and using an axe to cut out the larger roots. The roots will kill you if you have a dry summer because they will pull the moisture from the plot. You may even consider cutting down some of the trees that are sending out the roots and treating the stump with Tordon RTU to kill it so the trees don't drain your plot dry. Good luck. (5-2-13)
  • Elliott from WI asks:
    I just bought a new EarthWay hand spreader and i am looking to plant clover in a small plot. What is the typical rate you set to broadcast clover?
    Winke Responds:
    Elliott, I have my stopper slid about 1/2 inch. I pull the opener lever and let it hold behind that. The rate will be determined by how fast you walk, but at a normal walking speed, that should be a reasonable rate. You can tweak it as you go. Good luck. (4-25-13)
  • doug from MO asks:
    my fields here in missouri are to wet to work and the rain just wont let up. how late would you plant clover or should i start thinking about other options in the spots i have planned for clover, if so what other options would you use
    Winke Responds:
    Doug, It depends on the weather patterns. If it stays wet, you can plant it well into May. I have even planted in June some years. If it turns off dry and the forecast is for continued dry, you don't have as much time. The key is to get the plant to germinate and put down roots before it dries out. If it dries out too soon, the plant will die. If you can't get clover in this spring, I would hold off and then plant Big N Beasty in those plots in early August. Good luck. (5-2-13)
  • Brody from MO asks:
    Hey, I need some info/help on planting a 50'x100' satellite food plot in north Missouri. By saying satellite I mean the planting area is located 20yards in the timber of a huge alternating bean/corn field that will be corn this 2013 hunting season to the south and a bedding area in CRP/Timber within 100yards to the north. This area sees a high volume of deer grazing do to a deep drainage ditch that runs east and west and a good size creek that runs north and south. I'm thinking of a seed mix consisting of Imperial Whitetail clover wild game seed 4lb bag, Bio-logic Brassica 2 1 lb. bags, and Turnips. My Questions to you are. Do you think the size of the plot is big enough for the volume of deer that move threw this area? How does the seed mix I have picked out sound to you would you change anything about it? Should I mix the seed or plant it separate from each other? Do you think the plot will be attractive enough to draw bucks out of the tall corn field?
    Winke Responds:
    Brody, My suggestion would be clover, for sure. I would not plant brassicas in a small plot that sees heavy pressure because it will likely be gone by mid-season. Your blend is not a spring planting option, that would have to be planted in the late summer (Aug 1, or so) Again, I would go with clover and plant it this spring yet, if possible. If not possible, then I would plant the brassicas and be ready to frost seed clover into the plot during the winter to be ready for next fall. You don't have to pull the deer out of the corn. They will likely stage in your small plot before they go out into the corn in the evenings. Good luck. (5-2-13)
  • tom from IL asks:
    Bill, planted big and beasty into what I thought was a drought dead clover field. Rain came and the field did great with both clover and big and beasty,what has come up though looks like a ton of b and b with the clover. Should I mow it down or cut it like I do the clover? Maybe if I keep cutting it when I cut the clover it still will be tender. Any thoughts?
    Winke Responds:
    Tom, I would just cut it like you would the clover on that schedule. The brassicas that come up in the spring will be over-mature and not attractive by fall anyway, so cutting them now when cleaning up the clover is a good idea. If you don't, you run the risk that they will shade out the clover and kill it. Good luck. (4-22-13)
  • Evan from IN asks:
    Hello, I planted my food plot a little over a week ago. I live in Indiana and we have had about 5in of rain. The ground is flat and the food plot is about a 1/4 of an acre. It is a poor man type of plot so the seed was just broadcasted straight on the ground. do you think the seed just washed away? should I reseed it, or just wait it out?
    Winke Responds:
    Evan, I think as long as it is flat ground you should be fine. If there is signs of dirt erosion in the plot then you may want to reseed. I don't think rains will wash the seed away if it didn't wash the dirt away too. That would be my gauge. Again, if there was no dirt erosion, I would assume the seed made it. If it ever warms up you will know fairly quickly and then you can reseed if needed. Good luck. (4-19-13)
  • Dusty from AL asks:
    the farmer of our property is planting soybeans this year. he usually doesn't harvest until 1st of October down here. Could I hand broadcast big'n beasty on top of the soil into the beans and it do ok? or what would be a recomendation?
    Winke Responds:
    Dusty, I would broadcast in early September so it is started growing by the time he harvests. Just realize that you will lose some to the tires of his combine. It is unavoidable. If you wait until October to plant you miss too much of the growing season. Good luck. (4-14-13)
  • Mike from WI asks:
    Mr. Winke, I am a college student and was planning on converting a small crp field into a clover plot this spring, but the current weather and class schedule is making me wait to do any work until summer. Now I am not sure what to do. would it work to plow under the grass in mid july then spray when it starts to regrow then spread big-n-beasty on it in august before a rain? I could then frost seed clover next spring in the opening. Would big-n-beasty be a good option since the area in general is very swampy and things can get wet at times even though this field is high enough to keep standing water away most years. Thanks love the show!
    Winke Responds:
    Mike, I think that plan would work, however, if the ground is wet most of the time, Big N Beasty (any brassica) will not do really well. Brassicas tend to like a bit of a dryer setting. You can try it to see how it does and worst case you can frost seed the clover either way. Clover doesn't like to be under water at all either so if it does flood regularly, you will struggle to grow anything attractive there. Good luck. (4-12-13)
  • doug from MO asks:
    have you ever broadcast seeded soybeans and if so do you believe it works ok
    Winke Responds:
    Doug, It will work but you do need to till the soil first and then drag something over the plot to get a bit better coverage of the been seeds. Overseed it by about 50% to account for the fact that not all of it will germinate in this approach. Roughly 2 to 2 1/4 bags of seed per acre should do it. Good luck. (4-12-13)
  • Jason from WI asks:
    In the last show you mentioned seeding areas where beans were eaten down or didn't grow with Big n Beasty. Is that something that typically will grow up fairly easy with no preparation? I would certianly be asking the landowner if that is ok but sparked interest to still provide some forage during the fall.
    Winke Responds:
    Jason, Yes, the germination rate will depend on rainfall and the nature of the soil. If the soil is bare and roughly up slightly it will do much better than if it table-top smooth or covered with weeds. I planted in early August last year but and it worked great. Good luck. (4-12-13)
  • Tyler from MN asks:
    Bill, I am planning on planting a 2.5-3 acre plot this year with Frigid Forage pure trophy clover mix. I am thinking of planting Autumn Quick Plot as a cover crop. Or would you recommend planting the Big N Beasty as a cover crop? To do this, how many acre bag of the clover and of the autumn quick plot or big n beasty would you plant? Thanks for all your help and support! Love your show!
    Winke Responds:
    Tyler, I think you will really like that clover blend. It has done very well here. Unless you are planting it in the late summer (probably late July or Aug in your area) I would not plant either of those as a cover. I would probably just plant a bit of oats from the local Co-Op for the cover if planting this spring. For the late summer planting I would probably use FF's forage oats for a cover. I would not want to put too much of the brassicas into the cover of they will shade out the small clovers and diminish their growth. Good luck. (4-10-13)
  • Matt from OH asks:
    Hey Bill, Like yourself, I also enjoy the stewardship and wildlife management equal to actually hunting. We FINALLY were able to swing it and get a tractor for our place. We are looking for the attachments that are most needed. What type of plow do you use on your plots? Do you have a disc as well? Thanks Bill
    Winke Responds:
    Matt, You have a couple of good options. You can use a very aggressive disk (the smaller ones that weigh a lot and cut deep) or you can go with a two or three bottom moldboard plow. That is what I would recommend and then hit it again with a basic disk to smooth it out. This is only necessary if you are plowing down your "green fertilizer" for your plots. That is becoming much more popular with the rising cost of Nitrogen fertilizer. If you want the moldboard plow you will likely have to search auction listings for a while or do an internet search. They will cost between $500 and $1,200 (I estimate). Good luck. (4-9-13)
  • brent from PA asks:
    Mr. Bill, I will try to make this one short and sweet! My soil test report indicates low phosphorus levels around 23 ppm, and potassium levels around 89 ppm. Now with levels that low, what would be a safe product to plant? I asked you last year about the forage soybeans and it just seemed the deer hammered them to the point they wouldnt grow over foot and ahalf tall. With the deer density being so high around here I would need something that will keep up to the intense grazing. I plan on spreading fertilizer soon. The mixture is 300 lbs. per acre of alfalfa mix plus 100 lbs. per acre of urea. PH is not a issue now. Thank you
    Winke Responds:
    Brent, You have a couple of options. 1. plant clover. It can sustain the pressure but is not really a strong late season attractor. 2. plant beans and fence them to keep the deer out until mid-summer. 3. plant beans and then in early August go in and broadcast seed Big N Beasty into the beans to that you have both a summer and fall/winter attraction there. This strategy will work fine but if you lack significant rains after broadcasting, you may not get a good stand of Big N Beasty. All three approaches will work. Personally, I kind of like option 3 for this year and then re-assess after the season. Good luck. (4-8-13)
  • Joe from WI asks:
    I am going to plant soybeans in a small plot I have, every year once the fall begins though it seems it has nothing left but the stalks. By broadcasting Big N'Beasty like you did this last summer be an effective idea?
    Winke Responds:
    Joe, That would be a great plan. I would broadcast them in early August, ideally right before a rain. It may take a real soaker to get the seed to germinate so if you have the ability to drill it in, you will get better germination with less rain. Good luck. (4-3-13)
  • David from IL asks:
    Mr.Winke, I really enjoy your show and I've really learned a lot from you! My question for you regards a new food plot that im planning out. I have a plot 190ft x 70ft to plant. I know you strongly suggest half clover, half brassicas in plots this size. However, where im located there are large hay fields and pastures surrounding this plot. I feel like the deer would not utilize the clover half simply because its nothing new to them. Is there anything you would recommend over clover? Or should I just stick to it and plant clover? Thank you!
    Winke Responds:
    David, Thanks for your support. I would still be tempted to stick with the clover or else go all Big N Beasty. Another option is to go all soybeans the first year and then in the areas that the deer browse hard you can seed those down to Big N Beasty in August. That might be the best strategy for the first year - RoundUp Ready beans followed by Big N Beasty where the stand is light. Good luck. (3-30-13)
  • Kyle from PA asks:
    Bill first i want to say you have the best show out there! I am addicted!And congrats on the G4 buck what a slammer! I will be doing food plots for the fist time this year and the 3 things i want to plant are soybeans, clover, and Big n Beasty.I have 500 acres and i will be doin 4 differet plots two back in the woods which will be 1/2 to 3/4 acre (my kill plots) and 2 out in big fields, hopeing to do 2 acres in 2 different fieds. My question is what should i plant where? Any tips would be appreciated! thanks!
    Winke Responds:
    Kyle, I would plant the two smaller plots back in the timber to clover in the 1/2 acre plot. In the other I would go half clover and half Big N Beasty the first year. Once you get those plots established you can put in more Big N Beasty as you go along. The two larger plots I would plant to beans and in any spots that don't grow well, I would go back in early August and plant those areas to Big N Beasty. That is a pretty solid strategy. Good luck. (3-30-13)
  • Drake from IN asks:
    Thanks for your great advice. How far into the hunting season should we expect a good clover blend like Trophy Clover to pull deer (I am in Southern Indiana)? We are looking at plots for both food and hunting opportunities. We are also looking at some B&B in at least half of our plots, but I have heard that it may not pull deer until after a hard freeze - has this been your experience? I realize that B&B will be great particularly in November and December, but what would provide good hunting opportunities in October? Clover, B&B, or perhaps something like forage oats?
    Winke Responds:
    Drake, I would say the clover will be attractive until you get a few hard freezes on it. On our farm here in Iowa clover draws deer through November, roughly. By the end of November the deer have stopped feeding in it as aggressively and have pretty much moved onto the Big N Beasty and grain plots. In my experience, our deer will start hitting Big N Beasty in late September and early October and then kind of hold off on it from mid-October through late November. But that could be circumstance related to temp and when the plot was planted. My guess is that the deer will use it some all fall but will really start to hit it when everything else is becoming less attractive - basically after a couple of hard freezes. I think Oats are attractive early. I think beans should be considered too. My ideal large plot is beans with Big N Beasty in the ends where the deer hit the beans hardest. My ideal small plots are divided into two types, half Big N Beasty and half Pure Trophy Clover. Good luck. (3-26-13)
  • Scott Hoch from IA asks:
    Bill, I just purchased some Pure Trophy to frost seed this weekend but I have a two part question. What does it mean when I hear this clover seed is pre-inoculated and is Frigid Forage Pure Trophy Clover Mix pre-inoculated? Thanks and Happy Planting Scott
    Winke Responds:
    Scott, It is not pre-inoculated. That means that the seed is coated with a substance that promotes bacteria growth around the seed that will aid in its growth as a small seedling - right after germination. I have planted both inoculated and non-inoculated and I have not been able to tell the difference. There may be situations where it makes a differnce. You would be better to do independent research on that subject. The thing to keep in mind is that inoculated seeds are bigger (coated) so it will take more pounds per acre. Just be sure you get the seed rates correct when planting. Good luck. (3-22-13)
  • Lee from KS asks:
    Bill, I have a small secluded food plot that has some left over brassica plants in it from last Fall. Can I frost seed right on top of this remaining plant trash, or do I need to mow it down clean early Spring and then try seeding clover to it? There are not a ton of bare spots in the current plot. I live in NE Kansas region, so I didn't know how long I have to still frost seed clover. Thanks Bill!
    Winke Responds:
    Lee, If you can't see the ground in most spots you need to do something to it before seeding. The seeds have to get to the dirt to do you any good. If mowing will clean it up, then that is fine. If not, you may need to till it first. You can do that anytime the ground is dry enough, even now, and then broadcast the seed. I would say you have at least a three more weeks to get this done before you risk the chance that the spring rains will shut off before the seeds germinate. You can broadcast the seed anytime, but you end up relying on rains to pound it in rather than the frosts. That is OK. It will work fine too as long as you have decent amounts of consistent rain (a normal spring usually offers that). Good luck. (3-21-13)
  • Matt from IA asks:
    Bill, I have a foodplot question.But first, i really respect what you do and your opinion.You are out to educate,not just to kill big deer.My foodplot is 45ftx900ft. It has been corn for 5 years.13 acres of switchgrass next to it and 25 acres of hardwood timber next to that.AG ground all around,mostly corn.Just cleaned up corn residue.To mix it up I was going to frost seed clover.Should I do all clover,or 1/2 clover 1/2 rr soybeans,then put big and beasty in the beans in august.Your ideas and opinions would be appreciated.
    Winke Responds:
    Matt, You are looking at roughly an acre there. I think I would probably break it up into two different plots divided the long way. That means the clover is 22 feet by 900 feet and the beans are 22 feet by 900 feet. I think the deer may hammer the beans during the summer, but either way, broadcasting Big N Beasty in early August will fill in any holes. I think that is a good plan. Just be sure the beans are cleaned up first (sprayed with Roundup to eliminate weeds). Good luck. (3-21-13)
  • Jeff from LA asks:
    Hi Bill, Great show, love watching. I hunt in MS Delta on a large club, around 5000 acres. We have a large number of members/hunters, and as a result, very high pressure. We have been practicing QDM for years, but have been "plateaued" for quite awhile, rarely getting bucks (at our top end) past 150 class. Great deer, but we would like to make a step forward. Certainly some of that is genetics, but we want to do what we can to maximize our potential. Essentially a few of us are trying to ramp up our offseason nutrition, as we are on an island away from agriculture fields, and aside from natural browse, our deer depend on us for food. We have settled on a few great white clovers like Ladino as our "base crop", but are looking to add to the buffet. Recently we added 3 large (1000 lb) feeders to feed protein pellets in the offseason and want to expand that to 7-10 feeders in the future. The discussion we are having now is adding soybean plots (b/w 20-40 acres)
    Winke Responds:
    Jeff, Your message got cut off, but for sure adding the soybean plots will help. That is a good summer and fall/winter food. The clover and soybeans will complement each other nicely. The final step is not shooting any bucks less than 5 years old (except management bucks). If you will do all these things (and keep your overall numbers at a reasonable level for your food and habitat) you will start to see some bigger deer. Your area can easily produce bucks in the 170+ range. I have seen them. Good luck. (3-20-13)
  • Corey from IL asks:
    Bill - another question for you...can I just broadcast big n beasty on to bare dirt? Or does it require the nice seedbed and cultipacked?
    Winke Responds:
    Corey, It depends on the situation. You can do that if the ground is bare and the seed will get to the soil easily and also if there will be consistent moisture in the near future. I have done this often in early August with parts of my bean plots that didn't grow properly. However, you will always be better off to till the ground and cultipack or at least lightly drag the seed into the soil. That way, just one good rain should result in good germination. If you toss it on top of the ground, you may need a two day soaker to really get the seeds started. Again, it will work both ways, but you are MUCH better off tilling the ground. Good luck. (3-18-13)
  • Jamie from ON asks:
    Hi Bill. I have a bag of seed for my food plot the name is "Secret Spot-Whitetail Institute" and I was wondering if frost seeding it would be a good idea or not. The seeds in the bag are: Oats, Ryegrass, Rapeseed, Clover, winter wheat, and chicory. Do you know what would be the best time for planting it?? Thanks Jamie
    Winke Responds:
    Jamie, I am not a huge fan of that particular mix. It seems that there are too many competing plants there (annuals and perenniels) and plants that don't really fit together. I am sure it will grow, but it is not optimal, in my opinion. I would not plant that in the spring but would hold that until late July in your area and plant it then. There will be some carry over to the next year so you will either have to kill it then and start over or be satisfied with a rye/chicory/clover plot for a few years. Good luck. (3-16-13)
  • Hunter from OK asks:
    Bill, farming type question for you. We are considering using a local seed company that has their own spring mix. The mix includes wheat, oats, peas, triticale, alfalfa, turnips, rape, and clover. Few questions: obviously this is a good mixture of warm and cold season forage, but do these varieties comingle well together? I'm more concerned about late season food than early season (we have a substantial amount of alfalfa already), would I be better off planting a mixture of late season stuff that is not mixed in with early season varieties? And is now a good time to plant the late season varieties included in this mix? If not, when should we be planting? Thanks for the input! - Hunter
    Winke Responds:
    Hunter, I don't like that mix. Sounds too much like a shopping cart filled with every seed that grows a plant that deer might eat. Not a good strategy. Seems like too many varieties doing different things. I don't think they can all do well. If you have good amounts of alfalfa, I would focus on something for fall/winter food such as straight soybeans. In early August check out the beans and if they are thin in spots, I would go into those areas and either till and plant Big N Beasty or I would broadcast it if you think you will get some consistent rains. That stuff will compliment your beans very well and will bring the deer into your area and feed them well throughout the fall and winter. Good luck. (3-17-13)
  • Patrick from MO asks:
    Mr. Winke, I am going to be heading to the farm later this week and I was wondering if it would be ideal conditions to frost seed my clover plots? Or is it too late? Temperatures are supposed to be in the mid 50s to 60s. Would it be a good idea for me to do that? Thanks for your time!
    Winke Responds:
    Patrick, You should be OK for frost seeding through early April, I would guess. As long as the seed can get consistent moisture, which is common in the spring, you should be fine. Good luck. (3-17-13)
  • Corey from IL asks:
    Hi bill - love the site, show, etc! Thanks for all the info. My question is this...I want to broadcast turnips in the crop fields this year. This year will be corn. It's a corn bean rotation. When should I broadcast the turnips in the corn? I'll end up leaving a couple acres of corn standing. Will the turnips grow under the corn? I guess my main question is when I need to spread them. It will obviously be after the corn is planted so I'll just walk thru the corn to broadcast. Thanks a lot!!
    Winke Responds:
    Corey, Turnips are cheap. You can try this and even if it doesn't work you are not out much. I would broadcast them about mid-August to September 1 and hope for the best. I have heard that they will grow, but I have never tried it. Good luck. (3-16-13)
  • Chad from MI asks:
    Loved your segment on frost seeding and I'm planning on doing that this year to a plot I've struggled to get clover growing the last couple of years. I'm wondering, I have a brassica/clover mix that I was going to use on another property. Can a brassica/clover mix be "frost seeded" or would the brassica portion of the seed not work for that early?
    Winke Responds:
    Chad, In a lot of ways, that mix doesn't really make sense for a winter/spring seeding. Brassicas mature too quickly and will go to seed and become less attractive by fall. I would plant that mix in late July or early August but not in the spring. If you do plant the brassica clover blend in the summer, you will have residual clover there the next spring. You can augment that stand by frost seeding a bit more clover into the plot in the winter to fill it in. Good luck. (3-13-13)
  • trey from OK asks:
    What process would you recommend for planting a food plot the right way. And what type of plot should I use in southern OK for this summer? Thanks for your time and I enjoy watching your shows.
    Winke Responds:
    Trey, That is a tough question to answer because every situation is different (soil types, moisture amount, plot size) and the goals may be different (early versus late season attraction). For example, if you are looking for something that will be attractive in late season, you would focus on corn (if you have enough moisture to grow it), beans or brassicas like Big N Beasty. If you are looking for something that will be most attractive during the early and middle of the season, then clover is a good option. If you have never planted a food plot before, I would keep things very simple. Either focus on clover with a spring planting, or Big N Beasty with a summer planting. In both cases, you will need to spray the plot with RoundUp about two weeks before you plan to till the soil. In the spring (clover) that means getting in there as soon as the grass and weeds are growing well because you want to plant it as soon as you can. After two weeks, spread your fertilizer (based on the bag instructions) and lime (based on a soil test). Then till the soil and either broadcast the seed on top before a good rain comes in or drill it into the ground. The easiest way to get a soil test done is to get a pre-paid test kit from Frigid Forage and follow the directions. Do that as soon as possible to get a jump start on the process. There is plenty of other things you should know about food plots, but that will at least get you started. Good luck. (3-12-13)
  • Jeff Nelson from WI asks:
    Hey Bill, I was wondering if there is anything on the market that can give me immediate or very fast Ph data from soil samples? I'm starting a plot business and don't have patients to send in soil samples via mail. There has to be something! If not ill market it, you can engineer it. Haha! Nice seeing you again in Des Moines!
    Winke Responds:
    Jeff, There are a number of them but I can't vouch for any of them. You can do a web search under "soil pH meter" and see a lot of options. However, the soil test does have the potential to be more accurate and it does also give recommendations on how much fertilizer to add, so for those with the time, it is probably the best overall strategy. Good to see you, as well. Have a great day. (3-8-13)
  • Matt from IN asks:
    The land surrounding the area that I hunt should be planted in corn this year. I have heard that deer tend to move to soybeans over corn when available and thought that I would plant 2-3 small (1/2 to 3/4 acre) food plots around the property. There is a significant amount of deer on the property as it is a natural funnel between two large woods surrounded by cornfields. I need to know if I can use a spreader to spread the soybean seed or if they should be planted in rows to help the yeild. If there is not much difference in yeild that would save some time and effort. Also, is there any other type of seed that I could or should miz with soybeans or should I just let them grow as is.
    Winke Responds:
    Matt, I don't agree with the idea that deer favor beans over corn. It really depends on the time of the year and temperature. For sure, when it gets cold, they favor corn. Early, and when it is warmer, they may favor beans, but not by a wide margin. I think you will have trouble keeping 1/2 acre bean plots on the property without getting eaten to the ground in summer if you have large numbers, but you can sure give it a try. You can spread beans, they don't have to be planted in rows. Just be sure to put the rate on correctly, about 1 1/2 bags per acre rate. I would let them grow and if the deer eat them during the summer, I would plant Big N Beasty into the beans in late summer (August 1, or so). You can broadcast that right in as long as you clean up the beans first with Roundup or a generic version. Good luck. (3-10-13)
  • Scott from AL asks:
    Bill, As I look out my window here in WI I see about 2-3 FEET of snow on the ground with no warm up in sight.... and more snow called for today. Snow banks are 5' high right now! Was looking to start work on my new cleared food plots this spring, planting some clover in late April. Was looking to have a dozer in around mid march to clear and scrape stumps. Do you have simliar conditions and if so any concerns? How late can clover go in? Thx!
    Winke Responds:
    Scott, You can only focus on what you can control, so I just let the weather dictate. In most areas of WI I am guessing you have until about early May to get the clover plots in. If it is a bottom area that will hold more moisture, you can risk going later. The risk is related to when the spring rains turn off. You want the plants pretty well rooted by then or any extended dry spell will kill them at that point. That is why no one recommends planting clover in the late spring or summer. Good luck. (3-8-13)
  • Jim from MD asks:
    Hey,so they cut our beans at the end of september or early oct.What kinda of a plot could we put in to keep the deer comin to this field?Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Jim, I would try broadcast seeding brassicas like Big N Beasty in the corners of the field near your stands just as soon as they harvest. If you can drill it in, that is better, but if not, even broadcasting before a rain will produce some value. If want to let the combine mash over some, you can even broadcast it as much as three weeks before they harvest with absolutely no problem for the beans. You will get a jump start in growth, but you will lose some of the plot crop to the tires of the combine. I would let the farmer know ahead of time what you are doing. It won't affect him at all. Good luck. (3-7-13)
  • Pat from NY asks:
    Bill, Just recently watched your show regarding frost seeding and was out today doing some myself, I was wondering if frost seeding of clover is done in early March, What would be the ideal time to apply fertilizer?, What ratio is best N-P-K?, What about PH testing for optimum range and lime application timing?
    Winke Responds:
    Pat, Good questions. I would fertilze as soon as possible. No big rush, but the P & K used for fertilizer is kind of a granular rock that needs time to really work into the soil. I would not put down any N for clover. As much P & K as your budget allows up to about 80 units per acre. It is a bit complicated how this works. For example, if the local yard supply store has 0-20-20 fertilizer, that is the analysis of the % in each of N-P-K. (There is always inert material in fertilizer). A 60 pound bag of 0-20-20 would have just 12 pounds actual of each of P & K. If you are trying to get 60 pounds per acre, that means you will need 5 bags per acre of 0-20-20. I would test pH as soon as possible too and get the lime on there if it shows that it needs it. Basically, anything under 6.5 should get some lime. The soil test will tell you how much to apply. Sooner the better on both lime and fertilizer. Good luck. (3-7-13)
  • Paul from MN asks:
    Bill, When plowing under clover plots in late summer as "green manure nitrogen" followed by planting Big-N-Beasty, should a person first spray with RU (glypho) or will that reduce the nitrogen content? My concern would be if the clovers have a mix of weeds in the plot and plowing under without spraying will leave a more weedy plot. Thank you - your site is the BEST!
    Winke Responds:
    Paul, I have not done it yet, but will this summer. I will probably mow in late May to control weeds and then plow it down in late July. I will also do some more research on the web to find out how others do this, but I think I will be plowing it down green. I will be sure to use an actual mold-board plow and bury the clover and weeds completely so it won't regrow. Good luck. (3-5-13)
  • Brian from IN asks:
    Hey Bill, was wondering about frost seeding the pure clover blend over my big and beasty plot. There are still some turnips and things there, was wondering if I should wait and till them up and then seed the clover. Was just wondering about that. This is the best show on tv as well as the net keep up the great info if been a long time follower of your web site and love it. Thanks!
    Winke Responds:
    Brian, I think it would work great. If the plot is clean of weeds, you don't have to till it. In fact, we will probably do the same thing on a few plots here too - just as an experiment. We will then plow the clover under in late July and replant the Big N Beasty again - utilizing the natural nitrogen gained from the clover. The deer get the clover in the late spring and early summer and the Big N Beasty in the fall and winter. I will keep you posted on the shows about how this works. Good luck. (3-1-13)
  • Rich from IL asks:
    Can you frost seed alfalfa? I was planning on mixing it with clover and overseeding my existing clover plot. There used to be 3 or 4 alfalfa fields around my hunting area but now there are none. All of them have been plowed up and planted with corn or soybeans.Do you have alfalfa on your farm and do you think its attractive to deer or is clover better?
    Winke Responds:
    Rich, Technically, I think it would probably work to frost seed alfalfa, but I have found alfalfa to be much more finicky than clover. Deer love alfalfa and if you can manage it well (it really has to be baled to do well - and sprayed regularly for insects) and it really thrives on highly fertile soil so you need to fertilize it regularly. Like I said, clover is easier to grow and manage. Good luck. (3-6-13)
  • Mike from MN asks:
    I'm glad your off season shows finally started I have been looking forward to them! I have never done food plots before, but wanted to start with a one acre plot this year. I have a trailer mower, but would have to find something to plant seeds with. I have 2 questions. 1. If we still need to clear the plot (currently in a grass field) what would be a timeline we should be looking at as far as clearing, planting, etc.? 2. I am in farm country, but this plot is in a clearing in a woods. I read that 2/3 should be winter food, and 1/3 summer food. So I was thinking 2/3 big n beasty and 1/3 clover. What do you think about that?
    Winke Responds:
    Mike, I think if it is just one acre, I would plant the entire thing to clover the first year and then maybe rotate it a couple years later. It is always easier to start out planting something easy to grow and maintain like clover. Rotate to Big N Beasty in a year or two. If you have to clear it and kill it, then the spraying will have to occur after the grass is actively growing so probably in late April, is my guess in MN, possibly even in early May. If it is not growing actively, the RoundUp or generic version won't kill it. Good luck. (5-6-13)
  • Brian from IA asks:
    I hunt a 80 acre farm that is leased to a farmer that puts corn on half the tillable and uses the rest for hay. He cuts and bales the part that is not in corn 2 to 3 times a year depending on the grass growth. Would it work to frost seed clover in some areas closer to where we have stands even if he cuts it 3 times a year? The ground is pretty bare right now so we would get good seed to soil contact. I thought you had said previously that cutting is good for clover. I doubt the farmer wouldn't mind as I think cut clover would be good for his cattle also
    Winke Responds:
    Brian, Possibly the clover would take in those areas, not sure without seeing it. If it is bare, you have good odds for success. My guess is that it is worth a try. Good luck. (3-6-13)
  • Kaden from IA asks:
    After watching your frost seeding show I decided I wanted to try that clover but I would like to till it and plant it. Can you explain the process you have to go through to make the plot good? The spot I'm thinking of is only about an acre. Also what time of year would I need to start on it?
    Winke Responds:
    Kaden, Start when the ground dries out in the spring. If that happens in late March great, if not until late April, fine. Just as soon as it is try enough, you can till it. If the plot had weeds or grass in it last year, you will have to wait even longer and spray with Roundup or a comparable generic brand when the weeds are greened up and growing well. Then wait two weeks and then till it before planting. You can lime and fertiize before tilling. The local co-op can help you determine what you need for lime and fertilizer or you can get a soil test kit from Frigid Forage and have it tested by a lab to give suggestions on what to spread. After tilling, either drill or broadcast the seed right before a rain and you should be in business. Good luck. (3-5-13)
  • chad from MN asks:
    Hi Bill, great off season shows so far. I have a question about frost seeding. Where i live here in NW MN. We still have over 2 feet of snow still on ground. Now i saw in your show no snow at all when you where frost seeding. My question Bill is it still ok to frost seed on top of snow, or should i wait tell it is all melted to start frost seeding. Because with this much snow at end of feb. on normal yrs with snow like this it is not gone here tell about mid april. Please let me NO what i should do. Thanks, an keep up the great work-CHAD!!!
    Winke Responds:
    Chad, With that much snow I think I would wait so that I could control better where the seed ends up. If the snow is thin it is no big deal, but with a lot of snow you run the risk that some of the seed will merely wash away as the snow melts. I would wait until it is mostly or completely gone and then seed it. Good luck. (3-1-13)
  • Travis from NY asks:
    The earth way bag seeder you use, does it self adjust to the size of the seed in the bag or do you have to set it yourself? Just curious as to how the bag works.
    Winke Responds:
    Travis, You have to set it based on trial and error. Start with a small opening and increase it as you gain some confidence on the seeding rate. Good luck. (2-28-13)
  • Will from AL asks:
    You said that seed to soil contact was the most important part of frost seeding clover. I don't have easy access to any farm implements for one of the farms I lease but would still like to frost seed clover into a new spot. It is covered in snow right now, but I am assuming there is a bunch of dormant grass underneath. Would simply cutting it with a lawm mower help? Or does it really need to be bare dirt? I am thinking about just renting a little roto tiller for the day and taking it down... Any Suggestions?
    Winke Responds:
    Will, I don't think you can seed that until you prepare the seed bed better. That could mean spraying first with RoundUp and coming back in two weeks to till it or possibly, if the grass residue isn't too thick, to broadcast the seed at that time. The tiller is definitely the better solution. You can till it as soon as the snow is gone and the field dries out, but then the dormant grass is going to start growing (even though you tilled it) and that will choke out your clover. I would wait until the grass gets green and starts to grow aggressively before spraying. You will get a good kill and then come back later, as mentioned, to till and seed. Remember to fertilize (that is best done before tilling. You can broadcast the seed on the bare dirt at this point and hope the spring rains will beat the small seeds into the ground (which they normally will do) or you can you can broadcast and then drag something over the plot to incorporate the seed very shallow. Good luck. (2-28-13)
  • Phil from AK asks:
    Hey Bill, just a quick note to say how much I'm enjoying your show being back on. With a small farm in Indiana but living full time in Alaska your site is as close to working a food plot as I'm going to get until the kids and I spend some time there this summer. Not the ideal time to plant but we have to make the best of the long distance. Again I really look forward to Monday mornings. Two questions. One what do you know about Dunstan Chestnut trees (saw them listed at RealTree farms) and do you have any plans to plant any? Second, a buddy in Michigan said this fall he accidentally took some video with his Bushnell trophy cam and got video of a buck he didn't know was around. He said he didn't have any still photos of anything but the does and thought the only reason he got the buck was that the camera "stayed active" longer. We realize the longer the time between photos the more likely you are to miss a few deer but he felt the buck was making short enough visits after
    Winke Responds:
    Phil, Thanks for the support. Chestnuts are a preferred food source for deer. I believe they are not real easy to establish, but worth the effort. I think they produce nuts at a much younger age than oaks. I am sure we will try to plant some here at some point, just to see how they do. I like to run my cameras with a 30 second delay between shots. Like you, I think if you let it sit too long between photos you can miss bucks that come in and run off a doe, for example, or another buck. Good luck. (2-28-13)
  • Cody from MN asks:
    Quick comment/question. I was at a cover crop/food plot sales meeting and the salesman was selling what we refer to as tillage radishes. I believe these have the same concepts as brassicas correct? Some who may not do extensive research may plant in the spring. The seed salesman said if they seed out the seed can be viable for up to 50 yrs in the soil. Just a point to let viewers know so they don't plant too early and have these coming up for 50 years!
    Winke Responds:
    Cody, My guess is that they were actually forage radishes, but as you suggest, they are in the brassica family. It is a good tip. Don't plant your brassicas in the spring. They are best planted no sooner than July 25 in the north and around Aug 8 in the south. Good luck. (2-28-13)
  • Brent from AL asks:
    Frost seeding follow-up. Bill, If possible, would it be a good idea to run a drag across an existing clover plot in areas where competing grasses were more prevalent last season or will that do more harm than good. I thought maybe that would improve seed-to-soil contact some if I could remove some of the competition cover. Thanks.
    Winke Responds:
    Brent, That does make sense. The biggest problem with the grasses and other plants is that the seed sits up on top of that stuff and never makes it to the ground. For that matter, you can even till it if the ground is unfrozen at the time and dry enough. Mixing things up first will definitely cause better seed to soil contact in those areas. In the spring you will likely have to spray to kill the competing grasses. Good luck. (2-28-13)
  • Hunter from OK asks:
    Bill, sorry to hear about Big. Thanks for the episode on clover...you do a good job demonstrating to some of us (me) that know very little about farming but want to understand more. Why did you decide not to till the soil on your small clover plot? Can you also spread BignBeasty without having to till (if not, what other varieties are good late season plots that do not require tilling?)? We are about to have big wet storm the next couple days and then the weather is going to clear up this weekend, do you think this weekend would be a good time to spread some clover in a small plot?
    Winke Responds:
    Hunter, I never got to it last fall. There was a decent amount of clover there in June and then by late July it was pretty well barren. I guess I just wanted to see if it would bounce back on its own this year. Tilling and reseeding late August probably would have made some sense, but even at that, I was still hoping the the clover that was there would get some rains and grow better. There will be a certain amount of clover there that is dormant that will come in this spring, but frost seeding will just help to even things out a bit. If by early May it looks like it will not fill in, I will spray to kill and then till and replant at that time. I have spread Big N Beasty in August and September before good soaker rains and had that do very well without any tillage, but it requires a clean surface - like a bean plot that you sprayed with Roundup to remove any competition. Sounds like this weekend would work very well. Then the freezes and thaws and additoinal rains will work the seed in. Thanks for the support. Good luck. (2-28-13)
  • Matt from OK asks:
    Hey Bill, Im wanting to plant clover this spring for specifically turkeys (Im possiblly moving in august) but also Deer. I have one good location to plant it but the ground has never been worked. I also have another place that has been worked in the past, but has taken over by native grasses. Would it be better to use the worked ground or the new place. They are on different sides of the creek. Also, Should I start spraying now if I plan on planting the first week of March? Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Matt, I don't think it matters which site assuming they have equal soil quality. However, you can't spray until the grass is actively growing. Roundup won't kill anything that is dormant. It has to be active. In fact, the chemical reps I have talked to suggest that the best time to spray is when you have actively growing weeds and several days of warm weather in the forecast when they will keep growing. They have to take the chemical to the roots and that requires active growth. So, I don't see how you are going to get any clover at all for turkey season and will have an OK stand by August. Spring planted clover does best the second year. Fall planted clover can often do well the next spring, but not really good until that fall. Good luck. (2-27-13)
  • Hunter from WI asks:
    Hey Bill, love the show and keep up the great work! My problem is, I do not have any farming equipment what so ever nor can I get any access from anyone. My family ownes a a couple of acres of land that is all farm country. Open fields and such. I want to plant the frigid forage screen plot but I do have any equipment. I was wondering if I could utilize it as "throw and grow"? Will it still grow properly or would you suggest something else?
    Winke Responds:
    Hunter, It won't work well that way unless you can rough up the soil enough that when it rains the seeds sort of get encrusted with the dirt. You need good seed to soil contact to be sure it will grow. If you can rent a roto-tiller that would be all you really need. Spray first with RoundUp and wait two weeks. You can use a small hand sprayer that you get from a hardware store. Spread the recommended fertilizer (a small push style spreader should work OK for that). Then till it up good. Spread the seed and drag something over the top of the seeding to pull some dirt over the seeds (I have used something as simple as big tree branch!). With the next rain it should germinate and start growing. Good luck. (2-22-13)
  • seth from OH asks:
    let me set the stage for you, I hunt 200 acres with some good wooded areas there are 2 lush fields normally planted beans to corn rotational 75 acres worth. the rest of the land has some really nice future food plots for this upcoming season, somewhere around 25-40 acres. I am looking at planting big n' beasty, with saying that how much should I plant; deer pressure is high, and the other thing is the agriculture crop fields are tilled and planted with winter wheat, deer eat it but tolerate it only because there is no other food source in winter months besides old acorns and a stray leaf here of there. I want something that will bring them in during the early fall and yet something that will hold the deer in the winter. looking for feedback and thoughts, thanks!
    Winke Responds:
    Seth, I would probably focus on about 5 to 6 acres of Big N Beasty the first year, spread around in one acre plots. I would then go in and frost seed those to clover in the late winter, about now. The clover will supply some summer food and help to add nitrogen to the soil. Then in mid to late July plow that under and till it up for the next year's Big N Beasty. The plowdown clover will produce a nice nitrogen boost to keep from having to put as much nitrogen down at planting time. (expensive). You can increase your acres for the second year as you learn how well the deer are responding to the Big N Beasty. By the third year, consider planting it all to beans in the spring and then rotating back to the clover/Big N Beasty rotation the following year. In other words, you can't plant brassicas on brassicas forever without some rotation. The plowdown clover helps, but it is always good to have some kind of rotation in the cropping cycle. You may learn that you don't have to rotate, but it is alway safer to rotate crops occassionally. Good luck. (2-24-13)
  • Patrick from IA asks:
    I am going to be splitting a 2 acre ridge top food plot into 1/2 clover and 1/2 brassicas. The plot is long and narrow (about 45 yards wide) running north-south and is surrounded by woods on all sides. How should I divide the plot? Should I split the field North(brassicas)/South(clover) or should I split it lengthwise East(brassicas)/West(clover)? Thanks for your input.
    Winke Responds:
    Patrick, I think I would split it so that both crops run the full length of the plot - just half on one side and half on the other. You want to preserve one of the nice aspects of those long, thin plots - the fact that bucks often walk the entire length of it during the rut and the fact that does often feed slowly from one end to the other. That way no matter where you are sitting along the plot, if a deer comes out, you have some hope of eventually getting a shot. By having both crops the full length you encourage deer to cover the distance even if they prefer one over the other. There may be some rationale for a different strategy, but that is what I would do. Good luck. (2-18-13)
  • Russ from MI asks:
    Hello Bill. Hope you're enjoying your time off, you deserve it. My question is about Round Up. I went to the local hardware to buy a few gallons and noticed that they have the standard gallon jugs that are only 2% glyphosate for around $20. They also have a concentrate that is around 50% glyphosate that you mix with water, for around $100 per gallon. I'm not as concerned with the cost as I am with the effectiveness. Do you have an opinion on which way to go? Thanks, Russ.
    Winke Responds:
    Russ, Those costs sound pretty high too, but the way to go is with the concentrate and then mix it the way you need it for the project. If you can control the application well enough, the goal in most full-weed situations is about 1 1/2 to 2 quarts of the concentrate per acre. Mix it with however much water you need to cover that much ground. If you are spraying it over beans and the grass is pretty small and thin you can get by with as a little as 1 quart per acre. Those are roughly the final rates you are seeking. Good luck. (2-10-13)
  • Travis from ME asks:
    When do you recommend that I frost seed some alice white clover? I live in South Central NE. thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Travis. I would think that late February through mid-March would be good timing for this. Good luck. (2-4-13)
  • Nathan from PA asks:
    Winke, some quick frost seeding questions just to clear it up for me. Is it ideal to frost seed in Pa on top of the snow or after it melts and then before the next snow. Also when frost seeding do you also fertilize at this time? Keep up the good work. Thank you
    Winke Responds:
    Nathan, As long as you get it spread while there are still a few freeze and thaw cycles left in the winter weather you will be fine. Some people think you need to spread it on the snow, but that is not true. Truthfully, you don't even need frost as long the sound is consisttently moist as it warms the seeds will germinate and get started just fine. Anytime before the last few frosty nights is ideal, but if you miss that deadline, you will still get a stand as long the ground is bare and the seeds can get good contact with the soil. You an fertilize then or wait. Assuming it is clover you are frost seeding, you will be applying P & K and that can go on any time during the winter or spring. It doesn't easly wash away or leach off. Good luck. (1-30-13)
  • Nick from IA asks:
    When is the earliest you can frost seed? What frigid forage can you frost seed with? Thank you for your time.
    Winke Responds:
    Nick, I would probably wait until late Feb or early March for that at the soonest. Clover is the only one I would frost seed as it is ideal for that. I have frost seeded their Pure Trophy Clover blend several times and it works great. Good luck. (1-29-13)
  • Jake from WI asks:
    I've heard that clover doesn't grow a very good crop the first year. Will frost seeding get it started soon enough that it will be attractive by October and November? Thanks for all you do Bill!
    Winke Responds:
    Jake, Yes, it should be tall enough and thick enough to be attractive the first year if you frost seed it. Have a great day. (1-27-13)
  • Cam from MB asks:
    Are there any options for providing deer some forage during the hunting season that do not involve tillage, seed drills or other heavy equipment?
    Winke Responds:
    Cam, We did that last summer with the Poor Man's Plot. You can use a sprayer and kill the grass in a small opening with RoundUp and then rake the residue away after a couple of weeks and then fertlize and broadcast the seed onto the bare dirt. It should grow if you get some rains. That will work for both clovers and for Big N Beasty, but it will not be as effective as tilling first, but as long as you get it down to bare dirt, it will work. Good luck. (1-27-13)
  • kurtis from MB asks:
    Hi Bill,i live in Manitoba and we own 40 acres, we have roughly an acre of land along a Creek were i want to Plant some sort of food plot,but not sure what to Plant or how to Plant it,im thinking maybe big n beasty but im not sure if thé deer even now what brassicas are,do you have Any ideas on what to plant,thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Kurtis, I am not sure how they will react to the Big N Beasty the first year. They will eventually start eating it and will soon love it, but it may take a year for them to get a taste for it. You could plant half the plot in clover/winter wheat the first year (summer planting) and the other half in Big N Beasty to see how it works. That way, year two you still have the clover to draw them in and if they don't seem to go for the brassicas the first year you can try something else in the other half or you can choose to give them a second year. Good luck. (1-25-13)
  • logan from OK asks:
    Bill, this is a response to your reply on my food plot question in Oklahoma. The soil is very sandy. I noticed on the seed comparison chart that on the big n beasty was not checked for the sandy soil, only wall hanger and alfa chic were checked for sandy soils. I don't know if you or any of your staff have had success with these. WIll big n beasty or any of the others that aren't made for sandy soil grow well in sand if it rains the proper amount? I just don't want to buy something that won't grow quite right if we have the appropriate amount of moisture needed to grow food plots.
    Winke Responds:
    Logan, I am not aware of anyone on the pro staff that has planted Big N Beasty in sandy soil. Best bet is to call Frigid Forage directly and ask them for specific recommendaations for your soil types. I would only be guessing. I have grown Big N Beasty in my driveway, so I believe with adequate moisture it will grow, but the fertilizer might leach out before the plants can get it. You may have to fertilize more than once in lower amounts. They will know at Frigid Forage. Good luck. (1-24-13)
  • Pete from MN asks:
    I have a grassy opening that I wish to plant with a clover blend. Should I mow the existing grass and then Round Up the area? What time of the spring should I start this?
    Winke Responds:
    Pete, When you spray it in the spring you can usually kill it pretty good without mowing first. I would spray only when the grass is actively growing in order for the RoundUp to do the most good. That means probably in mid-May in MN. Possibly before that if you hit an extended warm spell. If you have any questions about timing, I would just call Frigid Forage and ask them specific questions. But you do want to get it in as soon as you can to catch the late spring rains, but not so soon that you don't get a good kill on the weeds. Good luck. (1-23-13)
  • Ben from IA asks:
    THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU AND YOUR STAFF DO! I had to make a deal with my wife to not talk about hunting until July 1st b/c she about went crazy this past fall. Keep up the good work!! Here is my question...is it legal to plant food plots on public land in Iowa? I have a hole in the wall chunk of public that I think we could get a plot into a dry pond. It is a piece that normally the deer leave for late season but a BnB plot might hold them into late muzzleloader. Thoughts?
    Winke Responds:
    Ben, I am not sure, but I do think it is worth asking about. My guess is that each game warden will view it slightly different and no one would really care as long as you weren't in there with powered tools or equipment. Just spraying, raking the weeds back and spreading the Big N Beasty seems harmless enough, but you had better at least ask the local game warden. Good luck. (1-19-13)
  • Jeff Nelson from WI asks:
    Hey Bill, I was wondering if natural bovine exhaust does much for Ph or if its worth messing with. I like the granular fertilizer but looking for the cheap way out. I don't have cattle but I was thinking of asking my neither to spread some on my plots. If its not worth it ill just leave it alone and but the fertilizer. Thanks!!
    Winke Responds:
    Jeff, It is a better question for an agronomist. I grew up on a small dairy farm and we spread manure every couple of days. I am sure it does some good things for the soil (not sure if it affect Ph though). I do think that to do the best for your plots it needs to be incorporated (disked in) eventually. However, like I said, I would contact an agronomist. Most states have them available through the local ag college. Here they are sponsored by Iowa State University and are located throughout the state in "extension offices". Good luck. (1-20-13)
  • Dave from MI asks:
    Looking for food plot seed combination that will withstand heavy browsing. Heard alfalfa planted with clover will work because they will eat the alfalfa while clover germinates. Do you think this will work?
    Winke Responds:
    Dave, Not sure on that one. I don't like alfalfa in a setting where it won't be baled as it is high maintenance and really needs to be cut and removed periodically and sprayed, etc. Clvoer is easier to grow (much easier). I would suggest clover and oats planted together in the spring. Mow the oats off in maybe August to give the clover maximum sunlight at that point. Good luck. (1-14-13)
  • Jamie from MI asks:
    Bill, I just have to say your site and ''ask winke'' is addicting. I just cut some timber and plan on putting at least 2 small plots back in the timber. I also have a quarter acre plot on the edge of the timber on which is part of a 3 acre field the neighbor farmer is gonna put in corn this spring. I plan on trying B&B and the other in a clover chicory mix, but not sure where to put each blend. Which one in the timber and which one out in the field?? Thanks for all the useful info on your site..
    Winke Responds:
    Jamie, I think both will perform roughly the same in semi-shade but I think the deer may hit the one in the timber a bit harder so I would probably put the clover there since it will take grazing pressure pretty well. That would give the Big N Beasty the best chance to grow lush and thick. Remember, the Big N Beasty goes in during the summer whereas the clover goes in during the spring. Good luck. (1-14-13)
  • brad from IL asks:
    I have a clover food plot that is just under a half acre and there is hardly anything left but some grass. Should i frost seed some more in it or will it come back? I planted it over the summer this year so this will be its 2nd year. I also have another plot that is about a 1/4 acre and i was wondering in the big and beasty would good in it or would it be to small? I was thinking the clover would hold them off of it for awhile then they could go to the big and beasty later. Thanks for the help really like the the helpful things you have to offer
    Winke Responds:
    Brad, I think I would frost seed the clover plot just to be sure. Don't spread a ton of seed, as some of the clover will come back, but a thin overseed is probably a good idea. Then in May go in and spray it with a grass selective herbicide to remove the grass. The local ag co-op can help you determine which one to spray. I think you can try the Big N Beasty in the 1/4 acre plot. I am not sure if it will work or not - depends on how tall and full the trees are around the plot (shading). If it doessn't work, you can always frost seed clover into that plot during the late winter too. Good luck. (1-11-13)
  • Cole from ON asks:
    Hey Bill, happy New Year to you and your family. I am a big fan of you and your videos and I find your videos extremely helpful. I have a question regarding food plots. I want to start planting some food plots on my property and I was planning on planting them this spring. I am going to plant the main plot which is about 1 or 2 acres in the spring with clover and a mix of brassicas, and hopefully I can get my equipment down to the field we had in the woods to do that. But I was also thinking of putting some smaller 'hidey hole' food plots in the woods near some thick cedars between two ponds, and I was wondering if I would be able to plant those in the spring as well, because that would bed the only time I could plant as the Mosquitos at my place will carry you away bug spray or not. If I were to plant those small plots, probably 1/4 of an acre or smaller, would the deer have those all eaten out by hunting season? Also, what do you recommend I play for the hidey holes. Thanks allot Mr.
    Winke Responds:
    Cole, Spring is not the best time for planting brassicas. They normally get too mature by fall for good attraction. I would suggest planting the clover in the spring though and if you can get back, the brassicas in late July. If you can only get in there one time each year, then clover the first year and a couple of years later rotae to brassicas. I don't think a 1/4 acre of clover will disappear during the summer, but you will need to mow those to keep the weed pressure down. If you don't mow them about July, the broadleaf weekds will take over and the clover will shade out. Good luck. (1-13-13)
  • steve from WI asks:
    Bill, Fist I want to say that I love your shows and website. It the most informative ones out there. My question for you is, what brand/model of hand bag seed spreader are you using? Thanks for your time, Steve
    Winke Responds:
    Steve, It is an Earthway. I think they have a few models. Look them up on the web and you will find it. About $40, I think. Good luck. (1-5-13)
  • Tom from VA asks:
    Bill - Thanks for providing informative shows that go beyond the "shoot 'em ups" that are so prevalent on outdoor television today. My question is whether the pricey clover and other specialty food plot mixes are worth the premium prices they ask or should I just go down to the co-op and get more common varieties of seed? Thanks.
    Winke Responds:
    Tom, I have done it both ways and of course, I have Frigid Forage - a food plot sponsor now - so my advice will be somewhat biased. However, I would buy the premium blends. I have had some good success with co-op seed, but even the farmers I know are impressed with the plots I get now from the premium seeds. I have been using custom premium blends since 1997 and don't think I will ever go back. The blends aren't that much more expensive, and when you think about it, the seed is the least expensive part of the food plot process when you figure fertiilizer and your time. I do think the food plot seed companies spend more time trying to find optimum seed blends so that there is always something flourishing in the plot that the deer like. Good luck. (1-4-13)
  • kyle from IL asks:
    Hello Bill, Last summer I did some bulldozing of the timber line along one of my fields to make it easier to farm. Now I am left with a strip of bare dirt that is roughly 400 yards long and 15 feet wide that I am not going to plant row crops on. Anyway I was wondering what you would recommend planting there this spring? Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Kyle, I would consider planting some kind of screen there so you can easily sneak out of there. Lots of options. If you aren't in a hurry to make a decision, I would buy some time by planting an annual screen such as Plot Screen from Frigid Forage. Then if you want to eventually do something else with it, you still can. Eventually, if you decide you want a permanent screen, you can look at some tree options such as cedar or if you want something that grows really fast consider austrees (hybrid willows). Be careful not to plant something invasive like honeysuckle of autumn olive. I would try the Plot Screen the first year just to see how you like it. Good luck. (1-3-13)
  • jake from IA asks:
    Bill, what week of what month do you plant your plots and get the best results?
    Winke Responds:
    Jake, We plant some in the spring as soon as the growing conditions are correct (corn and beans) and some in early August (clover, Big N Beasty). Good luck to you and have a great new year. (1-1-13)
  • Zach from AB asks:
    How and where can i get a seed despenser for a food plot?
    Winke Responds:
    Zach, If you are looking for a broadcast seeder, I would definitely recommend the Earthway Even Spread. Those work very well. You should be able to do a search on the web and find one that way or possibly go to a farm store in your area. Northern Tool sells them for $40 US. Good luck. (12-18-12)
  • austin from IA asks:
    hey bill, love the show and I'm a huge fan! my question is i want to plant some clover and give the big n beasty a try. i took some soil samples and and had the local co op send it to the lab. results came back with a ph of 8.0.. from what I've read online seems sort of rare for ph to be high rather than low.. will these plants grow or what should i do? thanks in advance
    Winke Responds:
    Austin, I know that 6.5 to 7 is ideal for most clover and other plants. I have never run into a plot that was above 7.0. I would call John at Frigid Forage and ask him. Phone number on his website. That is a new one on me. Good luck and Merry Christmas. (12-17-12)
  • Mike from AL asks:
    My family owns acreage in northern Minnesota and we are trying to establish food plots. The land was logged off years ago and is now full of popple 3 to 4 inches in diameter. How does one get rid of all the stumps in order to disc? Do you have to rent heavy equipment? If so, what kind? Can you apply an herbicide? Pull them out with a strap and the truck? There are hundreds. Any advice appreciated.
    Winke Responds:
    Mike, I think you will need a good skid loader to do justice to that project. Cat has rental stores all over the place for this. I have used that service. Not cheap, but you can get a lot of work done. If you know someone with a small dozer, that would be even better. To clear all those small trees and then deal with the stumps, the only practical solution is to push them out, stump and all. A tractor and bucket might work, depends on how deeply they are rooted. Good luck. (12-14-12)
  • Travis from MN asks:
    Bill, I tried broadcasting Autumn Quick Plot in my standing soybeans this fall around the first of August. Before a big rain, well a big rain for this summer anyway. it germinated really well, and seemed to keep the deer in the plot while the beans were turning. it also produced enough tonnage to provide food into the late season. have you ever tried anything like this?
    Winke Responds:
    Travis, That is a great tip. I have doing that with Frigid Forage's Big N Beasty for a couple of years and it works great as long as you get a nice wet spell at some point after broadcasting. Thanks for the tip. Have a great day. (12-13-12)
  • Stephen from NC asks:
    I hunt in middle South Carolina and purchased some FF Wild Game Buffet for a 0.2 acre poor man plot this year. It grew great until we had a 9 week strech of no rain, so there is a fair amount of bare ground. I realize that the clover would thrive in year 2, but I want to supplement where I can with extra seed, lime and fert to give it a good jump in the spring. Can you "frost" seed in the South? When should I do it? I love the show and will continue to buy from your sponsors!
    Winke Responds:
    Stephen, You can "frost" see there too, you just need to have the seed out before the rainy time in the late winter or early spring (assuming it is rainy there at that time). The rains will work it in and get the seeds germinated. I would just focus on broadcasting clover into the areas where the prior planting failed. I believe the clover to use would be the Pure Trophy Clover. Thanks for supporting our sponsors. You buying their products is how we keep this going. Have a great day. (12-12-12)
  • Cameron from MI asks:
    How do you know how much fertilizer to use in a food plot and where do you get it? Do you thing Big and Beasty is a good choice for a fairly small food plot?
    Winke Responds:
    Cameron, Every crop has different fertilizer requirements so you need to decide what to plant first and then read the planting instructions for the right amount of fertilizer. I always get my fertilizer from the local farmer's co-op. I know they have those in Michigan too. That is the best source. I think Big N Beasty is good in small plots. Once the deer know it is there and get used to eating it they will hit it hard so the small plots may not remain productive. Anything 1/2 acre or bigger should be just fine so you have enough in the plot to at least make it into the winter. I would just call Frigid Forage and ask specific questions about the product from them. Frigid Forage also sells a good clover mix, so if you decide to go that route, they can help you with that too. Good luck. (12-11-12)
  • Scott from WI asks:
    Hey Bill long time reader and now watcher, i enjoy your work! Food plots, tilling, burning. I am creating 2-3 small 1/3 acre plots in the timber up here in wi. I am currently clearing timber and would like to burn the tops on a plie in the middle of the plot. Dozer with blade rake to follow to remove the stumps. Question is i have heard my 20x20 burn pile area will kill the soil and not grow...true? Also i need a way to till in the spring, i have nothing and the budget is low.... Looking at a used garden tractor with 36" pto tiller attachment - $600.00. Best direction? Soil prep? Planting clover and b&b .
    Winke Responds:
    Scott, I don't know about the burn pile. Maybe the heat kills the microbes in the soil or something. I am the wrong person to ask on that as I have never tried to burn a pile of tops like that. I think the small garden tractor will work. You don't need a lot of tillage (doesn't have to go deep) to make those seeds work. I would just make sure to get at least an inch or two of tillage and then spread the seed and drag something over it - like a large tree branch or something like that - to loosely spread the dirt around. Do it ahead of a rain and you get really good germination. Be sure to use the right fertilizer and enough of it. The bags will have the planting instructions with that info. Good luck. (12-11-12)
  • josh from IN asks:
    hi bill, love the show. i have a food plot question, i've got allot of leaves in or on my small clover plot. should i remove them or anything? it seems like they are covering allot of the remaining clover. thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Josh, The clover is pretty much done growing for this year, but if they are still on there thick come March, I think I would remove them at that time. It is a lot of work. I wouldn't mess with it now. The deer will find the clover even if it is under the leaves so you are really worried about growing conditions - wait and see how it looks in the spring. Good luck. (12-10-12)
  • tom from IL asks:
    congrats on your season you earned it, planted 3 acres of big and beasty over what I thought was a burned up clover plot and to my surprise not only did the b and b come up so did the clover. My question, in the spring and summer will I have b and b volunteeers in the clover?And what to do with them, let them grow or what?
    Winke Responds:
    Tom, Big N Beasy is an annual, so in theory it won't be there next summer, but sometimes it does grow back either from the seed or from the root, I think. So you may have a bit of it in the clover next year. Not enough to worry about though. I would just let it grow and mow it at your normal time. That should pretty well clean up the Big N Beasty. Good luck. (12-9-12)
  • The Herlaches from WI asks:
    Hey Bill, finding any other bucks to hunt yet? We wish you luck! Our question is about food plots. We will be putting in our first plot this summer, and we are wondering what you prefer as far as seed, fertilizer, management, etc. We have a general idea on how to get it done, but your the expert here! Any feedback/tips would be greatly appriciated!! We love the show keep up all the good work and God Bless! The Herlache Family, Sturgeon Bay, WI
    Winke Responds:
    Herlaches, I have some old bucks we will be going after, but nothing with big antlers that I know of right now. Big question there - like asking "how do you hunt deer?". I would start simple and small with small plots. Plant something that is easy to establish and grow - like clover or Big N Beasty. Save the corn and beans until you have this more or less figured out. How much fertilizer (and the type) you use is very much a function of the seed you plant. You will also need a soil test. There is a lot of variance in planting method depending on the seed so you should find a good brand and just work with their reps until you understand how it works. I think the guys at Frigid Forage (one of our sponsors) are better suited to get you started with advice focused on their seeds than for me to try to cover all the bases in a general way. I would give them a call. Good luck. (12-10-12)
  • Cody from MI asks:
    Hey Bill, First off I have to say I love your show. You guys do a great job and I enjoy all the different shows and tips that you give. Secondly, my Dad and I currently have a food plot on a small plot of land we own behind our house where we have planted turnips and rape. We live in Michigan and it hasn't been too cold yet and the deer just aren't coming into it to feed yet. Is this happening by you or could you possibly recommend ways to get the deer on the plot? Thanks for your time and thanks for the show! Hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season! Sincerely, Cody
    Winke Responds:
    Cody, I think it can take time for the deer to get used to that food source. They will find it this winter and then every year after they should hit it earlier in the fall. The deer on our place are hammering the Big N Beasty plots now. They hit them early and laid off a bit in November and now are really in them again. There isn't much else around for food, so that is part of the reason, but also I have planted it before and they know what it is - so they are well adjusted to it. Eventually they will start hitting yours and then it will get better each year. Good luck. (12-8-12)
  • Jeff Nelson from WI asks:
    Hey Bill, I notice in your BnB ridge top plot you have some foxtail grasses. Did you plant or plan, where those grasses are? Just wondering if you plant your plots in any specific shape or implement grasses to funnel deer. If you do, that's a very good idea. Hoping you may share some tips! Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Jeff, That was random. When we sprayed the beans that were there before we missed a few spots. When I went to till it up I just tilled around those spots. I would have prefered those patches had been cleaned up. As it turned out, back in late October I had the G4 buck stop behind one of those islands of grass and that kept me from getting a shot at him that evening. Who would have thought something like that would influence the outcome of a hunt. Have a great day. (12-6-12)
  • Russ from MI asks:
    Dear Bill, I'm new to the site, but have read your articles for years, so let me start by saying that after 35 yrs of bowhunting, I have more respect for your opinion than anyone else I've ever encountered in bowhunting. 2 questions. 1) In one of your recent answers, you mentioned that when hunting on a ridge, you would prefer the wind to blow ACROSS the ridge rather than ALONG the ridge. Why is this? Wouldn't it create a vortex and swirl down the ridge that way? 2) You recommend mowing clover fields for the grass and weeds. How detrimental would it be to the clover and hunting over it if I wasn't able to mow it at all? Thank you and Merry Christmas to you and your family.
    Winke Responds:
    Russ, Thanks for the support over all the years. I appreciate it. You have helped to keep food on my table! 1. If it blows across the ridge it will take my scent out over the valley on the downwind side. You have to be up in a tree and the tree needs to be near the top of the ridge so the wind carries the scent aloft and is above the layer that swirls down. If you hunt with the parallel to the ridge, a lot of deer are going to smell you. 2. Mowing them just helps the clover to dominate. If you don't mow it, the clover will be there but it will fizzle out sooner. You can spray for grasses so you don't have to mow to clean up grasses, but you do have to mow to clean up broadleaf weeds. The local co-op can help you with a grass selective herbicide. Also, mowing helps to keep the clover young and lush, more palatable and attractive to the deer. It is not critical that you do this, but is is a good practice. I would try to mow in June, if you can mow. I have some clover plots that I didn't mow last year because they were solid stands of clover and with the drought, I didn't want to stress the plants farther by mowing. Good luck and Merry Christmas to you, as well. (12-6-12)
  • Justin from WI asks:
    Bill, Love the show, keep it up. I am already thinking about next year's food plots (I'm sure you are as well.). What do you think is the best rotation plant to put in after a year of brasicas? (Forage beans?) And for this years upcoming brasica fields, what should I plant from May until the end of July, when i will then plant my brasicas. I want to maximize my acreage, is spring wheat worth a shot?
    Winke Responds:
    Justin, Forage beans or field beans would be a good choice, as would clover. Clover is easy to grow after brassicas because you can usually just frost seed it in late winter and get a very nice stand that year. As far as a plow-down for the late summer brassica planting, I think I would just frost seed some cheap red clover from the local co-op. You should have a good stand by summer for the deer to eat. Then plow it down before you plant the brassicas. Plowing down clover supplies a lot of much needed nitrogen to the soil for the brassicas to use. Good luck. (12-5-12)
  • Ryan from IA asks:
    Hi Bill, absolutely love the show. I have used your poor man food plot videos to start some new food plots where I want to plant BnB. I don't have access to tillage equipment, do you think this seed will take if planted before a good rain next spring or should I rent equipment to turn the ground over? Thanks!
    Winke Responds:
    Ryan, You want to plant that in late July or early August. If you scrape up the ground good so that the seed will get good seed to soil contact, it will germinate decent, but not as well as it will if you till the ground. If you can get the equipment, I would do it. Big N Beasty will do awesome in a small plot, but it does need to get its roots started before the seed dries out after a rain so it does need good contact with the dirt. Good luck. (12-6-12)
  • Kim from WI asks:
    Im in Ag country , SW Wisconsin in the driftless region, an area where until the beans and alfalfa go hard in the fall, deer have a smorgas board. Also there are plenty oaks on those beautiful hills. I'm looking to provide an attractive food source thats prime mid October through Mid November. I have planted turnips for years with little attention , brassica they hit mid to late December. Winter wheat has some appeal but I'm looking for something else to compliment the mix. i have access to a Great Plains no til drill and target my planting around mid August. What would you suggest to compliment the wheat? KKZ
    Winke Responds:
    Kim, Corn is always good. From mid-September on they hit it. You can drill corn too and it is a very effective way to grow it as long as you plug every other row of the drill. Of course, you will have to plant that in the spring. Our deer do like clover until it frost down and turns to mush, usually in December here. It is attractive in the early rut. I still say that your best bet is a brassica blend with various types of seedings to that the deer kind of pick and choose what they want at each time. I like Big N Beasty because it has a blend of many different brassicas so it makes sense for this reason. It has radish, rape, turnips, forage rape and turnips and even carrots. I don't know what else to add to your wheat except possibly Austrian winter peas. I am not sure when the deer start to eat that though - my guess is that it will be during that time. Good luck. (11-30-12)
  • Jarred from AL asks:
    Do you have any experience with Nativ Nurseries from Mossy Oak? I've been researching them for a few weeks and they seem to have very good wildlife products. Can their claims about the growth rate of their plants be real? Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Jarred, I do not, but I do know all the people at Mossy Oak and they have proven to be trustworthy. Those rates may be dependent on certain conditions, so I would find that out. Best route is to call them directly and ask regarding your specific setting. Good luck (11-30-12)
  • Andy from NC asks:
    Bill, Me and a buddy lease a piece of property in S.C. that is mostly pines. We have some food plot areas but are seriously considering planting Big and beasty along with some of the other products seen on your website. What do we need to do in order to make sure the food plot will take off the way it needs to in order to get the full potential out of the seed in regards to the soil and acidic nature of pines. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. Also, we love your shows and look forward to them regularly when we have the opportunity to watch. Thanks Bill and congratulations on a great show and a great season so far.
    Winke Responds:
    Andy, If you do it according to the instructions on the bag, it will do well. I would definitely start wtih a soil test. That is always the starting point. From there it comes down to just following the instructions. My guess for that area, the best planting dates are late August, but to be sure, I would call them at Frigid Forage and find out - they are great about helping with stuff like that. That blend does well in the south too as our pro staff have shown so I would expect good results there. Thanks for watching and I hope you have a great season. (11-29-12)
  • Bob from WI asks:
    Hi Bill, I have a few questions regarding your soybean food plots. I’m thinking of putting about 3 acres into soybeans next year. Do you use a certain type of soybean or just what your local co-op would recommend? Do you plant them yourself or do you hire a local farmer to do so? I’m hoping 3 acres put into soybeans would act as a “destination” food plot, I would then compliment it with smaller clover plots nearby; do you think this is a good plan? Keep up the awesome work; you and your staff continue to produce, in my opinion, the best hunting show out there!
    Winke Responds:
    Bob, I do think it is a good plan, but I like my bigger plots to be near cover if possible so I can hunt them effectively. I use regular field beans (not forage beans though I tried forage beans this past summer and they seem to have some promise). I just get them at the co-op and pay the guy who cash rents our farm to put them in for me when he plants his stuff. I will some day buy all the equipment needed to do all the food plot work myself, but for now it makes sense just to pay him and not have to invest so much in time and equipment. It works very well. He knows what he is doing so I get good plots. Good luck. (11-27-12)
  • Matt from MI asks:
    Hi Bill, have a question about frost seeding clover. What kind of ground conditions can you frost seed over? Do you have to till the ground in the fall in perpetration, or do you just seed over last years plot? I have a brassica plot that is mostly browsed down that I would like to do in clover next year. Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Matt, You want to have as much exposed dirt as possible because you need seed to soil contact. The Big N Beasty plots work well because there is plenty of open ground on those after the winter. Ideally, you would till the ground in the fall if you don't have a crop there that produces a good clean dirt surface when it is finished. I would think in your situation you can frost seed that plot and it will do very well. Good luck. (11-27-12)
  • Brock from IA asks:
    What do you think would be a better additive to a Big-N-Beasty food plot. Clover or small burnet. It is being used as a spring food source for the deer and is then going to be plowed under for fertilizer. If it works good I will probably try it the next year also.
    Winke Responds:
    Brock, If the Big N Beasty grows well it will shade out those other plants, so I think I would just frost seed the clover come late Feb or early March rather than plant with the Big N Beasty. I think you have a great plan otherwise. I think that an inexpensive red clover would be ideal for plowdown. Good luck. (11-26-12)
  • Mark from MN asks:
    My family just purchased 170 acres in northern MN. My brother and I are trying to come up with a plan to put in some food plots. The one test plot (1/4 acre) was planted in the fall in brassicas and turnips and was eaten to the ground as fast as it grew. My question is I think we should plant what open space we have and then add on to it as time allows. My brother says we should try to make the plot as big as we can by cutting trees and brushing before trying to plant as the deer will just eat it as fast as it grows. My theory is something is better than nothing. What direction would you suggest?
    Winke Responds:
    Mark, They need to be big enough that they serve the true purpose for a hunter - food throughout the season. So I would tend to agree with your brother. Make them big enough that there is still food there when the deer need it most. Plots under 1/2 acre should always be clover. Bigger plots allow for the use of plants that don't grow back after browsing (brassicas, soybeans, corn). I would reserve the grains for only big plots of more than one acre. Good luck. (11-25-12)
  • Travis from NY asks:
    When frosting clover seed , do you innoculate the seed the same way you would in the early spring? Will freezing temperatures affect the innoculant?
    Winke Responds:
    Travis, I don't know about that. I have never innoculated the seed for frost seeding and I don't think I have ever seen anyone advise that so I am guessing it is not effective because the innoculant may wash off and not be effective well before the seed finally germinates due to warmer soil temps. Good luck. (11-20-12)
  • Steve from WI asks:
    Quick question, I've heard you can frost seed clover but I'm a little confused on how and when to do this. I tried planting 2 small clover plots last spring but they didn't do very well. Do you have any insite that could help? Also have a Happy Thanksgiving!
    Winke Responds:
    Steve, Normally you do this just before the snow is melted and gone, but you can do it after that too. You need a few freezes and thaws to work the seed in to a shallow depth, but in my experience you can even do it after that. As long there is lots of moisture, like early spring, you can frost seed any time. All you are doing is spreading it on top of the ground. Good luck and Happy Thanksgiving to you too. (11-17-12)
  • Dillan from NC asks:
    I live around stone mountain state park in the mountains of north carolina. I have about an 3/4 to 1 acre plot to plant during this upcoming spring and another small plot. What would you suggest planting in each of the plots. I want something to provide forage through the summer and then i would probly plant something else in the fall.
    Winke Responds:
    Dillan, Given that description, I would definitely go with clover. We love the Frigid Forage Pure Trophy Clover, but if you have a favorite blend go for it. Blends are best because at least one of the varieties usually does well in the existing conditions. Single strains can sometime struggle. Then, I would frost seed the clover into the plot every winter so it gets off to a faster start. You can plow (till) it under every summer to plant your fall forage if you choose. Clover does supply some nitrogen to the soil when plowed under. Good luck. (11-9-12)
  • Mike from IL asks:
    I've been hunting a clover plot I set up on the edge of the woods. I see a couple of deer each time around 80 yards in the woods but they don't stop and eat in the clover. Do you think I need to make a plot further in the woods?
    Winke Responds:
    Mike, Maybe. For sure, plots surrounded by cover are more attractive to deer than plots in the open. But they should be coming out. They eventually end up where the food is. They either found something to eat backther or they are coming out in the dark (maybe both). You might try moving your stand a touch farther into the cover to see if you can intercept them sooner. Good luck. (11-8-12)
  • Tyler from MO asks:
    i planted clover and brassica blend in early august in the middle of the timber. the brassica came up well and is now getting big. however, what i thought was clover turns out is all chickweed. the chickweed is everywhere in the plot, thereis still a lot of brassica that grew over the weed but there is just no clover. any ideas how to fix the plot?
    Winke Responds:
    Tyler, I don't know much about chickweed, but if it is a grass you can spray a grass herbicide on it that doesn't kill broadleafs like the brassicas. If it is a broadleaf, I am not sure you have any options for removing it. But really, at this point, I am not sure you will gain much as the growing season for the brassicas is pretty close to the end. I think you have to just live with it this year and be a bit more careful next year. That is one of the reasons I like to get proven blends so you never have to worry about stuff like that. Good luck. (10-26-12)
  • Jon from IL asks:
    If I have about three different food plot's would you recommend three different kinds of food or would big n beasty be good to plant for all of them since we are aurrounded by corn and bean fields
    Winke Responds:
    Jon, I think I would have one in clover and the other two plots in the Big N Beasty. That way you have something they aren't finding anywhere else and you do have spring/summer food in the clover with the fall/winter food in the BNB. Good luck. (10-25-12)
  • David from WI asks:
    Just started watching the show this year and I am very impressed with how educational they are and how you arent "celebrity" dominated like some shows. I just have a quick question about a food plot that I put in, I planted 2 plots both about 1/2 an acre in size and consist of radishes, turnips, and winter wheat. The turnips are about the size of baseballs and softballs but I have heard that the deer wont eat them the first year. This is my first year planting food plots and they grew really well but the deer are not hitting it like I thought they would. Any ideas why?
    Winke Responds:
    David, Sometimes it takes a year for them to figure it out, but the bulbs are often the last thing the deer eat. They often eat the greens earlier and the bulbs late. If they haven't stasrted on the greens, they soon will (as it get colder and other sources disappear) and then next year they will know that food source better and come to it sooner. Good luck. (10-30-12)
  • Bob from IN asks:
    Would you suggest hunting Brassica's or Bean's after a hard freeze and the Brassica's are ready ?
    Winke Responds:
    Bob, We are seeing the deer really hitting the brassicas right now. Our beans here got destroyed by the drought, so there is not much point in even considering them - they are gone, but the Big N Beasty is really pulling deer right now. I think I would hunt both, to be honest. Deer never focus 100% on one food unless there isn't anything else, so keep your options open. Good luck. (10-23-12)
  • Jon from IL asks:
    What would you recoomend for a food plot: clover, turnips, chickory, etc. What is ideal hunting pressure so the deer dont get spooked. Beginning of season, we see some deer but as the weeks progress, they turn nocturnal.
    Winke Responds:
    Jon, I like to have some variety. I plant clover in small plots and the past few years I have been planting bean in the bigger plots and Frigid Forage Big N Beasty in mid-size plots. It does a great job of producing plenty of fall/winter forage. You need to hunt very carefully. If the deer know you are there (see or smell you or notice you walking in or out) they will stop using the area in daylight. Spread your hunting out and be sure to use a route to and from that they can't detect. Good luck. (10-26-12)
  • Randy Rue from MN asks:
    Bill, We have a long narrow food plot about 2 1/2 acres. It alternates four rows of corn four rows of beans. It is very hard to see the deer. Should we drive down or mow the corn? We hunt both bow an gun seasons.
    Winke Responds:
    Randy, If it is legal, I would knock down the corn in just part of it for bow season and then other part in gun season. The deer like eating corn better when it is on the ground. Check with the game warden first. Don't just assume it is legal. Best regards. (10-10-12)
  • Charlie from IL asks:
    Nice job, Bill. Your content keeps getting better and better while most of your competition is going downhill. I have a 125 acre farm near Nebo, IL that you have studied before. My CRP contract expires this month. My adjoining neighbor and I are considering putting most of the open land(about 25% overall) into mostly corn and a small amount of green and eliminating most of the CRP. I would leave a few acres in standing corn. Thoughts?
    Winke Responds:
    Charlie, Yes, I remember it well. Food is always the key to whitetail hunting success - especially late season. I would try to leave some of it standing so that you have a great late season attraction. Mixing in some small killing/staging plots is a very good idea too. Good luck. (10-9-12)
  • Joe from AL asks:
    Bill I took your advcie and planted 4 food plots stratigically placed thru out the 50 acres I have. They are on fire, growing like crazy and have deer sign in and around each of them. Being my first experience with planting radishes and very impressed with there rapid growth. I do have concern. Im getting a small amount of yellowing around the plants leaf edges. Is this a fertilizer deficiency or somethign that is normal. At plantin time I went with pellitized lime equvilant to 2 tns of lime/acre and 250lbs fert/acre from the local ag service. Whats your thoughts.
    Winke Responds:
    Joe, I am not sure on radishes. Typically that would indicate some kind of stress in a plant so fertility might be it or maybe dry conditions. Not sure specifically. Sounds like you covered it on the lime and fertilizer. Could be a trace mineral deficiency or something like that. I would watch it for a while and see if it snaps out of it and keeps growing fast. If not, I would ask at the local ag extension office or call the seed manufacturer for more advice to avoid the problem next time. Good luck. (10-3-12)
  • Bill from AL asks:
    My students want to know how you decide where to put food plots as well as what type to put in? Thanks, Watertown-Maayer Middle School Hunting Club
    Winke Responds:
    Bill, It is cool that you have a middle school hunting club. Man, if they had that when I was in school I never would have graduated! Three factors to consider: soil types (you want to try to plant your serious (larger) food plots in areas with good soils). You can learn that from a soil map. Most NRCS/FSA offices have that information. Second, I like to plant plots where the deer will utilize them before heading out to the bigger ag fields nearby. In other words, turn them into staging areas. Small plots work well for this. Third is proximity to bedding areas. If you can get them close to bedding areas the deer are more likely to get to them during daylight especially if they are isolated plots where the deer don't feel vulnerable. If the plot is small (1/2 acre to 1 acre), I plant either clover or brassicas (we focus on Frigid Forage Big N Beasty for this). Rotating these two is a good idea or even splitting the plot in half. If the plot is larger I consider soybeans or forage beans and then if they fail I come back wtih the brassicas in late summer (August). That is a pretty good strategy overall and generally won't break the bank. Good luck. (10-3-12)
  • Patrick from MO asks:
    Mr. Winke, I planted 5 small food plots of clover at my farm about a month ago, and I went back last weekend to look at them and they are just barely popping out of the ground. We got a lot of rain so I figured that they would be doing much better, but I'm not too impressed. Is there anything that I can do to help them come in better? What would you do? Thank you for you're time!
    Winke Responds:
    Patrick, It depends on what you planted. Some plants come up faster than others. For example, clover is slow, winter wheat is fast, Big N Beasty is pretty fast too. But a month is a long time, you should be seeing better results regardless of what you planted. If you didn't fertilize them when you planted them, you might consider a dose of fertilizer right about now. Also, be sure the soil pH is correct. Good luck. (9-26-12)
  • Tim from MN asks:
    Awesome website Bill. I planted a plot of Big n Beasty in the middle of July this year, it's doing pretty good. I had a soil test done and fertilized accordingly. I'm wondering if I should give it another shot of fertilizer soon, maybe something high in Nitrogen. Is this a good idea?
    Winke Responds:
    Tim, I am sure I didn't get to your question in time to help you. I have been swamped with questions. I would think that if you did it to the planting directions you are fine. If you want to burn a bit more cash, however, it never hurts to add more N once the plants get growing nicely. It will make some difference for sure, but I would go light. Big N Beasty loves nitrogen. Good luck. (9-24-12)
  • Matthew from OK asks:
    Hey Bill, It seems like every time I check the site, someone by the name of "matt" or "matthew" has posted a question! Must just be a popular name in hunters! haha. Had a couple of questions. Im planting a food plot this weekend and Im a little unsure of the location. I have a blind set up on a ridge and corn to the left about 30 yards away where im getting daytime photos of deer. Should I plant it on the ridge im hunting ore on the other side and try to shoot one heading to it. Also, will a shorter arrow be faster and produce more penitration than a longer arrow? Im shootin 50 lbs and a 30 inch arrow. It sticks out a bit but ive never had problems before. Thanks.
    Winke Responds:
    Matt, You Matts are driving me crazy. Just kidding. I think I would plant it somewhere else giving you two good places to hunt instead of just one. I really like spreading my pressure so having more good options is always good. Long arrows are more stable and will penetrate deeper (because they are heavier) than lighter ones. If you aren't looking for speed and the arrows are too clumsy in your quiver, I would not cut them down. Good luck. (9-19-12)
  • Jacob from AR asks:
    Bill, we have a farm in southern MO with lots of deer. We planted purple top turnips 2 weeks ago along with some wheat. Wheat is doing great. Do you think our turnips will do ok? Right after we planted them, we got lots of rain from Issac and just got about 2 more inches this weekend.
    Winke Responds:
    Jacob, I think they will grow just fine as long as you fertilized the ground. Wheat always jumps up fast, but I am guessing the turnips are coming along behind them just fine. Good luck. (9-18-12)
  • Dan from MI asks:
    Hi Bill, I have about 30 acres I hunt, 10 of which is wooded sanctuary. The property owner just clear-cut a 50 foot wide x 250 feet long path through the middle, right near the sanctuary, to give a farmer access to another field. I now have incredibly easy access to that area. I ordered Wild Game Buffet, and would like to put in a food plot. The soil is already tilled and weed-free, and we just (Sept 3-4) got a nice rain and have cooler weather coming. Would now be a decent time to plant? If so, any special instructions? If not, when should I, since I'd like to have something this fall/winter. Thanks for your advice, and for your awesome work at MW! Dan
    Winke Responds:
    Dan, Sorry to get to this so late. I have been getting swamped with questions. I will try to catch up. It is a good time to plant. Hopefully you have planted already. I would just hand sew (broadcast seeder) and then use something to harrow it in - drag something behind an ATV would be ideal. If you get to it right before a rain, you can likely just let the rain incorporate it into the fresh tilled ground. Good luck. (9-14-12)
  • Steve from ME asks:
    I had 3 acres of food plots burn up from the drought. Do you think there is anything I can plant for the fall that will make it considering how dry it is? Any advice? Thanks alot!
    Winke Responds:
    Steve, In Maine your growing season is much shorter than ours here, but something like oats or winter wheat will germinate and grow fast. That would be my suggestion at this point. Good luck. (9-14-12)
  • Randy brake from NC asks:
    What do you think the best fall plot is for North Carolina?
    Winke Responds:
    Randy, Lots of options, of course. Either clover or brassicas (we like Big N Beasty from Frigid Forage). Don't let the name fool you, it will grow well down there too. If you can afford to grow corn and the deer don't you out in the the summer, that is a classic fall/winter food. Too expensive for me though. Soybeans are OK too. To save money, I would go with Big N Beasty in late summer planting and then frost seed clover over it in the winter and disk or plow the clover down in August to reseed the Big N Beasty for the next year. That way if you don't have the time or don't want to spend the money, you can always skip a year of brassicas and you have the clover to fall back on. That is an ideal rotation. Good luck. (9-12-12)
  • Pat from NY asks:
    Bill, First I would like to thank you for your great show and all the work you and your crew put into it. Here in NY, we have a bow season Oct 1 thru Nov.16, then 23 day fire arm that I do not hunt, followed by a very unproductive ten day archery muzzleloader that ends Dec. 9th. What would be the best food plot source to plant for late Oct thru mid Nov. to attract maximum amount of deer to a stand site location in order to bring out the big bucks in daylight hours? I planted Maximum last year and it was not touched by Nov. 15th? I have clover planted this year instead, hoping that will work.
    Winke Responds:
    Pat, Clover should still be attractive in late October, but the grains and brassicas will start to pull deer pretty good at that time. If you have corn, that is the best, but very expensive and inconsistent to grow. Beans are a decent second, but I am starting to think that green forage (Big N Beasty) is a very good option. You can plant it in the summer, it does well with moderate rains and it produces tons (literally) of forage per acre. If your deer aren't eating the brassicas yet it is because they aren't accustomed to that food source. It may take a season or two or you can plant beans and then broadcast the Big N Beasty into that in early August (the thin areas) giving them the added benefit of the green forage. I think that will also help to introduce them to the brassicas. Good luck. (9-12-12)
  • Kurt from PA asks:
    Bill, Could you please list the steps that I need to take to turn a hay field into a clover field? I'd also like to know if I could accomplish this in, say, 2-3 days for a 5 acre plot. Thanks! Kurt
    Winke Responds:
    Kurt, If there is any clover there to begin with you can make the switch very easily by just killing off the grasses with grass select chemicals like Select and others. Your local co-op can help you with the chemical. Otherwise, you will need to spray it with Roundup and kill everything, let it sit for at least a week to get the plants to start dying and then fertilize it with P & K (again the co-op can help you with the right stuff) till it up with a roto-tiller or disk. Something that big you will likely need a disk. Then you can seed the clover ideally using a brillion cultipacker drill or even use a broacast spreader. I would add winter wheat to the plot to give it a cover and to supply something for fall forage. Then pray for rain. Personally, I wouldn't have a 5 acre clover plot. I would have a one to one and half-acre clover plot and then use the rest for other crops that provide better fall food such as Big N Beasty or even soybeans. Big N Beasty goes in during August and beans go in during the spring. I realize this is a lot of information to take in, I just don't think a five acre clover plot will be as useful as a smaller clover plot with the addition of more fall/winter foods. Good luck. (9-10-12)
  • Carl from MI asks:
    Hey bill, I love the show can't wait till fall for new episodes! I live in central Michigan, I have 1/2 acre big n beasty, a 1/2 acre whitetail institute pure attraction plot, and 1/2 acre of eagle forage soybeans that I'll leave standing, (plots are side by side with decent cover). I was wondering what would be more attractive to the deer, the green or the standing grain? Thanks for your time!
    Winke Responds:
    Carl, I am not sure. I have never tried that. I am guessing that at certain times one will outperform the other. I would be interested to find that out myself. I have planted lots of stuff on the farm, but never in a cafeteria setting like that where they could pick and choose. If I had to guess, I would say the greens will pull them pretty good after the first hard freeze. Good luck. (9-10-12)
  • Jordan from IA asks:
    Bill, I'm curious as to what you do with your crops once Jan. 10 rolls around and our season is over. What do you do with the standing beans and corn that are left? Is there a value to them that I am unaware of? Blessings to the MW crew
    Winke Responds:
    Jordan, There is usually very little left, but what is there I leave for the deer to eat during the winter. I have had years when I had bumper crops of food plots and there was some left come April, but usually it gets mopped up in the winter. Best regards. (9-3-12)
  • Brandon from KY asks:
    With all the concern on planting something to replace your lost corn and beans why dont you just mix some winter wheat, oats, and big and beasty together or maybe just wheat and oats mixed. I would even think about mixing some alfalfa or clover with some of these plots too. If the winter is any where near as mild as it was this past year the deer will go for the green. Give the deer a choice. I found that by mixing all of these together that the deer continuously used my plots all season long as they switched forage preferences and they all grow very well together. Good luck trying to top last year!
    Winke Responds:
    Brandon, It is usually not a good idea to mix anything with Big N Beasty unless you go real light on the B N B. It grows big and shades the other stuff out. Also, too many plants competing for nutrients can sometimes result in nothing growing very well. I like the Big N Beasty better than oats and wheat because it produces a lot more forage per acre in almost the same amount of time. If you miss the planting window for Big N Beasty, you can always plant oats and wheat to salvage something from an otherwise useless plot. Personaly, I would rather have different small plantings within a single plot than mix them all together. Good luck. (9-3-12)
  • Matt from WI asks:
    I have noticed a huge problem with moles in my Big n Beasty plots. They are tearing everything up and killing all my late season food. Have you seen this problem before? What is the easiest and fastest way to kill these things?
    Winke Responds:
    Matt, I don't know. I have trapped them out of my yard so that might work. I suppose there are also poisons you can use. I have not had the problem in my plots - just my yard! Good luck. (8-28-12)
  • Colin from NY asks:
    I put Big and Beasty in the ground on August 11th and we have had one good rain and another light rain since. I have great germination but the ground is quite dry. The plants are between a half an inch and two inches in size. My question is what are some benchmarks as we move into Autumn as far as where the plot needs to be to provide optimum forage when it counts? Thanks, Colin Clement
    Winke Responds:
    Colin, Every situation will be different based on soil type, fertility, rain, etc. It should be six to ten inches high roughly a month after germinating and if you fertilized, it should keep getting taller and thicker until it is nearly 18 inches to two feet tall by the first killing frost. I think you are off to a good start. Good luck. (8-29-12)
  • Matt from WI asks:
    Bill, This is the first year I will be attempting to establish any type of food plots and I have some concerns about my Big n Beasty plot. It's in a low area where some crop fields drain ( not a ditch, but it is the low spot in a valley). My plan was to frost seed clover in the plot this spring, but I don't know if what's left of the the brassicas will stabilize the soil enough to holds the clover until it gets some roots established through snow melt and rain in the early spring. Should I broadcast something else into my brassicas this fall to help stabilize the soil, or will I be okay with just frost seeding? Thanks!
    Winke Responds:
    Matt, The plan overall is a good one. You could certainly add some winter wheat to the mix to provide more root structure. If the water doesn't actually run off in this area, you should be OK either way. Good luck. 8-29-12)
  • Dan from PA asks:
    First off thank you for sharing your knowledge with the serious whitetail hunters for the past few years. It is nice to know that in this day and age you still keep real! My first question is when should you cut clover for the 1st time that was planted in early May. I planted the Frigid Forage trophy clover blend and it has done real well on the 1/3 acre woodland food plot. Should I cut it this month or wait until the spring? My second question is does grunting, bleating and light rattling work in the early season? I am leaving in less than 2 weeks for the Kentucky opener (September 1st-4th) and have never hunted the "velvet" season when some of the bucks may just start to be out of velvet. Any plans on updating the properties site again? Thanks again for all you do and for being the very best show on TV and the most informative site on the web.
    Winke Responds:
    Dan, If the clover is fairly clean of weeds I would wait until next June to mow it. If it is weedy, you should mow it as soon as possible. On your second question, I do believe it does though I haven't tried it much. I have seen a lot of sparring activity in early October and I have seen other bucks in fields lift their heads and walk over to check it out whan two bucks are sparring. There is no anger or blood lust, just curiosity. It is worth a try for sure. We are going to leave the properties site alone for now. I made a decision to pull off that during the early summer to focus on the MW.com site and we can come back to the properties site sometine after the season. Thanks and good luck. (8-27-12)
  • Craig from MI asks:
    Do you have any experience with or opinion of the pull behind tillers like the DR Roto Hog? Do you think they are heavy and sturdy enough for food plot work or will or will they start bouncing around if they hit some harder ground?
    Winke Responds:
    Craig, I have not tried it, but that does seem to make a lot of sense for small plots as does the field and brush mower. However, I know what we put those tractor mounted tillers through and how ruggely they are built. This smaller DR unit doesn't look rugged enough to hold up to that kind of abuse. If you have nice loamy, mellow soil you should be fine, but if you have to tear up soil that has more of a clay makeup or rocky, I don't think this unit will last long. That is my sense from studying it. Good for gardens, not enough power or steel for hard use. Good luck. (8-26-12)
  • Dale from OH asks:
    I have taken your reccommendation and ordered a bag of big and beasty...Ive secured permission to plant it from the landowner...now after a exceptionally dry spring and early summer - it seems the rain won't shut off..(which is good for grain crops).The field I want to plant in is wheat stubble that had swine manure knifed into the ground so it has a chissle plowed effect to most of it. If things don't dry out enough to do any more prep, can big and beasty be planted on this type of soil with the rains we are getting and still get a successful stand? How long can I wait to plant?
    Winke Responds:
    Dale, It should do fine just broadcast out onto the ground in that kind of situation. I wouldn't wait another minute - get it out there and get it growing. Good luck. (8-24-12)
  • Corey from IL asks:
    Hi Bill - I forgot one more question! If my clover is pretty well dry here in IL because of the drought, with rain in September, will it come back this November or is it done for the year? And then should I frost seed later this winter?
    Winke Responds:
    Corey, Some of it may come back. I have seen that. In the most severe cases the clover will die, however. I would frost seed the dead spots as you mention. Good luck. (8-24-12)
  • Corey from IL asks:
    Hi bill - what do u know about broadcasting turnip seeds in soybeans? Need advice when to broadcast and I guess how much per acre? I've heard to wait until leaves are yellowing and then broadcast. Not real sure when this will be. I'm hoping to get to my farm sept 1 and do it. Or do I need to wait until there is for sure a rain coming? Or is September just too late to really get good growth on the turnips? Sorry for all the questions! Love the show an the site! Thanks again!
    Winke Responds:
    Corey, I do this with Frigid Forage Big N Beasty. It works well. I do it when the leaves just start turning as they will soon fall and allow more sunlight into the ground. The timing of that will depend on when the beans were planted. Could be very soon if the beans went in early. They are just starting to turn here in some fields. Also, you can broadcast them anytime into parts of the field where the beans are thin as the brassicas will get adequate sunlight right away. I think you should be OK on September 1, but you just won't get as much forage as you would in open fields where you can plant in early August for example. I would definitely do it and just assume the rains will come sooner than later. Good luck. (8-24-12)
  • Conrad from OH asks:
    Bill, With the dry conditions we've been having, how long do you think that seeds (such as Big 'N Beasty or Rye/Winter Wheat) can stay in the ground without rain and still be ok as far as germination is concerned? Also, I think the new format with regions instead of states is a great idea. Should make for some good, quality shows. -Conrad
    Winke Responds:
    Conrad, I believe they can make it all summer. The main concern comes after they germinate. If there is not sufficient rain or additional rain to keep them going after they germinate they will die after a week or two at that point. That is what happened to my soybeans this year. They germinated in early May but with no additional rain and depleted subsoil moisture the small plant soon died without additional rain. We are definitely looking forward to producing fewer but better shows. I think (hope) everyone will like it. If you are missing the local info, you can find that on the state pages of the site. Have a great day. (8-19-12)
  • Patrick from MO asks:
    Bill, thanks for all the hard work that you and your prostaff do. All your tips really help! This is by far the best hunting show out there! My question regards to clover plots. Is it to early for me to plant them? We also haven't gotten much rain here in Missouri so will that affect them much? Thanks!
    Winke Responds:
    Patrick, I think you are OK now. The best time is roughly now through the middle of September. The rains should come now - at least they have historically. Plant them with oats or winter wheat so you have a good cover crop and you have a some good green forage to attract the deer this fall. The clover won't be very tall by this fall so it won't attract deer. But the oats or wheat would. We really push the Big N Beasty here on the site, but I also use Frigid Forage's Trophy Clover blend and it has done very well for me. I can definitely recommend it. Blends are generally better for most people than single variety plantings because with the blend you have some seeds that will do better in certain conditions than in others so no matter what you get for weather, you should be able to produce a stand of clover. Good luck. (8-16-12)
  • Patrick from MO asks:
    When would be the best time this fall to plant clover? Is it still to early? Also do you have any recommendations on what types of brassicas to plant?
    Winke Responds:
    Patrick, It is probably a bit early for clover. I think in MO I would be looking at September 1. I would plant it with winter wheat to serve as a cover crop and to produce some good forage for this fall. We love the Big N Beasty brassica blend from Frigid Forage. It has produced well for our entire pro staff across all parts of the country. Good luck. (8-12-12)
  • steve from IA asks:
    g-4 will be a real nice buck to go after this year, congrats on him. with the drought thsi year in south central Iowa do you think that my clover plots will come back, or do you think all is lost and i need to replant next spring? planting turnips with a mix of rape, oats, and peas. how long can they sit in the ground before we get enough moisture to establish? how much rain does it ttake to grow turnips?
    Winke Responds:
    Steve, Thanks. It will be fun to go after him again. He has been here for a long time, I think I may feel a bit conflicted to actually shoot him. But I will sure enjoy matching wits with him again. He has certainly made me look bad over the years. Clover will go dormant in really dry conditions. It should come back (or most of it) when the rains start again. Seed can sit for a long time before it germinates. Depending on the plant, it can literally be years. I planted clover one year in July (way too late). It turned off really dry and I got very little germination. The next year the field was lush with clover. It would probably take at least a 1/2 inch rain to really soak the seeds and it would be good to have a bit more so that there is some subsoil moisture for the young plants to work with. I would say, the ideal would be two rains of at least 1/2 inch within a week of each other. It is a crap shoot any time you put seed in the ground. That is why farmers are the ultimate optimists. Good luck. (8-5-12)
  • Damon from TX asks:
    I planted some tecomate buck beans 3 weeks ago. Seems to be coming up good. I have alot of grass moving in though. What can I spray to kill the grass but not the buck bean?
    Winke Responds:
    Damon, Any of the grass selective herbicides that farmers use to remove grass from legumes (such as Poast, Select and others of that category) will work well. I am assuming that the Tecomate beans aren't RoundUp ready. If they are, of course RoundUp is your solution. Again, assuming they aren't, the local co-op can help you with the right chemical for that job. Good luck. (8-5-12)
  • Mike from PA asks:
    I have a 135 acre lease in Pike County Illinois and cant get out to it but a few times a year to work on foodplots. I have 3 clover plots around an acre each which are doing ok. I tried some forage beans in 2 other plots of about 2 acres each but the drought and heat completely burned them out. Can you recommend something to plant in these plots. I'm going back in a few weeks and would like to get something started for the hunting season. I'm going to be hunting from November 1st until the 18th.
    Winke Responds:
    Mike, I feel your pain. About your only good options are some kind of brassica blend (we use Frigid Forage Big N Beasty) or a wheat/oats blend (I believe that Frigid Forage makes an oats product too, but I have not tried it yet). Both will grow fairly quickly and provide some forage for this fall/winter. The brassicas will producde a lot more forage but really need to be in the ground by Aug 20 with some immediate rains if they are going to grow well. The wheat/oats can go in as late as early September and still produce some forage, again given adequate and immediate rains. Good luck. (8-1-12)
  • Pat from NY asks:
    Bill, Will the lack of rain in the midwest make for better fall hunting? With crop failure prevelant thru out the region, wouldn't the smart thing be to regroup as hunters, analize the situation, disc in the failed food plots and prepare to replant much more mid to late August? Food plots will definately be king food source with no compition from farm crops. Figure on planting more area and harvesting two or three times as many does (very early into the season) as normal to put winter food supplies into check.
    Winke Responds:
    Pat, I agree. You are right. For people in a position to have good fall/winter foods they will have the most deer activity. Food will definitely be scarce. It seems to be a bad acorn year here too, making it even more advantageous to have food sources. Sounds like a good plan you have. Good luck. (7-31-12)
  • Matt from IA asks:
    Bill, I have a farm in your area. The drought has burnt up my clover plots and I’m trying to figure out the right strategy for my fall food plots. Are you making any adjustments to your fall food plot strategy? How late do you think we can wait for rain to plant a brassica plot? My heart goes out to the local farmers, terrible situation. Keep up the great work, looking forward to this season!
    Winke Responds:
    Matt, Clover will go dormant and then bounce back when it rains so I wouldn't get too nervous on those plots just yet. Beans and corn or the ones to worry about. Once they are gone, they are gone, no bounce back. I am going to till up about 12 acres of my beans and plant that to Big N Beasty. That should help a ton to put more food out here this winter. It is a very tough situation. I just hope everyone had insurance. Very expensive to put the the crops in now with the high input costs - without insurance that can wipe a farmer out. Good luck. (7-31-12)
  • Randy from IN asks:
    Big N Beasty with the drought? I just purchased several bags of the big n beasty to plant soon. I have the plots already to go, sprayed, limed, and plowed. My question is….with this drought, should I wait until some rain is forecasted to plant, or just go ahead and plant the seed. Also I live in Indiana and should I plant it now in this heat or wait till late August? Thanks, can’t wait to see how it turns out. Randy
    Winke Responds:
    Randy, I would wait until there is rain in the forecast. Nothing is going to happen without the rain. It is good that you have the plot ready to go. Once you see rain coming, get the seed in the ground. If not, hold onto the seed and use it next year. You should be good all the way through about the third week in August in Indiana with the Big N Beasty. I think that is an excellent plan. Good luck. (7-25-12)
  • John Pryor from MO asks:
    Hey Bill I have a brassica and turnip food plot and i was wondering if there was any type of herbicide that i could use that would kill the weeds but not hurt the brassicas and turnips. Thanks for your time I appreciate it, John
    Winke Responds:
    John, You can't easily kill broadleaf weeds out of there, but you can kill the grasses using most grass selective herbicides. I have cleaned them up with Poast and with Select, but I am not sure if those two are still on the market. I would talk to the local ag co-op rep and see what they recommend for removing grass from clover and look at the label. Sometimes it will include stuff like that, but if not, give that a try in a small area first to see if it works. Then if it does, you can go bigger. Good luck. (7-23-12)
  • Dustin from IL asks:
    Bill, how early is to early to plant big n beasty here in NW illinois? Its been so dry here this summer with very little rain and if they forecast a good chance late july i think i might go ahead and plant because who knows when we will get another chance of rain. I usually don't plant them until august but don't know if i should take a chance to wait that long if there is rain in the near forecast. thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Dustin, Late July is just fine. In fact, you can plant it right now and do very well. Good luck. (7-19-12)
  • Steve from WI asks:
    Bill, I'm dying without the weekly shows!!! Can't wait until fall. Anyway my question is....with the HOT & DRY weather we've had this summer (I live Southern WI) my food plots are looking pretty bad. The only thing that seems to be holding on is some Rye. Would it be worth trying to irrigate the area? All my plots are small. Probably 75X30 at most. I have a 300 gal tank I could use. Just wondering if you think it's a little to late to make a difference? Thanks Bill
    Winke Responds:
    Steve, Yes for sure. Irrigating them would be a great idea. If you have food this fall you will be drawing in some deer. Depends on what is planted as to whether it is too late or not, but if it is not dead, it is not too late. What do you have to lose - a bit of time and some work. You will probably need to put the entire tank on each plot. Good luck. (7-19-12)
  • Earl from IA asks:
    I have about 20 acres and am looking at putting in a food plot. 6 acres are in a pasture and the rest is in timber. I have 500 acres east of me in corn this year, and 600 acres south of me in CRP. I am asking how much of the pasture should I use and what should I plant?
    Winke Responds:
    Earl, The more the better up to a point. I would use at least 1 acre but you likely don't need more than three. If you can do two plots of 1 acre that would be a pretty good strategy. I would plant something like clover with winter wheat in one and a brassica blend in the other. We have done very well with Frigid Forage Big N Beasty. It is a good time to plant that now - or at least be ready to plant then get it in the ground once you see rain in the forecast. If you go with just 1 acre plot, split it between the two crops and then rotate every second year. Same if you go with two plots - rotate every other year. Good luck. (7-19-12)
  • tommy from MN asks:
    hi .. i just got permission from a neighbor to plant a food plot on his property and i was wondering what u would recommend. first of all is it to late to plant a food plot and if not, what should i plant. the place is on higher ground near a swamp with corn and beans around it the deer are covered by tall grass and there is a strip of woods on one side. p;lease let me know what u think.. thanks tommy
    Winke Responds:
    Tommy, It is not too late to plant brassicas such as the Frigid Forage Big N Beasty blend. It is actually the perfect time to plant that and it produces a lot of forage. I think I would go that route. 1/2 acre to an acre would be a perfect size to draw deer during the season and feed them in the fall and winter. Good luck. (7-18-12)
  • Jeff from WI asks:
    So here is a question for you: On my farm I'm putting in 2 plots, both about .75 acres. Both will be B&B. One is in a low drainage area that has lots of thick cover....good spot! The other is on the top of a field where ag meets timber meets crp. Also a killer spot. I've just started clearing an internal plot about 150 yards from both of the other plots making a triangle. Regardless of plant I put in there do you think I should or shouldn't put in the 3rd plot maybe holding the deer up from coming out to the other two during daylight. Deer will travel in both directions but I just don't want to screw things up. Kinda thinking it could be a plan B if they're not coming out early enough or just more food the more deer I can support .... What do you think?
    Winke Responds:
    Jeff, If you can hunt the third plot (the wind and access set up for it) then I would plant it for sure. You need several of these kinds of spots to spread out your hunting pressure. If you can't hunt it, I would maybe hold off a year and see how the first two do for you. I like lots of small internal plots. I think they really benefit the deer and make for great hunting morning and evening, but you may want to phase this in so you don't pull the deer to much to a spot you can't hunt. Good luck. (7-18-12)
  • Josh from WI asks:
    I have two questions: First, I planted the frigid forage wildlife blend this spring and is doing great. Should I cut it to maintain the high of about 6 inches even though it has brassicas in it? Should I fertilize it again as well? One of the plots that has this blend has the plot saver ribbon around it and I am contemplating when to take it down, any suggestions, I was thinking first part of sept. right before the bow season? Secondly, do you know when the scent containment suite will be released from Cabelas? Thanks and take care.
    Winke Responds:
    Josh, I would not cut that unless it is getting really weedy. Otherwise, I would just let it keep growing. If you cut it, you will reduce the forage of the brassicas. I am sure it will grow back (or at least partially), but I would personally let it run its course this year. I would likely take the ribbon down about ten days to two weeks before you plan to start hunting it. That will give the deer time to find it and start using it. Last I heard the suit will be in the Fall Catalog that I think comes out in August. Have a great day. (7-13-12)
  • Jake from WI asks:
    Hey Bill, I frost seeded clover a plot this spring that had brassicas in it last fall. In late May, the weeds were taking over so I mowed it off and haven't been back to see what it looks like since. I figured to mow it again in August. With as dry as it has been, do you think I should mow it again or should I leave it? Do you know how well do brassicas do in this dry weather? I'd like to plant them again, but we haven't gotten hardly any rain here in the last month and a half. Thanks, Jake
    Winke Responds:
    Jake, If it is mostly clover I would leave it. If it has a lot of weeds, I would mow it and hope for rain. Brassicas will do OK in dry, but they do need a couple of good rains early to get them germinated and get the roots started down. After that they will do OK. I guess I would buy the seed, watch the weather and plant it when you see rains coming. If you don't see rains coming, save the seed, it will be just fine the next year as long as you keep it in a dry place. Frigid Forage seed has a zip-loc top so it is much less likely to loose its viability from year to year due to moisture. It keeps very well. Good luck. (6-30-12)
  • Brent from PA asks:
    Hello Mr. Winke I watched your website all winter and spring and really enjoyed it all. My question is about my food plot. I planted two acres of forage soybeans and the deer are hammering them. I dont know if they're going to make it. What do you recommend for me to do? When to replant, what to replant etc.
    Winke Responds:
    Brent, You may need to think about putting electric fence around it. You have to place at least two strands and lure the deer in to get zapped by putting little metal cups along the length of the wire and putting peanut butter in them. That seems to speed up the training process. It can be costly for sure. If you don't want to do that you can consider tearing up the areas that are hardest hit and planting them to brassicas (we favor Frigid Forage Big N Beasty) in mid to late July. That will get you some fall/winter forage in that area. You may have to consider one of two things: planting more area or thinning out some deer. Another option is to plant clover which is more browse tolerant than soybeans (even forage beans). Good luck. (6-28-12)
  • Lin from GA asks:
    Bill, what are your thoughts on Small Burnet. I'm thinking of my own 'Extreme' mix with small burnett, durana clover and chicory. My soil ph in Dooly County GA was 5.8 before liming 3000 lb./acre. Plan to mix some BF Oats and iron clay peas as a cover crop until the other perennial seed can get up and going. The deer in GA will eat....except that I have no experience with small burnet....what say you Bill?
    Winke Responds:
    Lin, I have tried it here and the deer didn't eat it. I think in the right place it is probably fine. Our deer just have so many options I think they get used to certain foods and that is what they eat whenever it is avaialble - which is almost all of the time. I have never had any luck with chicory either. Again, our deer just never eat it. I planted it twice and both times I can't say they at even a single leaf. It grows wild along the roads. It may work well there, won't work here. Good luck. (6-28-12)
  • Luke from WI asks:
    Hey Bill, I took your advice earlier and planted a couple small clover plots in between thick bedding areas and CRP pines. The clover has come up great and is close to 6 or 8 inches tall, but I've noticed quite a few milkweed plants popping up. Is it worth my time to go weeding and rip out all of them or are they not worth my time, other then that the plots look great.
    Winke Responds:
    Luke, I guess it is worth your time if you get them soon enough (before the seed heads mature). Really, though, milkweed, unless it is really thick, is not going to affect how well your clover plot grows long term because it is not a truly invasive weed. It is more of an eye-sore than anything. But that said, I would still remove them. If it takes a couple of hours, no big deal. Or you can buy one of those weed cutters that you swing and practice your golf swing while cutting them out! Good luck. (6-27-12)
  • Wes from NY asks:
    Winke, I love watching the shows and hunt the Finger Lakes areas of NY similar to that of Eric Hansen and Ethan Sleeman. I have a question regarding broadcasters. What's the brand you guys use? I just got a cheap hand broadcaster from a local farm store and it busted the first time I used it spreading pelitized lime. The one I bought had plastic gears. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
    Winke Responds:
    Wes, Thanks for the support. I am using the Even-Spread from Earthway. I can't tell what the gears are made from as they are encased in a metal housing. I hope that helps. Have a great day. (6-25-12)
  • Adam from ON asks:
    What works well for discing under green manure in rocky soil types? my soil is sandy with baseball size rocks. i have planted buckwhat to start building up the compost. Let me know your thoughts. I loved the poor man food plot!!
    Winke Responds:
    Adam, Your idea is a good one, but man, I have to admit that I am not sure on the best tool. I guess that using some kind of moldboard plow might work. It can handle bigger stuff like that without clogging. You can get a one or two bottom plow for a three point hitch pretty darn cheap because so few people use them now, but you will have to do some searching. Local farmers will have a much better feel for this than me. I would quiz a few of them. Good luck. (6-22-12)
  • Dillan from NC asks:
    I Love your shows by the way they have helped me a lot. Well here is the deal I have a probly 1/2 to 3/4 acre food plot. I have cut a lot of holly trees out but it is still shady in some parts of the day. I live in the Foothills and I want to plant a food plot that will be ready by bow season which starts the second weekend in september. WEhat Do you sugest i plant. Their is a cow pasture right beside it and winter rye is planted every year.I also have acsess to another fourth of an acre across the field that is about the same way. What should i plant in each one. Thanks, Dillan (6/18/12)
    Winke Responds:
    Dillan, I think I would plant clover and brassicas in late July or early August or before your normal "rainy" season. If you don't get rain, it doesn't matter, but to have something by mid-Sept. It will have to be in the ground by early August. The brassicas will grow fast, but the clover will grow fairly slow, so the brassicas will be your primary forage the first year and the clover the second year. We like the Frigid Forage Big N Beasty for our brassica blend. It does well in the south too. You could go with winter wheat because it grows fast, but it will be competing with the nearby winter rye so it may not be that attractive. That is why I suggested B N B. Good luck. (6-19-12)
  • Kevin from TN asks:
    Hey Bill. Hope you're enjoying some downtime during the off season. I think you've earned it! What a great season you had in 2011. My question is regarding food plots. I know the food plot discussion is one you've had more times than you care to mention so I'll be brief. I have an idea of what I want to plant problem is I've never actually put anything in the ground myself. I've got the green light to add some plots but I'm not sure where to start. My plan is to cut off one of the corners of a hay field and put in soybeans, then clearing out in the timber a spot for a late season plot (perhaps a Big & Beasty blend). I've seen spots in your show where food plots are talked about but do you recall a video or blog you've archived that goes in depth from start to finish? I would hope to be able to get these done for next season as it's already late June. Maybe an early season show can cover this in depth from beginning to end? Or, perhaps you can just lay it out to me. I've got the too
    Winke Responds:
    Kevin, We covered it pretty much in depth in a couple of recent videos called "Poor Man Plot" and "Poor Man Plot Part 2". I think those were the names. They will give you a few basic ideas. If you have access to farm equipment, it gets a lot easier. If you have more specific questions come next spring, I can walk you through it then. To plant beans, you will do best with a drill. You can broadcast seed them, but the seed is pretty good sized so you almost need to bury it under a thin layer of dirt to get good germination. We cna discuss more later as you get closer. Best regards. (6-17-12)
  • Matt from OH asks:
    Whats up big guy? On are land where we hunt we have planted a couple small poor man food plots. Great seed soil contact, but not much rain. And practically impossible for us to water it ourselves. If it does not take because of the lack of rain should we just put more seed down come aug-sept? What options do you feel that we have to get the most out of the plots? And how do you feel about Turnips, whens the best time to plant those Sept-Oct? Any insight would be appreciated...
    Winke Responds:
    Matt, If it stays too dry to germinate, it will come in eventually, assuming it is clover. If you want to spice it up a bit for fall, you can add something like Frigid Forage Big N Beasty (a brassica blend with some turnips in it) to the field in early August to get more forage for fall. Good luck. (6-17-12)
  • Nathan from PA asks:
    Winke, I want to plant Big & Beasty, but cannot till/disk the ground. I can only break up the top 2-3" w/a homemade machine (bracket w/railroad spikes welded to it) I know w/o the depth I may not get the bulbs, but will the brassicas still come up and hold/feed the deer?? Its a 1/4 acre plot, still worth it?? Thank You
    Winke Responds:
    Nathan, That should be sufficient to get them started well. The bulbs will take care of themselves when it comes to breaking up the ground. They are very good at it. Good luck. (6-16-12)
  • Joey from KY asks:
    What would you plant in an area that has an over abundance of clover that grows wild? In my area of KY there is a lot of clover that grows everywhere wild and I feel like planting a clover plot doesn't really do much. Can you tell me what you would plant as an alternative to give the deer some other food source to eat. The plots I will be planting are small wood land plots < 1 acre.
    Winke Responds:
    Joey, It is tough to grow much in really small woodland plots because the plants need sunlight. To be honest, the best plant for shaded conditions is clover. I bet a small clover plot will work, but if you think the plot is large enough to get at least five hours of sunlight each day, you may consider brassicas. We like the Big N Beasty from Frigid Forage. Those are really the only two decent options you have there. You could possibly consider a forage like winter wheat too, but that requires more sunlight. Good luck. (6-15-12)
  • Levi from IL asks:
    Like everyone else, I would like to say thank you for all you do! I love the website! Ok, last year I attempted to make a couple "poor-man plots" myself. I tried to make a couple small (1/8 acre) clover plots in the timber. For whatever reason, the clover began to come up great and then just stopped growing. I'm sure it was a combination of limited sunlight and lack of rain. There are several large White Oaks around the plot that create a pretty good canopy. I was wondering if you had any suggestions if I ever wished to try doing this again. Is there anything else I could plant in the timber which would not require as much sunlight? Thanks a lot and congrats on a heck of a season last year!
    Winke Responds:
    Levi, Sounds like you are right. They were probably just a bit too small and the dry conditions would not help either. The trees pull moisture from a wide area with their roots making it even worse when it is dry. I am guessing that there are tree roots under the plot robbing it of precious subsoil moisture. Short of dropping a few trees away from the edge of the plot to create more sunlight, there is not much you can do. One thing to consider when laying out a new plot is the fact that plots that lie east and west tend to do better than narrow plots that lie north and south. That is because the sun can get to the east/west plots better. Again, dropping a few trees to create more sunlight and getting more rain would likely solve the problem. Brassicas also do pretty well in partially shaded settings too, but I doubt it would be a lot better than the clover. Good luck. (6-7-12)
  • Chris from IN asks:
    We have a 1/4 acre clover plot that is going very well. We have cut it once to help with the broadleafs but they're coming back. How often do you cut, when do you spray, have you figured out a roundup mix, and can you go into more detail about what Select Plus is? We built a poor man's food plot so I've been trying to watch your shows on it but I have had no time.
    Winke Responds:
    Chris, I cut twice per year. You may wish to wait a bit longer this time until the broadleafs are actually shading out the clover and then cut them. I have not had a chance to experiment with the RoundUp mix. It has been so dry here I have been afraid to stress the clover by taking it to near death with the diluted RoundUp. You can remove grasses with a grass herbicide. Your local co-op can help you with that. Typically if you do a search on the web under Clethodim you will run into a number of examples of this. Good luck on the plot. (6-6-12)
  • Jeff from WI asks:
    Hey Bill, question 1: Do you have time to sleep? Question 2: After reading alot of these q&a I did see a topic that I never thought of. I'm planting b&b this summer and someone asked about planting clover then tilling! Should food plots be rotating like hard mass crops? For the future now that my soil has been worked for the first time should I be planting something early knowing turnips are going in later? Thanks, see you this weekend! Jeff Nelson
    Winke Responds:
    Jeff, Thanks for the support. Actually, the guys in the office (Drew, Greg, Aaron) do a good job so I am getting more free time now. My office is at our home and the video business runs from an office in town. Back in 2009 it was miserable though - I was doing everything. To your question: I think the best strategy there is to plant your Big N Beasty this summer and then in Feb frost seed some cheap clover (maybe giant red clover). It will grow fast and offer deer food throughout the spring and summer and then come July you can plow it under and plant the brassicas again. Plowing down the clover is a great source of nitrogen for the next crop of Brassicas. You can do this for a couple of years (maybe three) before you will likely need to break the rotation with a different crop for a year. You may be able to frost seed to some better white clovers (we use the Frigid Forage Trophy Clover for this) and then let that go for two summers before plowing it down on year two to reestablish the brassicas again. Just be sure that you fertilize your Big N Beasty even though you won't need a full rate. Good luck. (6-5-12)
  • Robert from IN asks:
    Hey Bill, I was recently introduced to Midwest Whitetails and really enjoy your show. We are in the process of planting a "poor man's food plot". We have a 30 acre section of woods in central Indiana and are surrounded by ag fields(not owned by our family). We have 1/2-3/4 acre section cleared that we will be planting this August. I was hoping for advice on how to plant. We have moderate density in our area. It is a rectangle plot and we were thinking about planting 1/2 clover and 1/2 brassica mix. Our thoughts are to plant two rows of clover on either side of the brassicas. Would you suggest this, or doing drawing a line down the middle? Also, I have concerns with planting two crops with it being a small area. Should we just stick to one? Thanks in advance for your help. I look forward to your response. Robert
    Winke Responds:
    Robert, If it is a full 3/4 acre that is big enough for two crops. I think your strategy is good one. I would probably add winter wheat to the clover because it will grow fast and produce a good amount of forage. Otherwise, the clover portion will not produce much forage the first year. You may also consider planting to the brassica mix and then frost seeding 1/2 or all of it this winter to get your clover for next year. You won't get much forage from fall planted clover - I guess that is my point here. Either planting the clover with winter wheat or planting to brassica and frost seeding clover this winter will likely be the best strategy for the clover portion of this plot. Good luck. (6-4-12)
  • Jim from IL asks:
    Bill, Well its officially June and I still have 2- 1/2 acre plots left to plant. We have been horribly dry here in wc IL, and im wondering if I should hold off on any clover and wait and plant a fall "harvest" plot of oats/radishes or such in september?. Do you think its too late to get clover in? Ive learned (from you) that grains are out of the question for plots this small. Any other ideas for plots this late in the spring?
    Winke Responds:
    Jim, I would wait at this point. I would plant something like Big N Beasty in late July/early August and then frost seed the clover into that plot this winter. That will give you the best results with the least amount of risk. Good luck. (6-4-12)
  • Ryan from IL asks:
    I was wondering if you plant roundup ready corn or plot corn and have you experimented with both? I looked at prices and it was three hundred a bag for two acres of round up ready as compared to fifty dollars for two acres of plot corn which they claim is roundup ready also. I was told it was to late to plant at this point but I do not intend on harvesting it so would it really matter? I also wondered if you try to harvest after hunting season or is it just for the deer? It seems like planting corn can get expensive but everything I have ever heard about it seems to make it worth it, would you agree? Thanks for your help, sorry for all the questions. LOVE THE SHOW do you sell dvd's?
    Winke Responds:
    Ryan, I normally get free RoundUp Ready corn from conservation groups like Pheasants Forever and from the DNR agents. I have never bought corn for my food plots. Try that route first, but if you are forced to purchase corn this year, I am sure the Plot Corn will be just fine. It is borderline on planting corn now. I have always felt that June 10 is our drop-dead date for corn, but that requires that you get some nice rains to get the young plants going. If you don't get them the corn will not have time to put down a root far enough to reach moisture. Also, if you get an early frost that can also be a problem regarding filling the kernels if you are using long maturity corn. It should say on the bag what the maturity it. By now you would be looking at roughly 95 day maturity corn to be safe. I think corn is too expensive for most situations. I have a few acres this year, but I would rather plant soybeans most years (and brassicas like the Big N Beasty). It is not to late for beans at this time and you can plant the Big N Beasty in late July. We don't sell DVDs, but thanks for asking. I hope you get something planted. Good luck. (6-4-12)
  • ray from OH asks:
    this is the first food plot im putting out any suggestions what i should put clovers chicory brassics etc. id like some kind of fall,winter forage.
    Winke Responds:
    Ray, At this point (kind of late for clover), I think I would wait until late July and plant something like the Frigid Forage Big N Beasty. That is a brassica blend that will produce good fall/winter forage. If you want clover ultimately, you can frost seed that plot in Feb and have a nice clover patch there in 2013. Be sure to plant the Big N Beasty per the label instructions. Personally, I am not a big fan of chicory. Good luck. (6-3-12)
  • Troy L from IN asks:
    What is the best way to slow down turkeys, crows, and raccoons from eating corn I just planted for deer? I know I can not completely stop it. I was thinking of taking whole corn and putting piles in high traffic areas around the two, 3 acre fields, what do you think?
    Winke Responds:
    Troy, Chipmunks, striped gophers and squirrels do it too. Most people don't realize this is even happening. They just think the corn didn't come up. It is a huge, huge problem with corn food plots. Best thing is to go to the co-op and buy a few bags of shelled (not cracked) corn and spread it all around the ground (not piles) on the outside 20 feet of the field. Give them all they want so they don't dig for your planted corn. You will need a good bit of corn to do this, but it will keep the critters from digging up your corn when it first starts spiking and eating the seed out from under it. I have to deal with this every year. In fact, I am dealing with it again this year too. Good luck. (6-2-12)
  • Bruce from WI asks:
    I planted about 3 acres of beans by tilling the ground and then spreading the seed and dragging it in with a drag. The day I got all of this done it looked good, but now I went back a week later and the beans did not seem to be covered up as good as I had thought. We hadn't got rain until about two days before I went back to check them. I could see a few sprouting, but I could also see about 50% of the beans on top of the soil, or partially covered. Do you think any of the beans on top will germinate? Do you have any other suggestions for planting beans if you don't have access to a grain drill or other planter? Thanks in advance!
    Winke Responds:
    Bruce, Some of the beans on top will germinate if you get consistent rains or prolonged rains. Obviously, they dry out fast on sunny days, so the number that germinate will be limited. Generally, when broadcast seeding like this I increase my rate by at least 50% because of what you are seeing. Another factor is depredation from turkeys, crows, etc. even deer that eat the seeds of the top of the ground. If you can till deeper and then spread and the go back and till very shallow to incorporate the seed. This works with beans or corn but not good with clover that needs to be very shallow. Also, using a cultipacker to press the seeds into the ground firmly often will increase germination too on any crop that you broadcast. Good luck. (6-2-12)
  • Mark from PA asks:
    Hi Bill, Big fan of the show! I planted a one acre alfalfa and clover plot in April. There is good amount of fox tail mixing in and I was going to spray the plot with Arrest. Can you recommend a less expensive product that would be effective on the fox tail or should I stick with the Arrest. Thanks, Mark Shumate
    Winke Responds:
    Mark, We have found a category of grass killers called Clethodim. It is found in a number of products. This is the primary active ingredient for grass herbicides used on broadleaf crops. Go to your local Co-op or do a search on the web and you will find many options. Good luck. (6-2-12)
  • Tom from WI asks:
    Bill, I have about 50 acres of crp that is eligible for food plots in southern Iowa. I'm only allowed 10% of each field so it only allows my biggest plot to be about 1.5 acres and the rest are smaller. All the crp was in CP2 and planted in very tall and thick grass when I bought the farm(assuming some type of warm season grass). I eventually got all 5 acres in soybeans this spring but for some reason 2 of the plots each about half an acre didn't come up. I think they crusted over. I can only late season muzzleloader hunt this year so I'm wondering what you would recommend for a late December food plot---replant the beans or something else. The next time I can plant the beans would be mid June because of my work schedule. Iowa State University web site says mid June is Ok for a bean replant. Any thought? As always--Thank you.
    Winke Responds:
    Tom, I was going to say that mid-June will still work in a wet year, but in a dry year it will not work. Personally, I think I would hedge my bet on those two plots and wait until late July and plant them to brassica blend (we use Frigid Forage Big N Beasty). This gives you a good fall food source and gives you a better chance to watch the weather and plant when it looks like there is some weather coming in. Some variety in the plots is also nice. If you can't plant at that time, then I would take my chances replanting the soybeans in mid June. God luck. (6-1-12)
  • Brent from MI asks:
    Bill, i have 4 small plots cleared and ready to plant! i dont plan to plant any of them until the last week of july. i have read all of your articles regarding small plots and how "clover is king" i planned to plant brassicas in all four but i am reconsidering after reading your articles. will july be too late to plant clover? should i mix it up and plant some plots in brassicas and some in a winter wheat/annual clover mix? any thoughts would be appreciated! thanks in advance!!
    Winke Responds:
    Brent, When planting that late, I would go brassicas the first year and then frost seed the clover into them this winter and you should have a great starting point for next year. Good luck. (5-31-12)
  • Brent from MI asks:
    Bill, for best results with brassica plots, would you reccommend A: after tilling, pack the soil with a cultipacker, broadcasting the seed and then going over the seed with the cultipacker? or B: tilling, pack the soil with the cultipacker, seeding right before a rain and letting the rain do the work of getting the seed down. thanks very much for your time!!
    Winke Responds:
    Brent, I would till, broadcast and then pack. That will get you the best seed to soil contact and press the seeds into the ground the required amount (shallow). Doing that just before a rain is optional, but of course you will need rain eventually to get the seeds to germinate. As long as you pack them in, they will have the right seed to soil contact for good germination without needing regular rains. If you toss it on top of the ground after packing, you run the risk that it will not have the contact needed to germinate with the first rain. Good luck. (5-24-12)
  • Joe from WI asks:
    I have a food plot question for you. We have two fields that we are going to plant. The fields are 3.5 and 1 acre fields. The fields are in a big valley with a small wooded creek separting them. Our plan is to plant the 1 acre field with corn and then to seperate the other field into three sections with the hopes of planting 3 different plots that mature at different times. Our goal is to create food for the deer no matter the season. Any ideas on what to plant? Thanks for the advice and keep up the good work...Love the show
    Winke Responds:
    Joe, In that situation, I would probably be looking at soybeans, clover and brassicas (we like the Frigid Forage Big N Beasty for our brassica blend). Clover is good spring through fall and the beans are good summer, fall and winter the brassica is good late fall and winter. Overall, it would be a pretty good food plot blend. Good luck. (5-24-12)
  • jordan from MO asks:
    When I put out corn in august I have to be careful because on our 800 acre farm we have cattle. I've put out mineral and I'm concerned the cattle will get into it. What do you think?
    Winke Responds:
    Jordan, Agreed. The only sure way to keep them away from the corn or mineral is to fence an area and keep the bait/mineral in that area. You can usually do that fairly inexpensively with electric fencing if you are able to check it often. Otherwise four strands of barbed will get it done. There is really no other good solution. Good luck. (5-21-12)
  • Jacob from AL asks:
    Hey Bill, i have a question regarding the clover plots. I planted a small clover patch 3 weeks ago, and it is agout an 3/4 of inch tall. There is alot of grass growing to. When would you spray the plot with doluted roundup to kill the grass and not the weeds. I didn't know if the clover has to be mature or not. Thanks!!!!
    Winke Responds:
    Jacob, I would be reluctant to spray with the RoundUp solution at this stage. In fact, until I learn more, I would be reluctant to spray that solution at any time. I guess for some guys it works well but I have also heard from some people that it can wipe out the clover if you get the mix a bit too strong. I think there is a fine line and it comes down to no only your mix, but how accurately you spray it (limited overlaps, correct speed, etc.). I would look for a grass selective herbicide. Most Co-ops will carry something like that. If not, look for something online that is based on Clethodim. Study that to make sure it is the right stuff, but it should be much safer than the RoundUp method. Good luck. (5-21-12)
  • Travis from NY asks:
    I have a question about mowing the wild clover in my hunting field. Each year it seems like there is more and more clover in this field. There is a mix of both red and white clover, should I mow it before or after it seeds out? I'm hoping the clover will spread through the entire field. Also do deer prefer radishes over turnips?
    Winke Responds:
    Travis, I would mow it, for sure. If you can wait until it seeds out, that is ideal. If it is too weedy, you may have to mow now. I am not sure about how deer to relate to radishes. I admit that I have not tried them in a solid stand to see if they go to them aggressively or not. I have heard that they are attracted to them, but I have never tried them. Good luck. (5-21-12)
  • Dustin from IL asks:
    Bill, not a question but just some insight. You touched on the last episode about spraying clover and said you have used select in the past for grasses, but can't find it anymore. I use poast plus herbicide by BASF, most coops probably will not carry it but can probably get it for you. If not, you can find it on ebay easily. It is expensive. I think I paid $150 for 2 gallons a couple years ago but it will last you a long time, the rate is around 1.5-3pints per acre depending on your location and types of grass.Heres a link for the label. http://www.cdms.net/LDat/ld00H006.pdf. Thanks for producing awesome off season shows and keep them coming. God bless!
    Winke Responds:
    Dustin, I used Clethodim. That is what the guy at the local co-op recommended. I used Poast many years ago for this type of work. I will have to take another look at it. Thanks. (5-16-12)
  • Matthew from OK asks:
    Hey Bill, I have a question about my food plots. I will planting a half acre food plot infront of my stand this year. The deer dont seem to be liking turnips or brassicas. Any suggestions. I live in southwestern Oklahoma but we have been getting very good rain. Also, I worked about a 5 by 5 little area of ground infront of my camera. I planted clovers in it and plan on putting a mineral block on the stum in the middle. I made two of these. Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Matthew, Clover for sure would be my recommendation. That is the direction I would go. Good luck. (5-15-12)
  • Joe from AL asks:
    Love the shows Bill, yours is one of the best out there. My question is, do you take precautions to not get herbicides on your skin or breathing it? How safe is roundup and the other herbicides? I see alot of guys useing a hand sprayer, wearing shorts and no glasses, walking thru the spray, breathing it in and getting it all over themselves.
    Winke Responds:
    Joe, I don't take specific precautions, but at the same time it is a liquid mix that I am spraying downward so there isn't much up in the air. Some herbicides are really hard on you. RoundUp isn't bad but you should wear gloves and wash your hands if you get some on your hands. It is a pretty agressive salt so it does have some negative affects on your skin. I don't use a lot of other herbicides, but it is definitely important not to breathe them in or get them on your exposed skin. Good luck. (5-12-12)
  • Jacob from AL asks:
    Is it worth the effort this late in spring to go ahead and plant the rest of our plots, or wait until Aug? WE have app 10 acres total in 7 plots scattered in 400 acres of timber. 4 are planted in clover and 3-4 acres need to be planted, but do to work constraints, we have not been able to yet. If so, what would you plant? We are in the southern MO Ozarks. Thanks, love your show.
    Winke Responds:
    Jacob, It really depends on your local weather patterns. If you think you will catch some rains in the next three weeks, I would plant it, but if you fear that you will get only a bit of rain, I would hold off. What you don't want is to get a bit of rain, have the plants germinate and then turn off dry - that will kill the clover. It doesn't put a root down very fast so you need at least a month of moisture after planting to get the plants started well. Good luck. (5-5-12)
  • Michael from ON asks:
    Hey Bill, Ive got 2 "Poor Man" Food plots on the go. One is in a clearing way back on a property I hunt that I will be planting to Whitetail Clover... The other I am going to plant to Big N Beasty... How come it isnt recomended to plant Big N Beasty in the spring?? I am worried that if I wait until mid/late summer that it wont have time to germinate and grow by oct/nov/dec when I will want to hunt over it... Any thoughts?
    Winke Responds:
    Michael, Big N Beasty germinates and grows fast. If you plant it in the spring it will mature in summer and go to seed and become less palatable way before hunting season. I would plant mid-July in your area, but if you get at least a bit of rain and if you fertilize to bag instructions you will get a nice crop by late September. It does grow very fast. Good luck. (5-5-12)
  • Marcus from MI asks:
    Mr. Winkie, I have watched your episodes about hand tooled food plots. I think I am ready to try one. I am a little concerned with using round up to kill the vegetation because my small hunting property has several small creeks and boarders a river. Is there an alternative that may be a little safer in a water shed? Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Marcus, It won't affect the watershed. It is just a light mist and soaks the plants but dries almost immediately and is not transported to the watershed. I would not worry about that even a second. Once it is diluted it is ineffective anyway. Good luck. (5-5-12)
  • tyler from OK asks:
    hey bill, i wanted to ask if u plant big-n-beasty on your place and if so then how and when do u plant???? and will it grow ok if i over seed to try to get a thick stand???
    Winke Responds:
    Tyler, I plant it in early August usually - last year it was too dry so I never planted any. I will wait to see the weather coming in the forecast and then prepare the areas. Don't try to get a thick stand. That will make all the plants suffer. Much better to fertilize and plant to the bag instructions. Adding more seed will not make for a better stand only leads to overcrowding and none of the plants grow well. Good luck (5-5-12)
  • Matt from WI asks:
    Bill, I'm planning on planting clover in a 1 1/2 field that was used to pasture horses on my property several years ago. A co-worker of mine who used to farm suggested planting oats along with the clover because they sprout quickly and will help to stabilize the soil and shade out weeds while the clover gets established. Then, after I mow for the first time, the clover will take over. Have you ever planted oats as a cover crop when establishing a food plot? What do you think about this? Thanks!
    Winke Responds:
    Matt, It is a good idea. It is pretty much how all the farmers where I grew up planted their alfalfa crop - with a cover crop of oats. Oats is cheap to plant. I would go that route. Good luck. (5-5-12)
  • dave from MN asks:
    Mr Bill. i really like the way you answer questions. you give great advice to those asking. my question is about food plots. there seems to be no mention of pumpkins/squash. i plant plots in them each year and have come to LOVE the draw that they have on deer during mid-late season. have you tried them and what kind of sucsess have you had??
    Winke Responds:
    Dave, One of our pro staffers, John Bulgrin, up in Wisconsin plants pumpkins too. I have not tried them, but then again, soybeans and corn tend to pull the deer pretty well during the late season too and the guy that farms our ground knows exactly how to plant them so I can just turn him loose on my bigger food plots when he is planting his acres. I need to experiment with a few small plots of pumpkins and squash just to see what happens. Worst case scenario, I love to eat squash so it might be a deal where I start competing with the deer for available forage! I know the timing is different, but I am must having a little fun. I think other readers will appreciate your info. Thanks for the support. Have a great day. (5-4-12)
  • Mike from IA asks:
    Vast amount of knowledge here to make me a better hunter. I watched your video on frost seeding. Just curious do you do that right after the snow melts? Does the grass need killed and does it need to be tilled up for seed to work?
    Winke Responds:
    Mike, Ideally, you would prepare the gound the previous fall. Either it is a soybean plot that you kept clean of weeds during the summer or it could be a brassica plot that the deer wiped out during the winter. Or possibly, you simply sprayed an area with RoundUp in October and ideally tilled in late October to create the best possible bed for frost seeding. I have had broadcast seeding (can't call it frost seeding) work in spring too, but only after tilling the soil and then having a good bit of rain pound the clover into the dirt. Best is to prepare the soil in the fall and spread the seed before all the snow is gone but for sure before all the freeze-thaw cycles are over for the winter. Good luck. (5-2-12)
  • Jacob from WI asks:
    Hey Bill, I have 2 questions for you. How long will it take a blend of clovers to start to germinate? And how long until the clover is like "mature," and can withstand grazing? Thanks!!!
    Winke Responds:
    Jacob, It depends on moisture and temperature, but under ideal conditions (medium moisture, warm) you can probably start to see the small clovers popping out in about ten days. Otherwise it could be a month or more. It is what I would call mature by the second year. The first fall it is still establishing itself, but it will definitley withstand grazing pressure that first summer and fall without any problem. Good luck. (5-2-12)
  • Bobby from KY asks:
    Bill, I appreciate your devotion to the show and to hunting in general. You are a prime specimen when it comes to taking care of the land and resources that we have been provided. I appreciated the 'Poor Man's Food Plot' Episodes. I love how you were devoted to the hand tools and worked through the sweat and soreness to see it through even though a plow or tiller would have been easier. Thanks for giving your all for the show. Now enough of that. Is there a time when it is too late to plant clover? I have a local farmer/hunter in Kentucky who has told me it is too late to put clover down. It this true and what special precautions might I have to take in order to see a late clover seeding succeed?
    Winke Responds:
    Bobby, Thanks for the support. The main thing on clover plantings is rainfall. The small plants need some time to germinate fully and put down a root before dry times set in. If your dry times set in during late May, then we are approaching the end of clover planting for you. You need a month, ideally, of decent moisture to assure that the small plants get a root down into the subsoil far enough to survive. We figure it works here in Iowa through the first half of May and then we stop planting clover except in bottom areas that stay moist much longer (all summer). You can plant in late summer with good success as there is generally a nice rainy season in many areas in late August and September. I would try to plant by mid-August and you should be fine for both clover and brassicas. Good luck. (5-1-12)
  • Ian from MI asks:
    Any advice for using rye grass as a food plot for my hard to reach woodland stands? Will that effectively attract deer? Thanks!
    Winke Responds:
    Ian, I think it will attract deer - maybe not as well as some plants, but still attractive. The question is how well it will grow in semi-shaded locatoins. That I don't know. If you have big enough openings it is fine I am sure (probably need 50 yards by 40 yards to assure a good amount of sunlight). I am not sure how it does in shaded settings. You will have to try it or do some more research. Best of luck. (4-29-12)
  • Chris from PA asks:
    Bill, What type of fertilizer do you recommend for clover? What can I spray on the food plot to kill all weeds and leave the clover? Thanks for your time-Chris
    Winke Responds:
    Chris, I use a P & K blend (potassium and phosphorus). Most ag co-ops can set you up with the right mix for clover. You don't need nitrogen so the lawn fertilizer is not ideal for clover. It is tough to spray one thing on clvoer and kill all but the clover. I have used Select and cleaned out the grasses, but it won't kill the broadleaf plants (clover is a broadleaf). To control broadleaf weeds I have simply mowed the plot. Some guys are talking about using a very light (non-concentrated) mix of RoundUp to kill the weeds and leave the clover, but I have not tried that so I can't comment on how effective that is. Good luck. (4-29-12)
  • Chris from PA asks:
    Bill, Last fall I turned a turnip plot over to clover. I checked it two weeks ago and spread more seed over it. Will this new seed take hold since I didn't turn over the soil?
    Winke Responds:
    Chris, Some of it will. The key to germination is good seed to soil contact and then moisture. If the seed is sitting on top of the ground it has some chance of germinating and growing if it stays moist for several days to a week. Otherwise it has to be covered up. That is why frost seeding works so well - the frost takes the seed into the ground. Otherwise, you need to work the soil slightly to make it porous so the seed has someplace to slide into and then cover up with the rains. Ideally, you do some tillage at this time of the year, otherwise germination rate can be quite low. Good luck. (4-29-12)
  • Larry from MI asks:
    Hi Bill, I purchased the pure trophy clover from frigid forage to plant in my food plot here in southern michigan. I sprayed to kill the weeds two weeks ago and worked up the ground last weekend. My question is I would like to spray the plot one more time but I need to plant in the next few days, can I spray, fertilize and plant the same day or do I have to wait a period of time. If so I may skip the second spray and just go with it. Please let me know as soon as possible. Thanks so much !!!!
    Winke Responds:
    Larry, You can do that but just to be safe, let the RoundUp dry before seeding. I would spray first and then plant, but like I said, let it dry before seeding. Good luck. (4-26-12)
  • Ian from MI asks:
    Hi Bill! I will be planting a small food plot on a woodland trail this summer. I will only be using hand tools and round up to clear the area out, and am wondering if you recommend I go with a no till seed like "Evolved Harvest Throw 'n Grow" or a Frigid Forage clover like the "Pure Trophy Clover". Also, would August be best for planting, if I want to bow hunt the plot in October?
    Winke Responds:
    Ian, I am not sure the "no-till" seed is really better suited to no-till planting. I have not seen a clover seed that was optimized for on-ground germination. I have had good luck broadcast seeding the Frigid Forage and since they are a sponsor I would recommend them. However, regardless of which one you use, I woiuld rough up the ground a bit with a garden rake or something so that you have better access to the soil and will likely get better seed to soil contact with the next rain. Good luck. (4-22-12)
  • cw from VA asks:
    I am thinking about planting Whitetail Institutes Powerplant food plot mix on a 3/4 acre plot. I know some other seed companies have some similiar mixes. Have you ever used a mix like this? If so, how successful or effective was it in attracting deer? I have chosen this as a summer plot until I can get clover planted in the fall. Would this be a good idea?
    Winke Responds:
    CW, I believe power plant is more or less a browse type plot mix, so I think you are on the right track for summer utilization. I have not planted that one, but I think it has forage soybeans in it. I am going to try some of the forage beans this year in a small plot (I prefer planting fall/winter foods in most of my food plot acres) just to see what the deer do with it. I think your strategy is a good one. Have a great day. (4-23-12)
  • Brent from MI asks:
    Bill, in your seemingly infinite wisdom, if i plant brassicas between the rows in my corn field will it make for an effective hunting location or would planting in the void areas within the field be better?
    Winke Responds:
    Brent, You may have a bit too much confidence in me! I have heard that it will work as long as the corn is picked fairly early in the fall. In my experiennce, I don't trust it. I have never done it. The brassicas do much better with more sunlight. I have done well with them in thin areas in fields or in soybean fields. The beans drop their leaves off fairly early in the fall (sometimes late summer) if they are planted early enough. That means the brassicas get good sunlight there. So, in my experience, I would avoid the areas of tall corn, stick with openings or soybeans. Good luck (4-22-12)
  • Eric from NC asks:
    Bill: I've planted corn in the past but it gets expensive and time consuming. The past two years I've planted it, it's done well at attracting deer. I have a question on attraction...do you think there really is such thing...that is will the deer in my area without pressure eat what is there in my plots regardless of what is there if I provide year round food or is it possible they will leave my property to find more "attractive" food like corn if I don't plant it. Second question, I've got a buddy that shoots good deer every year over bait/corn. Do you think a corn pile is just as effective at attracting and holding deer as a 5 acre field of corn will?
    Winke Responds:
    Eric, I think under certain conditions, certain things are more attractive than other things. For example, when it gets really cold here the deer will definitely favor corn. However, they will eat other things in the absence of corn. I am planting a bit of corn this year, but not very much. Mostly beans, brassicas and clover. Last year I didn't plant any corn. It is too expensive and too risky. Corn doesn't do well if the spring is too wet. Beans are a better grain for me than corn because they are cheaper to plant and less risky of a crop failure. However, they don't yeild as many bushels if the crop comes off well as corn does if it comes off well. I think some deer may leave for corn elsewhere, but many will stay. If there is no corn elsewhere, my guess is that the deer won't leave if you are offering them something they like. Variety is also a good thing (grain, clover and brassicas in a good mix is the ideal solution). I don't know much about baiting versus food plots. I do know that if you are going to offer the same amount of food, growing it is much cheaper. If it weren't farmers would be out of business. Think about it. I like plots better than bait. It just feels better to me, but I will never condemn something that is legal. Good luck. (4-20-12)
  • Chris from LA asks:
    Hi Bill. I'm headed up to NE Kansas the second weekend of May to try for a gobbler. I didn't get to do it last year due to the high water and my job. I'm planning on bringing some Trophy Rocks and some blocks from Hunter's Specialty also. I am considering planting some clover also while we are there. Will that be too late?
    Winke Responds:
    Chris, I think you will be pushing it pretty hard on that timing. If you hit a dry June the small seedlings will get toasted and die. You can try it and see if it works and if it doesn't, you can then come back in late July and just plant brassicas like the Big N Beasty from Frigid Forage that we plant here. Good luck with the birds and plots. (4-19-12)
  • Greg from PA asks:
    Hi Bill, Greetings from central Pa. I was wondering what your mixture is for using roundup for killing weeds in a clover foodplot. Always enjoy your show the internet and thanks for your input. Greg Colyer
    Winke Responds:
    Greg, I was told that using 1 quart of RU per acre of plot (mix as needed depending on application amount) will kill everything but the clover, but then I have also heard from other sources that it can be very touchy if you don't hit the mix perfectly. So I have decided to just use Select Plus to kill grass in the plots and then mow it to clean up the broadleaf plants. You can experiment with a small plot of clover somewhere with the RU mix, but I wouldn't do a big area until you get it tweaked in. Good luck. (4-19-12)
  • andrew from MI asks:
    opps, when I read my question I asked about brassicas I states we have a 1000 plus deer per square mile. I meant 100 hit an extra zero, sorry bill! lol 1000 would be a real problem. They already consume everything as is! I put around 5 acres of brasssicas on the one 40 acre parcel, with great success. we do also have a great crop balance going as well So there is food readdily available to them all fall. The deer deffinetly begin feeding on the brassicas as soon as they get about 3 inches tall. what I have experineced is the brassicas out grow the consumption rate. I did have one plot they over ate. I just went and broadcast oats right into it the first week of september. Worked great. Its funny I can't even plant soybeans on this place, they will have every plant ate off by July. tired a few acres of them a year ago. Seems all I can get to work is brassicas, oats, and winter wheat. I do have a few clover plots but the maintenence on them to control weeds is alot for the lo
    Winke Responds:
    Andrew, I thought that seemed a bit high! Thanks for the input on what will make it through the deer barrage. Good luck to you this fall. (4-17-12)
  • rob from IA asks:
    Hi Bill 100 deer per sq mile on your place? now i`m not going to say you do`nt know your land but some of the late season videos during the DG5 buck hunts sure looked like at least 60 were right in front of you! I can`t believe some of the footage you had late season. BTW would you ever consider buying 80 ac of land that is 100% timber and in the timber reserve program? i`ve studied the program a bit and it sounds like i can take it out if i want to. what are your experiences with it?
    Winke Responds:
    Rob, That late season stuff can be very misguiding. If you have food plots you will pull a lot of deer from other properties. Mostly it seems like you are pulling does, but pull them you do. Also, I am sure we never had more than 30 to 35 on that field. However, you can't trust late season numbers if you have food plots. Most of our farm is in timber reserve. There is no real downside to it. You can't pasture it and you can't take pay hunters on that ground, but you can cut the timber as long as you maintain the required minimum tree count per acre to qualify. I would definitely consider that piece if I were you. Good luck. (4-14-12)
  • Tim from MI asks:
    Fertilizing clover question, Liked the food plot show, I need to fertilize my clover plots again, The ground is in CRP until next year and has been farmed 20 yrs ago. I planted tested, fertilized and limed several years ago, soil PH >6.5. I have about 5 acres in 10 plots. I am thinking on 6-24-24 as is is available redily available in 50 lb bags for $20. How many pounds per acre should I put on of 6-24-24. Or do you have a better options. Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Tim, I think that mix looks fine, but I would just double the recommended rate so you effectively have 12-48-48. I generally get all the way up to 60 units on my P & K, but you can likely get by with less. If you really want to hit it then triple the rate. The clover will eat it up. Clover is fertility sensitive and will do much better in fertile soil than in unfertilized soil. Hope that helps. Good luck. (4-13-12)
  • andrew from MI asks:
    Bill, I am just curious as to why you recommend not putting brassicas in small plots in the woods. I read that on ask winke alot. I have had great success with a mix similar to big and beasty in the woods! We have a extremely high deer density to. The square mile I live in and hunt hads around 1000 plus deer at any given time on it. It used to be i could see 200 deer on a single decemeber bow hunt. we are a winter ground for our area. Agressive doe mangament to say the least has gotten it some what in check. I have 6 in the woods food plots and have had great success with brassicas. Just curious as to what you have experienced with planting of brassicas in these places. Thanks Bill!
    Winke Responds:
    Andrew, Maybe the deer feed differently in different settings, but I have seen them wipe out brassicas here in September before they ever become useful for hunting. Our deer love them even during the summer. So possibly, your deer are more like the classic herd that wait until the frosts come to focus on brassicas. If I planted it here in small plots under an acre they would wipe it out and our deer density is more like about 100 deer per square mile or less! Amazing that you can support that many deer in such a small area. They must not be there during the summer when the brassicas are growing or I can't see how they are not wiping it out. Good information. Have a great day. (4-13-12)
  • Frank from NY asks:
    I have a small field on top of a drumland ( Drumland is hill left behind as glaciers reseated ) thick brush on both sides. The ground is very Rocky as the top of drumlands usually are . Is there a no plow plant that would work in this soil.
    Winke Responds:
    Frank, That is challenging. Brassicas have a way of working most anywhere. Another plant that deer eat that is very well adapted to rough settings is sweet clover. It is not in the white or red family, but is a very tall clover with a yellow flower. Often the road department uses it around here to stabilize the worst slopes and nastiest places because it grows fast and will grow almost anywhere. I have planted it in a couple of spots here and the deer do eat it - though not as much as they eat the reds and whites. Again, brassicas are another decent choice. Fertilizer will be important in this setting too. Good luck. (4-14-12)
  • Collin from MN asks:
    I am thinking about planting a plot screen and am wondering if you've used them and your thoughts on them.This might be a good episode!
    Winke Responds:
    Collin, We did one on that last year. I can't remember the episode. Jason Vickerman had one that we profiled. We will likely do another this year. They work great, plain and simple. I am going to plant several of them this year. Good luck. (4-11-12)
  • Michael from ON asks:
    Hey Bill... I am going to be starting my first food plot... The area now has some overgrown grass but its not overly thick. The plan is to use round up, drag a harrow, lime, plant before a rain then fertilize. What is the best roundup mixture for the initial kill? Area will be approx 1/2 acre or so... Will be clover and Big n Beasty... Thanks, Michael
    Winke Responds:
    Michael, Don't forget fertilizer. If you put on nitrogen you will likely need to incorporate it (get it into the ground). Talk to someone at the local ag co-op to see what they think will work. Plant the Big N Beasty in the summer (mid to late July in your area). You can plant the clover then too, but it won't be very big by fall. You will need to apply the RoundUp based on the package instructions. Some of those are more concentrated than others. Typical blend is 2 quarts mixed with enough water to cover an acre. I am sure you can get by with a single quart, but it is hard to apply accurately in small plots, so I would go a bit heavier with 1 1/2 quarts in your mix. Again, that is enough to do the entire plot. Good luck. (4-11-12)
  • Paul from MN asks:
    Bill, Great show with tons of info! I planted clover with field rye as a cover crop in the fall last year. The rye is coming up this spring along with the clover. Should I just let the rye keep coming up and assume it will eventually die off after mowing throughout the spring and summer or should I spray a herbicide on it? I would have the same question if I used oats as the cover crop. As a side note, Arrow 2EC (Clethodim) is a great cheaper grass herbicide for clover plots. I used last year and it worked great, then I seeded more clover after spraying. Thank you!
    Winke Responds:
    Paul, Oats is an annual. You don't have to worry about taking over. There are two types of rye, annual and perennial. If the rye you planted is a perennial, you will need to spray to kill it. If not, no big deal. If you don't know, best to safe than sorry and spray it. Thanks for the info and support. Have a greast day. (3-31-12)
  • Doug from MO asks:
    Bill, I have 177 acres in Nortwest Missouri. 60 acres is a rectangular block of timber and the remainder is crp to the north. Row crops are primarily north of our farm and to the east, west and south are pasture and alfalfa. The crp is up for renewal. I can re-plant to cp-2, cp-4d or cp25. What would your ideal combination be for the crp grass?
    Winke Responds:
    Doug, I can't remember what those codes all mean, but if you think you are going to keep it in CRP long-term, I would ask them about the "trees in CRP" program and see what options still exist. That was a viable option a few years ago. I would mix that with switchgrass planting to create edge (irregular shaped areas of each). If the trees are not an option, I would consider a switchgrass (not a warm season) planting. The traditional warm season plantings include bluestem and Indian grass and they tend to lay down with a snowfall wheareas the switchgrass stands much better. Again, not sure how that fits into the listed options, but see what you can come up with. Good luck. (3-31-12)
  • Mark from MI asks:
    I live in Michigan, own propery south of South Haven Michigan, I have been setting up food plots for deer and turkeys for years. I am going to try something new this year, I got a field pea from North Dakota, it is a pea that they plant and then cut it for hay prior to the pod developing and it will continue to grow back and then in August they leave it alone for it to grow a pod on it and then they run there cattle through it for winter feed. My question is, last fall I planted winter wheat, the wheat came up, can I use my corn planter and plant the pea seed or do I need to till up the winter wheat. Also can I cut oats and wheat before the heads come on and will the wheat or oats continue to grow? I would like to set up hay stacks for the animals in the winter. Generally the deer move out of the area due to the snow accumulation, I am about 3 miles away from Lake Michigan. Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Mark, I think you would be fine to plant the pea into the winter wheat. Some plants create a kind of toxicity that keeps competition down, and I do think that wheat does that. But I know farmers often double-crop wheat by following it in the spring with soybeans (same family as peas) so my guess is that the legumes are immune. I would look into that. I think it is called Auto-toxicity or something like that. Otherwise, the plan sounds good. Best regards. (3-29-12)
  • Larry from MI asks:
    Hi Bill, I have small late season kill plot of brassica's that you recommended that worked great and I will do the same again this season than rotate. What clover can I plant in another area on my property that will keep deer feeding this summer in to bow season. Also when is the best time to plant. I am in southern Michigan. Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Larry, I have been using the clover blend from the same company that I recommended for the brassicas (Frigid Forage - their Trophy Clover blend). As soon as the fields are dried enough to till the soil would be a good time to plant. Don't go must past late April because you can run into a dry summer and kill the newly germinated seedlings that first year if you wait too long. Good luck. (3-29-12)
  • Matt from WI asks:
    Hey Bill, great show. I see alot of questions about food plots and small areas. I'm dealing with the total opposite. There is a ton of farm land around me with corn, alfalfa, beans, and oats every year. The deer definately eat healthy most of the year. I have a couple areas of ground that my dad logged a few years back that are all grown up in weeds. Not really much to offer the deer other then cover during gun hunting. So being a farm boy and planting oats and alfalfa together harvesting the oats the first year and hay the next 3 do you think it would work just as well for fall planting of oats and clover? Im just looking for something to offer them in the late season that they don't have in neighbors fields. I was thinking on oats since they grow fast and will give good cover to the clover this fall. Thanks bud.
    Winke Responds:
    Matt, For sure. That would work great. Deer do like oats both when they are ripe in the late summer and fall and when they are lush and growing. That is why some people plant oats in August for their fall plots (of course they will be green then and not headed out and rip). I have seen deer swarm to ripe oats fields up in Alberta during the mid-fall. Most places here in the States that I have hunted the oats get combined earlier, but the ripe heads have a definite appeal to the deer. While I don't think the oats are as strong of a draw as soybeans, corn and brassicas late in the year, they will likely draw better than clover at that time assuming the oats aren't wiped out by birds and deer earlier in the fall. It is worth a try and if you are planting the clover anyway, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by adding the oats to see how the deer relate to them late in the year. Good luck. (3-27-12)
  • peadar from OT asks:
    hi bill. Im from ireland and i watch your show its great.im interested in food plots and i will be doin one about 1 16th of an acre.as i cant get my hands on some frigid forage seed every year so i need a long lasting food plot which would last about 2 to 3 years my food plot would be in the wood all the best from ireland
    Winke Responds:
    Peadar, I appreciate the support from Ireland. Very cool. Your best option is going to be a localized clover for a couple of reasons. First, your climate there is somewhat unique. Not saying clovers from here might not work, but to be safe I would talk with an ag person over there about what clover hybrids and varieties do the best over there. We find that clovers in the white clover family tend to be more attractive to deer and have a big higher protein levels than reds, but the difference is small. Don't sweat it if the best variety for you is a red clover. I am guessing that you are looking at fallow deer, and if they are like whitetails from the standpoint of preferences, they will really like the clover plot. Plus, a small plot like that has to be able to take the grazing pressure and clovers can take it better than most other possible choices and the two to three life span is about what you will get with clover. Finally, clover does OK, but not great with less than full daily sunlight. I would try to drop a strategic tree or two if posssible to open it up as much as possible for sunlight. I hope that helps. Good luck. (3-26-12)
  • Dustin from IL asks:
    Hey Bill, I planted some big n beasty last fall and then interseeded clover in with it. Had planned on the big n beasty to winterkill and then have clover come up this spring, but with the mild winter the big n beasty is still growing! The clover is coming in good too. Is there anything I can spray on the big n beasty or should I just wait until I mow the clover and hope that kills the big n beasty off? Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Dustin, That is funny. What a winter. I have done this before too. It is a very good strategy. The Big N Beast won't like the mowing whereas the clover will do fine. That is your best option. Mow it as soon as it makes sense and keep it pretty low. That should clean up the field enough to give the clover a good advantage. Good luck. (3-22-12)
  • Brandon from KY asks:
    Hey Bill, I know you are busy as always but I left off the 1 infront of my 8, so 18 oz. is what was meant. I pulled up the label online. In most cases 22-44 ounces per acre are recommended of Round Up Power Max. I doubt you need this information but just incase you or someone you know does here ya go. Keep up the good work, you have a great show! This website has the information on all types of round up. http://fs1.agrian.com/pdfs/Roundup_PowerMAX_Herbicide_Supplemental_Label7g.pdf
    Winke Responds:
    Brandon, That may be a more concentrated brand. Typical label for most RoundUp is 48 to 64 ounces per acre. The Power Max must be pretty sout. Thanks for the updated information. I think I would shy away from the Power Max for cleaning up clover. Best regards. (3-20-12)
  • Randy from IN asks:
    First of all, I love the web site. I visit it at least once a week. My buddy and I just leased a property (our first). The owner is great and already has several food plots on the property (clover and turnips). Some of these appear to need attention. Should we rotate these plots each year and is there other plot we should consider adding beside the clover and turnips that are already there? With the warm weather we are already having, when and what if anything shoulod we be planting. Owner has equipment we just need to provide the seed. Thanks Randy
    Winke Responds:
    Randy, I would definitely rotate those crops this year and then make up a final plan from there. There is a lot that goes into the equation, plot size, plot location, size. So I can't make long-term recommendations without knowing a lot more, but I can say that you definitely need to rotate those crops at least every other year. You can plant the clover right now if the soil permits. It is not too soon. The brassicas will need to wait until late July or early August in your area. You can plant it all to clover now and then plow down the clover in the brassica plots to help with nutrients and spring foods. In that case, plant the cheapest clover seed you can find for the areas you are going to disk under (probably red clover from the local co-op) and save the good clover blends for the areas you are going to keep in clover for the fall. Or you can just fallow (rest) the areas you are going to plant into brassica this summer. Good luck. (3-20-12)
  • James from MN asks:
    Hi Bill. Just wanted to let you know I have sprayed 1 quart of round up on my clover for years. It really does work. Just a note tho, it does have a tendency to turn the clover yellow for a week or two after the spray. The clover bounces right back after that, but it does stress it a bit. So, I would recommend spraying half your plot at a time. As you know, spring is the time when bucks are eating clover to regain their body weight and antlers and does are providing nutrients for their fawns and milk so you don't want all your clover stressed during that time. Just a thought. Good luck with the food plots this season.
    Winke Responds:
    James, I appreciate it. Larry Zach does that too. I first saw this when trying to clean up old clover fields for planting to other crops. You really had to hit it hard to kill it and then you didn't get it all. Clover resists RoundUp better than anything I have seen. Thanks for the advice. Have a great day. (3-20-12)
  • Brandon from KY asks:
    Congrats on an awesome season. I recently watched an episode on frost seeding clover and you mentioned using a quart of round up for weed control in these plots. I have the concentrate and only use 8 oz. for 25 gal. of water to spray my corn and beans and feel very confident this small amount will kill my clover plots. Could you please elaborate on this process some more before I risk destroying all of my hard work.
    Winke Responds:
    Brandon, I have not tried this myself yet. It is something I have had two people tell me. I seriously doubt that 8 oz. of RoundUp in 25 gallons spread over any area at all will kill the clover. I am not sure it wouild even kill my grass. I use about 1 to 1 1/2 quarts per acre when killing grass in my beans and corn and 2 quarts per acre when killing sod or clover. You must be off a bit on your numbres. But the best way to be sure is to test a small area. If it works there, you can do the entire field. RoundUp will work all during the growing season, so you don't have to treat the clover plot right now to clean it up. Test one small area and then expand if it works. Otherwise, you can stick to grass herbicides like Select and mow to remove broadleaf competition. Good luck. (3-20-12)
  • Vance from IA asks:
    With the weather the way it is when would you suggest planting food plots especially Imperial Power Plant or lab lab bean forage. I'm in southern Iowa.
    Winke Responds:
    Vance, Personally, I am going to wait until the traditional planting dates. You still have a frost risk up until about mid-April or shortly after. Seeding clover and oats and such is fine, but seeding grains such as soybeans and lablab is riskier. Corn is even riskier yet. I would definitely wait until the traditional frost-free date for the corn. Good luck. (3-20-12)
  • donnie fry from NY asks:
    hey bill i was wondering when the best time to start growing food plots is? i want to grow small plots in wooded areas that get about half a days sunlight
    Winke Responds:
    Donnie, You should probably plant those to clover at first until you figure out how hard the deer will hit them. Clover is a great choice here. It does OK (not great but OK) with 1/2 day of sun. You can plant that now - as soon as the ground is dry enough to work. Good luck. (3-20-12)
  • Rory from OT asks:
    HI BILL Would a 6 acre woodland with heavy enough cover be good for a food plot.the deer use it as a corridor to get from one property to another.i am allowed to hunt on the other propertys but i want to try to keep the deer on my own land all the best
    Winke Responds:
    Rory, Sure, deer will find the food, even if you only put in a small plot of 1/2 acre. But you have to be careful how much you hunt it and how you hunt it or they will get wise to you fast and only hit it at night. Good luck. (3-18-12)
  • Paul from MN asks:
    Bill, Love the tips from some of some of your viewers, so thought I would pass along anther tip since the frost seeding and planting season is upon us. For clovers and other small seeds like brassica add Milorganite to your seed 50/50 or thereabouts so you have less chance of wasting seed or running out of seed before you cover your plot. Milorganite, as I'm sure you know, is about the same size as clover and brassica seeds.
    Winke Responds:
    Paul, Good tip. It is easier to equally spread a lot of seed than just a bit. If you are off on your settings with a small amount of seed in the spreader, you can put out way too much seed too fast. For those who may not know, milorganite is a form of fertilizer. Best regards. (3-16-12)
  • David from MI asks:
    Hey Bill love the show, I check the website everyday. I am from northern Michigan where I have very sandy soil. I have had success with different types of wheats, oats, and ryes but when I try anything else it doesn't grow worth a crap. I have tried fall and spring plantings of turnips and brassicas to try and get them established with minimal success. I also do not want to spend a ton on fertilizer. Does frigid forage offer anything that will TRULY work in sandy soil that is not just grasses??
    Winke Responds:
    David, I am no agronomist, that is for sure. So for me to give advice here would be foolish. I would call John at Frigid Forage. He will shoot straight with you. You may need something that is drought hardy. I have had good luck with sorghum in dry conditions. Also, chicory can do well in those conditions. Our deer don't eat them, for some reason, so just because you can grow it doesn't mean the deer will eat it. Better talk with someone who really understands that stuff. Good luck. (3-15-12)
  • Michael from OH asks:
    I watched your show today,3/6/2012, and was intrigued by the "planting brassicas" subject matter. I was wondering: what's the brandname and how much would I need for a couple acres to plant late summer in Southeastern Ohio? Where can I purchase what I need? I have the farm equipment and seed spreader. All I need to know is what to buy. By the way, I really enjoy the show and look forward to the e-mail subscription. I have bowhunted for 30+ years and am just getting into the food plot fun. Thank You and take care Mike
    Winke Responds:
    Michael, We use Frigid Forage Big N Beasty. You can get all the information you need to plant them effectively right on their website (www.frigidforage.com). We have a lot of guys planting it very effectively in OH, so I am sure it will do well there. You will get a real thrill from food plots and hunting them. It is a lot of fun. Good luck. (3-12-12)
  • Casper from WI asks:
    Hey Bill, love the show. My question is about food plots. What would you recommend for a 60'X60' plot in the middle of the woods on the top of a ridge. It is a south facing ridge and I believe it will get plenty of sun. I don't have the equipment to get a four wheeler or tractor in there so it has to be a no plow seed. Thanks!
    Winke Responds:
    Casper, Thanks for the support. I would plant clover. First though, I would cut back any trees overhanging the food plot to open it up for more sunlight. 60 x 60 is pretty small in the middle of the timber. You need to be sure to get as much sunlight on that as possible. You will have to do some prep work. Spray with RoundUp as soon as the grasses get growing good (probably mid-April there) and then wait about ten days. Rake the dead grass and other residue off. You need to get right down to the soil so that you can get good seed to soil contact. That will assure that when it rains, the clover will nestle into the ground germinate and not lay stranded on top of the grass or leaves. You will also need to fertilize it so plan on having a handspreader available. On something that size, you might almost be able to lightly "till" it with the garden rake to make seed to soil contact even better. Good luck. (3-6-12)
  • Donnie from NY asks:
    hey bill i was wondering what type of food plot to grow along a creek in a decent sized clear cut would be. This set up is used as an all year mineral site what else can help?
    Winke Responds:
    Donnie, A good bet is to plant 1/2 to clover and 1/2 to brassicas. I plant Pure Trophy Clover and Big N Beasty brassica blend (both from Frigid Forage). Every other year, rotate them. In other words, two years in each spot and then plant the brassica where the clover was and vice versa. This will work well and is what I recommend up to about 3 acres. Bigger than 3 acres and soybeans might also be a decent option. I don't like small bean plots unless you have low to moderate deer numbers. The clover you plant in the spring, the brassicas in late summer around late July. Good luck. (3-3-12)
  • Aaron from IA asks:
    Have you talked with Dr. Grant about Eagle Forage Soybeans? I see he is on their website and plants a bunch of it on his farm. Looks like he would be a good resource for information. I am planning on trying some myself this year and hope they are as good as they look. Dr. Grant did a show about how they are shatter resistant unlike regular grain beans, should make them a better fall/winter feeding choice, I would think. Good Luck this season, looking forward to watching. Have you ever thought about writing a book about land management? Thanks for the shows
    Winke Responds:
    Aaron, I have taken that information from Grant to heart. I have a lot of respect for what he says. I always have. Being shatter-resistant is a big deal, as you know. We had a real problem with shatter (beans falling out of the pods) last fall. I just haven't tested them for myself yet, that is all. One of my neighbors planted them and the deer didn't hit them nearly as hard in the late season as they did a field of conventional beans nearby. That is the only personal observation I have had. I will give them a try and form my own thoughts. Books are tough to sell and they take a long time to write. Maybe when things slow down. Thanks for the support and good luck. (3-1-12)
  • cody from MN asks:
    We are going to plant a food plot in native ground. Do you think if we till it up a few times and wait, let vegetation grow then spray it or till it again we can plant and get good success with big n beasty?
    Winke Responds:
    Cody, Yes, definitely. Spray first, wait two weeks and till it. You would have to do that pretty early though, like in June so that you have time for some regrowth before you spray again and do the final tillage and planting in early August. Good luck. (2-26-12)
  • cody from MN asks:
    Have you ever tried using non-GMO corn? Friends of mine have used it and say deer will walk right past round-up corn because it's more sweet and will even eat it in the summer. Also, have you heard of these forage beans that grow pretty tall? Your thoughts please.
    Winke Responds:
    Cody, I used it all the time before there was RoundUp corn. Personally, I don't really want the deer eating my corn in the summer. I think the easy weed control for RR corn is worth it. I can remember the issues we used to have with affordable chemical application with non-RR corn and I don't care to go back to that. I have not tried the forage beans but I have heard that they are very productive especially for summer and early fall forage. I am not sure how they do for producing beans that deer want during the winter. I have to learn more about them before I would get on that bandwagon. Some of my neighbors planted them and the deer didn't hit them very hard in the winter, so the jury is still out on them for me. Best of luck. (2-26-12)
  • gary from WI asks:
    Do you plant eagle beans? Checked with the company today and was told they won't produce much for beans here in Wisconsin. Was told not to mix them as they get so tall they will shade out the regular soybeans. Thoughts? Gary
    Winke Responds:
    Gary, I haven't planted them yet, but I may experiment with them in my area this year. Some of my neighbors have planted them, but I have not. I think they make sense in some situation whereas in other situations they may not. I still want highly productive winter food sources so I will always be reluctant to plant something that doesn't produce a good winter crop. I should know more in the future. I just need to learn more about them first-hand before I have an opinion. Good luck. (2-23-12)
  • Will from IL asks:
    Hey Bill, I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction of company you recommend to buy acorns from for direct nut seeding? Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Will, Contact your local NRCS office to get the name of the district forester in your area. Then see if he/she knows of people who are collecting them to sell. That is the easiest route. I have found that a lot of people do it that you never hear about unless you start asking. Good luck. (2-20-12)
  • Brian from MN asks:
    I had the question about planting in peat swamp and was thinking sence peat is very low in nutriance should i fertilze first and how much do you think
    Winke Responds:
    Brian, You definitely need fertilizer. Best to call John at Frigid Forage. I am sure it on the bag too, but he knows all about that kind of thing and can walk you through it easily. Good luck. (2-20-12)
  • Brian from MN asks:
    What can i plant in a peat swamp that i can use for a food plot? I have lots of peat swamp on my hunting land and want to make more food plots and was curious what grows in peat dirt the swamp is fairly wet in spring but usually dries up nice by begining of july
    Winke Responds:
    Brian, I would go with the brassica blend. Frigid Forage is right there in MN and their Big N Beasty would be ideal for that area in that kind of soil. It is a blend so there are some plants that will do better in wet years and others will do better in dry years so you should always have something. You plant it in late July in that area. Good luck. (2-17-12)
  • Brandon from MO asks:
    Bill, With this Winter being very mild, I had a few questions on frost seeding clover prior to trying it. When is the best time to frost seed clover? What weather and temperature patterns do you look for prior to seeding this way? Last, do you change your seeding rate if you are overseeding an existing clover plot versus frost seeding on a brand new plot? Thanks Bill.
    Winke Responds:
    Brandon, February would be a good time, you want to get a few freezes and thaws on the seed to help bury it a short distance into the ground. If you are going into existing clover, your biggest challenge will be to get good seed-to-soil contact because some of the see will hang up on existing residue and never germinate. For that reason, I would keep the same seeding rate to compensate for the seeds that never make it to the ground. Good luck. (2-14-12)
  • Matthew from OK asks:
    Hey bill, one more question, when is the best time to kill my grass before planting my food plot and how long should i wait to plant after i spray it? thanks.
    Winke Responds:
    Matthew, It is really a soil temperature thing, but I would say in your area, late April will work. With most glyphosate killers (RoundUp and variants), wait ten days or so to till and then plant immediately if spring blends like clover. If you are planting a fall blend like Big N Beasty, spray in late July and till and plant in mid-August or a bit later. You try to time any good late summer rains when planting the fall seeding. That way you get a nice jump start on germination. You can't afford to miss a single late summer rain so watch the weather and make sure to get the seed in the ground if there is rain the forecast past about the first of August. Good luck. (2-3-12)
  • Jacob from MI asks:
    When did you frost seed last year? are you planning on the same time this year? and lastly would these times roughly coincide with when I should Frost seed here in MI.
    Winke Responds:
    Jacob, I may frost seed some of the plots that got killed off from the drought, but some of those are bouncing back surprisingly well on their own. I did my frost seeding in February last year (late Feb.). Anything in that time frame would be good for MI and other parts of the Midwest. Good luck. (2-3-12)
  • Johnny from OH asks:
    Thanks for putting on such a great show. With this season ending, I am already looking forward to next. I am planning on putting in a few half acre or so plots this spring. I am on a low budget so I will be purchasing my seed from my local CO-OP. I would appreciate it if you could tell me what types of clovers or other spring seeds have worked well for you. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
    Winke Responds:
    Johnny, You can save that way for sure, but even when I was on a budget, I always used the blends because they tended to do better. My co-op blends often did well in good conditions but if we got too much rain one year, or too little, they tended to be less hardy. To answer your question, when I was doing it that way, I bought 2/3 ladino and 1/3 red clover. Ask for seeding rates when you buy and then adjust the amount you purchase to fit these ratios. Good luck. (2-2-12)
  • Alex from OH asks:
    Hello Mr. Winke first off I just want to say congratz one the Best Hunt Show Award all of you guys deserve it! I have about a half acre where I can put in a foodplot that is open and gets good sunlight. I'm having trouble holding deer and was wonder what frigid forage plot you think I should plant or should I do a half and half of 2 different mixes? Thanks, Alex
    Winke Responds:
    Alex, Thanks so much for the support. We all appreciate it. I think the ideal is 1/2 the plot to Big N Beasty and 1/2 to Trophy Clover blend, but given the small overall size, that might not be feasible. Again, if you don't mind the effort, that is the best strategy, Otherwise, I would plant Big N Beasty the first year, clover the next spring (possibly frost seeded that winter) and then back to Big N Beasty in two more years. One year brassica, two years clover and back to brassica again for a year. That is a good rotation for a single small plot. If you don't mind the effort, 1/2 to each and then rotate in two years. Good luck. (2-3-12)
  • Mike from MD asks:
    Portions of our farm drain very poorly. Are there any food plot recommendations that require little soil preparation and would do well in this type of condition?
    Winke Responds:
    Mike, There are certain clovers that do well in wetter soils. I believe alsyke is one of them. Take a look at that. The other option is to plant it on dry years to annuals like brassicas (dwarf Essex rape works well here) or even a green browse like oats, but wait until August to plant it. Good luck. (1-28-12)
  • drew from IL asks:
    This years shows were amazing i really learned alot from the shows. I hunt in Northern Il and I know that there are huge deer around. On the cameras ive seen huge bucks passing through wfor a few weeks at a time. the is no food on the 300 acre farm i hunt. This coming fall i was planning on planting a food plot out in the old cow pasture. 1. ive always hunting deep in the timber on oak ridges and dont realy know how to hunt a food source 2.how big of a plot and what type of food do you suggest 3. when do i start preparing? should i plant spring or fall?
    Winke Responds:
    Drew, Thanks. I appreciate the support - thanks for watching. 1. The trickiest part, by far, is figuring out how you will get away from the food plot at the end of legal shooting time without alerting any of the deer nearby. There are three ways that will work. First, arrange for someone to come and blow the field - run the deer off with a vehicle or ATV so you can slip out. That works pretty well, you just can't do that every evening. Second, you can plant something that you can sneak behind when it is time to leave. We have been experimenting with Frigid Forage Plot Screen for this purpose and it works well. I would suggest planting the outside 10 feet, or so, of the plot in the area where you plan to hunt in this mix so you can sneak away unseen. By sneaking away, I am talking about taking the long way - straight away from the stand and from the field - don't try to skirt the edge - that doesn't work. Third, you can hunt staging areas or trails that the deer go past or through on their way to their nighttime feeding area. This works well because the deer are gone by the time you climb down - not hanging around nearby. I feel that you need to be at least 50 yards from the deer when you climb down to be able sneak away without alerting them. If you can do two 1-acre plots, that is better than one two-acre plot. Spread them out a bit and that spreads the hunting pressure. If you can do more that is even better. I like rotating them between clover and brassica blends (Frigid Forage Big N Beasty has worked well for us). Rotate the planting every two years. If you can plant bigger plots you may consider soybeans as another good option. Clover is a spring planting in your area and Big N Beasty is an August planting. There is much to learn about soil prep, so be sure to do a bit of research (call Frigid Forage for details). Good luck. (1-27-12)
  • BoB from IA asks:
    I am thinking of planting fridge forage this upcoming season. When is the best time to plant Big-N-Beasty (month) and Wild Game Buffet (month) for here in Iowa?? Thanks for your time and hope to see you at the Iowa Deer Classic.
    Winke Responds:
    Bob, I will be at the Deer Classic Friday evening for a while and most of the day Saturday. The other guys from the office will be there the entire weekend so be sure to stop by and talk with them. Big N Beasty goes into the ground in early August in Iowa (or really from late July through early September). I like this time frame for planting because generally it is much easier to get into the field than in the spring. Wild Game Buffet goes into the ground either in the spring (my preference) at the same time as the Big N Beasty. To get the most out of it the first year, you should plant in the spring, but if you can't get into the field because of weather, then an August planting will work too, but will not produce much forage the first year. Wild Game Buffet is primarily a clover blend so it will come back for roughly three years, meaning that even if you plant it in August or early September and don't get much growth the first year you will benefit for a couple of years into the future. Big N Beasty is an annual meaning you have to plant it every year - you should rotate it with a different food plot crop after two years (ideally every year). Good luck. (1-23-12)
  • Tim from MI asks:
    I have a farmall 65hp tractor. 140 acres with 3 and soon to be 6 food plots. Some will be in woods and some in open fields. I am considering purchasing either a all-in-one food plot planter or would it be better just to use a rototiller and spread seed with hand planter? Plots avg half acre. Just worried roots and / or rocks might be too much for rototiller.
    Winke Responds:
    Tim, I am not a fan of the all in one machines. I would much rather have a roto tiller and maybe a small Brillion planter when the time comes to spend more money again. The tiller and a sprayer will do most of what you need. You can always hand seed and then drag something over the plot to incorporate or find a cheap cultipacker. I have seen some that you can fill with water so they are very easy to move when they are empty and then fill them for use when you need to pack the seed into the ground. A good tiller can handle some roots and rocks without much trouble. We have used the Maschio brand and they do a great job. Size it to fit the PTO output of your tractor so you get good performance from the tiller. Bigger would seem to be better but it isn't always. Good luck. (1-8-12)
  • Kaden from IA asks:
    Hey Bill, I was wondering what your take is on turnips? I have never seen any turnip plots on your property so I am debating the quality of them. Are they good for late season, with snow on the ground or do they stick to corn and beans by that time? thanks.
    Winke Responds:
    Kaden, I plant Frigid Forage Big N Beasty (a blend of brassicas including some varieties of turnips) but we have had some really tough growing seasons for brassicas in this area. This year it was way too dry for mid-summer planting here in my area and in past years it was too wet in the areas where I planted them (bottoms). I do think they work awesome. Jason Vickerman has had very good success with his in this general area as have a few other people. Brassicas will draw deer very well with snow on the ground. Corn is so expensive to plant, beans are fine for a year or so, but you need a rotatation and the brassicas are the ultimate rotation. You can't plant them year after year after year, but in rotation with beans they work very well or in rotation with clover in smaller plots. Good luck. Happy New Year (12-31-11)
  • Josh from OH asks:
    hey, congrats to you and andrew on the big bucks! i love your shows and watch them every day. im wondering what you think makes the best late season food plot? and do deer hit corn or soybeans the most in the winter? thanks and good luck on the G4 buck.
    Winke Responds:
    Josh, Best late season plots are corn, soybeans and brassicas. Those work the best for us and are a good choice througout the Midwest. Good luck and thanks. Happy New Year. (12-39-11)
  • Ken from MI asks:
    Bill Great show. I have been planting turnips and rape for several years in my food plots. I have tried to rotate the crops with some cerial grains, but in some plots I need to plant the brassicas year after year. I do use fertilizer. Does this harm the soil? ?Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Ken, Agronomy experts don't recommend planting brassicas in the same plots for more than two years in a row. I am not sure why, but I have been told that several times. Twice in a row is fine (use a lot of fertilizer the second year) but the plant creates some kind of toxicity or something that must be broken by rotating to a different crop after two years. Good luck. Happy New Year. (12-28-11)
  • Mark from MN asks:
    I came into permission to hunt 40 acres adjacent to a 5 mile preserve with no hunting. The farmer has a 8 acre field on it that runs along the MN river and floods early. there are lots of acorns already there. never done food plots before and just wondering if you have seen more success with beans/corn/alfalfa, or other mixes? Thank you for any advice.
    Winke Responds:
    Mark, Beans and corn might now work depending on when the flood occurs and when it goes down. To plant those crops up in your area you need to be in the field by early June at the latest. That means the ground needs to dry down by then. Alfalfa won't work there and clover won't either because they won't take the standing water for part of the year. They will die. If the water comes down too late for beans and corn, consider a brassica blend such as Frigig Forage's Big N Beasty. You plant that in late July and early August so generally the ground will be dried out and ready for planting. Don't be intimidated by the food plots. Even if you fail the first year you will learn a lot and then you can apply that the next year. Generally, if you will just follow the instructions on the bag you will do fine. I would start with the Big N Beasty and then see how that goes before trying something else. Good luck. Merry Christmas. (12-16-11)
  • Steve from WI asks:
    Bill, Love the show! My question is on food plots. I live in southern Wisconsin and just started to hunt some new land this year. I'd like to start a small food plot next year. It will probably be around 150-200 feet long by 30-50 feet wide. My question is what do you think would be the best crop to grow? The deer in the area will have other farm fields and mast crops to eat but I don't want mine to get totally wiped out before the late season. When/what do you recommend that I plant? Thanks Bill and kep up the great show.
    Winke Responds:
    Steve, I think I would put a brassica blend like Frigid Forage Big N Beasty on one half (lengthwise) and a clover blend (Frigid Forage makes a good clover blend too) on the other half. So when you are looking at the plot, you see one long strip of clover next to one long strip of brassicas so no matter where they come out, they have both in front of them. The clover will take some of the pressure in the summer and early and the brassicas will be the crop they go after in November and December. After two years rotate them. Good luck and Merry Christmas. (12-13-11)
  • Tim from WI asks:
    Congrats to your son on a great buck. He killed the deer over a 1 acre AG beans plot. What is the approximate cost to put in a 1 acre plot of AG beans? Will the deer wipe out a small 1 acre plot before IA slug season? Our farm is 350 acres and we would like to put in 2 or 3 bean plots. The rest of of the tillable on the farm is CRP. Thanks!
    Winke Responds:
    Tim, Thanks. With limited food sources around the deer will focus on the food plots and can wipe out beans during the summer. Maybe a better bet is to run a strip of forage beans next to a strip of ag beans, etc. to make sure that you have something for the deer to hit during the summer and also a good attractive food source for late season. If the deer numbers aren't too high, the ag beans will make it, but if the numbers are moderate to high, the deer will get them in the summer. It is worth a try to see what happens, ag beans aren't expensive to grow and the first year will give you a good test. Just keep in mind that after the first year, you have lost the element of surprise and the deer will be waiting for the plot the second year and will hit it much harder. Good luck. (12-9-11)
  • Cody from WI asks:
    Hey bill..why do you prefer regular AG beans over forage beens? If the beens are still green and lush, won't the deer go for them over AG beans that are dryed up by now? Whats your reason for planting AG beans? And what brand of AG beans do you plant? Thanks Bill! And beatiful buck that Drew harvested there. Cngradulations!
    Winke Responds:
    Thanks Cody. I am still learning on this so my position my change. Actually, we found that after the first hard frost the forage beans are not green any longer and we really tailor our food plots for late season hunting (Drew's recent buck is an example of why). I want the kids to have great gun hunts so the food has to be good and attractive. Watching how the deer reacted to my neighbors' forage beans in the past few years made me think that for late season attraction, it is hard to beat ag beans. I think a mix of both might be a really good compromise. Good luck. (12-7-11)
  • JIM from IL asks:
    HI BILL, WHAT TYPE OF SOYBEAN SEED DO YOU PLANT. DO USE A FORAGE TYPE OF BEAN OR JUST WHAT EVER YOUR LOCAL FARM CO-OP SELLS. THANKS JIM
    Winke Responds:
    Jim, I use regular ag beans. I am looking at options, but it seems the deer prefer the regular ag beans during the late season when I am most interested in attracting deer. Good luck. (12-3-11)
  • josh from OK asks:
    hey Bill, i know you are sponsored by frigid forage but have you ever used the mossy oak biologic seed? I have a small bag of the chicory in my garage it will only plant about 1/4 of an acre and i have a spot picked out, do you think that small of an area could be an effective kill plot.as of right now i have nothing but a feeder set up in this area and have been seeing deer often. i would like to know your thoughts on this. i have also thought about adding some turnips to the mix or maybe a small amount of clover, i just need to get the most for my money with this.
    Winke Responds:
    Josh, I have never tried it, actually. I think that small of an area would be a great kill plot. I am not certain on chicory though. Maybe in some areas deer eat it, but not here. i have planted chicory from other seed companies and the deer don't eat it. I believe I would add the clover and then long-term turn that plot into a clover plot. Good luck. I will be curious if your deer eat chicory. (12-10-11)
  • Nick from IN asks:
    Bill, really enjoy your shows I watch them every morning while I'm having coffee before work I hunt a property that I am not able to take any type of equipment into to plant food plots I thought about some of the "no plow" products but there are so many mixed reviews on them what would be your suggestion
    Winke Responds:
    Nick, Some of that will work, but you still need to spray first and kill the competition and then disturb the topsoil so that when it rains the seed will get covered with dirt. If it is sitting on hard ground (or worse, on leaves) you will have a hard time growing anything. Rake the soil aggressively and then spread the seed. Clover will work, but I also believe even a blend like Frigid Forage Big N Beasty will do well broadcast under those conditions. You can do up to 1/4 acre like this without too much stress. Beyond that, you will need equipment. Good luck. (12-5-11)
  • Tyler from MI asks:
    i have a ? 4 for you. me and a couple friends an family members leased 240 acres near the big rapids area of michigan an were wondering how 2 get bigger bucks around and wat kind of food plots 2 plant. they r planting corn in the bigger feilds nxt year and the surrounding properties have one food plot an they have seen very large bucks but we just havent seen them on our property so again how do we bring them out where we will see them an wat kinda food plots should we plant
    Winke Responds:
    Tyler, To start with, I would focus on simple plots that are relatively easy to establish and produce a good return for the money. Corn is good, but it can expensive and if not done right, can produce little or nothing (especially in small plots with decent deer numbers). I would try to have at least two small plots (more is better) and plant one to clover and one to Brassicas like Frigid Forage Big N Beasty. I would try to keep the food plots to about 1/2 acre to one acre to make them easier to hunt over. Again, if you can come up with multiple spots, that is better. I would split them between clover (Frigid Forage also sells a good clover - I use it) and the Big N Beasty. Follow the bag instructions: plant the clover probably in the spring and the Big N Beasty in mid summer (Aug 1, roughly). Good luck. (12-2-11)
  • Dylan from MO asks:
    Hey bill, congrats on Daggers and G5...i love frigid forage products but if we have another summer like this past one i dont want to have to spend the money just for them to die before season..what can i do to ensure good growth..also will clover grow good in wooded areas? thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Dylan, Unfortunately, there is no guarantee when you put something into the ground that the weather will cooperate - welcome to farming. In general, a spring planted crop will get the moisture it needs in April and May - even June - to thrive. With fall planted crops if the weather patterns are very dry you can wait until you see rains coming on the forecast and then plant to minimize your risk of putting the seed in the ground and having a drought. You still need the seed on hand, but if it doesn't come rain you can always use the seed the next year. Those are the only ways I can think of to minimize risk. In general, clover does better than beans in the shaded areas, but it does need several hours (roughly five or six) of direct sunlight each day, so unless the wooded area is pretty open (sometimes you can cut some trees back to open it up), I would not think it will do well - better than most anything else, but still needs some sunlight. Good luck. (11-27-11)
  • Kevin from TN asks:
    Hello Bill. Big fan from Tennessee here. I just watched the video on "clover paths". I've been considering some things I could do as secondary food sources on our farm and timber tracts. We have oak groves and an acre food plot already. I like this idea of clearing better paths to stands and adding clover. My first question, being in Tennessee when should I begin to clear these trails out? When should I expect the clover to have value to the deer herd? How long into the season do the clover have this value? Should I just plant clover? Thanks for the help.
    Winke Responds:
    Kevin, I would clear them in the winter. Let the lanes grow up and get green in the spring and then hit them with RoundUp about mid-April in your area. Then give it about a week and till the lanes and plant them immediately. That will work pretty well. By fall you should have some very nice plots in these lanes. Be sure to follow the instructions on the bag relative to planting instructions. Good luck. (11-21-11)
  • Ryan from WI asks:
    Hey Bill, I have about a half an acre area in hardwoods that has been cleared of all the underbrush. It has a swamp on one side and is surrounded by hardwoods with heavy underbrush everywhere else. My dad and I were thinking of putting in a small food plot, and we were wondering what you would recommend planting to help hold deer in the area more, and maybe improve antler growth on the bucks. P.S. we live in very norhtern wisconsin if that changes anything.
    Winke Responds:
    Ryan, I would start with clover. It is the easiest for people to grow and is very productive and attractive. I still plant tons of it on our farm. Keep the plot on dry ground. Clove dosn't like ground that stays wet. 1/4 to 1/2 is a great size, several of them scattered around is even better. Good luck. (11-19-11)
  • Brett from KS asks:
    Mr. Winke, First I want to say thank you and your staff for providing a truly thrilling show. Congratulations on tagging the G5 Buck. I am unable to hunt this year as I am a full time student and work full time as well. So I am living my hunting season vicariously through you and your team. And I must say, well done! My question relates to food plots for very poor soil. I have access to a family farm in south-central Kansas. The region has seen drought conditions for several years. Additionally the soil is very sandy. What are some good options for summer and winter food plots that will produce in poor soil with little moisture? Thank you for your time. Brett
    Winke Responds:
    Brett, I have hunted that area (in Chautauqua County) and it can be pretty dry. One option is chicory. I am not sure how well your deer will like it. Our deer don't mess with it, but in some areas the deer eat it. It does well in tough conditions. Gary Swartz down in TX came up with a lablab blend that does well in poor, dry soils. It is kind of like a soybean but different. He markets it under the Tecomate label. You may also try the same Frigid Forage clover I have been using. It does OK in dry conditions. In general clover is not drought tolerant but if you can get a few inches of rain at the right times it does fine. It is not too expensive to plant so the risk is not super high if it doesn't take. Milo (sorghum) also does fairly well in dry conditions. that is grown regularly in KS and the deer do like it. Somewhere in that list is a solution. Ask an area extension agronomist (start at the USDA soil office in your county seat) to determine which solution they think will work in that area. Good luck. (11-17-11)
  • Jon from MN asks:
    Bill, We're getting anxious for November! We put in two small food plots consisting of half clover blend and half brassica blend (approximately an acre each) right around august first. They are located on untouched land within a couple hundred yards from a large pond. We didn't use fertilizer when we first planted thinking the ground would be fertile enough since it smells like a cow pasture after a good rain.. anyhow.. it initially took off very well but we are slightly disappointed with our growth results now in late october. Just curious if there is anything we can do to give it a kick before winter or will the clover come back much thicker next season? Also, I've been wondering when I should start thinking about using rattles, grunts, or bleats? Thanks a lot Bill, best of luck in the next couple weeks!
    Winke Responds:
    Jon, No matter what the soil looks like, you can never tell for sure what is in it. I generally just automatically fertilze, but worst case, you should take a soil sample and see what you are working with. The biggest mistake people make on food plots is skimping on the fertilizer. It is probably too late to do the brassicas much good, but you can certainly give the clover a jump start for next spring by fertilizing it now. It will come in much thicker next spring. It is time to start doing a bit of light calling. There is no doubt that you can call deer in now. Light rattling, grunting and possibly even bleating. I have never been a big bleat caller, but I supppose it would work too. Good luck.
  • Ryan from IL asks:
    when you plant beans for your food plot do you usually plant them when all the farmers do or do you plant them later so they will last longer in the season.
    Winke Responds:
    Ryan, I plant when the farmers plant. In fact, I have the guy who cash rents the commercial fields on our farm plant them when he plants his. That way I get a good crop. I am not interested in more green browse (I have clover fields for that). I understand why some guys do plant them late, my goals are different - maximum fall and winter food. I want winter food so I want the maximum production from the beans, that means I have to plant them when the smart farmers plant. If you plant them too late, the frost will nip them and the beans won't fill. Good luck.
  • Aaron from NJ asks:
    Bill, love the show and website. Keep up the great work. After watching your show, I wanted to try my hand at a small 1/4 to 1/3 acre food plot with the Fridgid Forgage Big N Beasty that you use. I don't have any equipment except a four wheeler. I was thinking of buying some kind of disc attachment for the back. What do you recommend I purchase that will do a decent job on small food plots (less than 1/2 acre) and won't break the bank? Also, do I need any other equipment besides the disc attachment for the four wheeler and a hand seeder. Thanks so much for your help!!
    Winke Responds:
    Aaron, Thanks for the support. You would also need a sprayer so you can kill the existing vegetation before tilling or disking. That is important. The ATV mounted disks do OK in moist, loose soils, but are too light to do much good in hard (super dry) or tight (wet) soils. You may be able to add enough weight to get it bite in but you likely will have to go over the arear repeatedly. If you have a buddy with a small tractor, consider buying a small power take off powered tiller. It will do a much better job of preparing the seedbed. If not, the disk will work, but be prepared for a lot of trips back and forth. Good luck.
  • Tad from MS asks:
    I planted two weeks ago (Whitetail Institute Clover,Turnips,Alfa Rak,Extreme, and Oats. It rained right after, and the plants germinated. It has not rained one drop since. How long before new plants die? Please let me know, so I at least know what to expect, and can order more seed. Thanks!
    Winke Responds:
    Tad, At this time of the year they can last longer than they would in mid-summer for sure. I would say they are still alive, but without some rain soon they will eventually die, no doubt about that. I would say that you will be able to tell. All the little plants will be crisp and dead. Fortunately, there is likely a few seeds left that didn't germinate the first time and a few plants that didn't die, that might be enough for a stand. Examine the plants. If they are brown and dried out, you may as well plan to replant. Good luck.
  • Ryan from MN asks:
    Hi Winke, This spring I purchased 40 acres in Northern Minnesota. The entire 40 is flat and low, although it is very wooded with tamarack, birch and maples. It is considered a forested bog. The soil is more of a peat and it will flood in the spring but the top layer dries out in the summer and fall; tree's and grasses flourish. The deer are there, just spread out. There is a 3 acre opening in the middle that was logged in the last 10 years and we are clearing out the saplings to plant some sort of food source for next year. Given the seasonal wet conditions and non-tillable soil (too wet to get a tractor or ATV in), what is a good crop to broadcast over the ground cover after a we clear out the brush and round up the area?
    Winke Responds:
    Ryan, I would say you should look at brassicas like Big N Beasty planted in early August. You will have rake up the debris and ground cover after you spray it and kill it (give it about 10 to 14 days after spraying to go in and remove it. Then I would try to scratch the ground somehow - maybe with a hand rake! You need to open it up a bit so you can get decent seed to soil contact when it rains to pull it all together. Fertilize as recommended on the bag. That would be my choice for a late summer planting. If you want to try something new once every couple years, consider clover and oats planted at roughly the same time. Even though the clover is perrenial, it won't stand up to the flooding in the spring so you will have to plant it every summer no matter what choice you make. Good luck.
  • Ryan from IA asks:
    Can you recommend a forage or grain that can be planted in a poorly drained soil(peat soil)? I thought of Sorghum. I checked out Frigid Forage and most seem to need a well drained soil. Thanks a lot, you have a great show and website!
    Winke Responds:
    Ryan, Not sorghum for sure. It likes drier soil. I think we planted alsike clover one time in a wet bottom and it did OK. Nothing likes its feet wet all the time. Maybe rice! Seriously, check out alsike and see if that does OK for you. Good luck.
  • joshua from MI asks:
    ok here's my question it is almost october here in michigan well the farmer that i am leasing land off of cut down all the 6' tall bedding grass where i hunt so know it is just open fields and woods what food plot can i put in the will grow this late in the season. thank you for the help i really appreciate it....
    Winke Responds:
    Joshua, You have a chance to get oats to grow and winter wheat, but that is about it. You won't get much out of them, but you may get something if it stays warm and you get rain right away to make them germinate. Those seeds germinate and grow very fast. Good luck.
  • Eric from IA asks:
    I was curious what percentage of your farm is in food plots, and how many acres does that entail? Also how many acres roughly do you have in beans that will stay in field all year, friged forage mixes, and clover?
    Winke Responds:
    Eric, I am skewed a bit toward beans this year. I have about 50 acres in food plots this year. That is about 5% of the available land. The food plots are Frigid Forage Clover (about 8 acres) and 35 to 40 acres of soybeans this year. The rest we planted to Big N Beasty this year too. It works well in areas where the soybeans didn't come up or where the deer thinned them way down during the early summer. I think a breakdown of clover and brassicas (like BNB) of roughly 2/3 brassica and 1/3 clover is a good starting point and then adding agricultural crops if the fields are large enough to sustain the pressure. I think a plot has to be at least 2 acres before I would plant it to beans or corn unless it directly borders other ag fields of the same planting or if your deer numbers are fairly low so the fields don't get wiped clean in the summer. Good luck.
  • Mike from OH asks:
    Hey Bill, I just purchased an 80 acre farm in the heart of Ohio's deer country, and want to use the management practices that you go over on your shows. I just signed in late August, so it's too late this year for food plots and TSI etc... I have around 7 acres in fields that will be my food plots next year, in which I want to put in soybeans, clover, and turnip mixes. The fields are waist high in weeds. Should I start preping now (mow, spray, disc), or use those fields for cover this fall and begin in the spring? I already have done soil tests, and will lime accordingly this fall. Thanks, and good luck this season.
    Winke Responds:
    Mike, I think I would probably mow them now and that will make it easier to kill the grasses and weeds next spring when they start to grow up again. Get the residue on the ground and breaking down sooner. I think you have a good plan. I like the idea of planting clover, soybeans and brassicas in separate plots on your plot acres. Good luck.
  • Brandon from MO asks:
    Bill, What are the pros and cons of planting soybeans versus brassica for a late season food source? Which crop do you favor the most if you only could pick one to plant? Thanks. -Brandon
    Winke Responds:
    Brandon, I like them both. I plant a lot of soybeans because they produce good forage during the summer too, and the beans are attrctive during the fall/winter. However, brassicas produce more gross tonnage of forage and they are easier to plant because you can do it during the summer when most fields are firm. A good combination for me would be 60% grain (soybeans), 20% clover and 20% brassicas. That would be a very good mix for most whitetail hunting farms. Good luck.
  • Jeremy from KS asks:
    What month is ideal to plant brassicas for a food plot in eastern Kansas for a fall hunt. Our farm is hundreds of acres of corn and beans but when we harvest there is no food for the deer. I'd like to plant a plot this year but I'm worried it may be too late. How late is too late to plant them, and what is the ideal time to plant for future years? You're doing a great job with the show! I love watching it, it's my favorite whitetail hunting show.
    Winke Responds:
    Jeremy, Thanks for your support. Where you live, you can get by with an early September planting, but I would not wait any longer. If you don't get rains right away, you may not have enough time left this fall for the brassicas to grow. You may also want to try oats as an alternative if you can't get the brassicas in right away. The ideal time is likely around early to mid-August for brassicas in your area. I have planted as early as July 20 and had good success here in Iowa. Good luck.
  • Chris from AL asks:
    It's really good to see you are very fired up for the upcoming season. I'm very fired up myself. I've got some Imperial Whitetail clover planted and the weeds had grown up pretty bad and choked the clover. We bush-hogged this weekend and I could still see some clover underneath. How resilient is this stuff? Will it come back? Should I take a rake and rake off the clippings from us cutting it?
    Winke Responds:
    Chris, It is pretty resilient if it gets some rain. In fact, it will amaze you how well it cleans up. Again, you need some moisture. Raking off the clippings will help, but is not necessary. It should grow right through them. Good luck.
  • Randy from MO asks:
    Hi Bill, great site !! Have 4 acres lying along a timber edge in Macon Co. I am having a local farmer discing it up. Can i broadcast some cereal grains and/or big and beasty and drag a hog panel over it and get a stand? Thanks for your years of great articles !
    Winke Responds:
    Randy, Yep, that will work fine. Ideally, you fertilize before disking to work in the urea (nitrogen) fertilizer. But, that approach to planting will definitely work. Good luck.
  • Ryan from IL asks:
    What food plot seed grows bests in a wooded area where in may not get that much sunlight
    Winke Responds:
    Ryan, Brassicas (like the Big N Beasty blend we keep talking about) and clover are the best in low light situations. Both do require at least a few hours of direct sunlight, but don't need all day light like some agricultural crops. Good luck.
  • Elwin from ME asks:
    Hello I have a question about food plots? I live in maine and was wondering what i should plant for a food plot when the archery season up here runs from sept to Dec and what would be your fav to plant. just don't know what to plant with the temps start to drop end of oct. Thank u ELWIN
    Winke Responds:
    Elwin, Looking at this fall, you have only a couple of options still: winter wheat or winter hardy oats for one, or brassica blends such as Frigid Forage Big N Beasty for another. The brassicas will produce more forage per acre and likely the best choice. I would plant it fairly soon though. If you are able to plant in the spring, you have a few more optins such as winter peas, soybeans, etc., but even those aren't that much better than brassicas in the area where you are planting. Good luck.
  • David from KS asks:
    Hello I'm wanting to plant a food plot In central Ks where extreme drought has been the case, Most of the beans an corn have been bailed or chopped however one of these days it will start to rain. I was wondering what to plant to offer a food for the deer since there will hardly be any grain in the fields I need something that will grow in 2-3 mo an offer food all winter long. Also the guy stationed at the Base should look into walk in hunting this offers some great land sometimes. Thanks an God bless. David Yutzy
    Winke Responds:
    David, Thanks for the help for the stationed serviceman. I would look at two things: oats and brassicas (such as Frigid Forage Big N Beasty). Follow the bagged instructions on how to to plant. Both will grow fast once you get rain. Cut the acres up and plant half and half. Deer like both and if you have the only good food around, you draw many of the deer to your hunting area. Good luck.
  • troy from MO asks:
    Bill, just read your article on 5 basic food plots. I think I'm gonna try to broadcast a brassica mix in my grandpa's beans. But these beans will be harvested eventually. B/c a bean header cuts so low will this ruin my brassicas if they are established to the point they become clipped? Should this method only be used when beans are left standing?
    Winke Responds:
    Troy, I wouldn't do it if the beans are going to be harvested. Besides, it only works where the beans are thin so the sunlight can get to the ground. If the beans are thick the brassicas won't grow well, if at all. If it is picked early enough (early September) you can till up a small area and create a nice stand of brassicas in a corner of the field. As long as you get some rain you will have something by late October that will attract deer. Good luck.
  • Sean from IA asks:
    Yeah, so I got to thinking about that this morning and before you even said anything about the urea link i realized i may have forgotten to paste it. Then i thought to myself "No, I could not have been that bone-headed to forget to post the most important part of the comment". Well, SURPRISE, no doubt I was! So, here it is.... http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/cropsystems/dc0636.html
    Winke Responds:
    Thanks Sean. Got it.
  • Ted from MO asks:
    I have 2 small food plots left to plant on my 41 acre farm in northern Missouri on 2 open ridges running between woods. Just received my Buck Forage Oats, and I also have some clover seed. Should I mix the seeds or plant it separately?
    Winke Responds:
    Ted, If you mix them you will need more of each - enough to do the entire field in that one planting. However, if you have enough mixing is good. The only thing to consider is that the clover won't really catch on good until next spring and will be productive for three years. If you want to reseed those ridges to other plantings each year, you may as well keep the clover confined to just one. Otherwise, it makes no real sense to plant the clover. As I said, the second and subsequent years are when it pays off best. If you don't mind having both ridges in clover for a few years (I think it is a good idea) then by all means get more clover so you have a solid stand in both come next spring. Good luck.
  • Lucas from PA asks:
    Hey great site!! Was wondering what food you thought would grow best in wet swampy ground. Thanks Lucas
    Winke Responds:
    Lucas, Consider Dwarf Essex Rape as one option. I have seen it do pretty well in some wet conditions. It is a brassica.
  • Sean Asada from IA asks:
    Hey Bill, not that it may even matter to you but I recently planted a brassica food plot at my farm in SE IA which required a fair amount of urea and as you know it can and will volotize. I was interested at what rate it volotized and found this U of M website regarding volotization, among other things. Just thought it may interest you.
    Winke Responds:
    Sean, I didn't see the website link, but I am sure that anyone interested can search under "volotization" and find the same resource. Thanks for thinking of us.
  • Eric from IA asks:
    Hey Bill, I have a few smaller forage bean plots and they are about four feet tall and very bushy...today i noticed that a lot of the leaves have holes in from some beatles/bugs, was wondering if basic H will work or if you have any good suggestions? Thanks! I am very impressed with the forage soybeans and would definetly recommend trying some! I will appreciate your advice, so they continue growing great!
    Winke Responds:
    Eric, Thanks for the update on the forage beans. I have heard good things about them. Check with the elevator or local co-op on the right insecticide. There are plenty of co-ops in Iowa and the local guys will have a good idea what is eating them. I have seen small holes on the leaves of my beans in the past and have had bad aphid problems some years, but it is best to let those guys tell you what to use. I never really asked which chemical I was using, just asked if it would kill the bugs. Good luck.
  • Sadie from MO asks:
    Hey Bill love the show, my question is with the drought this summer how do you keep your food plots looking good, i had a big n beasty plot planted and it died out because of lack of water. DOnt know what to do.
    Winke Responds:
    Sadie, I have been waiting for some rain in the forecast in order to plant mine too. I am guessing that when it rains some of your plants will come through, but if you have doubts, you have only one option: replant. You have plenty of time. That is probably the safe bet. The seeds will sit idle until the rains cause them to germinate. Good luck.
  • larry from MI asks:
    Bill, Thanks for the great timely responses. I will be putting down fertilizer ( urea ) and 6-24-24 on my 1/4 acre Brassica food plot this weekend, I want the fertilizer to be down a couple of weeks before I seed. I can't borrow a disc to disc in the fertilizer would dragging a box spring behind my quad work just as well and than going over that with my 4ft. lawn roller or just broadcast and than roll it. Any advise. Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Larry, If the soil is loose, you might be able to find a different way to incorporate the urea, but if you can't incorporate it, I would not spread it. It has to be under the ground. Anything sitting on top will evaporate quickly and is wasted. 1/4 acre - you can almost do that with a rented garden tiller if you had to. Just don't leave it on top of the ground. It is OK to leave the P & K on top, just not the urea. Good luck.
  • Jon from MN asks:
    Bill, I've been getting my plot areas ready to get some clover and brassicas in the ground. I sprayed both areas (1/4-1/2 acre) with some shrub and weed killer which I believe was Bayer brand on July 2, as of July 10 I hadn't noticed anything happening yet. I was planning on disking next week.. Do you reccommend that I wait for everything to be dead before disking or will the spray continue to work even after being disked? I planned to disk July 21, and hoped to get the seed down by the end of the month. Do you think this is a good idea? Also, how deep do you reccommend to plant clover blends and brassica blends, and how do I go about spreading the seed? Which of these two seeds will give me the best results for early archery through the start of Nov.? I took a look at Frigid Forage and they offer a couple different clover blends, any particular one you've had luck with? Thanks a lot!
    Winke Responds:
    Jon, I am not sure on the timeline for killing the weeds and brush with that product. Usually within a week you see some signs of wilting, etc. to indicate that the chemical is working, but again, I have never used the product. I would give it a few more days and if you don't see something, go back with Roundup. RU will kill weeds and brush too. I would want to see some sign that the chemical has started the kill before disking it under. Again, I am betting that the chemical worked, but is slow to show the signs. Once I know the plant is dying, I am not reluctant to disk under at that point. I use the Trophy Clover blend from Frigid Forage. I have used is much like you state, going into small plots (up to 3 acres). In the very small plots I have always hand broadcast with a small spreader (can find them easily online) onto tilled ground just before a rain. That worked very well to incorporate the clover seed a short ways into the ground and get it to germinate. We used a drill for the larger plots and works well too, but you have to be sure not to plant too deep. Just under the surface with some actually on the surface is the best bet. Keep it very shallow. You can also incorporate by dragging something like a tree branch over the plot with a four-wheeler. The brassica blend will produce much more tonnage of forage this fall but it is an annual meaning you will have to plant it again next summer. You can prepare the soil and plant it the same way. Just be sure to incorporate the amount and type of fertilizer that is listed on the seed bag for best results (the brassicas need nitrogen as well as phosphorous and potassium while the clover just needs the P & K so the clover will be less expensive over the long run, just not as productive the first year. If you want to make the clover more productive the first fall, plant it with about 1/2 bag of winter wheat seed in your small plot. That will add a bit more forage the first fall. Good luck.
  • Larry from MI asks:
    Hi, I have finally decided to plant brassicas in my 1/4 acre food plot in Michigan. I am going to plant first week of August. In the meantime I want to spread some fertilizer in preperation. Is it best to re-disc after spreading or just let the rain drive the fertilizer in the soil. Please let me know. Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Larry, Disk in the nitrogen, at the very least. Likely it will be a mix with the N, P and K all together. It is not as critical with the P and K but most commercially available forms of nitrogen today are very volatile (they evaporate quickly on warm days). It wasn't that way before but the Oklahoma City bomber and others have made it so we can't easily get our hands on the less volatile and more explosive Ammonium Nitrate fertilizer. As a result, you will need to use the urea-based N products and disk it in. Good luck.
  • Brian from IN asks:
    I'm hunting a 16 acre patch of land, what would you suggest to use for a food source on this ground. I have put out buck forage oats in the past but wanting to try something different.
    Winke Responds:
    Brian, The oats are fine, but I would also consider adding clover and/or brassicas. I like clover and brassicas in small plots. They hold up well to deer pressure and produce a lot of forage. Brassicas are better for late season than clover, but clover will hold up well until about the end of November. Good luck.
  • Troy from MO asks:
    do you recommend using turnips? if so what kind? when do u plant? and where is the best places to plant them? thanks, Troy
    Winke Responds:
    Troy, I like the brassica blends better. I have had bad luck with straight turnips. They only grow well under certain conditions. If it is too wet, they wilt away to nothing. I have been using the Big N Beasty blend from our sponsor, Frigid Forage in the past couple of years and that does well under a wide variety of conditions because the blend has various brassicas in it that are each adapted to slight different growing conditions. Good luck.
  • Larry from MI asks:
    Hi, I have 10 acres in Lenawee County Michigan. I am going to try my hand at a small ( 25 yards x 45 yards ) food plot. It is cuurrently sprayed and turned over and PH is ideal, the only time I have to plant is 4th of July week, what would be best to plant for late summer feed as well as bow season feed. Also should I fertilize Please let me know. Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Larry, It is a bit early for a late summer planting, but it might work out. When planting that early, I would probably go with clover assuming you can get some rain on it within a couple weeks after you plant. If you can wait another three weeks, the brassicas become a good option too but planting them sooner you run the risk that they will be over mature by fall. So, I would plant either a brassica blend in late July (we push the Big N Beasty from Frigid Forage) or a clover blend whenever you can (FF also sells clover). I have had good success with both so I am comfortable promoting them. The clover will last a few years but will need mowing periodically to keep weeds down. If you can't get a mower to it (probably around Sept. 1 this year and each subsequent year in June) then I would plant the brassicas. I am a big fan of both for small plots so either way you can't go wrong, but be sure to fertilize. Go to a local ag co-op and get a mix heavy on P and K (not much nitrogen) for the clover or a balanced fertilizer for brassicas. You can hit the brassicas hard with a lawn blend like Triple 19 (19 units P, 19 units K and 19 units N). Good luck. I think that is a very cool project.
  • Seth from IN asks:
    Hey Bill its Seth again and I just can't wait untill the season starts and I bet you can't either. Ok, heres my question... My dad uses a push thing on the grass to spread fertilized stuff. Can I use that to spread the food plot seeds? It has this turner on the bottom for when you push it, it spins.
    Winke Responds:
    Seth, That should work, especially for larger seeds, but I like the hand-held ones better because you can set them precisely and being higher off the ground, they throw the seeds a bit farther for each pass. I trust the hand-held units better.
  • Seth from IN asks:
    hey Bill, I have two proprties where I can put food plots on. My question is which one is the best? The first farm is known for having a couple good bucks, but has a new owner on the land next to it with alot of food plots and plenty of living space oh and the place I wanna put it is right next to a pasture where does have been bedding down. The second property has plenty of room and last year had three nice bucks killed, my first buck included in that one. Both are good, but what do you think?
    Winke Responds:
    Seth, I would likely select an area that is not close to other food sources because that will give you the best chance of drawing deer to your plots. Good luck.
  • Seth from IN asks:
    How do you plant the clover in the late summer planting? I watched some of your planting videos and I saw the song writer for you guys use a side bag that when you turn it, it drops the seeds. My second question is, is there other ways or is that the best way for a small plot of about 2 acres?
    Winke Responds:
    Seth, Best way is to till it up good and then use a small seed drill like a Brillion to push the seed down into the ground a very small distance. Clover does best when planted shallow. We often use the hand broadcasters because they are easy to use and don't require a drill. You can get hand-held seed spreaders for as little as $20 to $30. They do well on tilled ground right before a rain. The rain drives the seed into the ground a shallow distance and gives it the moisture it needs to germinate. Two acres is a big clover field. I would be tempted to do half in clover and half in brassicas like Big N Beasty or another good brassica blend. Good luck.
  • Devin Lenauer from MO asks:
    Bill, Getting ready to spray clover fields this weekend, and saw James Kroll say that you could use 1 oz of Roundup per gallon to spray weeds in Clover without killing clover. Just wondering your thoughts on this? Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Devin, We have seen it here too - it is hard to kill clover with Roundup. Roundup will kill it, but you have to hit the clover with a heavy dose. I have never tried to intentionally spray light doses of Roundup to clean up clover, it makes sense. My only question would be how many gallons per acre of spray (because that controls dosing too) and how effective it will be on all the other weeds. I can see where it would work but would need to experiment to know exactly how well. I doubt that Kroll would say to do it if it didn't work, but there are still a couple of questions there. Thanks for the tip. I will definitely give it a try.
  • Seth from IN asks:
    Hey Bill, I was just wanting to know if it is to late too plant a food plot. If it isnt when is the best time?
    Winke Responds:
    Seth, It is too late for a spring planting on all but soybeans. However, you are fast running out of time on them too. I would plan for a late summer planting of either clover or brassicas like the blend from our sponsor Frigid Forage called Big N Beasty. Clover will come back for a few years while the brassicas are a one year deal. Brassicas will probably require more to plant (more fertilizer) but they are a very attractive fall and winter food plot while clover is only good through about mid-November there in IN. I like to have both, but it can get pretty expensive planting a lot of food plots, so you have to look at it carefully. These two plantings (clover and brassicas) can go in the ground in mid-August, roughly, where you are hunting.
  • Keith from IL asks:
    I have one stand that overlooks a field on one side and a marshy wetland on the other. I recently mowed a small area of the marsh and I was wondering if I could plant some kind of small food plot there. The ground there is basically saturated for the majority of the year. Is there any type of food plot that would do well there. It is a small enough area that I could fence it off to keep deer out if I needed to keep the pressure off of it. Keep up the good work!
    Winke Responds:
    Keith, I am not totally sure. I think dwarf Essex rape does OK in moist conditions. I don't know of anything off-hand that really loves to have its roots wet all the time. Maybe something in the rush family, but not sure which (if any) deer might eat. I am going to say that you need to try the DER for a year and see how it does. What do you have to lose? It is cheap to plant. If you can drive on it to mow it, it is probably solid enough to support this plant. If you can till it, that is ideal. You need to get the seed in solid contact with the soil and you need to kill the existing vegeatation (RoundUp) and you have a fighting chance. Good luck.
  • Blake from KS asks:
    Hello Bill, I have a question concerning one of my food plots. I have about a half acre food plot where I have planted corn, soybeans and some throw and grow in the middle. Everything is starting to come in nicely after several good showers, but there are a lot of weeds also coming in. I was wondering if you knew of a weed killer or herbicide I could use to kill the weeds and wouldn't harm the other plants. Thanks!
    Winke Responds:
    Blake, If the corn and beans are RoundUp Ready, you can use that. If not, it gets tougher. Corn is in the grass family and most things that will kill grass will kill corn, but not all so there are a few select chemicals that can still work. I assume the beans are RoundUp ready, but you had better check. Most corn is also RR today too. But again, you better check. I am not sure what is in Throw and Grow. If it is all broadleafs, like clover and brassicas, you can kill the grass out with Poast Plus or Select Max. You need to know more about what you planted to know what to treat it with. Again, the RR plants are very easy to clean up. Good luck.
  • vince from NY asks:
    Hi Bill In the last episode you demonstrated using a herbicide to control weeds that would not kill the clover - What product do you recomend? thanks vince
    Winke Responds:
    Vince, I guess there are herbicides for removing broadleaf plants from clover, but I have never used them. I have felt that mowing did a good job of controlling those. Grasses are the hardest to control and I have had good success with Select Max. It works fast and really wipes out the grass. Good luck.
  • Ryan from IN asks:
    This isn't really a question, but more of a suggestion for Sean from Iowa. After many years of experience with clover food plots, I have learned that it is best to control the grasses and broadleaf weeds in clover food plots before they mature. Once your clover reaches about 3 inches (and all the leaves open up) you may begin to apply herbicides. "Arrest" is a very effective herbicide that will control grasses in a clover food plot. "Slay" is also a very effective herbicide that will control broadleaf weeds in a clover food plot. Be sure to READ THE LABELS! These herbicides are designed to control the weeds when they are young (before they reach 6 inches tall). Control the weeds in the spring with herbicides and continue mowing when moisture is adequate throughout the summer. You will have a great food plot in the summer and fall. Hope this helps. Have a great day!
    Winke Responds:
    Ryan, Great information. Just to clarify for some guys though, it is easier to control broadleaf plants without herbicides than to control grasses with mowing. I almost never lose a clover plot early to broadleafs but I do lose them early to grass without some chemical treatment as needed. Thanks for the information. I am sure the visitors will appreciate the advice.
  • Sean from IA asks:
    Hi Bill, I want to thank you in advance for all your help! I have two new clover food plots which i planted very early this spring. They are starting to come up well but i can see the grass starting to come up with it. I was wondering when i should spray it with a grass herbicide? When do you think your new clover plot will be ready to spray? Also, when do you imagine you will mow your new clover plot for the 1st time? Thank you for your time! Sean
    Winke Responds:
    Sean, I would mow in mid-June and then come back and spray in late June when the grass starts to kick back in. That will give you the best chance of getting a good clean kill on the grass as well as controling the broadleaf weeds that you can only really control effectively by mowing. Good luck.
  • Chris from LA asks:
    Hi Bill. The refinery I work for is right on the Mississippi River here in Baton Rouge and thanks to all the flooding happening, I've had to cancel my trip to Kansas this coming weekend. I was hoping to plant a clover plot while I was there but it doesn't look like that's going to happen. What's the absolute latest I could plant something that would be ready to hunt over in early November? Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Chris, I am sorry about all the problems you guys are facing. Hopefully opening the spillway upstream will keep things under control. It depends on the rain patterns. I have planted clover as late as early June when I knew the weather was going to be rainy for a few days. However, most years, it is not smart to plant clover past sometime in May because you can't count on enough rains to keep the clover alive after it germinates but before it puts down a good root system. It is very susceptible to drying out at that time. That being the case, I would suggest you wait and plant in early August with a brassica mix like the Frigid Forage Big N Beasty we have been planting here. Then come back in early March and frost seed your clover right into that. That should give you a nice clover plot for 2012. Don't skimp on the fertilizer. The brassicas will use some nitrogen in the fall and a bit of the P & K but some of the P & K will be leftover for the clover the next year. I have used this planting strategy and it works well. Good luck.
  • Jacob from MI asks:
    What is the point of spraying an area before planting it in clover if the weeds are just going to return a short time later, and compete with the clover?
    Winke Responds:
    Jacob, By killing them first, you give the clover a big headstart on the grass and with that headstart it can usually smother the grass out from coming back. Yes, grass will try to creep back in, but your clover will be established then and will definitely have the upper hand in competing with the grass. I would not do it any other way. It will not succeed if you don't kill the existing weeds first. Good luck.
  • jamin from WI asks:
    We have recently planted a 1/2 acre food plot in a clearing surrounded by timber, we planted a few peas, beans and clover, and we are also going to be planting pumpkins as well. what is your suggestion on fertilizer to use on this plot? And what would be the best way to control weed growth?
    Winke Responds:
    Jamin, I would use something like 19-50-60 (Those are the N-P-K ratios for the fertilizer. The actual rates will vary depending on what your local elevator carries or can mix for you). You need some nitrogen for the pumpkins but not for the clover, beans or peas. They like the P and K. I don't know about pumpkins, but you can spray the clover, beans and peas with a grass killer that is designed not to kill broadleaf plants. That may be Select Max or Poast Plus or some generic variations. Just consult with the co-op on that. I have no idea if it will kill pumpkins so you will need to do independent research on that as I have never planted them for food plots.
  • Ryan from AL asks:
    Great show Bill, what is the mineral lick recipe u use?
    Winke Responds:
    Ryan, Thanks. I have not been putting out mineral on this farm, though I do believe it is a good idea. Iowa law states that you can't hunt over minerals so I don't want to have licks out there in spots where I may some day want to hang a tree stand. However, one of the pro staff (Scott Prucha) has a mineral mix that he uses effectively each year. You can see it at: http://www.midwestwhitetail.com/publish/posts/701/creating-mineral-sites.html and read about it at: http://www.midwestwhitetail.com/publish/posts/99/guest-blog-mineral-stations-and-deer-cameras.html
  • jacob from MI asks:
    I ahve always had problems controlling weeds in my clover plots. Do you simply mow to control weeds? or do you use a spray to kill weeds in your clover? and if so what kind?
    Winke Responds:
    Jacob, I mow to control broadleaf weeds and spray to control grasses. I have used "Select" with good results. There are others, as well. Poast is one and I think there are also others. Select did well for me. Be sure to check with the local ag co-op to be sure the chemical you try is rated for clover. Good luck.
  • Sean from IA asks:
    Hi Bill, Hope you had a great Easter. How is your 1ac clover plot that you frost seeding doing? Has is germinated yet? I planted 2 small plots before all the rains we recently got (15&14 days ago) and there are literally only a few seeds that have germinated as of yet. Is that common with the unseasonably cool temps we have had? One other question...what is the shortest you would mow clover during the summer? Thank you!
    Winke Responds:
    Sean, It is all soil temperature dependent. I am guessing my clover has begun to germinate, but it has been wet and cool here too, so it is unlikely that it is doing much. Clover can sit cold and wet for long time while beans and corn and other crops can't do that because the seed starts to rot if it doesn't germinate soon. That is my most crops need to go in to the ground based on soil temperature more than any other factor. I mow my clover low. I know conventional wisdom suggests leaving it six inches, or whatever. My best results with weed control come when I mow the clover short. That seems to give the clover a running start on the weeds on when they back. Apparently the clover grows faster during the summer than the competition. Good luck.
  • Josh from OK asks:
    Bill love the show. Were I live in oklahoma we haven't been getting rain. So I'm worried about planting a food plot. Any advice on how I can still get a food plot in by summer.
    Winke Responds:
    Josh, You may have to plant and hope. That is all we ever do when farming. However, I would always try to have everything in the ground well before (weeks before) your traditional summer dry spell. If you are approaching that time now, I would probably wait until September 1 to plant if I were you. You can then go with winter wheat and clover or an annual like Frigid Forage Big N Beasty brassica blend. Without decent amounts of spring rains, you will see your spring clover, beans or corn wither away. If your normal summer dry spell is still a few weeks away, I would probably try a plant and hope strategy myself.
  • Dalton from KS asks:
    Hey, First off I just want to thank you for the whole show!! I love all the tips you give!! I was wandering what type of clover I should put out on the edge of a THICK bedding area. It will be coming off a deer trail and will be around 60 yards long and 40 yards wide. When should i plant it? Thank you very much!!
    Winke Responds:
    Dalton, As I mentioned in the episode on frost seeding, I still like blends because if the situation is not suited to one variety, it will likely favor another one. For that reason, I am more than happy with the Frigid Forage Pure Trophy Clover. It has done very well on our farm. I would plant it right now.
  • Hank from AL asks:
    Bill, I am wanting to plant a soybean/corn plot on a piece of property for this summer. What is the minimum acreage field you would recommend? Also, can a corn soybean mix just be scattered on a tilled piece? When is the best time to plant clover, or have I already missed it? Hank
    Winke Responds:
    Hank, I would say two acres is the minimum if you have moderate deer numbers. I would just go with one or the other. Mixing them only works well if you really cut back on the corn. Because it grows much taller it shades out the beans. I would go with all beans the first year (cheaper) and see how it works. Till it, broadcast about 2 bags per acre and then drag something over it (or culit-pack it) to incorporate to a shallow depth. Ideally, plant right before a rain and it will do great. Now is a good time to plant clover. Ideally, give it at least a month of typically rainy weather before things dry out for the summer or wait until late August to catch the fall rains. Both will work.
  • Will from MO asks:
    Hi- Thanks for this opportunity. I live in north Missouri and have about ten acres total in food plots on a 250 acre farm. I have clover planted and plan on planting some alfalfa. My question concerns my brassica/turnip plots that I plant in mid-August. I just disked four acres today of last years annual plots to get rid of the weeds that have already started. My original plan was to just keep these 4 acres ready to plant in august by spraying or discing until then. Now, I would like to plant something in them to provide food in the spring and summer and then I could disk it in and plant my fall mix. What would you recommend I plant this spring for this purpose. Thanks, Will Gordon
    Winke Responds:
    Will, Probably soybeans. You can keep the plot clean with roundup ready beans during the summer and if you have a no-till drill you can actually drill the brassicas into the beans in August without having to do further tillage. It works very well. Then if the beans are doing awesome you can just skip the brassicas for a year too. I would get the beans planted now. Good luck.
  • Sean from AL asks:
    Thanks for answering the metro food plot question! The land/home owner was happy to allow me to plant some clover. They even offered to mow it when need be. Since it is so small i just planned on harrowing it, broadcasting 120lbs of pelletized lime, 25lbs of M.A.P. fertilizer, 25lbs of potash, and the clover seed mix. What is your thoughts? How would you go about it? BTW...when and how short can it be mowed? Thank you very much for your time Bill!!!
    Winke Responds:
    Sean, I would make sure to till it first and the rains will likely incorporate, but pulling something over it to incorporate would be great. Otherwise the plan sounds good. I have always been a very aggressive mower of clover. Some recommend mowing at six inches to cut the weeds but not the clover. I think that will work fine for removing broadleaf competition, but my experience with grasses suggests that you need to mow them low and let the clover jump ahead of them. Now with the low cost of chemical treatments of grass competition, it is not as necessary to mow low to the ground. If you mow in mid-June you should be able to clean it up pretty well. You may or may not need to mow it again. The deer may keep it mowed for you. Mowing will control broadleaf competition as stated, but to really wipe out grass competition long term, you will likely need to spray it with an application of Select (or similar) herbicide each year, around mid-May.
  • Chris from LA asks:
    Hi Bill. It's looking like I'm not going to have enough time in Kansas to prepare the spring plot I want to plant "the right way". The opening is a grassy ridgetop meadow. Just wondering if there's any type of "no till" product that you would recommend for this situation. Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Chris, Seed to soil is so critical in your ability grow anything and you need to be able to achieve that. If you have control of the spot, you can spray with Roundup when things get a bit warmer and then find some way to till it up even with a garden tiller. Spread the seed (probably clover) and then drag something over it to incorporate the seed into the very top layer of the soil. Rains should bring on the clover, if not this year, for sure by next year. However, just throwing the seeds on the top of the ground - even if you do kill the existing grasses - probably won't produce much success unless you have a particularly wet year that allows those seeds to live long enough after germinating to put down roots inspite of their exposure to the drying sun. Without tilling or using a no-till drill to get the seed into the ground, you are wasting your time and money.
  • Kevin from WI asks:
    Hi Bill, I'm the one with the 1/4 food plot in central WI, I forgot to ask you what do think about putting some sunflowers in there, I've heard that some people plant them, and the deer love them. I'm also looking into buying a new release,I like the Scott Shark, or the Sabertooth, which one would you pick? Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Kevin, I don't have much experience with sunflowers. I have heard that deer love them too, but I would be leery of trying something completely new. With just 1/4 acre, I would stick with clover. Other plantings can be wiped out during the summer - they won't wipe out clover. I have shot both of them. The Sabertooth is a bit more geared for string loops but will work well on the string too. It allows you to maintain your normal draw length when using a nocking loop. If you go straight to the string with your release, I would select the Shark. Again, both will work for both situations, but by shortening the distance from the jaws to the trigger, Scott made the Sabertooth especially nice for loop shooters who don't want to give up draw length. Good luck.
  • Sam from AL asks:
    Bill, Me and a friend lease about about 250 acres in Central Illinois. Last year the farmer did not plant any crops and it was mostly pasture and weeds, however we were covered up with acorns had a good season regardless. This year he will putting in Soybeans on approx 100 acres and leaving about 25 acres of permanent pasture. We were thinking about putting in food plots on about 3-4 isolated acres, however I was wondering if it would just be better to have the farmer plant soybeans and leave them standing. We will primarily bowhunt the rut and latter gun season. I was also wondering if there was anything that we could spread on the pasture area to add an additional food source for the late winter. Thanks for your time. BTW, I created a nifty spreadsheet for calculating maximum deer drop versus yardage and bow speed. Shoot me an email and I will send it to you.
    Winke Responds:
    Sam, Check on the cost for the farmer to do that. Often, they will want to recoup the value of the beans at harvest, meaning it will be a lot more expensive than just buying the seed and asking him to drill your three or four acres when he plants his. Usually, if you select spots like the ends of points and isolated spots, it won't be too hard to get them to part with those acres since those spots don't produce as well anyway. There is not much you can do into pasture that will produce a strong attration. You can use an interseeder (who has one of those these days - almost no one) to drill clover into pasture and you can try using a no-till drill to plant clover, but the grass will make it really hard for the clover to come up strong. Better to focus on the spots you can control and leave the pasture alone. Good luck.
  • Kevin from WI asks:
    Hi Bill, Just wanted to say first that I love the shows, and your tips have made me a better deer hunter. What I wanted to ask you was what would you plant for central WI late season? I could either plant corn or turnips, or I could plant both. The food plot they are in is only going to be 1/4 of an acre. What would you do? Thanks
    Winke Responds:
    Kevin, Thanks for your support. I don't think I would put corn in a plot that small. The deer will likely wipe it out during the summer unless it is well away from the timber. I would plant a brassica blend such as Big N Beasty from our sponsor Frigid Forage. Straight turnips has never worked well for me. If you get poor growing conditions for turnips you lose them all. Blends are better. I hope that helps.
  • Mike from WI asks:
    We have spoken several times at trade shows. I respect your opinion and look forward to reading your articles on whitetail hunting. What are your thoughts regarding my 2011 food plot intentions for Buffalo County : Northern Sweet Spot mix is this good? Will it come back the following year? What is your opinion of Kopu 2( Welter Seed Co.) for clover food plots? I am going to seed Frigid Forage-Trophy Clover blend this spring for clover plots. I am considering adding Kopu 2 to this trophy blend or plant Kopu 2 seperately. I plan to put Big and Beasty blend in Mid summer strip adjoining the clover plots. Bill do you have any other options or advice? Thanks for any input you can provide. Plots are four 1/2 acre food plots scattered across 120 acres.
    Winke Responds:
    Mike, The Kopu II doesn't appear to be anything too different from what you will find in other white clovers. I did like the fact that it was optimized for grazing, but in my experience, all the white clovers I have tried were dense and had good leaf structure. The blends are usually the way to go anyway. They have more than one variety of clover so under almost all conditions you should get a crop. I would just keep it simple and go with the Frigid Forage clover blend. That is not much you can concoct on your own that will do better. Being that small, I would not plant them to grains, I would put clover in three of those plots and the Big & Beasty in the fourth. You will need to rotate them so that you aren't planting the brassicas on top of each other year after year. So every year or two at the most, you will have to tear up a clover plot and plant it to B & B and keep them in rotation. Good luck.
  • Darrin from MI asks:
    i am considering asking the landowner/farmer if i can buy an acre of crop. I would pay him going rate for an estimated # of bushel of corn per acre...does that sound like the way to go about it? & do you think one acre of standing corn is enough to draw the deer through the late season? im hunting south of lansing mi.& our deer #'s are moderate, not like kansas or iowa
    Winke Responds:
    Darrin, I doubt an acre will get you through the entire season, but it is a start. It is going to get very expensive if you do it that way - way too expensive with the commodity prices at these levels. Me, I would rather try to rent that acre from him (he is not doing well on the land next to the timber anyway) and plant it to clover the first year. That is the least expensive route. You will need to have access to the equipment (probably a disk) or pay