One crop of winter oats doesn’t guarantee a winter wonderland of grazing deer, which is why planting a variety of different kinds of plants that survive the cold temperatures is recommended.

Acid detergent fiber is a measurement of the indigestible portion of the plant, so the lower the better.

Cereal grains are highly attractive to deer, and they perform well under a wide range of conditions. If you are planning to broadcast oats, then plan on over-seeding about ¼ more seed than the seed manufacturer recommends on the bag.

Some are higher than others. Hunters that kill big bucks on a consistent basis have a few traits in common. Oats planted in food plots for deer can be planted with legumes such as clover or peas and brassicas such as turnips, radish, kale or rape.

Just before planting in the fall, turn over the spring garden soil, but don’t trash the leftover plantings or any weeds that may be present. The best food plot for attracting deer in the fall is designed around a feeding radius. Similar to other cereal grains, oats are very easy to establish and can either be broadcast or drilled into a prepared seed bed. As always, read the seed label if you are buying something at the store.

Because of this, I recommend planting oats 6-8 week before the peak rut time period.

Plant turnip Brassica (Brassica Rapa) near the center of your plot.

Oats are most often used in fall-planted hunting plots to attract deer. When broadcasting oats, I like to use an Earthway hand spreader but an ATV spreader works well too. A career in television writing, as a magazine editor and celebrity interviewer, Jann adapts to her environment, having traveled the world, living overseas and packing and unpacking her treasures for a new location over 30 times. For example, if you are over-seeding an existing food plot of soybeans, then wait to plant oats until after the leaves on the soybeans turn yellow.

Oats definitely perform best and are most attractive to deer when the soil pH is 6.0 or greater and nutrient levels are maintained in the high range. Oats can absolutely grow on top of the ground but there are several variables and best practices that need to be taken into account prior to broadcasting your seed.

Plus, oats will have 15 to 18 percent protein depending on the specific variety you choose to plant.

I’ve had great luck with Whitetail Institutes Oats Plus. Oats are highly nutritious as well. Alternatively, oats can be planted or frost-seeded in April if desired as a spring/summer forage.

Deer may become attracted to more than just your oats.

Sustainable Agricultural Network: Managing Cover Crops Profitably: Oats, Whitetail Institute: How to Plant the Best Food Plot, Outdoor Life: Busted: 10 Myths About Food Plots, Tractor Supply Company: Deer Food Plots in Seven, University of Illinois Extension: White Tail Deer Food Plot Considerations. If you want to avoid this disappointment, it’s imperative that you do what you can to control the... I’m Joel Gher, the Whitetail Advisor. Its nutrients replenish the soil year after year, and reseeding with clover won’t be necessary for several years. They provide nitrogen for the soil and reduce the need for extraneous and costly added nutrients. It also saves your plot from being trampled by hooves.

Whitetail deer are the most attracted to oats during their growing phase, which is during the first two months from when they were planted.

However, experienced food plotters may notice that oats are a deeper green compared to the other grains. Planting winter oats for deer in the fall not only provides them with a nutrient-rich diet that enables them to withstand the cold winter months, but it also invigorates the soil and prepares it for spring planting. It germinates extremely fast and can …

The turnip bulbs are the last to mature, and they can feed the deer during the deep winter months.

Another ring of Brassica produces flowering tops that are ready for deer feed by November. Oats are a cool-season cereal grain that are highly preferred by deer. © 2020 Quality Deer Management Association, Break Down the Brassicas to Choose the Best for Your Food Plots, Annuals, Perennials or Both for Food Plots?

Deer will gravitate toward the oats and leave your food source alone. In USDA Hardiness Zones 10a and 10b, freezing damage to your oats is unlikely, so they may remain viable through the winter and into early spring.

However, weed control measures will be needed in some cases.

In fact, oats are one of the most digestible deer forages on the market, with an acid detergent fiber value registering below 20%.

In the North, a cold hardy variety of oats should be planted in August in conjunction with other cool-season forages that will be available in case oats are winter killed. Following the planting guide will help increase your success if you plan to broadcast oats on top of the ground.
At maturity, oats typically reach about 2- to 3-feet tall if soil fertility is good.

Check with your state fish and game agency regarding local rules. It takes about two months for oats to reach their maturity. He has a broad range of professional experience managing wildlife populations and their habitats on public and private lands throughout the Southeast. In Illinois, I’m typically planting oats the last week of September and then I’m staying out of my food plots until after deer season is over. I prefer including annual clovers because they can extend the life of the plot after oats mature, as well as produce nitrogen that benefits the oats. I’m obsessed with all things whitetail. Since oats establish very quickly, the rapid growth rate will help suppress weed pressure naturally. On the other hand, if you have a large property, planting an oat forage plot far away from your garden, vineyard or orchard can serve as part of your strategy for steering deer away from your more desirable plants. It’s no secret that cereal grains – wheat, oats, cereal rye, triticale – are popular choices for planting in food plots managed for whitetails. If you don’t follow these steps then you will most likely be throwing your money away. Even if you plant during a rain and pack the seed into the ground with a roller, you will still have some seed loss due to animals, seed not reaching the soil, or rain washing the seed away.

Oats: This grain is a must have in any food plot program. However, don’t let this scare you from trying to broadcast the seed on the ground. Deer can visit plots of oats for a larger amount of time but the first two months after germination are the most attractive time for deer. Planting oat plots to attract deer for hunting is illegal or regulated in some areas under state hunting regulations. A logical spot for an oat forage plot is on ground that has already seen a late summer or early autumn harvest. One problem with oats is cold tolerance.

Otherwise you only get about 7 months of quality forage when planting oats alone. This rivals any other cool-season forage and is well above the levels required by deer for … These conditions include good seed to soil contact, soil quality, soil moisture, and keeping animals from eating the seed.

Whitetail deer are the most attracted to oats during their growing phase, which is during the first two months from when they were planted.
Planting oats 1” deep in the soil is going to give the best odds for germination. He earned his bachelor's degree in wildlife science from Mississippi State University and his master's in wildlife management from the University of Tennessee. This is an excellent choice for deer hunters who like to plant cereal grains. These herbicides will kill ryegrass but will not harm wheat or other broadleaf forages included in the mixture. Your final ring of deer food is planted with soybeans and fast-growing oats, which are ready for foraging by October and serve as the initial attraction for winter deer. For best results, broadcast the seed on the ground just before or during a rainstorm and cultipack or roll over the seed to ensure good seed to soil contact. As our climate undergoes change and hardiness zones are reconfigured to compensate, becoming familiar with the temperatures to expect in the fall is vital to a successful growing season.

However, some of the forage legumes, such as soybeans and cowpeas, would be better suited if increased forage production is your goal during summer.

Unfortunately, I’m not aware of any herbicides that kill ryegrass without killing oats. As oats begin to mature and produce seed, palatability and digestibility are significantly reduced. One of these common traits is focusing on the tiny details, which ultimately stack up and tilt the odds of success. MOST RECENT INFORMATION.

In well-managed food plots with a neutral soil pH and good fertility, oats can contain more than 25% crude protein. Oats germinate very quickly and provide early attraction as the slower growing clover and chicory emerge later.

Thus, you will need to adjust your planting strategy and only use forages that will allow you to manage the weeds in your plots most effectively. Oats grow in a ½–1-inch trough.

If my existing food plot is doing well then maybe I’ll only plant 100 lbs per acre of seed. Radish bulbs also flourish in the cold winter and should be planted near the turnip Brassica. If grass weeds are a problem, such as annual ryegrass in the South, your options will be more limited.

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Also, oats do not perform well in wet, poorly-drained soils, so be sure to plant them on sites that are well drained.

Also, make sure you read the seed label on the bag of seed that you buy. If its doing bad then I will bump this up to 150 lbs.

In the South, oats should be planted in September or October when there is adequate soil moisture or rain in the forecast. Oats grow best in well-drained soil and under moist conditions, which makes fall planting desirable.

If ryegrass is a problem and you want to plant a cereal grain, you will need to substitute wheat for oats.

In Illinois, I’m typically planting oats the last week of September and then I’m staying out of my food plots until after deer season is over. If you have the luxury of time, map out your plot in the spring and plant one of the 338 varieties of Brassica (Brassicaceae), such as kale, brown mustard, rapeseed or cabbage. Sometimes you can’t stop Mother Nature from handing you a food plot failure or many failures. Oats perform very well in mixtures with other annual forages, such as crimson, arrowleaf, balansa and frosty berseem clovers, as well as winter peas and brassicas. PREMIUM oat product designed for early fall planting Highly attractive to deer with a high sugar content This lets the deer know a feeding station exists while also providing the earth with organic nutrients and nitrogen when the spring growing season is over.

Start small, and separate your food plot a good distance from your vegetable, herb and flower garden. Forage oats will yield between 1.5 and 2.0 tons of forage dry matter per acre when planted between august 1 and august 15. Oats grow best in well-drained soil and under moist conditions, which makes fall planting desirable.

Most of my food plots are less than 2 acres in size so walking the plot to spread the seed is not that much work and gives me good control of how much seed is getting spread.

Deer will gravitate toward the oats and leave your food source alone.

Since deer will eat certain flowers, fruits and vegetables, you may wish to consult with your neighbors before sowing an oat forage plot. This eliminates the need to break new ground. Yields will lower as it's planted later in the season. During the first months of growth oats are high in protein (14% to 18% protein) and easily digestible. A spring planting of clover is easily maintained just by mowing and is easily plowed under when fall planting season approaches.


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