Wildlife and Game Food Plots

Planting dates, seeding rates and planting depths for cool season forage crops.
Seed Propagated Crops1 Planting Dates2 Seeding Rate (pound / Acre) Seeding Depth (inch)

Aeschynomene

May - June

5-8 (dehulled); 2-3X rate for hulled

¼-½

Clover, Crimson*

Oct. 1 - Nov. 15

20-26

¼-½

Clover, Red*

Oct. 1 - Nov. 15

6-12

¼-½

Clover, Whit*

Oct. 1 - Nov. 15

3-4

0-¼

Oats for forage

Sept. 15 - Nov. 15

96-128 (3-4 bu)

1-2

Rye (forage)

Oct. 15 - Nov. 15

84-112 (1.5-2 bu)

1-2

Ryegrass

Oct. 1 - Nov. 15

20-30

0-½

Forage Greens (Turnips)

Oct. 1 - Nov. 15

5-6

¼-½

Wheat (forage)

Oct. 15 - Nov. 15

90-120 (1.5 - 2 bu)

1-2

1. Always check seed quality. Seed germination should be 80% or higher for best results.
2. Generally, cool season forage crops in Taylor County can be planted in the early part of the planting date range.

* Always inoculate clover or purchase pre-inoculated varieties. Also, don't forget to lime!
** Note: The above forage crops are recommended for north Florida. There are a number species planted in this area and throughout the Southeast that were not included due to problems with availability, durability, expense, and/or general intolerance.

 

Recommended Cool Season Forage Cultivars for North Florida
Rye Rye is widely used for winter cattle grazing, but may be grazed by deer as well. Rye is more cold tolerant than oats, produces more forage than oats and wheat, but should not be planted as early as oats. Recommended varieties are Florida 401 and Florida Black for late fall and early winter grazing. Wrens 96, Wrens Abruzzi, Bates, Elbon, Bonel, Oklon, Maton, Pennington Wintergraze 70, AGS 104 for winter and spring grazing (Wrens 96 is a good seed producer in Florida while Maton, Elbon, Bonel & Oklon are very poor seed producers).
Oats May be planted and grazed by wildlife earlier than rye, but not as cold-tolerant as rye or wheat. The numerous varieties of oats vary significantly in their disease resistance. Recommended varieties are Hirzon 474, Horizon 321, and LA604 for winter and spring grazing.
Wheat Wheat makes excellent forage and see production for wildlife. Recommended varieties for grazing are AgriPro Crawford, AGS 2000, Pioneer 26R61, Pioneer 2684, Coker 9835, Roberts, GA-Gore, GA-Dozier. Triticale is a very high-quality, robust small grain with good disease and insect resistance. It grows well even when planted in December and January. Recommended varieties include Sunland, Florico, Trical 342, and Monarch.
Ryegrass Ryegrass is a hardy forage crop for use on flatwoods soils or heavier sandy loam soils in northwest Florida. Seeding ryegrass with small grains and clover lengthens the seasonal forage availability. Recommended varieties are Jumbo, Florlina, Surrey, Jackson, Magnolia, Rio, Gulf, Southern Star, Big Daddy, TAM 90, Paseral Plus, Ed, Brigadier, Surrey II, Stampede, Fantastic, Graze-N-Gro, King, Beefbuilder III and Prine. (Other new varieties may be suitable but have not been adequately tested in Florida.)
White Clover* Adapted to moist soils throughout Florida and is a good re-seeder. Recommended varieties are Osceola (developed in Florida), Louisiana S-1, Durana, Patriot, and Regal Ladino.
Red Clover* Intolerant of flooding; non-dormant (or low dormancy) varieties are recommended. Recommended varieties are Cherokee (very well adapted to north Florida), Southern Belle, Redland III, and Kenland. (Cherokee & Southern Belle, developed in Florida, are earlier, non-dormant, and higher yielding cultivars.)
Alfalfa Not recommended in Taylor County due to inability to withstand high water levels and the need for high amounts of fertilization.
Crimson Clover* A well-adapted legume for north Florida. It is an annual clover that is adapted to fertile, well-drained soil. Among the clovers, it is least sensitive to soil pH, but has a short growing season. Recommended to grow with other clovers, rye, oats, or ryegrass. Recommended varieties are Flame, Dixie, Chief, Tibbee and AU-Robin.
Winter Peas Expensive and not very cold-tolerant; this annual legume is best suited to well drained soils with a high clay content.
* Don't forget to apply lime (Dolomite) to the soil to raise the acidity as clovers in general require a pH between 6 - 7. A simple SOIL TEST will help you determine lime and other soil nutrient requirements for your greatest chance of success.