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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going to be trying my hand at food plots this upcoming year for the first time. So I'll apologize in advance for all of the "duh" questions I'll be asking in the future. :)

I'll be putting about 8 acres total with a good mix of spring and fall plantings. I haven't decided on the exact mixes yet. But I also want to put in a couple of plots of high energy foods like corn and leave standing thru the winter.

Here's my actual question: Is it worth putting in some soy beans too and leave standing like the corn or am I better off with just corn?

Like I said, I'll be putting about 8 acres and that will be split up into 5 or 6 plots.

Any feedback is appreciated.
 

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i am not sure if beans do that great in the winter. When shining in the summer we see a lot of deer in the middle of the fields eating. Once the frost hits they are none excisstent in the bean fields.
 

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MGV -
I'm with you - just starting my overall management plan for food.

From someone who hunts primarily farmland, (don't have access to too much woods) the deer love the soybeans. All during hunting season, we have deer leaving the corn to make it to the soy bean fields, even after they are cut. Not sure what the soys would do if they were not cut, but I know this - we had a half a dozen rows of soys that are on the east side of a n/s fence row (pretty thick fence row) that didn't get cut because the farmer couldn't get close enough to the fence row. The snow has drifted in the fence row, and left the tops of those soys exposed. Last weekend, the whole thing was tore up - they've been hitting it hard.

Don't forget your woody browse as well - I'm planting a lot of white pine, poplars, staghorn sumac, and red-osier dogwood. Crabapples come later. Work them in where you can - in the fence rows, etc. In the long run, once they are established, they be relatively maintenance free.
 

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Sorry MGV - that last post was meant for LReed
 

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I was wondering what you meant.

That is interesting about this late in the winter and now they hit the beans. Last resort for them?
 

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Not sure.. there's a ton of corn stubble around, and a lot of woody browse in fence rows, etc. I don't see any sign of overbrowse, and the doe I took this year was 150 lbs. I'm guessing that they had a window of opportunity - it was so cold for a while - I don't think they were leaving the woods much. After the big snow that we got in the area a couple of weeks ago, I went and checked out the woods - no real sign anywhere else, but I found a lot of beds in the woods, and they were taking out all the maple saplings. The weather has moderated a little in the past week, maybe they are venturing out again. The other thing is - now that I'm thinking about it - they have to cross a big drainage ditch to get from the woods to the fence row I'm talking about, which as had at least 6 foot of snow drifted through it.. That ditch goes through 2 sections
 

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See Ed Spins reply in the QDM forum under "getting started with food plot". It has alot of pertinant info regarding Foodplots,corn, and soys.
 

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What we've seen on our hunting lease is that deer will wipe out small plots of soys during July & August. I mean they'll graze it down to dirt. If you have a fairly high population of deer that bed down in woodlots near your soy plot ....and if that plot is only an acre or two ....then, based on our experience, little if any will get through to pod stage.

In areas close to high deer populations the only soys that seem to make it are the commercial farm fields of 15+ acres. Our land is in DMU 34 - south central area of the state.

Now, what does get through will draw deer into the spring. If you can put in a big enough plot ---or field ----the deer will be in it feeding heavily on the foliage starting in early July...they seem to abandon it sometime in August ...but are back feeding on the beans themselves in mid-September on. An it will continue to draw as long as there is something for them to scratch around for.
 

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I think it was Ed Spin that said in past post you need to plant 3 acres of corn if you put in corn. I can relate to that. I put in 3 small corn fields last year, added together might be 1 1/2 acres and there was not one grain of corn left by the middle of Oct. I have 11 small food plots now. I will make them larger each year where I can. It's a lot of work to clear land and add lime and ect. but I love it. I am seeing more deer now. We have been doing the QDM for 5 years now and its starting to pay off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all of your responses. Like I mentioned earlier, I'll be putting in around six different plots. I've got 147 acres and it's about a 50/50 mix of woods and fields that are all in the CRP program. By contract I'm restricted to 10% of the CRP land for food plots. So it ends up being between 7 and 8 acres of plots for those six locations.

Right now I'm considering a couple of acres of corn and an acre of beans to go with it. Then the rest I'll experiment with some blends. Right now I'm thinking some BioLogic Maximum, Wildlife Buffet buck spring and buck fall, Antler King fall/winter/spring mix and Tecomate monster mix.

I'll do soil samples as soon as possible and start preparing the plot sites early since they haven't had anything for a few years. I plan on talking to the farmer across the road about planting the corn and beans for me since he puts some in every year. After that I've got an old 8n that needs some work but I think I can have it ready for the season. Then I'll have to find a disc, drag and spreader.

At some point and time I should probably tell my wife about all of this..........:p
 

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I have about 30 acres behind me that had beans the last 2 years. Last year they were harvested in late Nov. This year they are still out there. Since I see them every day, here are my observations: The deer will be in the beans from Jul until they start to turn yellow. Once they are brown, there deer come back as well as the turkeys. They will stay around until the beans are cut. After cutting, the turkeys will scratching everywhere looking for leftovers. The deer are around too, but not as much as if the beans were still there. Last year, I had a couple deer everyday and 50+ turkeys in the cut field. This year, I have 25+ deer and 80+ turkeys everyday. Deer feed throughout the day and all night. The turkeys come out in the morning and hang out in the field until night time.
Just my observations.
 

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this past fall i left a 2 acre field of beans for the deer and they where in it every day till there was just stubble left along with the turkeys. the field lasted till late november till it was picked over.
 
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