What hunters will harvest this fall begins, in many cases, with what they sow today and in the coming weeks.
Maintaining a healthy herd of whitetail deer so that its members can reach their maximum potential requires careful planning and management of the land they call home. Most noticeably, maybe most significantly, it requires the planting of food plots or green fields to supply or supplement nourishment and minerals otherwise lacking in their diet.
Green fields supplement and attract deer in the fall, but they do their most critical work in the summer when does are raising fawns and bucks are growing antlers.
For Mossy Oak’s BioLogic, the West Point company that formulates and sells seed blends for outdoorsmen interested in improving the habitat under their control, the top recommendations for the northeast Mississippi area for summer include blends of peas, soybeans, sorghum and sunflowers.
BioLogic’s BioMass and BioMass Legume are the ready-made seed blends the company offers that fit these requirements.
“Legume” is a botanical term for a plant that produces a fruit in a pod that opens along a seam. Well-known legumes include alfalfa, clover, peas, beans, lentils, lupins, mesquite, carob, soybeans and peanuts, and both of these blends are comprised of selected legumes that grow well with little help and are beneficial for deer to eat.
“BioMass and BioMass Legume are really popular right now,” Sherman Berry, BioLogic national sales manager, said. “BioMass is a combination (of all the plant types just mentioned) and it’s the most popular, because it’s good for many other game species besides deer. Its grain sorghum and sunflowers make it good for turkeys, quail and doves. It gives you a lot of tonnage and variation throughout the summer.
“BioMass Legume leaves out the sorghum and sunflowers, but offers the advantage that it can be over-sprayed with grass-specific herbicides, which can be a major issue in the spring and summer. Often, people who don’t plant summer food plots say they don’t want to fool with it because the plots can get overwhelmed with grass sometimes. This blend has an answer for that.”
A third option along these lines is a product called LabLab, which is a legume that is specifically resistant to insects and disease, grows well in a variety of soils and produces a large amount of forage for deer.
“LabLab is really good for a summer planting here because it tolerates the heat and the dry conditions very well,” Berry said.
More than deer
Beyond plantings for whitetails, BioLogic offers a wide variety of other seed blends and products, more than 40 in all, to fit a variety of situations land managers may encounter.
Of interest to those in northeast Mississippi may be their Guide’s Choice, Whistleback and Turkey Gold Chufa blends, formulated for ducks, quail and turkeys respectively.
The company offers a private-label brand of fertilizer called pH Fertilizer that includes lime, specially made for plots in areas that are inaccessible to tractors that could otherwise deliver agricultural lime through the normal lime cart method, as well as a wide variety of other goods and services of use to those managing land for wildlife.
The products are available locally at Scruggs Farm, Lawn & Garden and through the company’s retail outlet in West Point, as well as through Bass Pro Shops, Gander Mountain, Cabela’s and other online retailers.
Kevin Tate/Outdoors Writer