What Does The Drought Mean For Your Fall Food Plots?

It’s been extremely dry this summer here in the Midwest and over the last few weeks I’ve had several customers and friends ask about what this means for Fall Food Plots. The perception has been perhaps it may not even be worth planting anything this Fall. This philosophy couldn’t be more wrong.

Let’s back up a bit and put things in perspective. When an area experiences such a drought it has a dramatic impact on the farmer’s grain crops. It puts the crops into shock and forces the grain to struggle. There still appears to be quality forage for the deer to eat throughout the summer to get them through, as these crops will establish to some degree. The impact is on the yield that the farmer will experience once they harvest. Fast Forward to the Fall and what we now have is farmers having to harvest these crops in August instead of October. This removes a primary, highly nutrition food source two months early. Many of your bucks are still in velvet and this nutritional drop off could impact some of that growth.


Here is where your Fall Food Plots come into play. This year will be more important than most years to not only plant Fall Food Plots, but you may want to increase the amount you put in. There is going to be a stretch where the grain crops are out and the Fall Food Plots have not yet become palatable and this very well may change up deer patterns, but I can assure you the deer will have a need to feed and whoever has the best source of food this Fall could be a big winner. There is always a risk of this drought continuing, but I am 100% sure if you don’t even plant the Fall Plots, they won’t grow.

So what should you plant? Probably one of the best Fall Plots that seems to require very little moisture to establish is going to be a Brassica Mix with Turnip in it (Tecomate Ultra Forage). I’ve also had good luck with a Winter Triticale (Rye/Wheat Hybrid). We had very little rain last Fall and both of these did very well for us.

In summary, it will be very critical to get that seed in the ground this year. We will be planting over the next two weeks so now is the time to get the seed ordered and in the ground. Good Luck!

Posted by Terry Sedivec

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