Issues growing cover crop for deer #816975

Asked November 28, 2022, 10:20 AM EST

I received a call from a Dan Gillish who wanted to test his soil because his cover crop for deer plot failed twice this year (late August and late October). He planted rye in late October. He has not had any issues for the past 20 years but nothing came up this year. Seed provider said they did not hear of any other issues from farmers. Due to not being able to test soil at the moment, is there anyone who may be able to help him determine the cause. He does not have email, but his phone number is 616-834-5521. Any help would be appreciated.

Muskegon County Michigan

Expert Response

Unfortunately I do not believe we have any staff with expertise in deer food plots. And I am not aware of other soil testing services available at this time. 

It does sound like the soil profile has degraded over time, so efforts to re-build the soils may be necessary. The MSU/DNR videos below may provide some helpful information.

MSU/CANR - DNR Food Plots

MSU/CANR - Overview of MI DNR Wildlife Food Plots

You may also be able to reach a professional at the Michigan DNR by calling one of their Customer Service Centers. Though I'm not sure what, if any, assistance they provide for food plots on private lands.

I hope this helps and sorry we can not provide more assistance at this time.

Clay Wilton Replied November 29, 2022, 12:08 PM EST

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