My dad likes to tell me stories from his boyhood, and my favorites almost always involve some aspect of farm life. One in particular involved an uncle known for odd behavior and antics that made most of the family think him mildly, if not completely, “touched.” Dad recalled this uncle, walking around in snow-covered fields and pastures, working a hand crank seeder. Naturally, planting seeds in the snow only fueled the poor uncle’s already suspect reputation and elevated his potential as a candidate for one of the state institutions nearby.
“Look at the mass on that brute. He’s got Coke cans coming out of his head,” my buddy said. My over-excited buddy was looking at some trail camera pictures from a card we had just pulled on a camera set up overlooking a mineral site on my farm.
We have been using Whitetail Institute products for six years now and the deer on our property have benefited tremendously. Not only in body size but also antler size and we are seeing more does with twin fawns than in the past. We have implemented a year round food plot strategy which includes our hunting plots. Chicory Plus is one of our main plots. The deer love it. We also plant Imperial Whitetail Clover, No-Plow, and Tall Tine Tubers and have several 30-06 Mineral sites. You be the judge. See the pictures of my daughter’s deer harvested on the property. Thank you Whitetail Institute for a great product. Keep up the good work.
Whether you’re a first-time food plotter or an old hand, you probably know that the planting instructions aren’t the same for all Whitetail Institute products, but they all contain at least one step calling for the addition of fertilizer to the seedbed. Have you ever stopped to consider why?
If you’ve chased gobblers much the past few years, you know the power of the plot. Food plots and spring turkeys go hand in hand. Fresh green growth attracts hens early in spring. Gobblers follow, strutting and gobbling in open areas, trying to impress the ladies and deter rival toms. And in summer, clover plots attract and hold insects, providing critical food for growing poults.
By Institute Staff
Have you ever wished that someone would develop a perennial forage blend that could also deliver the high tonnage of fall/winter annuals? If so, your wish has come true. New Imperial Whitetail Double-Cross is the answer you’ve been looking for.
By now, most hunters and managers are aware of the critical role perennial forages play in a food-plot system. In most cases, perennial forages can provide the backbone of a food-plot system, since they are designed to last for years and, at least in the case of Imperial perennials, provide high nutritional levels and unmatched attractiveness to deer. The role of annual forages in food plot systems is also well known. Annuals can be used to supplement existing perennial forages, or by themselves to draw deer and hold them. They can also fill targeted needs. For example, Imperial Power Plant is often planted alongside existing perennial plots to provide a massive protein boost for deer right when they need it most – during the spring and summer. Likewise, Imperial Pure Attraction and Winter-Greens are a superb complement to existing perennial plots and provide an additional high-carbohydrate food source for the colder months of the year. You may be asking, “Since the Institute already offers perennials blends and annual blends designed for almost any climate and soil type, what makes new Imperial Double-Cross so unique?”
The answer is simple: Double-Cross provides the multi-year performance of a perennial AND the quick establishment and early and late season tonnage of an annual all in one planting! Like all Whitetail Institute products, Double- Cross is blended with the ideal percentages of all components. The perennial component of Double-Cross consists of Advantage and Insight clovers. These are the very same perennial clovers that are the backbone of the number-one perennial forage product in the world, Imperial Whitetail Clover. These clovers exhibit early plant vigor, excellent heat and cold tolerance, and of course exceptionally high nutrition and attraction for deer. They are the only clover varieties ever developed specifically for deer, and they are only available in Whitetail Institute products.
The annual component of Double-Cross is the Whitetail Institute’s outstanding brassicas. These brassicas have already proven themselves in other Imperial blends, including Winter-Greens and Pure-Attraction. These brassicas include lettuce-type brassicas, which are vastly more attractive to deer than standard brassica varieties. The combination of these perennial and annual varieties in one blend is truly a dream come true for planters who have wanted the performance of Imperial Whitetail Clover and Whitetail Institute annual forage brassicas all in a single planting. Double-Cross establishes very quickly, and it provides more tonnage during its early growth stage. Later in the season when the weather turns cold, Double-Cross will keep performing and providing deer with a high-carbohydrate food source during the winter months. Double-Cross is designed to be planted in the fall. The brassicas establish and grow rapidly to complement the perennial clovers, providing higher early tonnage that is high in protein and in the carbohydrates so critical for deer during the fall and winter.
As the perennial clovers continue to provide nutrition and attraction through the fall and into the winter, the brassicas sweeten with the first hard frost of fall, further boosting the plots attractiveness. When winter arrives, the brassicas can stand tall over the snow, providing deer with highly nutritious forage during one of the most stressful times of the year. As spring arrives, the perennial clovers are ready to help deer recover from winter losses, and also later to provide them with abundant protein for antler development, doe pregnancy and overall herd health. And like Imperial Whitetail Clover, the perennial clovers in Double-Cross are designed to last for 3-5 years or even longer with proper planting, maintenance and Mother Nature’s cooperation. Double-Cross should be planted in soils that are loam, light clay or heavier. One 4-pound bag of Double-Cross will plant up to one-half acre. Like other Imperial blends, new Double-Cross is available in several sizes to meet your needs.
These include a one-half acre bag and a three-acre bag. Larger quantities are also available. Like Imperial Whitetail Clover, Double-Cross is specifically designed for deer. If you have wished for a perennial blend with added benefits of a highly productive fall/winter annual all in the same blend, Double-Cross is your answer. Full planting instructions are available on the Institute’s website, www.whitetailinstitute.com, and on the back of each Double-Cross product bag. Additional information is also available toll-free by calling the Institute’s in-house consultants at (800) 688-3030.
By Mark Trudeau
In this series of articles, The Whitetail Institute’s agricultural expert, Mark Trudeau, passes along his decades of real-world experience in farming and related matters to our Field Testers. In the first three segments of “Turning Dirt,” Mark provided his insight to help first-time buyers select a foodplot tractor and discussed tractor implements suitable for ground tillage, such as plows, tillers, disks, drags and cultipackers. If you missed the earlier segments or if you would like to review them, they are available on line at www.whitetailinstitute.com under the “Whitetail News” link. In this segment, Mark discusses seeders.