What's New with No-Plow? New forage components make best-selling No-Plow even better

By Whitetail Institute Staff

Designed to deliver excellent attraction and nutrition in fully prepared seedbeds or with minimal ground preparation, Imperial Whitetail No-Plow is one of the Whitetail Institute’s most successful and long running products. With all that, what more is there to say? How about, “Now, No-Plow is even better with the inclusion of two new highly attractive and nutritious forages.”

What Makes No-Plow Special?

There’s a reason why No-Plow is one of the Whitetail Institute’s longest running products: It’s a result of the Whitetail Institute’s customer-driven approach. When it comes to new product development, the Whitetail Institute has always been customer driven. Most of its new product ideas come from folks who actually use food plot products in the field: hunters and managers. When the Whitetail Institute recognizes a need, it acts by starting research and development toward a product that will meet it. That was the driving force behind the development of the Whitetail Institute’s first product, Imperial Whitetail Clover, which to this day contains the only clover varieties ever specifically developed for deer. The same is true of Imperial Whitetail Extreme, which is designed to meet the needs of folks in lower rainfall areas, Winter-Greens, Tall Tine Tubers, and the rest of the Whitetail Institute’s product line. For perhaps as long as humans have planted food plots for deer, hunters have always been faced with a dilemma: finding a food plot product that would attract and hold deer like a magnet even in sites that couldn’t be accessed with tillage equipment. That’s why the Whitetail Institute started working to meet that need so early in its history. The first step the Whitetail Institute’s scientists and agronomists took when they started the research-and-development project that would ultimately lead to No-Plow was to identify specific attributes the new forage product would need to possess. One might assume that the primary R and D goal was to develop a product that could perform well even with minimal ground preparation. Certainly, the no-till aspect was important, but the overriding research goal was something else: attractiveness to deer. Without that, the product would be doomed from the outset and never make it to Whitetail Institute product status. Other research goals included rapid stand establishment; early seedling vigor; drought and heat tolerance; the ability to perform well from early fall, through the coldest months of the year, and through spring; and yes, the capability to thrive even when planted with minimal ground preparation.

Rarely will a plant variety excel in all these performance categories. Accordingly, the Whitetail Institute worked toward developing a blend of multiple plant varieties that, acting in combination, would satisfy all these performance goals. Was the effort successful? Absolutely! All you have to do is look at how long Imperial Whitetail No-Plow has been on the market to know that. The final test blends that went on for real-world testing on free-ranging deer consisted of three main component groups: brassica, annual clovers, and forage grains and grasses. These were the same basic component groups in No-Plow when it was introduced, and they have remained so even as the Whitetail Institute has continued to improve No-Plow through the years. The reason is simple: This structure works and has helped No-Plow maintain its dominant place in the market. All the components establish and grow quickly, often appearing above ground just a few days after planting, and start attracting deer right away. Usually, deer tend to concentrate on the forage grains and grasses first and then the clovers. When the first frosts of fall arrive, the brassicas in No- Plow become even sweeter and continue to attract and hold deer into the coldest months. After winter, the annual clovers continue to provide much-needed nutrition for deer as they recover their winter health losses and bucks begin to re-grow antlers. All that is nothing new to folks who’ve used No-Plow before this new version became available. The Whitetail Institute regularly receives testimonials from hunters and managers from across the United States and Canada telling the Whitetail Institute of the success they’ve had with No-Plow. Even so, the Whitetail Institute is always looking for ways to make even its most popular products better, and No-Plow is yet another example.

What’s New?

No-Plow still contains the same components that have made it a favorite with Whitetail Institute customers, plus two new forage components: a specially selected radish and a new lettuce. The newly added radish and lettuce are highly attractive and help No-Plow draw and hold deer even better. But that’s not all they do. They also improve soil structure and fertility. The specially selected radish grows a large root. As the planting reaches the end of its life, any roots not devoured by your deer will decompose and leave air spaces, which help aerate the soil. This allows better water filtration and air movement throughout the soil, both of which are important to root development and the growth of healthy plants. The large roots also recycle nutrients to the top 8 to 12 inches of the soil, making them available to plants in subsequent food plot plantings. In short, if you’ve used No-Plow before and liked it the way it was, don’t worry—you’ll find the same components in the new No- Plow that you’ve relied on for years. Plus, you’ll be getting even better attraction, and you’ll be improving your soil structure at the same time, whether you plant new No-Plow in a fully prepared seedbed or according to our no-tillage instructions. If you’re one of the few who is new to No-Plow, I have only one question: What are you waiting for?