Ever-Popular Imperial Whitetail NO-PLOW Exceptionally attractive, with minimal or complete seedbed preparation

Without question, one of the Whitetail Institute’s most successful products is Imperial Whitetail No-Plow. In fact, No-Plow is the second longest-running food plot product in the Whitetail Institute’s forage product line, right behind Imperial Whitetail Clover. It owes its huge popularity to two things: its superior attractiveness to deer and versatility.

Superior Attractiveness

As with all Whitetail Institute forage products, No-Plow is exceptionally attractive to deer, and the reason is simple: attractiveness to deer is the overriding forage-development goal of the Whitetail Institute. Other research goals include rapid stand establishment, early seedling vigor, nutritional content, and tolerance of cold, heat and drought. But no matter how much protein a forage has, how quickly it establishes and grows, or how well it can tolerate tough climates, it will never make it to Whitetail Institute product status unless it’s highly attractive to deer. No-Plow is a blend of multiple, diverse forages. Each is highly attractive, and when combined in the exact ratios in which you’ll find them in No-Plow, they’re even more attractive. One reason is the different yet complementary forage components in the product. Forage grasses, annual clovers and brassica have always been the component groups in No-Plow, and the reason is simple: The performance of these components is outstanding, and they continue to be a reason why No-Plow maintains its dominant place in the market. In its continuing quest to improve its products, the Whitetail Institute has also added another forage component to No-Plow: a specially selected radish. The radish’s main function is to serve as a nurse crop as the other forages develop and then as an additional late-season food source. The radishes also provide a secondary benefit to soil quality: Their thick roots leave spaces in the soil, which can be of great benefit in heavy soils that are compacted. Also, any radish tubers that are left after winter add organic matter to the soil as they break down at the end of the planting’s life span. No-Plow establishes and grows quickly, often appearing above ground just a few days after planting, and it starts attracting deer right away. Usually, deer tend to concentrate on the forage grasses first and then clovers. After 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, and the radishes also provide extremely attractive winter forage. After winter, the annual clovers continue to provide much-needed nutrition for deer as they recover their winter health losses and bucks begin to regrow antlers.


The Whitetail Institute developed No-Plow as an answer to a dilemma many hunters face: what to plant in areas that can’t be accessed with equipment. However, as I hope you realized when you read the first part of this article, the Whitetail Institute’s primary goal in designing No-Plow wasn’t just to come up with a food plot product that could be planted with minimal seedbed preparation. No-Plow is designed to attract deer. In addition, it can be planted with minimal ground preparation or in a fully prepared seedbed (disked or tilled, existing vegetation removed and soil pH adjusted to 6.5-7.0). In fact, the Whitetail Institute publishes two sets of planting instructions for No-Plow; one for planting with minimal seedbed preparation and the other for planting in a fully prepared seedbed. (You can find the instructions on the back of the product bags and at whitetailinstitute. com.) Either way, No-Plow will attract and hold deer in a broad range of planting situations and soil types. No-Plow can tolerate as little as three to four hours of broken, filtered or indirect sunlight per day. It’s available in 9-pound bags that plant a half-acre and 25-pound bags that plant 1-1/2 acres. For more information on No-Plow, go to whitetailinstitute.com, or call (800) 688-3030.