Imperial Whitetail PowerPlant Performance Far Beyond the Ordinary

By Whitetail Institute Staff

Imperial Whitetail PowerPlant is a spring/summer annual forage product that excels at the highest level for getting lots of protein into your deer during spring and summer. Even as awesome as PowerPlant is as a spring/summer forage, though, limiting its description that way might be a huge disservice. PowerPlant can also provide benefits far beyond that, even into hunting season.

PowerPlant as a High-Protein Food Source PowerPlant’s benefit as a spring/summer annual forage for deer can be summed up in one word: protein. Abundant protein during spring and summer is vital if bucks are to grow the biggest antlers their genes will allow. Also at this time of year, protein is a crucially important nutrient for does, which are in the late stages of pregnancy, and later, when they’re producing milk for fawns. Exactly how much protein deer need during spring and summer is a matter of debate, but it’s generally recognized that bucks require about 16 percent protein when building their antlers, does about 18 percent when they’re lactating and fawns up to 20 percent (some of which they get from their mothers’ milk). To be clear, those are the optimum levels — amounts required if deer are to have the opportunity to reach their genetic potential. In contrast, natural forages of spring and summer are generally low in protein — often only around 3 to 5 percent, and their availability to deer drops off sharply in most areas as summer progresses. Even with these low protein levels and lack of availability, deer can survive, but a manager who wants his deer to thrive and push his deer as far as their genetic blueprints allow will have to supplement the protein shortfall. That need is what prompted the Whitetail Institute to develop PowerPlant. It’s an extremely prolific forage producer that can generate tons of high-quality, high-protein forage during the antler growing period. Also, remember that for any forage to be of maximum benefit to deer in terms of protein delivery, it also has to provide protein in the highly palatable form deer require. Agricultural soybeans, for example, offer high protein, but their utility is less than optimum when they’re used as a deer forage because they can become stemmy and unpalatable to deer as they mature and the amount of lignen in their stems increases. Agricultural soybeans also don’t tolerate heavy browsing very well, often being completely wiped out quickly or dying as soon as they are bitten off by deer. These are not necessarily flaws, but products of the purpose for which they were engineered — optimum bean and pea production, not as a high-protein and heavy browsing food source. In contrast, the forage soybeans and peas in PowerPlant are highly browse-tolerant, and when they are established, they can continue to vigorously grow even after being bitten off by deer. In addition, the beans and peas in PowerPlant are vining varieties that remain tender and palatable throughout their lives and don’t get stemmy as they mature the way agricultural varieties do. To maximize production of the vining legumes, PowerPlant also includes small amounts of sunflowers as a structural plant for the forage vines to climb. PowerPlant also contains Sunn Hemp, which acts as a highly attractive and nutritious regenerating forage source and as a structural plant. Whitetail Institute has combined these components in specific ratios that testing has shown will produce maximum growth, resulting in a thick, tall stand in which deer will often bed and feed, and in which turkeys often nest and raise their poults. It’s that growth characteristic that also makes PowerPlant uniquely suited to a hunting setup for folks willing to do some planning.

Killer Setup for Hunting Over PowerPlant PowerPlant will continue to produce until the first frosts of fall. This can provide an option for a unique and productive hunting setup for early season. It starts with identifying the most commonly prevailing wind direction during hunting season. Toward the end of summer, identify a good stand location overlooking the plot on a downwind corner or edge. A few weeks before your fall planting dates arrive, mow lanes through the PowerPlant so you can see down them from the stand. When you’re ready to plant the lanes in fall, lightly disk the clippings into the soil, fertilize and plant a Whitetail Institute fall annual in each of the lanes. The fall annuals will keep the plot attracting deer after the PowerPlant dies off. In the meantime, though, deer will continue to bed in the standing PowerPlant, and they’ll step in and out of the lanes throughout the day, offering you one of the best hunting setups you’ll find.

Final Thoughts The recommended minimum plot size and seeding rate for Power- Plant vary according to deer density. If you live in an area with a low or normal deer density, plant at least one acre with a seeding rate of 25 pounds of PowerPlant per acre. If deer density in your area is high, plant at least 1.5 acres with a seeding rate of 50 pounds of PowerPlant per 1.5 acres. Another huge benefit of PowerPlant is that it’s now Arrest Max approved, so you can spray to control grass if it appears soon after planting. PowerPlant should not be planted until spring soil temperatures have warmed to a constant 65 degrees or higher. Finally, the Whitetail Institute only produces enough PowerPlant each year to satisfy anticipated demand for that year. Supplies usually run out every year, so don’t delay in ordering your PowerPlant. If you have questions about PowerPlant or would like to order, call the Whitetail Institute’s in-house consultants from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m CST Monday thru Friday at (800) 688-3030. The call and service are free.