Turkey Select – Top-Quality Perennial Chufa for Whitetail Institute Customers

By Whitetail Institute Staff

Since it first opened its doors in 1988 the Whitetail Institute has stuck like glue to its core business — developing the very best food plot products for deer. That being the case, you may wonder why the Whitetail Institute now also offers Turkey Select, a chufa food plot product that’s specifically for turkeys. The answer is that offering Turkey Select is simply another way Whitetail Institute goes the extra mile for its customers who manage their properties primarily for deer. However, turkeys are second behind deer on the list of game animals our customers manage, and Turkey Select allows Whitetail Institute customers to take advantage of the Institute’s excellent contacts in the seed business and provide them a source for high-quality chufa seed.

Chufa is a perennial sedge that produces underground tubers, which are a highly preferred, high energy food source for turkeys and waterfowl. Also known as “ground almonds” and “tiger nuts,” chufa tubers rank tenth among the most important waterfowl foods in the United States, and many believe they’re the Number 1 preferred choice for turkeys. Turkey Select is for spring planting only. The plants produce underground tubers during the summer, and once the foliage dries in the fall, turkeys dig up the mature tubers with a vengeance. Although chufa is a prolific-growing perennial, smaller plots in high-density turkey areas can be wiped out the first fall, but if enough is planted to withstand that initial attack, it can last for years, benefitting both spring and fall turkey hunters. Obviously how much is enough will vary from case to case based on how much you plant and how many turkeys you have in the area. Plant early enough to leave 100-120 days for the chufa plants to mature before the first frosts of fall. Exact dates, which vary regionally from April to June, are on the back of the product bags and also posted at whitetailinstitute.com. Be sure to wait until there is no remaining chance of late spring frost before planting Turkey Select. Also, be sure you choose a site that gets lots of sunlight.

As little as 30 percent shade can substantially reduce tuber production. While Turkey Select can adapt to a wide variety of soil types, including clay, clay loam, loam, sandy gravel and sand, medium to lighter soils with soil pH of 5.5-7.5 are best. Tuber production is generally lowest in sand. Soils that remain moist are optimum for maximum tuber production. Chufa can adapt to temporary or seasonal flooding, provided the plants are not completely submerged. Prolonged flooding during the growing season or drought conditions can severely reduce tuber production and reduce chufa survival. In sites where grass competition is expected to be especially heavy, it can be a very good idea to incorporate Roundup into seedbed preparation. Turkey Select is also Arrest Max-Approved to help you keep competing grass in check through the spring and summer after planting. Turkey Select is available in 10-pound bags that plant 1/4 acre. For additional information about Turkey Select, go to whitetailinstitute.com, or call the Whitetail Institute at (800) 688-3030, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CST Monday thru Friday.