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Wildlife Food Plot

wildlife food plot









Establishment of a variety of plants that furnish food for wildlife.

How it works

Food plots may be established either within an existing crop field or in a separate location. You may simply leave rows of grain standing after harvest to provide food for wildlife over the winter. Another option is to plant a small plot elsewhere. These plots help wildlife throughout the winter when food supplies are in short supply.

How it helps

  • Helps to maintain wildlife populations
  • Provides food for wildlife when other food sources may be inaccessible due to heavy snow or ice

Planning ahead

  • Will the crop you plan to plant or leave standing in the field attract the wildlife you want?
  • Is there adequate cover and water near the food plot to support wildlife?
  • Are you endangering wildlife by placing food too close to high traffic areas?

Technical notes

  • Planting dates vary, depending on the crop and climate.
  • Food plots should be planted on the least erosive areas of the selected field.
  • Plots on slopes steeper than 5% must be planted on the contour.
  • A plot can be planted on the same area each year, as long as soil loss does not exceed acceptable limits.
  • Acceptable crops may include corn, oats, barley, wheat, and sunflowers.
  • Reduced tillage or no-till planting is encouraged.


  • Manage livestock use of the area.
  • Do not use herbicides unless noxious weeds persist. If herbicides are needed, spot spray. Avoid using herbicides that would endanger adjacent seedlings.