How much corn
How much corn should I plant?
How much corn should I plant is a great question. How much corn you go with is a function of deer density, your property size, and your property goals. Corn and soybeans, along with brassicas and cereal grains help pull your deer through the toughest part of the year. Native browse, vegetation, and acorns will usually get your deer from April through November, and often longer when mother nature is not so cruel, but eventually the natural stuff is in short in supply. The cupboard starts getting bare, and winter mortality, fawn absorption, and buck stress become real factors on your deer herd. How much corn you plant may be part of the answer to how healthy your deer herd is.
How much corn minimum
How much corn as a minimum? 4 acres of corn is a good guideline. 4 acres of corn is a good starting point if you are asking How much corn should I plant. That might eat up your entire 10% allocation on a 40 acre piece, and at over $300 per acre for the seed and fertilizer, it’s a $1,200 venture low end. If its’ got you thinking corn may not be right for you, don’t despair. Many of the properties we manage will never have a corn filed on them for a number of reason, and space and money are high on the list. How much corn to plant is often zero, and that is okay.
Just last year we advised a client against planting 2.5 acres of corn on his place in central Minnesota. It’s his place and he went ahead and did it. Bought the seed, bought the fertilizer, and spent close to $1,000 in the process. He sent us pictures in July, August and September and the corn was looking awesome. Some of the stalks had 3 ears on them and they were over a foot long. He had visions of 20 or 30 deer in that field come muzzleloader season, and if disaster had not struck, he would have been correct. When the corn was just beginning to ripen, a couple of local bear decided it was time to add some winter fat for their long sleep, and boy did they go to town. 60% of his corn was flat on the ground in less than 10 days. Those bear just lay down and pull the corn down to eat it, destroying both the cover it provides and the food we plant it for. His crop was a complete loss, and not only was his corn gone, he missed out on the late fall planting window when we put in much of our food plot acreage. A tough lesson to learn, but one he will not forget.
Any monoculture like corn is a risk. If something goes wrong with the weather and the crop fails, you are left with weeds and dirt. Not a big part of a land management program. You may want to steer clear of corn on low acreage projects, and keep your focus on safer blends to hold deer year round.
How much corn when your loaded?
If money is no object you may be planting a lot of corn. How much corn? Maybe 100. We can pick some in late winter if the deer will not need all of it, but it will ensure they come through the season in top form. And that should be the goal of any food plot program. Year round nutrition and drawing power, with an emphasis on pulling your herd through the rough months when they need the most help. Not all of us will be able to plant How much corn the farmer next door does, and those that can are fortunate financially to say the least. How much corn you plant will be a case by case and property by property question we will help answer as part of a comprehensive plotting program.