Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster

WK Outdoors - Plant Winter Wheat this Fall for Wildlife

wk outdoors 300WESTERN Ky. (7/19/13) – The heat of summer is a good time to begin thinking about fall plantings to benefit wildlife.
    
Winter wheat is a top choice for a fall crop because it is readily eaten by deer and wild turkey and is an excellent nurse crop for clover. Winter wheat is typically planted Augest 15 through October 31.
    
Broadcast wheat seed with a hand-crank spreader and rake or disk it under.
    
"I recommend planting clover at the same time you plant the wheat," said Joe Lacefield, a private lands wildlife biologist with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. "The clover will take root over the winter and come on the next spring as the wheat starts to die back."
    
In tobacco country, winter wheat has been the cover crop of choice to the benefit of wildlife. High in protein and easily digestible, winter wheat provides high quality green forage which is especially attractive in the late season.
    
Lacefield said one way to prepare a site is to mow, then apply herbicide when the re-growth starts.
   
"After the weeds have died back, then till the area before planting," said Lacefield. "Ideally, you want to time the planting of your winter wheat and clover seed in anticipation of rain."
    
Another site preparation option is tilling or mechanical cultivation whenever the plot is dry over a period of time leading up to planting. Tilling uproots grass and weeds and loosens the soil.
    
Plots should be located on a level spot with decent soil fertility and full sun a majority of the day.
    
Winter wheat grows best when the soil has a pH of 5.8 to 6.5. Use a soil test to measure the nutrient levels of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) as well as the acidity of the soil. Soil test kits are available at most farm stores. Follow directions carefully.
    
If fertilizer needs to be added to your plot, consider using 10-10-10, a formulation commonly available in 50-pound bags. Both fertilizer and agricultural lime are available in pellet form, for easy application with a hand-crank spreader. Lime improves water penetration and the uptake of nutrients of plants growing in acidic soils. Don't skimp on the amount of lime that is recommended. Low pH is usually an issue with soils in Kentucky.
    
Two excellent plot locations are the edge of a field or an existing woods opening that deer or turkey are already using. Your tree stand or ground blind should be within easy shooting range and downwind of the plot.
    
Lacefield suggests planting Ladino or white clover in shaded, woodland openings. Red clover seems to do better in open fields with full sun, growing well on the warm weather days in September and October. Red clover grows taller than white clover and is less impacted by weeds, but all stands of clover need periodic mowing to thrive.
    
This perennial cool-season legume helps increases soil fertility and provides an almost year-round source of high quality forage for wildlife. An established plot of clover starts growing in the early spring and lasts until it is killed back by the heaviest frosts of late fall.
    
Author Art Lander Jr. has been writing about the outdoors since the 1970s. He is a staff writer for Kentucky Afield Magazine.  
 
SurfKY News
Information provided by Art Lander (Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife)

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

Latest Video

3/13 - 16

Stock Report

1 DOW 17,042.90
-28.32 (-0.17%)    
2 S&P 1,972.29
-5.51 (-0.28%)    
3 NASDAQ 4,493.39
-12.46 (-0.28%)    
3/13 - 16
3/13 - 16

In Other News...

Brenda Hardin's Pretrial Conference Deferred

GREENVILLE, Ky. (9/30/14) — A pretrial conference for Brenda Hardin scheduled for 11:30 a.m., today, Sept. 30 has been… Read More

Providence Police Reports Released

PROVIDENCE, Ky. (9/30/14) ― The Providence Police Department released the following reports Monday, Sept. 29. Jacob… Read More
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

September 26, 2014 5849

Super Walmart Headed to Hanson, Fate of…

in Top Stories by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
September 27, 2014 3726

Hopkins County Grand Jury Misdemeanor Indictments

in News by Karen McKnight
September 29, 2014 3345

Endless Road Strings Bring Orchestra Mix to…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
September 26, 2014 3275

Drug Sting Results in Meth Trafficking Charge

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
September 27, 2014 2650

Sinister on Center Takes Haunted Manor to Whole…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
September 26, 2014 2592

UPDATE: Semi Trucks Crash, Block Northbound Lane…

in Top Stories by Keith Todd
September 26, 2014 2573

Muhlenberg Job Corps Recognizes Employee of the…

in Top Stories by Karen Robinson
September 26, 2014 2459

Madisonville Police Department Arrest Reports -…

in News by Madisonville Police Department
September 26, 2014 2449

Muhlenberg 911 Service Recipient of $32,500 Grant

in Top Stories by Rebecca Hanchett
September 29, 2014 2338

One Injured in Single-Vehicle Collision on…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
September 29, 2014 2273

Man, Woman Charged with Violating EPO Against…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

September 26, 2014 3275

Drug Sting Results in Meth Trafficking…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
September 29, 2014 2338

One Injured in Single-Vehicle Collision…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
September 29, 2014 2273

Man, Woman Charged with Violating EPO…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
September 25, 2014 2236

Shoplifting Complaint Leads to Resisting…

in Top Stories by Information provided by MPD
September 29, 2014 2022

Man Charged with PI, Drugs, After…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

September 29, 2014 3345

Endless Road Strings Bring Orchestra Mix…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
September 26, 2014 2573

Muhlenberg Job Corps Recognizes Employee…

in Top Stories by Karen Robinson
September 26, 2014 2449

Muhlenberg 911 Service Recipient of…

in Top Stories by Rebecca Hanchett
September 28, 2014 2016

Community Shows Support to Muhlenberg…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
September 28, 2014 1796

Marching Mustangs Take Third in Ohio…

in Top Stories by Information provided by Shawna Hendrix

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social 03social 04social 22social 21social 06