Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

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.

Posted on 2/2/14
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013

Most Read This Week

October 20, 2014 6573

Uncle Lee's in Greenville is Closing Its Doors…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by www.unclelees.com
October 19, 2014 4387

Kentucky Energy Department Releases Virtual Solar…

in General News For All Sites by Dick Brown
October 21, 2014 3382

UPDATE: Pedestrian Struck by Vehicle on Shamrock…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Officer C.P. Haynie
October 18, 2014 3332

Muhlenberg County Celebrates New Farmer’s Market

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
October 20, 2014 2819

Man Charged for Assaulting Pregnant Wife

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
October 21, 2014 2532

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Oct. 21, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
October 22, 2014 2522

Hopkins County Grand Jury Indictments

in Hopkins News by Karen McKnight
October 23, 2014 2307

Resident Returns Home to People Using Drugs,…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
October 20, 2014 2307

Hopkins County Sheriff's Arrest Reports Released

in Hopkins News by Sheila Hopper
October 22, 2014 2272

Failure to Signal Ends in Drug Arrest

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department

Stories Trending Today

October 23, 2014 2307

Resident Returns Home to People Using Drugs,…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
October 23, 2014 1694

Man Arrested for Endangering Welfare of Minor

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
October 23, 2014 1357

Muhlenberg District Court Fines Handed Down

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
October 23, 2014 1302

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Oct. 23, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
October 23, 2014 1211

Hopkins County Health Department Food Scores Thru…

in Hopkins News by Lisa Miller
October 22, 2014 1004

Build, Go and Grow Regional Entrepreneurship…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Patricia Wiles
October 23, 2014 795

America Should Not Go Greek in the Bathroom

in General News For All Sites by Dr. Glenn Mollette
October 22, 2014 780

Come Monster Mash at the Museum This Saturday

in General News For All Sites by National Corvette Museum
October 23, 2014 755

Vocational Rehabilitation Seeks Public Input Nov.…

in General News For All Sites by Kim Brannock
October 23, 2014 743

UPDATE: Crime Stoppers Fugitive of the Week –…

in Local (Hopkinsville) Top News by Paul Ray

SurfKY News Group, Inc.
Corporate Office & Studio
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431
270.452.2727 (phone)
  •  270.452.2249 (fax)


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

social fbsocial twsocial yt
social gpsocial flrsocial rss