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.

button coupons
button classifieds

In Other News...

Kentucky Law Enforcement Members Receive Top Honors

OWENSBORO, Ky. (12/18/14) — The Owensboro Police Department, along with the Daviess County Sheriff’s Office and… Read More

Concession Stand Hours at Smothers Park over Christmas Break

OWENSBORO, Ky. (12/19/14) — Smothers Park is the perfect place to bring your family and friends to have fun and enjoy a… Read More

Most Read This Week

December 16, 2014 9769

Coal Miner Fatally Injured in Underground Mining…

in Top News For All Sites by Dick Brown
December 14, 2014 8658

Muhlenberg Pays Homage to U.S. Armed Forces

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
December 17, 2014 6698

Elderly Couple Found Shot to Death in Muhlenberg

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Trooper Stu Recke
December 17, 2014 6397

Three Men Charged with Burglary

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
December 15, 2014 4855

Hopkins County Woman Charged Second Time in Two…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
December 15, 2014 4322

Woman Leads Police on High-Speed Chase in Stolen…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police
December 18, 2014 3336

Cat Scratching over Dog Ownership Escalates

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
December 15, 2014 3330

Vehicle Careens down 150 Foot Embankment with…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
December 16, 2014 3173

Highway Crews Pre-Treating Roadways for Potential…

in Hopkins News by Keith Todd
December 16, 2014 3137

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Dec. 16, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department

Stories Trending Today

December 18, 2014 3336

Cat Scratching over Dog Ownership Escalates

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
December 18, 2014 1634

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released

in Hopkins News by Sheila Hopper
December 18, 2014 1621

UK Track and Field Announces Initial Eight…

in General Sports For All Sites by UK Athletics
December 19, 2014 1606

Dawson Springs Man Charged with Sexual Abuse of…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Detective Sean McCance
December 19, 2014 1601

Vehicle Explodes into Flames on Pride Avenue

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Gwen Smith
December 18, 2014 1550

DeArmond Looks Back as Retirement Nears

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
December 18, 2014 1521

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Dec. 18, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
December 19, 2014 1519

Woman Flown to St. Mary's after Two-Car Collision

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Trooper Stu Recke
December 18, 2014 1364

Madisonville Insurance Executive Elected Vice…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Kristy Quinn
December 18, 2014 1267

Traffic Shift for New I-69/Pennyrile Pkwy…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Keith Todd

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