Planting wildlife food plots offers challenges in Wisconsin. Wildlife will require food plots during the harshest portion of winter when the snow may be at its deepest. According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, wildlife may choose shelter over eating at a food plot. Site location for the food plot is as critical as the field preparation and planting of the actual seeds. Food plots are generally planted in early fall, prior to an autumn rain.
Select the site locations for the food plot. It is recommended to keep the plot area approximately ½ to 1 acre in size. The food plot should also be orientated on the sides of natural shelter areas where snow will not drift too deep. This will allow access to the plants under a thin layer of snow.
Conduct a soil test of the food plot field. Take several soil samples from the field. Mix the soil together and allow it to dry. Deliver the soil sample to your local agricultural extension service for analysis.
Remove as much of the existing vegetation from the food plot area with the disc cultivator attached to the tractor. The goal is to break the surface of the soil and remove competing plants for moisture and nutrients.
Apply the recommended fertilizer and agricultural lime to the food plot area based upon the soil test results. Incorporate the materials into the soil with the disc cultivator.
Broadcast the food plot seed according to the package labeling. Attempt to time the seed planting before any forecasted rains. Most food plots are in remote areas with no access to irrigation.