Ready, Set, Grow! October 19, 2022 Wildlife

fall deer lsujpgThursday, October 27 the LSU AgCenter, with sponsorship from St. James Farm Bureau, is hosting a Wildlife Field Day. It’s free to the public and will include a food plot display, educational talks, and a demonstration on proper butchering of large game using a deer as our model. It ends with free supper, so I’m expecting a crowd.

It will take place from 4 to 6 pm at Mr. “Possum” Roussel’s camp. In case you don’t know where that is, it’s on Shady Grove Road in Romeville. It’s about a mile past Oxy Chem (Convent) just off Hwy 3125. Google Maps will pick up on “Shady Grove Road, Romeville” to help you find it. Dinner will be served at about 6 so RSVP to my email address below.

Speaking of food plots, how are yours looking? Pretty dry, probably, and there’s nothing we can do about that. But we can do something about species selection and management, and it’s not too late for cool-season forages. Every deer is different but many seem to be drawn to legumes. Plants like clover, vetch, and peas “fix” nitrogen to their roots in a symbiotic relationship with particular soil bacteria. Fancy wording aside, it means these plants tend to be high in nutrition, especially protein.

The LSU AgCenter has helpful publications on seeding and fertilizer rates for many wildlife food plots. I tend to think of deer with food plots but you may also grow a buffet for ducks and doves, for instance. Clover may be seeded at 15-20 lbs. / acre, while peas should be broadcast at 40 lbs. / acre. The rye grass recommendation is 20 lbs. / acre, while oats want 80… You see where this is going. Look up (or ask me) specifics before planting for best results.

The same is true for fertilizer, with most crops wanting about 200-250 lbs. / acre of a balanced fertilizer like 13-13-13. No nitrogen is required for legumes, however. And pray for rain!

If you want to know more about gardening, landscaping, or anything else horticultural, contact the St. John & St. James Parishes Horticulture Extension Agent André Brock at Also, the LSU Ag Center’s website can be accessed at with lots of user-friendly information, including this article. Visit our parish Facebook page at
10/19/2022 8:42:14 PM
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