Secrets to Early Green Field Planting for Deer
Day 2: A Mistake in Planting Green Fields Is Failing to Get a Soil Test with the Whitetail Institute’s Steve Scott
Editor’s Note: If you'll get your green field crops in the ground early, then they'll come up in your green field prior to deer-hunting season. Let's look at some of the advantages you can enjoy by planting your green fields early, fertilizing natural plants and creating unconventional green fields.
When we asked Steve Scott, the president of the Whitetail Institute in Pintlala, Alabama, "What are the two biggest mistakes that most hunters make when they plant green fields?" he answered quickly, "The first and biggest mistake is not getting a soil test done before hunters ever plant any green fields. Most hunters don't understand that a soil test gives you a map for successful green field planting. You don't have to be a chemist to know that the chemistry of the soil has to be right for whatever crop you plant to be as successful as it can be. A soil test takes all the guesswork out of how much lime and how much fertilizer needs to be put into the ground, before you ever plant to produce the best crop you can possibly grow for wildlife.
“Soil tests are very simple to do and inexpensive, yet they can make the difference in whether you have a successful or a disastrous green field planting. Without a soil test, a hunter may waste a lot of money and time attempting to create a green field and provide plants for wildlife. The results of a simple soil test can make the difference in a great green-field planting or a failed crop. You can have a soil test done at a local co-op, by the U.S. Soil Conservation Service, or through the Whitetail Institute of North America. The reason I recommend that people have it done though the Whitetail Institute is because we can produce results quicker than some of the other agencies do. Our soil tests are done through a certified soil-testing laboratory."
To receive a soil testing kit, you can call 1-800-688-3030, or go to www.whitetailinstitute.com for more information or to order a soil-testing kit. According to Scott, you can't just go out into a green field, dig up some dirt, put it in the sample container and send it in to have it tested. "I recommend that you carry a clean 5-gallon bucket into your field and take soil samples with a small shovel from all four corners of the field and the middle of the field. Place that dirt in the 5-gallon bucket, stir the dirt in the bucket, take your sample from those blended soils, and put it into the soil-testing kit. Then you'll get an accurate sample of all the soils in the field, and your soil test will give you a better reading on the amount of fertilizer and lime you need to put into the soil to produce the best crop." If you decide to have your green field's soil tested through the Whitetail Institute, you can expect the results within 24 to 48 hours. So, if you're in a really big hurry to get a crop planted, you can know in only a few days how much lime and fertilizer you need to put into your green field before you start planting. Too, the soil test will tell you not only the amount of lime and fertilizer but also the kind of fertilizer you need to add to the soil, as well as what fertilizers will meet that soil-test recommendation.
Tomorrow: The Whitetail Institute’s Steve Scott Reports the Importance of Not Evaluating the Amount of Moisture in the Soil When Planting Green Fields for Deer