Too Wet to Plant? No worries!
Recent heavy rain has left millions of acres of tillable ground unplanted. As of today, major rivers in 6 midwestern states have reached record levels. Needless to say, food plot planting isn’t going as well as it has in other years. Many people believe that if they plant a food plot, their deer will somehow get all the nutrients that a deer requires in that area. The reality, is that any food plot plant, no matter how big, how well it grows, or how much the deer consume it, can supply deer with all the nutrients they need to maximize their potential in terms of antler growth. Many people are worried if they do not plant their food plots, antler growth will suffer. The truth is, if antler growth does suffer, it wasn’t due to a lack of food plots, it was likely due to missing other important minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, copper, zinc, selenium, iron, potassium or manganese. Mineral levels in free-range white-tail deer have been poorly studied, mainly because it is an expensive undertaking. Fortunately, Ani-Logics Outdoors has stepped up and taken on the task of determining what deer are missing from their diet, so we can help supplement them in a scientific manner.
Across the US, the 2019 crop has been the slowest in recorded history to get into the ground. As of today, only 59% of the nation’s corn ground has been planted, and the 5-year average for this day is 95% of the crop in by now. The availability of plants to forage on is not as good as in years of normal precipitation, but the good news, is that minerals can withstand a lot of water. Obviously, if you put a mineral site in the flood plain there is a good chance it is going to get wet at one time or another throughout the growing season. I have some interesting pictures to share with you from a customer using the Ani-Mineral Block. They had the block next to a creek and flood waters surrounded the block for several days. Here is the series of pictures that show what happened to that block over the course of a very wet pattern:
After the flood waters receded, there was still plenty of mineral remaining to help this buck through this stressful time period.
If you are worried about getting too much rain, you aren’t alone. Flooding not only effects deer, but many other facets of the economy rely on our river systems to be navigable throughout the summer. It is a bit eerie how well NOAA predicted the extent of flooding back on March 21st:
I encourage you to think of the big picture when dealing with extremely wet soil. Even though planting has been delayed, having a mineral site or providing a feeder to deer during times like these will help bridge the gaps they may have in nutrition. Also, do not worry if your mineral site doubles as a waterhole, which can happen if they have dug a depression in the ground. With all this rain, you might not be able to drive your truck out to your mineral site, but at least that’s better than having to deal with your house flooded or your livelihood altered like so many others must deal with at this time. Take pride in knowing you have done everything you can for your deer herd, warmer and drier weather will eventually come and save the day.