Food Plot Seed Dispersal Options
Dr. John Woods 02.25.17
When the local farm co-op quit delivering seed and fertilizer via a spreader truck, we had to start looking for other options. Frankly all the other immediate options we looked at involved a lot of time and labor, the two things we had in short supply. I am sure other deer hunters, game managers, and landowners have the same issues.
Because our hunting club did not own a farming tractor or other necessary implements to plant wildlife food plots, then we needed to scale back our operations. Before we had sixteen food plots totaling roughly 45 acres. We get a local farmer to mow our plots, then disk them up for the co-op to spread the seed and fertilizer. Now we had to search for other ways to get it done.
We started by cutting back on the total number of food plots, then the sizes of them. Cost factors were pressing for this anyway as fertilizer and seed costs escalated year after year. We had to make the whole process more manageable for the limited time we had.
Smaller plots were seeded with hand held bag spreaders. These can hold only a small amount so we used them for tiny specialized plots in secluded areas where big equipment could not get to anyway.
Next, we went to ATV mounted spreaders and this helped a lot. Still there was considerable labor in loading single bags of material, but it went a lot faster, and we could control better where precisely to apply the seed and fertilizer. Again we did this on small plots of five acres or less.
On the biggest food plots we had, the food plot farm manager we hired agreed to buy a hopper type spreader to go on his tractor driven by the shaft drive. This really facilitated faster seeding. We still had to hand load the bags of material.
One other good option are the smaller two-wheeled buggy type spreaders that can be towed behind a tractor. These can hold between 2-3 hundred pounds of seed and fertilizer, which could even be mixed in the hopper. We prefer to do them separately so the spreading is more uniform. Using this equipment makes for a much faster application process.
If necessity is the mother of invention, then when a service ceases, the end user has to seek out other options. If you plant wildlife food plots, then some of these options might work for you.