Cultipackers for Food Plots?
Russ Chastain 04.27.20
Like many hunters, I’ve been involved with planting food plots for a good while. And probably like many of you, I’ve never used a cultipacker for that chore. We typically plow with disk harrows, spread the seed, then drag with a tire drag to cover the seed. And I have to say, this usually works well for us.
A cultipacker is essentially a large heavy grooved drum designed to be dragged across the ground to compact disked soil, or pack it down. At the same time, it creates grooves and/or divots in the ground’s surface, creating a nice place for seeds to land when you spread them.
After spreading the seed, using the cultipacker again will press the seed down against the soil, allowing it to germinate.
This article from QDMA essentially says that if you plant small seeds such as clover, alfalfa, chicory, and brassicas, a cultipacker can help increase your harvest yield by preventing the seed from becoming buried too deeply.
If planting larger seeds, they say you can eliminate the first pass from the cultipacker; simply disk, spread, then cultipack.
Why is that better than using a drag? For one thing, the heavy cultipacker presses down to provide good seed-to-soil contact, while a tire or chain link drag does not. And perhaps more importantly, a drag tends to move the seed around after it’s been spread, whereas the heavy roller of a cultipacker will simply roll over it and shove it into the soil. This can help ensure even distribution of the seed.
While we have no plans to acquire a cultipacker for our own property, it’s not because we don’t see its usefulness. In our case, our food plots are often far apart, and we have several tire drags we use for certain areas of the property, so we don’t have to drag the same implement all over the acreage. A cultipacker would get an awful lot of mileage over rough, deeply-rutted roads.
But mainly, what we do works; we typically have very productive food plots and dove fields.
If you are having trouble or just want to up your food plot game, it might be time to think about investing in a cultipacker — or even making your own.
Have you used a cultipacker? Has your experience been good or bad? Please share with your fellow outdoorsmen in the comments below.