Tag Archive: Wildlife

Wildlife Food Plots for North Florida

Big Buck on the Move – Photo Credit Shep Eubanks, UF/IFAS

About this time each year the minds of sportsman and wildlife aficionados turn towards the planting of wildlife food plots for use by wildlife  in fall, winter , and early spring.  There are many factors to consider when planting a fall food plot if you want to be successful in the endeavor.  Food plots can be  an effective method of providing food sources for game birds, deer, rabbits, raccoons, and other species.  The size of food plots vary according to landowner preferences and the requirements of the target wildlife species, but usually they are a minimum of 1/2 to 1 acre in size, with a maximum of 5 acres.

Location is a an important consideration when planning the plot as the most effective plots typically are located adjacent to sanctuary or escape cover that provides security for wildlife.  Food plots that meander along edges of of two or there converging types of cover, such as the edge created where pine plantations, hardwood bottoms, and agricultural fields intersect, are very attractive to wildlife and provide natural travel corridors, in addition to providing a high nutrition food source.

Successful planting of your crop begins with soil sampling.  Having the proper pH in your food plot is of paramount importance.  A pH of 6.5 is ideal for winter annual grasses and legumes in North Florida.  As an Ag Agent I have seen more food plot disasters because a landowner did not take time to soil test than any other reason.  The soil test will also guide you in applying proper fertilization to optimize productivity of your food plots.  Food plots are expensive  to establish and you want to avoid needless mistakes such as poor fertility that will yield poor results.

Preparation of a good seedbed is also very important as is selection of seeds that are adapted to our area.  UF/IFAS has developed some excellent resources that will assist you in selecting forages that do well in our area such as, A Walk on the Wild Side: 2013 Cool-Season Forage Recommendations for Wildlife Food Plots in North FloridaAnother Excellent reference is Establishing and Maintaining Wildlife Food Sources.

Now is the time to make your preparations for planting your successful cool season food plot here in North Florida! hopefully you will have the experience of seeing and enjoying wildlife as pictured in photo 2 and photo 3!

For more information on planting successful food plots this fall, contact your local UF/IFAS Extension office.

Photo 2. Nice Buck grazing woods edge food plot in North Florida   Photo Credit – Shep Eubanks, UF/IFAS

Photo 3. Gobbler and Hen Standing in Crimson Clover
Photo Credit – Shep Eubanks, UF/IFAS

 

 

PG

Author: Shep Eubanks – bigbuck@ufl.edu

Shep Eubanks is the County Extension Director and Agriculture Agent in Gadsden County.

Shep Eubanks

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/09/22/wildlife-food-plots-for-north-florida/

Steps for Dealing with Nuisance Wildlife

Steps for Dealing with Nuisance Wildlife

White-tailed deer, a species that is both highly sought after by sportsmen and an unwanted nuisance to many. Sportsmen modify habitat to attract deer and homeowners can modify habitat to stop attracting deer. 
(Photo by Eric Zamora)

As a County Agent, I receive a wide variety of calls from clients relating to wildlife. The majority of these calls are quite positive; clients need help improving wildlife habitat or simply need a creature identified to satisfy their curiosity. However, from time to time, situations develop where wildlife behavior becomes a nuisance to a client. The following are some key concepts that can be applied to stop ongoing nuisance wildlife and/or lessen the likelihood of future nuisance wildlife causing issues around your home. For clarity, nuisance wildlife are specific animals (not an entire species) that are causing a specific problem.

Animals frequent various areas because those areas provide resources necessary to meet the animals’ needs. Animals have three basic needs: 1) Food 2) Water 3) Cover. If an animal(s) is frequenting your property and causing some kind of damage, as to become a nuisance, it is incredibly likely that the animal’s presence and nuisance behavior are related to the animal seeking food, water, or cover.  With this concept in mind, there is a four-step process that can be utilized to alleviate the issue.

Step 1: Identify the species of animal responsible for the nuisance behavior. Accurate identification of the species causing the problem is key to developing a successful plan of action for stopping the issue. Do not make assumptions or guesses, use available resources to make a definitive identification. Animals can generally be identified by looking at the type of damage caused (i.e. soil disturbance, tree bark damage, vegetation clipping, garden damage, etc.), signs left by the animal (scat, tracks, etc.), and the time of day/night the damage occurs. Careful observation of these factors should lead to an accurate identification of the nuisance animal.

Step 2: Determine why the animal is frequenting your property. After you have identified the problem animal and familiarized yourself with its normal behaviors you should be able to deduce what the animal finds appealing about your property. In some cases, the damage caused by the animals plainly shows why they are there, other times it might not be as obvious. Remember, they are likely there in search of food, water, or cover.      

Step 3: Implement steps to address the situation. After you have determined “what & why” you can formulate an appropriate plan for addressing the issue. Generally, the plan will include steps in one or more of the following categories:

1) Habitat modification – This is generally the most practical approach to dealing with nuisance wildlife. In its simplest form, habitat modification is simply removing or altering whatever environmental factor is attracting the nuisance wildlife. The most common example of habitat modification is the removal of wildlife food sources (i.e. pet food, bird feeders, easily accessible garbage and/or compost).

2) Deterrents – Any measure that restricts access to the resource desired by the nuisance wildlife. These measures can include, physical barriers (fencing, etc.), hazing or scare tactics (eyespot balloons, holographic foil, motion-sensitive sprinklers, noise-makers, dogs), and chemical repellents. Deterrents are generally more expensive than habitat modification and their effectiveness tends to decrease over time.

3) Trapping or killing the nuisance animal – These are only to be considered as last resorts. Even when trapping or killing is the only option, they generally only provide a temporary solution to the problem if the environmental factor drawing the animals is not also addressed. Additionally, many state and federal regulations that dictate when trapping or killing wildlife is permissible.

Step 4: Evaluate your level of success and make necessary adjustments. Observe any changes in wildlife behavior and modify your approach as necessary. Begin with habitat modification; if that is not effective make sure the correct modification(s) was made. If no additional modification can be made look at deterrents. Only if all habitat modification and deterrent options have proven ineffective would you move on to trapping or killing. As you move through this process you may wish to seek professional assistance. Contact your county’s UF/IFAS Extension Office for general advice or FWC for a list of professional nuisance wildlife trappers.    

 

This article was adapted from Overview of How to Stop Damage Caused by Nuisance Wildlife in Your Yard by Holly K. Ober and Arlo Kane. There are links throughout the article to a series of publications by the same authors that explore the various topics in detail.

PG

Author: Mark Mauldin – mdm83@ufl.edu

I am the Agriculture and Natural Resources agent in Washington County. My program areas include livestock and forage, row crops, and pond management.
http://washington.ifas.ufl.edu

Mark Mauldin

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/08/18/steps-for-dealing-with-nuisance-wildlife/

Managing Forests and Farms for Fish and Wildlife Workshop – January 12

Managing Forests and Farms for Fish and Wildlife Workshop – January 12

Photo: Doug Mayo

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) along with the Florida Forest Service, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Office of Ag Water Policy, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Farm Credit of Northwest Florida, and University of Florida IFAS Extension will hold a public workshop on Thursday, January 12, 2017 in Marianna to discuss ways to manage forests and farms for fish and wildlife.

Featured topics for the workshop include, but are not limited to, Gopher Tortoise Habitat and Management, Prescribed Burning for Wildlife, Wildlife Best Management Practices, and Cost-share Programs.

The workshop will be from 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., CST at the UF/IFAS Jackson County Extension Service Office, 2741 Pennsylvania Ave., Marianna.

Lunch will be provided free of charge, but pre-registration must be complete by January 9. To pre-register for the workshop, contact Billie Clayton at (850) 767-3634.

AGENDA (All times central time)

  • 8:30 – Registration
  • 8:50 – Welcome and Introduction – Arlo Kane, Roy Lima
  • 9:00 – Gopher Tortoise Biology and Management– Arlo Kane, Wildlife Biologist, Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
  • 9:30 – SE American Kestrel Partnership – A new opportunity for landowners – Jeremy Martin, Wildlife Biologist, Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
  • 10:00 – Fire and Wildlife, When and How Should You Burn – Don Buchanan, Wildlife Biologist, Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
  • 10:30 – Break
  • 10:45 – The New Forestry Wildlife BMP’s for State Listed Species – Roy Lima, Forester, Florida Forest Service
  • 11:15 – The New Agricultural Wildlife BMP’s for State Listed Species – Daniel Stanley, Environmental Specialist, FDACS Office of Ag Water Policy
  • 11:45 – FORCES – A New Recognition Program for Forest Landowners – Sonny Greene, FORCES Coordinator
  • 12:30: – Cost Share Assistance Program Opportunities – Mary Jane Nelson, District Conservationist, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and Barry Stafford, Senior Forester, Florida Forest Service
  • 12:40 – Lunch – Courtesy of Farm Credit of Northwest Florida
  • 1:30 – Adjourn

Download the printer friendly flyer:  Marianna Wildlife BMP workshop flyer Jan 12

 

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Author: admin – webmaster@ifas.ufl.edu

admin

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/01/07/managing-forests-and-farms-for-fish-and-wildlife-workshop-january-12/

Your Christmas Tree Could Benefit Winter Wildlife

Your Christmas Tree Could Benefit Winter Wildlife

A christmas tree decoration hanging upon a Christmas tree at a tree farm

Christmas trees can provide benefits to wildlife long after they have served as holiday decoration indoors. Credits: IFAS photo database.

Americans purchased approximately 30 million live Christmas trees last year. If you plan to have a live tree this winter, and you’re wondering what you could do with your tree once it has finished its role as holiday decoration in your home, read below. Rather than simply dragging your tree to the curb for the waste disposal truck to pick up, you could prolong the life of your holiday tree by repurposing it to benefit wildlife.

YOUR TREE COULD PROVIDE FOOD FOR WILDLIFE 

Many of the needles may have dropped from your Christmas tree as it dried out while indoors, but the branches should still be intact. This means your tree could be used as a frame to present food for wildlife. After removing your indoor decorations, consider propping the tree up in your yard (perhaps using the same stand you used indoors), and adorning the branches with food enjoyed by wildlife visitors. Some low-budget options include mesh bags filled with bird seed (black oil sunflower seed, safflower seed, and thistle (nyjer) are favorites of many common backyard birds), pine cones smeared with peanut butter, home-made suet cakes, and strings of fruit such as apple slices, orange slices, or grapes. If you choose this option, beware that you may attract not only birds, but mammals such as squirrels, raccoons, opossums, and others.

If you’d like to watch your wildlife visitors, be sure to attach the food items with string so that the animals must eat the food at the site of the tree rather than carrying it away to eat or store elsewhere out of view. Consider using a biodegradable string (i.e., cotton) to secure the food items to your tree so you can eventually compost the tree without worrying about needing to remove the string.

YOUR TREE COULD PROVIDE SHELTER FOR WILDLIFE

If you’re tired of seeing your holiday tree in its upright position, consider taking it outdoors, laying it down, and heaping other vegetative debris loosely on top to form a ‘brush pile’. Brush piles are mounds of woody vegetation created specifically to provide shelter for wildlife.

The lower portions of a brush pile can offer cool, shaded conditions that allow small mammals such as rabbits to hide from the weather and from predators. Meanwhile, the upper portions can serve as perch sites for songbirds. The entire pile may be used as resting sites for amphibians and reptiles. In yards with few understory trees or shrubs, and at times of year when many trees and shrubs have limited foliage, these brush piles can provide much-appreciated cover for many kinds of wildlife.

YOUR TREE COULD PROVIDE SHELTER FOR FISH

Your retired Christmas tree could be used to make long-lasting habitat improvements for fish. In artificial ponds with little submerged vegetation, the addition of one or more Christmas trees could upgrade the quality of refuge and feeding areas for fish. Small fishes may hide among purposely submerged Christmas trees for protection, and larger fishes may follow them. If you’ve got an artificial pond on your property, consider adding discarded trees to create a place where fish can hide and find food, and also to concentrate fish for angling. Simply secure a cinder block to your holiday tree using heavy wire or thin cable and place it far enough from shore that water covers the top of the tree by a couple of feet. When constantly submerged, Christmas trees can persist for many years underwater.

Not only can your tree offer enjoyment to you when decorated with lights and ornaments indoors, but it can also allow you to provide post-holiday gifts to the wildlife and fish on your property.

PG

Author: hollyober – holly.ober@ufl.edu

hollyober

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/12/16/your-christmas-tree-could-benefit-winter-wildlife/

Don’t Rush Wildlife Plot Planting – Wait for the Rain

Don’t Rush Wildlife Plot Planting – Wait for the Rain

A buck chases a doe through plots of wildlife forages being evaluated at the University of Florida's North Florida Research and Education Center. Photo Courtesy of Holly Ober

A buck chases a doe through plots of wildlife forages being evaluated in 2013 at the University of Florida’s North Florida Research and Education Center. Photo Courtesy of Holly Ober

It should be too late in the year for an article about cool season food plots; they should already be up and growing, at the very least planted. It’s November, archery season has begun, the fall food plot ship should have already sailed. However, due to the incredibly dry weather we’ve had for the past several months I hope that ship hasn’t sailed. I hope you have not planted your food plots yet. The tristate area is dry, too dry to plant anything you expect to survive. If you have not already planted, don’t until your area gets substantial rain.

Very dry conditions persist across the Southeast. http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Home/RegionalDroughtMonitor.aspx?southeast

Very dry conditions persist across the Southeast.

The saying goes “The best time to go hunting is whenever I have time”. As the classic weekend-warrior sportsman myself, I can easily relate to that saying and I can also understand how/why folks would apply that same logic to planting food plots. Unfortunately, with this fall’s weather that logic does not hold true. Any plantings made before we have adequate moisture run a very high chance of being complete failures.

These likely failures can playout in a variety of ways but they all end the same. Seedlings have tiny roots systems, moisture must be accessible very near the soil surface in order for them to access it. If moisture is unavailable in the tiny root zone the seedlings will wilt. Wilting greatly diminishes the plants ability to carry out photosynthesis; no photosynthesis no energy. Seedlings have virtually no stored energy to fall back on, so the seedlings begin to die rapidly.

Admittedly, I left out one key detail in the plant horror story above; moisture is required for seed germination. If it is dry enough seeds can be planted and nothing will happen – they won’t germinate, they won’t try to grow, they won’t die from lack of moisture. This fact leads some to conclude, “Plant now and it will come up whenever it rains”. While there is some sound logic in that conclusion, it is a very risky plan when you consider the types of plants we typically include in our wildlife plots. “Dusting in” as it is called in the crop world, can work with larger seeded, deeper planted crops. It is not well suited to small seeded, very shallow planted forages like clover. When a seed is right at the soil surface the tiniest amount of rain or even a heavy dew could provide enough moisture for germination which would likely start the process I described earlier.

The safest bet is to wait until your area has received a good soaking rain and there is a favorable chance for additional rains. As dry as we are now, that first ½ inch shower will not provide adequate moisture for establishment if it is followed by an extended period without additional rain.

Many of the commonly planted cool season forages have very small seeds and should be planted very shallow, making them especially susceptible to drought conditions. From 2015 Cool-Season Forage Variety Recommendations for Florida

Many of the commonly planted cool season forages have very small seeds and should be planted very shallow, making them especially susceptible to drought conditions.
From 2015 Cool-Season Forage Variety Recommendations for Florida

Sooner or later it will rain (I think), so you wind up planting your plots later than normal. What does that mean? In the grand scheme of things, not much. As we get later in the year the days get shorter and the air and soil temperatures get lower which can slow the development of the plants. That said, the real growth for most of our cool season forages really occurs in the spring and that will still be that case regardless of if you planted in October, November or December. Remember the goal of food plots should be increasing the quality and quantity of forage available for wildlife throughout the entire year.

The dry weather has messed up food plot establishment as it relates to hunting season but if all you wanted was a game attractant for hunting purposes food plots were probably not your best bet in the first place. It takes considerable time, effort and expense to maintain quality food plots, to the point that they are really not a very practical option if only viewed as an attractant for a few months out of the year.

If attracting deer, not improving habitat, is your primary goal you might consider establishing a feeding station. Be sure to check FWC regulations before you begin feeding game animals.

If attracting deer, not improving habitat, is your primary goal you might consider establishing a feeding station. Be sure to check FWC regulations before you begin feeding game animals.

Be patient, wait for the weather conditions to improve before planting. There is no point in wasting your time and money on plantings that have a very low chance of being successful. Contact your county’s agriculture or natural resources agent for more details relating to the establishment of wildlife plots.

PG

Author: Mark Mauldin – mdm83@ufl.edu

I am the Agriculture and Natural Resources agent in Washington County. My program areas include livestock and forage, row crops, and pond management.
http://washington.ifas.ufl.edu

Mark Mauldin

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/11/07/dont-rush-wildlife-plot-planting-wait-for-the-rain/

Don’t Rush Wildlife Plot Plantings – Wait on Rain

Don’t Rush Wildlife Plot Plantings – Wait on Rain

A buck chases a doe through plots of wildlife forages being evaluated at the University of Florida's North Florida Research and Education Center. Photo Courtesy of Holly Ober

A buck chases a doe through plots of wildlife forages being evaluated at the University of Florida’s North Florida Research and Education Center. Photo:  Holly Ober

It should be too late in the year for an article about cool season food plots; they should already be up and growing, at the very least planted. It’s November, archery season has begun, the fall food plot ship should have already sailed. However, due to the incredibly dry weather we’ve had for the past several months I hope that ship hasn’t sailed. I hope you have not planted your food plots yet. The tristate area is really dry, too dry to plant anything you expect to survive. If you have not already planted, don’t, until your area gets substantial rain.

Very dry conditions persist across the Southeast

Very dry conditions persist across the Southeast

The saying goes “The best time to go hunting is whenever I have time.”  As the classic weekend-warrior sportsman myself, I can easily relate to that saying and I can also understand how/why folks would apply that same logic to planting food plots. Unfortunately, with this fall’s weather, that logic does not hold true. Any plantings made, before we have adequate moisture, run a very high chance of being complete failures.

These likely failures can play-out in a variety of ways, but they all end the same. Seedlings have tiny roots systems; moisture must be accessible very near the soil surface in order for them to access it. If moisture is unavailable in the tiny root zone the seedlings will wilt. Wilting greatly diminishes the plants ability to carry out photosynthesis; no photosynthesis no energy. Seedlings have virtually no stored energy to fall back on, so the seedlings begin to die rapidly.

Admittedly, I left out one key detail in the plant horror story above; moisture is required for seed germination. If it is completely dry, seeds can be planted and nothing will happen – they won’t germinate, they won’t try to grow, they won’t die from lack of moisture. This fact leads some to conclude, “Plant now and it will come up whenever it rains.” While there is some sound logic in that conclusion, it is a very risky plan when you consider the types of plants we typically include in our wildlife plots. “Dusting in” as it is called in the crop world, can work with larger seeded, deeper planted crops. It is not well suited to small seeded, very shallow planted forages like clover. When a seed is right at the soil surface the tiniest amount of rain or even a heavy dew could provide enough moisture for germination, which would likely start the process I described earlier.

Many of the commonly planted cool season forages have very small seeds and should be planted very shallow, making them especially susceptible to drought conditions. From 2015 Cool-Season Forage Variety Recommendations for Florida

Many of the commonly planted cool season forages have very small seeds and should be planted very shallow, making them especially susceptible to drought conditions.
From 2015 Cool-Season Forage Variety Recommendations for Florida

The safest bet is to wait until your area has received a good soaking rain, and there is a favorable chance for additional rains. As dry as we are now, that first ½ inch shower will not provide adequate moisture for establishment, if it is followed by an extended period without additional rain.

Sooner or later it will rain (I think), so you wind up planting your plots later than normal. What does that mean? In the grand scheme of things, not much. As we get later in the year the days get shorter and the air and soil temperatures get lower which can slow the development of the plants. That said, the real growth for most of our cool season forages really occurs in the spring, and that will still be that case regardless of if you planted in October, November, or December. Remember the goal of food plots should be increasing the quality and quantity of forage available for wildlife throughout the entire year.

The dry weather has messed up food plot establishment as it relates to hunting season, but if all you wanted was a game attractant for hunting purposes, food plots were probably not your best bet in the first place. It takes considerable time, effort and expense to maintain quality food plots, to the point that they are really not a very practical option if only viewed as an attractant for a few months out of the year. If attracting deer, not improving habitat, is your primary goal you might consider establishing a feeding station. Be sure to check FWC regulations before you begin feeding game animals.

If attracting deer, not improving habitat, is your primary goal you might consider establishing a feeding station. Be sure to check FWC regulations before you begin feeding game animals.

If attracting deer, not improving habitat, is your primary goal you might consider establishing a feeding station. Photo: Mark Mauldin

Be patient, wait for the weather conditions to improve before planting. There is no point in wasting your time and money on plantings that have a very low chance of being successful. Contact your county’s agriculture or natural resources agent for more details relating to the establishment of wildlife plots.

 

PG

Author: Mark Mauldin – mdm83@ufl.edu

I am the Agriculture and Natural Resources agent in Washington County. My program areas include livestock and forage, row crops, and pond management.
http://washington.ifas.ufl.edu

Mark Mauldin

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/11/05/dont-rush-wildlife-plot-plantings-wait-on-rain/

Native Plants and Wildlife

Native Plants and Wildlife

According to the Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants, there are more than 4,200 plant species naturally occurring in the state.  Nearly 3,000 are considered native.  The Florida Native Plant Society (FNPS) defines native plants as “those species occurring within the state boundaries prior to European contact, according to the best available scientific and historical documentation.”  In other words, the plants that grew in natural habitats that existed prior to development.Crossvine

Native plants evolved in their own ecological niches. They are suited to the local climate and can survive without fertilization, irrigation or cold protection.  Because a single native plant species usually does not dominate an area, there is biodiversity.  Native plants and wildlife evolved together in communities, so they complement each other’s needs.  Florida ranks 7th among all 50 states in biodiversity for number of species of vertebrates and plants.  Deer browse on native vines like Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata), Trumpet Creeper (Campsis radicans), Yellow Jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens) and Trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens).   The seeds and berries of Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida), Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida) and Dahoon holly (Ilex cassine) provide vital food for songbirds, both local and migratory.  Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) provides cover for numerous birds and small mammals, as well as, reptiles.saw-palmetto-palm-tree-picture

Non-native plants become “naturalized” if they establish self-sustaining populations. Nearly one-third of the plants currently growing wild in Florida are not native.  While these plant species from other parts of the world may provide some of the resources needed by native wildlife, it comes at a cost to the habitat.  These exotic plants can become “invasive”, meaning they displace native plants and change the diverse population into a monoculture of one species.  Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense), Popcorn trees (Triadica sebifera) and Cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica) have changed the landscape of Florida over the past decade.  While Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) and Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata) have changed water flow in many rivers and lakes.  These invasive species cost millions of taxpayer dollars to control.waterhyacinth4

By choosing to use native plants and removing non-native invasive plants, individuals can reduce the disruptions to natural areas. For more information one specific native plants that benefit wildlife go to: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw384

It learn which plants are invasive go to: http://www.fleppc.org/list/2015FLEPPCLIST-LARGEFORMAT-FINAL.pdf

PG

Author: Sheila Dunning – sdunning@ufl.edu


http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu

Sheila Dunning

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/06/04/native-plants-and-wildlife/

Escambia Winter Forages and Wildlife Food Plot Tour March 5

Escambia Winter Forages and Wildlife Food Plot Tour March 5

Adults and youth are welcomed to attend the Winter Livestock Forages and Wildlife Food Plot Tour on Saturday March 5th at 11:00 AM.  The tour will take place at the 4-H Livestock Facilities (5701 Highway 99, Molino, FL 32577).

Join us for a walk through the winter forage and wildlife food plots that were planted in Fall 2015. See a side-by-side comparison of old and new varieties of grass and small grains, clovers, and commercial mixtures.

The event is is free to attend, but we do request that you RSVP as we will be serving a bag lunch for participants.  Please contact the UF/IFAS Extension Escambia County office at 850-475-5230 to RSVP or for directions to the property.  Winter Grazing Cows

 

 

 

 

PG

Author: Libbie Johnson – libbiej@ufl.edu

Agriculture agent at UF IFAS Escambia County Extension.
http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/

Libbie Johnson

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/02/13/escambia-winter-forages-and-wildlife-food-plot-tour-march-5/

Winter Forage & Wildlife Food Plot Tour March 4

Food Plot TourThe 2016 Winter Forage Wildlife Food Plot Tour will be held on March 4th from 2:00 – 4:00 PM at the West Florida Research and Education Center (4253 Experiment Dr. Hwy 182 Jay, FL 32565).

Join us for a walk through the winter forage and wildlife food plots that were planted in Fall 2015. Speakers from the University of Florida will provide information as we walk through the winter forage and wildlife food plots that were planted in Fall 2015.  See a side-by-side comparison of old and new varieties of grass and small grains, clovers, and commercial mixtures.

Speakers:

  • Dr. Ann Blount, UF/IFAS Extension Forage Specialist
  • Dr. Cheryl Mackowiak, UF/IFAS Extension Soil & Fertility Specialist

Download the Flyer: 16 Winter Forage Food Plot Tour

 

Make plans to attend, and RSVP by March 2 to Bethany Diamond at 850-675-6654 or by email at bethanydiamond@ufl.edu.

 

Foodplot Tour Sponsors

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Author: John Doyle Atkins – srcextag@ufl.edu

John Doyle Atkins is the Agricultural Agent in Santa Rosa County.

John Doyle Atkins

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/02/07/winter-forage-wildlife-food-plot-tour-march-4/

Wildlife Food Plot Fundamentals Workshop October 8th

Wildlife Food Plot Fundamentals Workshop October 8th

As summer browse dwindles the hbitat benefits of wildlife food plots become more evident. Photo Credit Mark Mauldin

As summer browse dwindles the habitat benefits of wildlife food plots become more evident.
Photo Credit Mark Mauldin

Improving habitat can benefit the quantity and quality of wildlife on a piece of property. One common method for improving habitat is the establishment of food plots. Food plots are simply areas that are managed for the production of forages that help meet the nutritional requirements of the desired wildlife species.

The use of food plots has gained popularity largely through its association with hunting, specifically white-tailed deer hunting. Food plot establishment and hunting success can be directly related; attracting game to a specific area via the establishment of a highly desirable plant species. That said, rarely are food plots which are planned and utilized only as attractants very successful. Truly successful food plots are developed with yearlong habitat improvement in mind; improved hunting on the property is a by-product of the improvement in habitat.

Successful implementation of wildlife food plots takes careful planning. Many factors must be considered:

  • Site selection: Factors like size, shape, soil characteristics, and location can greatly affect the potential success of a food plot.
  • Nutritional demands of wildlife: Throughout the course of the year the nutritional demands of wildlife change. Wildlife, especially deer, will show preferences for different plants at different times of the year based largely on the nutritive value of the plant. Successful food plots seasonally match the nutrition offered to the nutrition needed by the wildlife.
  • Plant selection: Selecting the best species and varieties to plant in a food plot is a decision that tends to get a lot of attention, and rightfully so. Plant varieties should be selected based on how well they are adapted to the site, propensity of wildlife to utilize them, and how well they fit into the yearlong rotation. It is always advisable to plant a blend of multiple species.   Planting windows and persistence of the plants must be considered when formulating these blends.
  • Agronomic practices: If all other factors are considered and appropriately addressed, the success of a food plot is still dependent on the ability of the land manager to effectively plant and manage the crop(s). Soil fertility, weed control, planting depth, seeding rate, etc. all need to be correctly addressed to have a successful food plot.

Planning and hard work are prerequisites for successful food plots but when everything comes together seeing the benefits they provide can be a truly rewarding experience. If you are interested in learning more about successfully improving wildlife habitat through the implementation of food plots please consider attending Wildlife Food Plot Fundamentals. This workshop will be at the Washington County Agricultural Center on Thursday October 8th beginning at 6:30pm. Please see the flyer for more details, for questions or to register contact Mark Mauldin with UF/IFAS Extension, Washington County (850-638-6180, mdm83@ufl.edu).

 

Food Plot 15 Flyer

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Author: Mark Mauldin – mdm83@ufl.edu

I am the Agriculture and Natural Resources agent in Washington County. My program areas include livestock and forage, row crops, and pond management.
http://washington.ifas.ufl.edu

Mark Mauldin

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/10/03/wildlife-food-plot-fundamentals-workshop-october-8th/

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