How big does your Food Plot need to be?

October 30, 2013 by  
Filed under Food Plot

By: Rans Thomas, Thomas Resources, Wildlife & Land Enhancement, Inc.

Contributor to

As hunters we hear about the importance of providing high quality nutrition to deer herds to maximize both antler development and body size.  I get to see the impact of providing whitetails with High Quality Year Round Food Plots throughout the country.  No matter if you hunt 200 acres or 2,000 acres there are strategies you can implement to improve your current food plots.  As a fellow bowhunter I know the importance of being even more strategic with the type and placement of our food plots to maximize that opportunity to get a shot on a mature animal.  I have put together some of the more frequent questions and answers that I hope will help you obtain better results with your current food plots.


How big does your food plot need to be in relation to the total amount of property you hunt?


To have positive impact on  your herd with food plots a minimum of 1% of the property must be devoted to High Quality Year Round Food Plots (HQYR), but I prefer much more serious management.  To determine the acreage of food plot for a property I determine the ratio of food plot acreage to total property acreage needed (i.e., 1 Acre of food plot per X Acres of property or the % of the total property acreage to be planted in food plots). There are many variables to consider for each property to determine the amount of food plot acreage, but some basic principles apply to all tracts.  For a very intensive Trophy Management Program we push for 6% to 10% of the property to be planted in HQYR food plots or a whitetail friendly agricultural crop such as alfalfa, soybeans, wheat, peanuts or corn.  Because agricultural crops other than alfalfa are not equal in nutritional value for whitetails to the forage plants I use and recommend for food plots and because farm crops are harvested as soon as they mature.  I only give a farm crop acre half the value of a food plot acre in my formula (i.e., 1 acre farm fields on property would count as 1/2 acre in my ratio of food plot to land size need for each project).
Again, when I say food plot I dont mean a stand of wheat and winter rye thrown out in the fall with some 10-10-10 and then forgotten about after hunting season.  I am referring to very high energy cool season crops like Tecomate’s Max Attract 50/50 T, high protein summer crops like Tecomate Lab Lab Plus or Bar Alfalfa in Tecomate’s Monster MixT and Alfa Extreme T.


- 1000 Acre Property

- 30 Acre Farm Field in Summer Soybeans and Winter Wheat on the property = 15 acres needed of forage

- We are shooting for 6% of the property in High Quality Planted Forage = 60 Acres of 1 Acre of HQFP for every 16.6 Acres of Land

- With the 15 Acres of forage provided by the farm field in our food plot formula, we need to plant 45 Acres of HQYR food plot to reach our goal.

Originally posted 2010-05-25 22:23:37. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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