Favorite Quail Food Plots

Published on: Jun. 8, 2009

A while back, I had a poll on food plots. The survey question asked what's your favorite type of food plot to plant for bobwhites.

The results are in, and there was a tie between milo and forage sorghum for the most popular food crops. I don't think there was any election fraud or hanging chats. I hoped no one voted twice or let their bird dog vote.

Here are the results for favorite bobwhite food plots:

•16 votes forage sorghum

•16 votes milo

•7 votes millet

•1 vote corn

•1 vote soybean

•1 vote sunflower

I thought the clear winner would have been milo with forage sorghum coming in a distant second. Either way, both are excellent choices for bobwhites. I often mix the two together to get the best of both crops.

Forage sorghum grows 6 to 9 feet tall (picture below) and does well in a variety of soil types. Forage sorghum will lodge over in the the winter. The jumbled mess of stems is excellent cover and food for rabbits, quail and pheasants. Forage sorghum will last well into late winter and is an excellent emergency food source after heavy snow or ice. Egyptian wheat is very similar to forage sorghum and tends to stay upright during the winter. Forage sorghum will not produce as much seed as milo, but more than makes up for it by providing excellent winter cover and a late winter food source. I recommend forage sorghum in areas with high deer populations. Deer will devour milo seedheads in the doughy stage, but not forage sorghum.

The other top food plot crop was milo (picture below). Grain sorghum (milo) produces large seedheads and does well in a variety of soil types. The only real downfall for milo is deer relish the seedheads during the dough stage. I've seen small milo food plots striped clean by deer. To outsmart deer, try mixing forage sorghum and milo together to get the best of both crops. The taller forage sorghum will help hide the larger milo seedheads (at least in theory). They still seem to find some of it.

I was surprised to see millet in third place. Maybe that's because I prefer milo and forage sorghum over millet. Generally, millets are good seed producers and are easy to establish. Millets can be broadcasted into July and still mature before the first frost (most varieties mature in 90

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