Ranch lands of southern Florida are notorious for being acidic, sandy and of low nutrition. Coupled with a typical monsoonal type climate, a wet season and dry season, growing food plots for winter (the dry season) is a challenge. The main objective of a food plot is to provide extra high nutrition for wildlife, usually game species to improve quality of individuals, population success, and act as a point of concentration for hunting.
Objectives of our study:
1) To establish a soil health and food plot species formula that will enable growth through the summer, fall months (wet season) and provide a food resources into the winter for wildlife game species. 2) To record the cost per acre of a successful food plot 3) To determine if wildlife grazing pressure impacts ability of food plot to establish by excluding wildlife from parts of food plot 4) Determine biomass and nutritive value of food plot
We established a total of 5 food plots:
Three fenced (to exclude feral swine)
Within each food plot we then erected exclosures to exclude most wildlife during the growing season.
Dr. Boughton building an exclosure
An exclosure in an un-fenced food plot
These exclosures will allow us to assess wildlife grazing impacts on germination rates and biomass.
The following species were planted for the summer growing season:
We re-planted all 5 food plots for the winter season with:
Attack Black Flash IR game cameras (purchased from Cuddeback) were placed at each food plot to record wildlife presence.