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How to MAXIMIZE PERFORMANCE and LONGEVITY of Perennials The steps to maximum attraction, nutrition, longevity and weed control all work together By Jon Cooner WINA Director of Special Projects

hen it comes right down to it, we all want the same three things from our perennial food plots: we want them to be as attractive as they can be, as nutritious as possible, and last as long as they should. For that to happen, one of the things we have to do is keep weeds in check. In this article, I’ll show you that the very same comprehensive, balanced approach to optimum weedcontrol also helps maximize the attraction, nutritional content and longevity of your perennials. Hopefully, you keep and file Whitetail News articles you find especially informative and put them in a binder or file them for future reference. I certainly do. Most of the articles about food plots that I save are filed under subject-specific tabs, such as “Food Plot Design,”


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“Equipment,” “Planting Instructions,” and “Perennial Forage Maintenance.” A few articles I’ve saved, though, won’t fit neatly into a single subject’s section because they tie multiple subjects together in a way that made a light bulb turn on in my brain when I first read them. Those special articles go into a separate section in the very front of my files under a tab appropriately marked “Light Bulb Articles.” If you keep a file like I do, then I hope that this article is one you’ll want to save in your own “Light Bulb Articles” section for future reference because it will tie multiple subjects about food plots together in a way that reveals something you may have never considered before: The steps to optimum weed control, perennial-forage attractiveness, stand longevity and overall performance are exactly the same — and many of them depend on each other for optimum results. To explain, I’ll start with a look at the “Integrated Weed Management” approach set out by Dr. Carroll Johnson, the Whitetail Institute’s Weed and Herbicide Scientist, in an earlier issue of Whitetail News. Then, we’ll expand its application to perennial performance and longevity. Finally, we’ll tie everything together with a look at the planting instructions for Whitetail Institute perennial forage products. As you’ll see, all three are based on the same premise: a comprehensive, balanced approach yields optimum results.

A Comprehensive, Balanced Approach The Model for Optimum Results Weed Control (Specifically) The clearest explanation of why a comprehensive, balanced approach offers optimum weed-control results in perennial food plots appears in an article I have in the “Light Bulb” section of my binder: “Integrated Weed Management,” which was written by Dr. Carroll Johnson, and published in Whitetail News, Volume 18, No. 3. In that article, Dr. Johnson used a three-legged stool to illustrate that the three types of weed control measures (cultural, physical and chemical)




A three-legged stool is balanced and stable. If you remove one of the legs, the stool becomes unstable. A balanced weed management system relies equally on all three components. www.whitetailinstitute.com

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Whitetail News Vol 23.3  

Whitetail News Volume 23.3

Whitetail News Vol 23.3  

Whitetail News Volume 23.3