Effects of Planting Date and Nitrogen Fertilization Rate on Selected White-tailed Deer Forages

We studied the effects of 3 planting dates (Sep, Oct, Nov) and 2 fertilization rates (the recommended nitrogen [N], phosphorus [P], and potassium [K] based on soil testing and twice the recommended N, with P and K) on rye (Secale cereale), oats (Avena sativa), and wheat (Triticum aestivum) planted for white-tailed deer {Odocoileus virginianus) from 1991 to 1993. Forage plantings established early (September) in the cool season produced the most forage during the season and maximized production during hunting season. Doubling the recommended rate of N fertilization increased forage production and maintained higher crude protein (CP) content throughout forage growth compared to forages fertilized according to soil test recommendations. Calcium (Ca) and P levels generally were unaffected by additional N fertilization.

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