Best Forage Wheat for Wildlife
What makes ForageXtreme 30-06 wheat the best wheat for wildlife?
- 12,800 lbs. per acre of supreme forage production
- #1 forage wheat in Florida, Louisiana, and Texas
- Palatability – leaf and stem is highly digestible ADF-31%, NDF-54%, TDN-62%
- Produces awnless seed which is preferred over awned seed
- Exceeds 12% protein
- Deer, turkey, dove and quail will feed on the seed for months after the plant is mature
- Excellent source of digestible protein in both forage and grain
- Delayed growth keeps turkeys using food plots longer into the spring when other wheat varieties, oats, and rye have gotten too tall for turkeys
- Shorter plant height is attractive for bugging and feeding for hens and strutting zones for gobblers
- Excellent disease and insect resistance
- Multi wildlife use and dual purpose variety
Of the hundreds of wheat varieties Specialty Seed evaluates annually, only one has had the total package we are looking for. Specialty Seed is proud to announce the first awnless forage wheat for deer and turkey. Through rigorous plant breeding and testing in University variety trials across the United States, only a few varieties made the cut to go on to the next level, Elite varieties. Of these Elite varieties, only one made it to Premier status: ForageXtreme 30-06. ForageXtreme 30-06 was only selected to go to market after evaluating it in food plots across the United States to see how wildlife, especially deer and turkeys responded to it. Without a doubt, it is a highly preferred wheat variety to attract deer and turkeys. ForageXtreme wheat is a soft red winter wheat that is adapted to grow anywhere wheat is grown. It is an awnless variety with superior forage and grain yields. It can be grown in a wide variety of soil types and is high yielding in both forage and grain. ForageXtreme was the top forage wheat in Texas, Louisiana and Florida, producing up to 12,800 pounds of nutritious forage. Wheat makes for some of the best wildlife food plots and is often the foundation of most wildlife seed mixes planted for deer. Wildlife managers and hunters tend to plant wheat without giving much thought to the type or variety of wheat they are planting. Most of the time, availability drives the decision on variety rather than performance. Limited options at the seed store results in poor performance in the field. In most cases, seed stores choose the cheapest wheat seed to offer to their customers. So by default, the only option hunters and wildlife managers have to buy is what the seed store supplies, which is chosen solely on price rather than performance. Key takeaway: make sure you select the best wheat seed for food plots and avoid unknown varieties that were chosen for cost.
Awnless vs Awned Forage Wheat
Hunters and wildlife managers may not always consider the value of the grain wheat produces to continue feeding wildlife after hunting season is over. Awnless wheat can feed wildlife 10-12 months from the time seed is planted, until all of the seed is consumed. Thus, awnless wheat is preferred over awned wheat. Awnes can be over 1” long to act as a defense mechanism for keeping wildlife and livestock from eating the seed. The awnes poke the eyes, stick the nose, and irritate the throat when eaten. It is scientifically proven deer prefer awnless wheat to awned wheat. In University wheat variety trials deer selected the awnless varieties over awned varieties. The deer damage was so severe on the awnless varieties that the grain yield results could not be used.
Forage Wheat Compliments Forage Soybeans
ForageXtreme 30-06 wheat is a great addition to Specialty Seed’s forage soybean lineup. Whether it is the glyphosate tolerant varieties of Titan, Colossus LJ, Goliath LJ or the convention varieties of Tara, Derry or Tyrone, ForageXtreme 30-06 wheat can be over-seeded into the soybeans when the soybean plants start to mature, turning yellow. As the soybean leaves start to fall, they will cover the seed. Rain and heavy dews then cause the seed to germinate. Once germinated and growing, ForageXtreme 30-06 wheat will be a wheat food plot within a forage soybean plot. The seed produced from the soybeans, plus the wheat growing beneath the soybeans will be a deer magnet! The wheat will act as a cover crop and a green manure if soybeans are planted into it the following spring. Or, if you decide to leave the wheat standing, wildlife will feed on the wheat heads all summer. This is a cheap and easy way to produce a high yielding food plot without a dead period where there is no available forage, such as when a soybean plot is disked before a winter food plot is disked.
Wheat Seed Bonus
Wheat seed produced when the plan matures is often overlooked and undervalued for attracting and feeding wildlife. Deer, all upland gamebirds such as turkey, dove and quail, plus non-game birds will readily feed on awnless wheat seed. ForageXtreme 30-06 has produced over 7,100 lbs. of awnless seed per acre. Combine the grain production with the forage production and that is close to 20,000 lbs. of feed per acre. What else can come even close? Plant 90-100 lbs. of seed in the fall and make close to 20,000 lbs. of forage per acre that starts feeding wildlife as soon as the seed germinates and lasts until the last grain of wheat is consumed in the summer months.
Short Height Forage Wheat Attracts More Turkeys
ForageXtreme 30-06 wheat has delayed growth in the spring and an overall short height which is preferred by turkeys. Turkeys do not like walking through wet grass, especially when it’s tall enough to come in contact with their body. On a morning with a heavy dew, turkeys will avoid the grass until the dew burns off. Turkey hunters need their food plots to attract turkeys rather than deter turkeys. The delayed growth characteristic guarantees turkeys will use the food plots planted to ForageXtreme 30-06 wheat over other varieties of wheat and forage crops like oat and rye. The shorter plant height is also great for bugging. Hens are attracted to insects like grasshoppers and the gobblers will go where the hens go.
Forage Wheat to Attract Doves
ForageXtreme wheat is a great dove attract and makes a great dove field. Depending on your state’s dove hunting laws, if hunting over top-sewn wheat is permissible, ForageXtreme 30-06 is the best wheat variety to select. Doves are attracted to seed until it sprouts. Once it sprouts, it is a great forage for deer and cattle. Though top sewing wheat is a normal agriculture practice and is allowed under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service guidelines, not all states allow it. If your state does not allow top-sewing wheat, you still have options of using ForageXtreme 30-06 wheat to attract doves. The wheat can be planted August –November (check with you local extension service agent for your optimum plant dates) and will serve as a great winter food plot. The wheat plant will produce seed that can be manipulated to attract doves all summer and for the next dove season. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service allows standing crops to be manipulated, like bush-hogging, to spread and distribute seed from a standing crop for dove hunting. A herbicide like glyphosate may need to be used to keep weed competition from growing in the wheat plot during the summer months, after the crop is mature. Only spray if needed. Doves love a clean wheat field to feed in. As the wheat naturally falls from the mature seed head over the course of the summer, doves will land in the standing crop to feed. The standing crop provides shade and overhead protection from avian predators like hawks. One has several management options when managing a standing wheat crop for doves. Strips can be disked through the wheat field and sporadically across the wheat field. Doves love fresh disked ground. The disked ground along with the wheat seed laying on the ground in the adjacent standing wheat will keep doves using the field. As the season approaches, the standing wheat can be manipulated to spread the remaining wheat making it available for doves. Bush-hogging alone can be productive or use fire to burn the thatch created by bush-hogging is really attractive to doves. The bright yellow seed laying on blackened ground makes it stand out. Doves love clean ground to feed on, so the fire really helps to clean the ground and makes the seed stand out. Don’t be surprised if wheat from last year’s crop germinates after dove season and starts your food plot over again. If this happens, it is suggested to overseed the crop with additional ForageXtreme 30-06 wheat to fill in the stand if needed.
Best Disease and Pest Resistance Forage Wheat
ForageXtreme 30-06 wheat has superior disease resistant traits. Many hunters and wildlife managers are not aware that there are several diseases wheat can be a host for. Each of these diseases can rob wheat of its forage and grain yields. By choosing to plant ForageXtreme 30-06 you are getting a built in disease resistance package. Those diseases that ForageXtreme 30-06 are not susceptible to are: powdery mildew (Blumeria graminis), leaf rust (Puccinia triticina), stripe rust (Puccinia striiformis), Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus, Wheat Spindle Streak Mosaic Virus, leaf blotch (Septoria tritici), leaf and glume blotch (Septoria nodorum), and Fusarium Head Blight.
Cover Crop and Regenerative Farming
ForageXtreme 30-06 wheat is a great choice to plant alone or in a mix for cover cropping and regenerative farming in food plots. Its great germination provides a quick cover protecting the soil from water and wind erosion. The root structure allows water filtration and mining the depths of the soil to bring nutrients closer to the soil's surface helping the next crop planted. The 30-06 wheat variety can be planted directly while it is still green and terminated afterwards with a grass herbicide or crimped with a roller. For the farmer and hunter that is concerned with soil health and likes to attract wildlife and/or provide forage for livestock, ForageXtreme 30-06 wheat is a top choice conservation planting.
Avoid Feed Wheat and Variety Not-Stated Wheat
Think twice before planting bin run seed or variety not stated seed (VNS). There are no quality standards for bin run seed and why would you chance planting a wheat seed that may not be adapted to your region or soil? The cost of seed is the cheapest part of the food plot farming process. The difference in cost of feed wheat or a VNS bag of wheat is only pennies per pound. Do not chance planting a low germ wheat that can be contaminated with weed seed for only a few cents per pound “savings”. ForageXtreme 30-06 wheat seed starts out at the highest level of certified seed, Breeder Seed. The first generation from Breeder seed is Foundation seed only after meeting stringent requirements for purity and germination. When Specialty Seed plants your seed, Foundation seed is used. Specialty Seed follows strict quality control guidelines to maintain purity and high germination. Each bag exceeds state and federal seed requirements and has a tag displaying those standards.
Cost Benefits of ForageXtreme 30-06 Wheat
Cost is as little as $2/acre more to plant SSI 30-06 wheat over your unknown seed store variety. With the potential to produce near 20,000 lbs. of forage that lasts 10-12 months, why not plant the best wheat seed available? The increased cost adds up to $.0001 per pound of forage ($2 per acre increased planting cost/20,000 lbs. of forage = $.0001/lb.). Planting SSI 30-06 is the best investment you can make for wildlife!