Wildlife Food Plots

A food plot is a planted area set aside to act as a supplementary food source for wildlife. The term "food plot" was coined by the US hunting and outdoor industries.

Food plot crops generally consist of but are not limited to: 

  • Legumes (clovers, alfalfa, beans, etc.)
  • Grains
  • Certain wildflowers. 

The plants may be annual or perennial. In agricultural areas, food plots may be planted in fields after the crop has been harvested and left standing through the fall, winter and early spring for the use of wildlife.

A food plot should be located close to a source of cover for the animals and it should be only one part of a comprehensive habitat management program. Ideally a food plot should be small (2 to 4 acres), irregularly shaped and located away from roads.

Food plots differ from revegetation, which stabilizes and rebuilds the soil of disturbed land using naturally growing grasses, legumes, shrubs and trees. Food plots are intended to feed wildlife rather than rebuild the soil and generally use agricultural forages rather than native or naturally occurring plants.

Food plots can greatly increase the wildlife carrying capacity of a particular ecosystem, enhancing opportunities for hunting or wildlife viewing.

Linn County Conservation manages these plots: 

  • Buffalo Creek Natural Area  
    • 5 acre plot of sunflower combinations 
  • Chain Lakes Natural Area
    • 5 acre plot of sunflower/winter wheat
  • Goose Pond Natural Area
    • 2 acre plot of sunflower
  • Matsell Bridge Natural Area
    • 5 acre plot of sunflower/winter wheat
    • 5 acre plot of sunflower/sorghum 
  • Wakpicada Natural Area
    • 2 acre plot of sunflower