Food Plot Seed: How to Plant Grain Sorghum

By author of Brow Tines and Backstrap

What Is Your Preferred Food Plot Seed Option?

Have you ever planted sorghum for wildlife? (Shutterstock / Jennifer Princ photo)

Grain sorghum (similar to milo) isn’t a popular choice for most modern food plotters. It’s extremely underrated, though — especially if you want to attract multiple species of wildlife such as turkey, quail, dove, etc. It’s important to note there are two slightly different varieties — milo sorghum alum. Sorghum alum is a perennial and milo is an annual. New hybrid sorghums are also available on the market today.

Sorghum is high in both protein and carbohydrates. Calcium, phosphorous and potassium levels are notably higher than many other food plot options as well. This is a great mid- and late-season food source that animals will certainly key in on. The best part? Deer aren’t as likely to hit it during the early growing phase. This helps limit risks of inhibitive over-browsing.

Taller varieties of this plant species provide quality bedding cover, too. Some of which can reach upward of 10 to 12 feet. The dual benefit of food and cover makes this a great overall food plot option.

How to Plant

Begin by taking a soil sample. This plant species does best with a soil pH between 5.8 and 6.4. Adjust the soil as needed with a customized fertilizer blend and lime. While it isn’t hard to grow a good stand of sorghum, it is important to do the prep work. Young sorghum plants are fairly susceptible to competition. Spray as needed.

If drilling, use about 6 to 8 pounds of seed per acre. If broadcasting, use 10 to 12 pounds instead. Plant seeds at about a ½-inch deep. Don’t plant any deeper than 1 inch or risk lower germination rates. Go over planted ground with a cultipacker to ensure good seed-to-soil contact.

When to Plant

Plant this food plot seed variety in spring and summer, well after fear of frost has ended. This plant is fairly drought-resistant, so planting later into summer shouldn’t set you back as much as with other food plot options.

Plant early enough to allow the plant to reach full maturity before first frost. For most varieties, that’s going to be 100 to 125 days. Plant early enough to give yourself a little cushion on the backend of the growing phase (especially in cooler climates) in case of an early frost.

Where to Plant

Grain sorghum can be planted throughout most of the country. It’s extremely prominent in the western half of the Midwest, though. Milo’s drought-resistant reputation has made it a mainstay in areas that receive less annual rainfall.

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