whitetail institute clover

Discussion in 'Food Plots & Habitat Improvement' started by buckhunter31, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. buckhunter31

    buckhunter31 Newb

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2011
    Posts:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    wis
    I am wondering if whitetail institute clover is really that good. I am thinking about planting some. How is it any different than other clover?
     
  2. jmbuckhunter

    jmbuckhunter Grizzled Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Posts:
    4,114
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    It is different, it has a big old buck on the bag that raises the price a couple bucks a bag. I'd just buy some clover seed from your local MFA or Farm store. Not that much different. Unless you really take great care of it and spray the weeds and fertilize you will need to replant in 3-5 years anyway. Weeds will eventually take over most clover plots.
     
  3. Treehopper

    Treehopper Die Hard Bowhunter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Posts:
    1,939
    Likes Received:
    3
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    WI
    I have used it and see little if any difference from Clovers I get at the local feed mill
     
  4. Scljrl

    Scljrl Weekend Warrior

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2011
    Posts:
    902
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Central Minnesota
    Planted it first time 2 years ago. this year I'm planting another feed mill brand right next to it to see if it is better tasting/growing/tolerant to weather/etc.
     
  5. gutone4me

    gutone4me Grizzled Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Posts:
    7,881
    Likes Received:
    31
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Monroe County WI
    I have had terrible luck with no name seeds from the co-op and will stick with the name brands. I had great luck with Frigid Forage clover that I planted last summer and it's really doing great right now.
     
  6. sharpbroadheads

    sharpbroadheads Weekend Warrior

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2012
    Posts:
    212
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Leiters Ford, Indiana
    I have to say I disagree with the majority here. I have noticed a measurable difference between Institute clover and others. I currently have over 30 acres of food plots. I have used probably most of the available varietis out there, both commercial ag/hay varieties and food plot branded clovers. All clovers will draw deer...BUT, not all will draw them the same way. and not all draw equally as well. I am a bona fide food plot junkie, so I want the product that is going to work the best.....I am in no way affiliated with whitetail institute, but their clover has worked much better for me than anything else I have used. Let me give an example. my first experience with imperial clover was about 6 years ago. i have an 11 acre field on a hilltop that i turned into a huge food plot. instead of planting the whole thing to one forage...i actually divided the plot up into 11 one acre plots. I planted 11 different kinds of clover. at this point i knew nothing about the differences i clover variety, so I wanted to see how the different ones compared. I planted dwarf aslike, regular white, scarlet, crimson, berseem, medium red, ladino, and bags of clover from pennington, biologic, whitetail institute, and tecomate....ALL in the same plot. I sectioned each one off with tape. After a year, you would not believe the differences. it was like looking at a bar graph. some of the clovers were waist high...the deer did not touch them, some were a foot tall and had some use, the imperial clover and the biologic had by far the heaviest use...they were normally 4-8" tall. every plot also had an exclusion cage to prove how much they were being used. i observed several times deer entering the field one one side and walking all the way through it to reach the imperial clover. This is what cemented my belief in their clover. Just this past season I conducted another experiment. I was filming for a show that had a food plot sponsor (not whitetail institute) so I tilled under all of my clover one one farm and replanted with "sponsor" seed. on another farm I re seeded two plots but left one in imperial. On farm one, the deer did use the new forage quite a bit, so I was impressed.....however, on farm two, my two reseeded plots grew three feet tall and had hardly any usage, while my imperial clover plot was eaten down to the dirt. this made me come to a realization. If a food plot variety (clover) is made available to deer, they will eat it. I have seen deer chow down on fescue if it is the only thing available. However if you give the deer choices, they will have a preference. Its like going to the buffet line....if all they have is fried chicken, then you will eat fried chicken....but if they have fried chicken AND steak, and you like steak better...which are you going to eat? deer are no different. they will eat any clover, but when given options they WILL show a preference to one over the other. All clovers are NOT created equal. Some hay varieties have very long thick stems, which is good fo making baleable hay, but bad for whitetails because of the way their stomach works. they are small ruminants, as opposed to cattle, which are large ruminants....the ruminant digestive tract has bacteria on the walls that break down fiberous material...ie stems....deer being small have less surface area of digestive tract, and therfore less bacteria. this means they have less of an ability to break down large fiberous stalks than caws do. so deer prefer to eat smaller more leafy forage.....ag variety clovers and alfalfas are engineered for the opposite. if you look at an imperial clover plant you will see it is the total opposite. very short thin stem and huge leaves, sometimes as big as your hand. I know this is a lot if information, but hopefully it is of some use. My reccomendation would be to try a mini experiment.....plant alf your plot to imperial and half to something else...put up cages and cameras and find out which the deer prefer for yourself......good luck
     
  7. purebowhunting

    purebowhunting Die Hard Bowhunter

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2010
    Posts:
    2,172
    Likes Received:
    15
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Central Wisconsin
    Not an expert food plotter but have dabbled in it for about 8 years now, I've had by far my greatest results from Whitetail Institute Clover. First year I planted institute clover in a 1/4 acre plot it never got over 3" tall. Could tell it was being used but being a newby to plots thought it would outgrow browsing better, sat on it a late summer day and had 14 deer entry the plot. I then threw a milk crate out and the clover in no time was growing out the top of the crate. Fast forward to two years ago when I planted a local feed mill variety in the same plot and mid summer I find myself mowing clover trying to produce newer growth hoping the deer will touch it. It will be going back to institute clover this spring and I'm going to try some frigid forage products in another. Its worth the few extra bucks IMO.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2012
  8. GregH

    GregH Legendary Woodsman

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Posts:
    20,775
    Likes Received:
    63,204
    Dislikes Received:
    30

    Do you have any pictures of these plots?
     
  9. sharpbroadheads

    sharpbroadheads Weekend Warrior

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2012
    Posts:
    212
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Leiters Ford, Indiana
    yes...i'll dig them out
     
  10. buckhunter31

    buckhunter31 Newb

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2011
    Posts:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    wis
    Thanks for the replies. I am leaning toward frigid forage products.
     

Share This Page