Forage plot workshop set Aug. 1 in Meadville

by Sean Dunlap

Franklin County’s hunters and landowners spend a great deal of time and resources planting wildlife forage plots these days, but having a plan for this endeavor can mean the difference between success and failure in the end.

Franklin County’s Mississippi State University Extension Service office has announced plans to host a public meeting at 6 p.m., Monday, Aug. 1 to focus on the establishment and management of forage plots in Southwest Mississippi.

Led by long-time local Extension Agent Keith Whitehead, the program will present key information on wildlife plot site selection, collection and processing of soil samples, interpretation of soil analysis, soil fertility, forage species selection, planting dates and weed control.

Forage plots have become more common in the last 30 to 40 years across the Southeastern United States in an effort to support deer and turkey populations and to reverse some human land use practices that have destroyed or permanently altered millions of acres of habitat.

Whitehead said many new crops and crop varieties have been developed that provide wildlife managers with options for just about every game species and soil condition.

“Still, wildlife forage plots should be a supplement to habitat management practices that promote naturally occurring food plants and cover,” he said.

Forage plots also provide numerous benefits in the form of attracting game, increasing hunter harvest, creating better public viewing opportunities and resulting in visible evidence that something is being done for the health and proliferation of wildlife.

The free educational session will be offered at the Extension Service office at 20 Walnut Street in Meadville.

Seating will be limited, so those planning to attend should preregister by calling 601-384-2349 no later than Tuesday, July 26.