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Food Plot Product Comparisons and Analysis
The following analysis of many popular food plot products from well known brands shows the lack of science and quality that really exists in food plot products, along with showing their ridiculous prices.

The information listed is gathered from the distributors' web site and retail Web sites. As a result, the information on brands may not be completely accurate. Many food plot seed companies are intentionally vague about what is in their products. To their credit, Hunter's Specialties is one of the few food plot companies that lists improved varieties on their Web site that are included in their products. And to Hunter's Specialties credit, they do use some very good varieties, but several of their products are poorly formulated, in our opinion, like most food plot products – along with being way too expensive.

Here are some "tricks" the food plot companies use to formulate and sell their products.
  1. Including annual clovers in products that include perennial clovers to produce some quick germination (annuals generally germinate and grow much quicker than perennials). This gives the consumer the impression that the product is “working” fast and is a quality product. However, that annual clover will die within a year. The Whitetail Institute, for example, uses berseem clover in most, if not all, of their perennial products.
  2. Including alsike clover in perennial clover (white-clover based products) products. Alsike clover looks like white clover, but it generally lives for less than two years. Alsike also won't survive summers in the southern half of the country. One primary reason alsike is used in the product is price – it's very cheap and the seeding rate is similar to white clover. Therefore, companies can add alsike to a mix without many hunters realizing it. And for most white clover-based plots, you don't want alsike in there.
  3. Including white clover, alsike clover and/or chicory to alfalfa-based products. Quality alfalfa is not cheap and the true seeding rate for food plots should be 20 lbs/acre. However, to make the product cheaper and to “stretch” the seeding rate, companies will add large amounts of the above-mentioned clovers and/or chicory, which have light seeding rates. For example, Evolved Harvest RackForce and Whitetail Institute Alfa-Rack Plus include alfalfa, clovers and chicory. Oddly, many clovers don’t excel in the same conditions that alfalfa and chicory excel. Therefore, these types of mixes are not ideal.
  4. Including large percentages of dwarf essex rape in their brassica mixes and other winter plot products. Dwarf essex rape can bought at farm supply stores for as little as $1.60/lb, and the seeding rate for a pure stand is only 4-5 lbs/acre.
  5. Including annual ryegrass in "no-till" type products and other winter plot products. Annual ryegrass is a poor forage for food plot purposes, but it costs about $.50/lb at farm supply stores, and the seeding rate is one-fifth that of oats, rye, wheat or triticale. Annual ryegrass germinates very fast and is cold tolerant, so it makes a plot look good. But we have to believe the main reason annual ryegrass is in any food plot product is to make its production costs lower. Evolved Harvest Throw and Gro and Whitetail Institute No-Plow are prime examples.
  6. Using the cheapest varieties in products. Some food plot companies, such as the Whitetail Institute, advertise improved varieties in their products, but in reality, those improved varieties consist of a tiny fraction of the overall mix. For example, in the past, Imperial Whitetail Clover appears to have included Advantage ladino and Insight ladino (two decent ladino varieties – not great, but decent), but those two varieties made up a small percentage of mix. A majority of the mix consisted of older varieties that are cheaper and available to any farm supply store.
  7. Using brand names rather than variety names. In most states, you don’t have to list the actual forage varieties in the product, so some food plot companies come up with impressive-sounding brand names. In reality, those brand names are really nothing more than common, cheap varieties.
  8. Using the lightest recommended seeding rates so it appears their bag of seed covers a larger acreage. For example, many of the food plot companies sell chicory products with the recommended seeding rate of 3 lbs/acre. A more effective seeding rate is 5 lbs/acre. For ladino clover, they often recommend 5 lbs/acre, but 6-8 lbs/acre often provides a better stand. For alfalfa, they may recommend 15 lbs/acre while 20-25 lbs/acre generally creates a stand hunters expect to see with then spend the time and money to create an alfalfa plot. In summary, don't follow their seeding rates of prepackaged food plot products. Those rates can work, but usually only under ideal planting conditions and with excellent planting equipment (no-till drills, for example) that few hunters use. Furthermore, a thicker stand can produce more palatable, more attractive plots with fewer weed problems.

Here are some formulations food plot companies use that don't make a lot of sense to us:
  1. Mixing numerous forage species in one product to make them "stupid-proof." This makes sense from a food plot company's perspective, but for those hunters that actually research forages, you don't want a random mix of forages. Products such as Tecomate Max-Attract, Whitetail Institute Secret Spot, Evolved Harvest Throw and Gro are prime examples. Secret Spot, for example, use to include (and may still include) about a dozen different forages. There is no science behind that.
  2. Mixing clover with alfalfa and/or chicory. Many food plot companies have released products that are clover/chicory mixes or clover/chicory/alfalfa mixes. While these three species do perform well together in some soil conditions, perennial clovers, in general, excel in different soil conditions than chicory and alfalfa. Alfalfa and chicory like well-drained soil in sunny locations. Ladino clover like soil that holds significant moisture and can thrive in shady and sunny locations. Why mix them?
  3. Using red clover in mixes. Alsike clover is used to "cheapen" the product, as mentioned above, but red clover doesn't offer any real advantage to the seed company or hunter. The quality is not as high as ladino, alsike, alfalfa and even chicory in some cases. The price isn't much lower than ladino clover while the seeding rate is twice as high. We just don't get it.
  4. Using buckwheat in mixes. Why? It’s not a great forage.


Please find a listing of our product comparison chart showing products by Brand.

Whitetail Institute
ProductBag
size
AcreagePricePrice per acreDescription
Alfa-Rack Plus3.751/4$39.99$159.96Mix of berseem clover, ladino clover, alfalfa and chicory
Alfa-Rack Plus16.51 1/4$142.99$114.39Mix of berseem clover, ladino clover, alfalfa and chicory
Chic Magnet21$39.99$39.99All chicory
Chic Magnet82$99.99$33.33All chicory
Chicory Plus3.51/2$39.99$79.98Mix of berseem clover, ladino clover and chicory
Chicory Plus142 1/4$142.99$63.55Mix of berseem clover, ladino clover and chicory
Extreme5.61/4$42.99$171.96Mix of berseem clover, small burnet and chicory
Extreme231$142.95$142.95Mix of berseem clover, small burnet and chicory
Imperial Whitetail Clover31/2$39.99$79.98Mix of ladino clover and berseem clover
Imperial Whitetail Clover182 1/4$142.99$63.55Mix of ladino clover and berseem clover
No-Plow81/2$39.99$79.98Mix of annual ryegrass, annual clovers and rape
No-Plow251 1/2$74.99$49.99Mix of annual ryegrass, annual clovers and rape
PowerPlant253/4$58.99$78.65Mix of sunflowers, grain sorghum and viney beans/peas
Secret Spot5 1/10$15.99$159.90Mix of grasses, clovers and brassicas
WinterGreens21/2$39.99$79.98Mix of brassicas
WinterGreens121$104.99$52.50Mix of brassicas
BioLogic
ProductBag
size
AcreagePricePrice per acreDescription
Alfalfa1 1/20$9.99$199.80All alfalfa
BioMass251$59.99$59.99Mix of sunflowers,grain sorghum and viney beans/peas
Brassica11/4$9.99$39.96All brassicas
Chicory 11/4$9.99$39.96All chicory
Clover Plus11/4$19.99$79.96Mix of red and white clovers and chicory
Clover Plus81$64.99$64.99Mix of red and white clovers and chicory
Clover Plus272$149.99$50.00Mix of red and white clovers and chicory
Full Draw2.51/4$16.99$67.96Mix of brassicas, clovers and grasses (wheat and other grasses)
Full Draw101$54.99$54.99Mix of brassicas,clovers and grasses (wheat and other grasses)
Green Patch Plus201/2$24.99$49.98Mix of brassicas,clovers and grasses (cereal grains)
Hot Spot41/4$14.99$59.96Mix of winter peas and buckwheat
Lablab 201$49.99$49.99All Lablab
Maximum2.251/4$19.99$79.96Mix of brassicas
Maximum81$64.99$64.99Mix of brassicas
Maximum272$149.99$50.00Mix of brassicas
Outfitter's Blend22.51/2$29.99$59.98Mix of grasses (cereal grains) and winter peas
Premium Perennial2.251/4$24.99$99.96Mix of brassicas and perennail forages
Premium Perennial81$69.99$69.99Mix of brassicas and perennail forages
Tecomate
ProductBag
size
AcreagePricePrice per acreDescription
Buckbeans43/4$44.99$59.99Perennial viney beans (perennail in South, annual in North)
Chicory21$29.99$29.99All chicory
Lablab Plus221$49.99$49.99Mix of Lablab, peas and sorghum
Max-Attract 50/50201/2$29.99$59.98Mix of grass (cereal grains), winter peas, clovers and chicory
Max-Attract 50/50401$44.99$44.99Mix of grass (cereal grains), winter peas, clovers and chicory
Monster Mix31/2$34.99$69.98Mix of red and white clovers and chicory
Monster Mix71$49.99$49.99Mix of red and white clovers and chicory
Ultra Forage2.251/4$14.99$59.96Mix of brassicas, lovers and chicory
Ultra Forage81$39.99$39.99Mix of brassicas, clovers and chicory
Hunter's Specialties
ProductBag
size
AcreagePricePrice per acreDescription
Summer Seed Mix201/2$59.99$119.98Mix of nugget peas, cowpeas, forage soybeans, sunflowers and grain sorghum
Fall Seed Mix51$49.99$49.99Mix of rape, alsike clover, sugar beets, rape and turnips
Spring Seed (Premium Clover Mix)2.51/4$19.99$79.96Mix of ladino clover, white clover, red clover, alsike clover, red clover and crimson clover
Spring Seed (Premium Clover Mix)101$69.99$69.99Mix of ladino clover, white clover, red clover, alsike clover, red clover and crimson clover
Antler King
ProductBag
size
AcreagePricePrice per acreDescription
Honey Hole21/2$19.99$39.98Mix of brassicas
Red Zone201/2$39.99$79.98Mix of forage beans, grain soybeans and buckwheat
Evolved Harvest
ProductBag
size
AcreagePricePrice per acreDescription
Exceed111/2$39.99$79.98Mix of Lablab, forage soybeans and corn
Maximize151/2$34.99$69.98Mix of forage soybeans,grain sorghum,warm-season peas and sunflowers
ProVide Forage Clover and Chicory31/2$29.99$59.98Mix of clovers and chicory
ProVide Forage Clover and Chicory121 1/2$74.99$49.99Mix of clovers and chicory
RackForce31/2$29.99$59.98Mix of alfalfa,clovers and chicory
Shot Plot101$49.99$25.00Mix of brassica types (including turnips)
ShotPlot2.51/2$17.99$35.98Mix of brassica types (including turnips)
Throw and Gro41/4$14.99$59.96Mix of annual ryegrass,clovers and rape
Winter PZ and Oats101/4$24.99$99.96Mix of winter peas,grasses (cereal grains) and clovers
Buck Forage
ProductBag
size
AcreagePricePrice per acreDescription
Buck Forage Oats502/5$30.00$75.00
Buck Forage Chicory41$55.00$55.00
Farm Supply Store Prices Prices are estimates (includes less than full bag prices - weighed out seed)
ProductBag
size
AcreagePricePrice per acreDescription
Improved Ladino Clover Varieties5010$180.00$18.00
Improved Ladino Clover Varieties41$22.00$22.00
Chicory5012 1/2$250.00$20.00
Chicory31$28.00$28.00
Improved Alfalfa Varieties503 1/3$215.00$64.56
Improved Alfalfa Varieties151$75.00$75.00
Common Alflafa503 1/3$133.00$39.94
Common Alfalfa151$50.00$50.00
Improved Red Clover Varieties503$135.00$33.75
Common Medium Red Clover503$90.00$22.50
Berseem Clover503 1/3$123.00$36.94
Arrowleaf Clover503 1/3$96.00$28.83
Crimson Clover503 1/3$55.00$16.51
Alsike Clover504$70.00$14.00
Alsike Clover101$18.00$18.00
Purple Top Turnips5012 1/2$90.00$7.20
Purple Top Turnips41$9.00$9.00
Forage Turnips5012 1/2$175.00$14.00
Forage Turnips31$17.00$17.00
Dwarf Essex Rape5012 1/2$60.00$4.80
Dwarf Essex Rape31$6.00$6.00
Austrian Winter Peas501$50.00$50.00
Winter Oats502/5$13.00$32.50
Iron and Clay Cowpeas501$55.00$55.00
Food Plot Resources
ProductBag
size
AcreagePricePrice per acreDescription
Crescendo Ladino Clover459$155.99$17.338 lbs/acre creates a thicker stand - Crescendo superior to ladino clover used in prepackaged products
Crescendo Ladino Clover153$58.99$19.668 lbs/acre creates a thicker stand - Crescendo superior to ladino clover used in prepackaged products
Ladino Clover456-9$109.99$12.22
Ladino Clover152-3$42.99$14.33
Alfalfa (Vernal)452.25-3$124.99$41.67
Alfalfa (Vernal)15.75-1$47.99$48
Chicory4515$279.99$18.675 lbs/acre creates a thicker stand
Chicory155$99.99$20.005 lbs/acre creates a thicker stand
Small Burnet301$79.99$79.99
Berseem Clover151$43.99$43.9920 lbs/acre creates a thicker stand
Berseem Clover453$109.99$36.66
Forage Turnips155$49.99$10.005 lbs/acre creates a thicker stand
Colt White Clover153$58.99$19.66
Colt White Clover459$155.99$17.33
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