Ducks are always searching for the best food sources, and a great place to start is a duck food plot. These plots offer them with an ideal habitat to feed and rest.
Corn, maze and sorghum are ideal crops that should be flood-irrigated prior to the arrival of ducks in the fall. These produce a plentiful source of food for them throughout the season.
Corn has long been a favorite food plot crop for ducks. Not only does it provide carbohydrates, but its high sugar content keeps ducks and geese warm when temperatures drop.
However, it can be costly to cultivate and requires a lot of water. Therefore, if your soils aren’t capable of holding moisture or you lack the equipment or expertise to grow corn on your property, it may be best to opt for another food plot crop instead.
Mazes are intricate systems of paths that must be traversed to reach the exit. Scientists use mazes in experiments with both humans and nonhuman animals to gain insights into spatial learning, memory, map organization, and foraging strategies.
Mazes can be created using corn stalks, hay bales, books, hedges or even walls and rooms. Not only does this attract ducks to your property but it’s a great way to keep them entertained as well.
Sorghum is an ancient grain that has been part of the global food chain for generations. It serves as both a feed grain to livestock and sweetener in the form of sorghum syrup or molasses.
Sorghum can be grown in any climate as long as there is ample water supply. It makes an ideal addition to duck food plots that will be flooded before duck season begins.
Evaluate the plant species in your area and create a moist soil management plan for plants that require lots of water. Doing this takes much of the guesswork out of it, making it much simpler for ducks to find food plots easier.
Smartweed is an ideal addition to duck food plots. It produces plenty of small seeds that mallards, black ducks, pintails and teal enjoy eating.
This weed has a low growing height that makes it ideal for shallow water applications. Furthermore, this perennial species will continue to flourish each season with minimal cultivation required.
Water smartweed can be found in swamps, low ground, wet places, moist meadows and along shorelines. It is an annual or perennial plant that can grow up to three feet tall.
Barnyard grass is an annual found in fields, waste places, ditches, marshes and wet meadows. It provides valuable native food sources for ducks and other waterfowl which can be used as a food plot to attract them.
Barnyard grass is an adaptable plant that can be managed after the growing season, unlike corn, beans or rice which would violate federal waterfowl regulations. Furthermore, barnyard grass survives longer in flood-prone conditions than planted crops do and so it will continue to provide food and cover to ducks long after the crop has gone to seed.
Millet is an ideal crop for duck food plots to attract migrating waterfowl, as well as providing nourishment to rabbits and other wild game animals.
Millets come from around the world and each variety has been adapted for specific growing conditions. Some are more resistant to hot humid regions, while others thrive in moist soil or shallow flooding.
Millets are often included in duck food plots due to their resistance to standing water and ability to thrive in floody soil. However, if planted too early in June and a late frost hits later that month, the millets won’t mature by time for duck season.
Wild rye is an ideal plant to include in duck food plots. It can easily be flooded or planted in shallow water applications and provides ducks with a whiskery seed head they will enjoy eating.
This cool-season grass is hardy and prefers average to medium moisture soils with full or partial sun exposure. It may also tolerate some drought conditions.
Wild rice (Zizania aquatica) is an attractive food plot species that attracts ducks. The tall stalks of wild rice provide shelter and food for birds like mallards, pintails, teal and geese.
Growing as many species as possible in your duck food plot can be beneficial, since each may attract different duck types. Furthermore, consider creating multiple ponds to accommodate all your favorite peepers!