Why Diversity is King in Fall Food Plots

Show Notes

On this week's episode of the Pennsylvania Woodsman we catch up with Al Tomechko from Vitalize Seed.  After discussing some big projects that took place during the off season at Al's place, we dive into Vitalize seed.  Vitalize uses a two-pass planting system with the summer mix called "Nitro-boost" and the fall mix called "Carbonload".  Al breaks down the plant species used in Carbonload and how they work together to provide the best food plot possible.

There are hundreds of different food plot blends on the market and thousands of different opinions.  Some would disagree that certain plant species cannot be mixed into the same blend.  However, with proper seed balance and ratio, diverse mixes can produce maximum tonnage that work together rather than compete.  Al follows soil biology principles when he and his team develop seed blends.  Diversity allows better nutrient exchange between plants, and wildlife can tell the difference.  Tune in to learn more about the "why" and "how" of Carbonload; you might want to consider planting it this year!

Check out the Sportsmen's Empire Podcast Network for more relevant outdoor content!

Show Transcript

Mitchell Shirk: [00:00:00] Hey there everyone. Welcome back to another episode of the Pennsylvania Woodsman podcast. I'm your host, Mitchell Shirk, and I got a great episode coming to you guys this week. This is episode number 98 and the only reason that I know that. Is because I went back and counted them all because I knew I was getting really close to my 100th episode, which I just recorded this past weekend.

That was a really fun episode. It's very special, near and dear to me, and I'm really anxious to bring that to you guys. And just two more weeks. I can't believe, time is flying the way that it is, but that was really fun. But yeah, as far as this week's episode I'm thinking food plots right now.

Food plots are on my [00:01:00] mind, dear, are on my mind just because, why wouldn't they? We're into the second half of July. Time is just flying by. It's going, I'm telling you, I swear the years get shorter all the time. I don't know how that's possible, but that's just the way it feels. But, When I get to the end of July, into August, I'm thinking about fall food plots, and I wanted to have our guest on this week to talk about his fall food plot mixes fall food plot mix and how he handles it and give you guys a little bit more information.

And it's one of one of our partners, it's Al Temeco from Vitalized Seed, and I've had al on the show before. And if you've listened to that episode with Al, if you've listened to any other. Podcast that Al has been a guest on. It doesn't take long to know that Al loves soil biology. He loves the myster, the mystery behind it, and learning learning.

And I've teased him [00:02:00] already. I called Al Mr. Tinker cuz he's always tinkering with all kinds of things. Seed blend related fertility relented, anything, soil biology, he wants to learn more about it because his goal is to make the best food plot seeds, food, best food plot blends that we possibly can.

And he's got a greater interest too outside of food plots. He's got an interest in agriculture and just soil health in general. And that's really what's important to me. Like I said, as many of you guys know, if you've listened to this, I'm an agronomist. I work with a lot of row crops and I do a lot of cover crop recommendations.

I do a lot of no-till cover crop planting, green soil health practices with a lot of my growers. And it's great to have like-minded individuals to bounce that kind of information off, even though we come from a little bit different angles and. In what we do for a living. Al is very much into the food plot world, but he's very interested in soil health and conservation, [00:03:00] which is a huge part of what I do in the agronomy world.

So it's great to bounce ideas off of him. Al kinda laughs at me a little bit, but I've learned a lot from al talking with him getting myself to think outside of the box from a soil health perspective. If you guys have listened to any episodes with Al, he's very passionate and the episode that I did with him a few months ago, I I think I named it something along the lines of soil neurology or something like that.

And we geek out over that stuff. But I give al a little bit of a hard time sometimes because I said, you don't showcase your seed blend. Enough sometimes I, and I'm like, dude, what you've got going on here and how this works for wildlife is something that can't be overlooked. And I think it's a really easy for folks, the average Joe food plotter to listen to an episode with a and myself.

And we could go off about [00:04:00] microrisal fungi and carbon and nitrogen ratios and nutrient cycling, and you guys could go these guys have me lost and I'm tired of, I'm tired of this nerd talking. This episode's different from that. We really break down and talk about the vitalized seed system, the two pest system, nitro booster carbon load.

We talked specifically this week about carbon load, what it is, why al chooses the seed species that are in there and how he blends them appropriately. That way you're getting seasoned long forage. Maximum tonnage from each of them and how each of those plants benefit throughout the entire season. And one thing I think you guys gotta keep in mind, when you see multi-species mix, there's a lot of bad discussion out there in media for food plots that if a food plot if a food plot blend has this specific species in it, then that's junk and it doesn't belong.

And that's [00:05:00] not always true. It might not, it might be a plant that isn't really high on the whitetails preference, or maybe it's something that doesn't. Peak as far as its attractiveness during the heart of your hunting season. But think about it like this, when you have diversity in your mix, again, I already established that we have maximum tonnage, season long tonnage, attractiveness from the beginning of the season to the end of the season.

But there's components of that blend that are feeding soil health that are going to make it better for the long run. Don't just think within that three month window of deer season, it makes the food plot system that much better. It makes it easier for weed management for next year's food plot. It builds your fertility and builds your soil coverage going into next spring.

There's so much more to it. And that's why we get off on our tangents that we do about soil health and stuff, because we understand that. But this week [00:06:00] al breaks down the species, their attractiveness and how he is seeing when you mix certain species together, how it just becomes like a smorgasborg of attractiveness.

And I'm gonna let it at that. It's a great episode with Al. It's, like I said, breaks down carbon load. Why you would go to just planting this seed blend, a multi-species blend over any other seed blend. And I truly believe it's gonna, for those of you who have never experienced something like this, a system, it's gonna make your lives simpler, but it's also just going to blow your mind and what it can do in your food plots in your soil.

Without further ado, let's get to this episode real quick. A word from our partners, and that's gonna be Rads Hunting guys. Trail camera season. Usually summertime July is when I'm getting hot and heavy for trail cameras. I'm behind, like always. But if you are like me and you need to gear up, you need to get a couple more cameras out there.

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Joining me again for for another episode here I have my friend, Al Temeco. Al how you been? Good buddy. How you doing? Thanks for having me on. I'm doing well. It's we're coastal. We were talking before when we when we got before we got started here, that, the rain and the forecast and the weather we've had has just been crazy.

You've seen some crazy stuff in fields, but now it's like all that stress that we had during the month of May is starting to alleviate. And I know you've been making some posts about food plots and talking about how stuff has just jumped in your food plots. Yeah.

Al Tomechko: Yeah. I think it really, I like to tell people all the time, water is nature solvent, right?

And without water going into our soils and making nutrients available and allowing those plants to move and absorb those nutrients, that's what's [00:09:00] so critical about the water. Even more critical when you have healthy soil that when that water does come, those plants have that soil fertility or nutrients to take up.

And man, you can really tell when you have a good thing going because. Not only does rain make everything jump, but boy, like you and I were talking before, when you have a good system going, you get that rain. You can almost literally watch it grow. It's just truly amazing to see in such a short amount of time how fast it can grow.

So we were real thankful to get the rain, as I know you were.

Mitchell Shirk: Yeah. Water alleviates a lot of problems in fields too. And a good example of that, there's a girl I've been working with he took over the farm from his dad and there were things that were neglected in some of the fields and he's really doing a good job of trying to do it.

But some of the places, some of the fields he has, were. They're gonna take some years to bring fertility to where I want 'em to bring stuff. And even something as simple as the pH. Two years ago it was 2021. We had one of the best growing years in my area that we've had, I had guys have farm average [00:10:00] records for corn and soybeans, which was fantastic.

And this particular grower was no exception. He had some farm average records and really had some great corn and soybeans. Then you go back into last year, right? And last year we started out okay. Then we started to get dry and that month of June and it stayed pretty darn dry. We didn't get some rains until August and yields suffered.

But one of the things I was noticing in this cornfield. Is I saw a lot of really poor emergence. I saw a lot of uneven corn. Ma magnesium deficiency. I saw nitrogen deficiency and very varying. And it wasn't like it was like a five acre section of this field. And then the two acre section was bad.

It was like, I always call it at and t corn raising the bar. It's up and down all over the place, and there's no consistent pattern with it. And I remember I took soil samples and plant samples and got the deficiencies back, but the soil samples, it was one of those fields where the pH was so low and it was a, it was like a 5.5 in the worst areas, which is bad.

And he said to me, he said, I [00:11:00] pulled off 50 plus bushel to the acre soybeans last year in that field. He said, why am I seeing this major problem now? We didn't see these problems last year. Answer daily double. We had so much rain. It corrected it in a sense that it didn't fix the problem, but it suppressed what they expected.

And I said, can you imagine what it would've been if we had our balance appropriate?

Al Tomechko: Amazing. Truly amazing.

Mitchell Shirk: But yeah we're we're always quick to talk about food plots and stuff like that, but I wanted to pick your brain. So you get, you love talking about soil, you love talking about food plots.

You're like me. But I'm curious, outside of the food plot stuff, anything that has you excited as far as fall this year? Any projects on the, on your properties that you're doing, whether it was habitat management or maybe deer specific or anything that's got you really excited that you're working on outside the food plots?

Al Tomechko: Yeah, there's always 1,000,001 projects running cameras for bucks. Got a few deer for sure that are 4, 5, 6 [00:12:00] plus years old. That's always on my mind. A big project was passing equip programs. So the farm's registered as a tree farm. Most of it's mature timber.

So our big focus is removing invasive species working on oak regeneration, managing the forest types for that. That was a huge project over the last couple of years was spraying invasives. I actually passed all those sections for the second year. So they come the first year they say, oh, you killed 80%, then you have to go back and retreat.

And actually I had done that, so it's process. So that was huge from habitat perspective. Win and then led into starting on a pretty large timber stand improvement area. So I think it was. Either 11 or 17 acres that we just started in on. So me and the forester went through, we marked trees, and then me and a buddy started this past winter and we were girdling, we were felon.

Pretty much those [00:13:00] two there'll be a couple that'll get just like basil treated, but the primary modes of action were a straight fell of the tree and or a girdle of the trees. And that was a huge, like beach. Some, there's some beach in there. There's some non marketable maple. And we're really trying to, there's some oak that needed to go that were just junk and we

opens. So that was really exciting. And then to top it,

But we did a a small timber sale. So I had a a ridge on the farm that's about six acres, give or take. And it was mostly red pine, so not a real big market in our area. And for years I had foresters, like it was so unimportant to the foresters that they didn't even put it in my NRCS contracts.

They were just like, yeah, just if you can cut it, but if not, we're not even gonna, we're gonna pretend it doesn't exist. So basically a biological desert, you [00:14:00] have some thermal cover there, but they were to the point where they're like 40 years old, so they're really tall. The deer had really stopped going through that area.

And the nice thing is it's like a totally flat ridge top surrounded by oaks. So the opportunity for oak regen was really good there. The problem was trying to get somebody who would cut it. So after multiple years of being my persistent self, I finally found somebody And they were able to come in and actually offered us, a decent little bit of money.

So we got some money in our pocket and they are in there removing a lot of that. And they're actually gonna out about a two three acre flat spot. That's gonna be, that is gonna be like three and a half, the remaining three and a half acres of just thicket clear cut, surrounded by oaks. So yeah, on a north, on North Wind, it's gonna be a pretty bulletproof setup to let those deer feel comfortable come out into that field.

And there might just be a box [00:15:00] line there that you can sneak into on wind. Pretty perfect for for hunting. So I'm really excited about that and what it's gonna look like in a couple years.

Mitchell Shirk: That is really exciting. I'm curious, a lot of people that I've run into that have properties that would be eligible for a lot of NRCS E equip government type programs.

A lot of people shy away from that, and I'm not a hundred percent sure why. I think it has to do with probably lack of knowledge of programs or just the belief that the program won't. Completely meet all their goals and objectives or maybe it'll almost be like, it'll hinder their full capability.

So I'm curious, have you experienced that? Like the cut it you were talking about girdling killing trees and opening a canopy up. What exactly is the specific goals that, to maintain early succession? Is it to stimulate specific tree species? Is it a combination of those things and does it completely meet your objectives or were there things that you had to compromise a little bit based on that program?[00:16:00]

Al Tomechko: So for me, yeah I think it totally meets my objectives. Inputs money in my pocket and I'm willing to do right.

Landowners who maybe aren't as obsessed with habitat management would shy away because you do need to know your tree species. And you do need to be willing to take the time and say, whoa, I'm not gonna, I'm gonna put the herbicide down here. I'm not gonna spray this tree cuz I can't totally identify it.

Things of that nature. And maybe that gets some people to shy away. Treating 17 acres of tree of heaven on the side of a hill is a lot of work. It's not for train of heart. Like you're in brambles, you're getting cut up. It's July. Cause it's the best summer. It's a lot of work.

So maybe that's why you have to use chemicals. So you have to use most often for tree of heaven

diesel fuel. So you use diesel fuel as your basically your. Permeating oil, right? Yeah. And [00:17:00] then the tri kinda slowly sneaks in through the, or sheeps in, excuse me, permeates through the bark and gets down in, and it kinda sneakily kills that tree because they're just so explosive if they feel attacked.

There's a lot of little nuanced details to treating invasive species that maybe that's something that tries away from people. As far as the TSI and goal there, I, for me it's maximized my opportunity to one, open up the canopy while still focusing on timber value in the short and in the long term.

And coming up with a plan says, not only am I gonna. Cut timber, say three to five years. I maximized th this oak, let's say. But then also having a plan with a horse, we're like, yeah, there was two oaks there. We're not gonna cut that on the first go around. Those are gonna be in 10 years, right?

Like getting this [00:18:00] rotational program. But you also have all these open pockets of bedding and stuff in between, in these bottoms. And so for me it's like a win type of situation. I will say the caveat there is I'm fortunate that, we're managing now just under 400 acres for whitetail.

So I have enough room. Where's I guess maybe if I didn't have as much room to play with, maybe I'd wanna harder cut

timber, but you still can. That so there is some red tape. Like I've loved everyone. I've worked with nrcs, the state foresters have been phenomenal. I just think it's been, at least for Ohio in my area, it has been a absolute home run situation for me. And I've been very happy with it.

So I don't really know, I couldn't think of a negative other than I guess if you wanted things to move faster. But I guess you could sell timber first, get [00:19:00] it how you want it, maybe cut out some deer betting areas and then go in and enroll and say, Hey, I had already done this or whatever, didn't know about these programs, however you learned about it or did, and then try to enroll the program and say, here, this property way.

Mitchell Shirk: Yeah, I really like that you have that. Like I said, I think it's an underutilized tool because it's money in your pocket in a lot of sense, or at least alleviates the cost of the things that we want to do. I think a lot of it is that desire to have instant gratification. I think people like to micromanage hunting parcels, which there's nothing wrong with, but I also feel like with habitat and hunting strategy, you can have a little bit more wiggle room than many believe.

People talk about. Narrowing down a specific bunkbed location and cutting it in this design, it has to be this way. And I'm not discrediting that whatsoever, but I just find when you can make a parcel of oasis and low pressure and hunt it accordingly [00:20:00] to a government program, it's definitely doable.

Are there things you might have to tweak in your hunting strategy? Absolutely. But I just think it's a, it's an underutilized thing and I'm really glad to hear that you talk about that and speaking of. That process, taking a while to see that gratification, it's a succession is not something that happens overnight.

It's a timely thing. And with that is is our food plots, and that's what we wanna talk about today. I'm thinking when you talked about dozing out a new food plot, you're starting from scratch, man, you've probably got some low phs, you probably got a whole bunch of stuff and you're gonna, you're gonna work on that that soil and that system.

So a brand new food plot virgin ground. Is there anything you're gonna you're looking forward to tinkering with, especially when it comes to the food plots? Anything you're planning on, I want to test this to see in a virgin new soil type thing that I, wanna learn about?

Al Tomechko: In that particular situation [00:21:00] it's. 30 to 40, 30 to 50 year old Red Pine. So the soils gonna be about four. The pH soils gonna be low. It's gonna be very low. I'll most likely obviously pull soil test.

Mitchell Shirk: Absolutely the foundation, man.

Al Tomechko: Yeah, that's ob that's a no-brainer.

Even though I know it's gonna be low. I'm still gonna pull the soil test. I wanna see where it's at. I'll very likely just based on knowing my general base saturations, I'll be putting a high cal line. I could be wrong. Maybe it'll be gold mike, but I have a suspicion it'll be a high cow lime and quite a bit of it that first year and most likely because it is that first year and there's gonna be some roots there, and things like that, that Ill be using.

My buddies my buddy has like a seven foot killer. It's nice. And we'll probably till that line in. Fit that ground and then go over it with the no-till and get pretty much a perfect, c depth roof structure, et cetera. [00:22:00] I'll probably, cause you know me, I always am tinkering. I will definitely be using fungal inoculate on the seed in that.

I wanna make sure, not that it's not there, I'm sure there's, with the trees being there for as long, I'm sure that there's AGI network there. But I certainly don't think it's inoculate them and get some additional situations going. Like I products, they've worked well for me. I wanna make just jumpstart that biological system cause you're gonna have the roots in there and years of duff that got packed in with the dozer, et cetera.

And I wanna get some of that going alongside some roots in the ground. So that'll probably be my approach. I will likely be fol feeding that the first year or two pretty regularly. I'm assuming that the growth just with that low of a pH with having the dozer head going back and forth, on the top of a ridge, could there be some potential compaction issues with relatively heavy soils in that part of the state?[00:23:00]

I don't wanna, compaction is probably overused. There might be some tightness issues. Sure. And so all of that being said, I think I'm gonna, spoon feed those crops the first year or two to make sure that I'm getting really healthy root systems, really healthy crops, keep taking soil samples and just the way I've done in the past, it'll be the same idea.

I do think large enough. Necessarily worry about a ton of the biomass walking off, between two or three acre in field. So I'm happy with that. Whereas if it was only a half a quarter acre I'd be a little bit more concerned. But yeah, I mean that, that's where I plan to be buddy. And because I am tilling that's where one of those times where I'm gonna look and see if my phosphorus is really low, maybe I decide, hey, I'm gonna, if I'm gonna do this one time, let's put some phosphorus and potassium right in the root zone.

Cause I normally, I mean I normally don't recommend that for guys who are no-tilling. Cause phosphorus is so immobile. If you're gonna use [00:24:00] it in a food blot situation, try to use a foliar, and there's kind of mixed results on how well phosphorous is uptake by folio. You can find like really different ends of the spectrum on that, that I've seen at least.

I'd like to hear your take on that. But I feel like it's better than throwing it. Cause we know the granular isn't gonna move. We know, it's like just throwing it on top is oh, that's really a wish in a prayer. For me, if I notice that the phosphorus is super, super low that might be an option and I'm sure I'll think of some other things.

Maybe there's I chicken litter or something like that, but most likely I'll try to keep it pretty simple. I'll probably stick with lime, I'll probably stick with fungal innoculants on the seed rise bacteria and then use, based foliar applications over the.

Mitchell Shirk: All right folks. It's that time of year for fall food plot planning, and this year I'm proud to be working with Vitalized Seed. I work with them because they're great people and they're extremely passionate about wildlife and soil health. My fall food plots will be planted in [00:25:00] Vitalizes carbon load, a 16 way diverse mix that is highly attractive to Whitetails and has countless benefits to soil and soil health.

If you've ever been overwhelmed by the hundreds of different seed blends on the market, check out Vitalizes one two Planting System. It's designed how nature intended to make biology work for you. Now, each plant species in the blend has the proper ratio of seed to grow synergistically, not allowing any to outcompete another.

This provides season long forge for wildlife as well as benefiting the soil biome. There's no need for complex crop rotations with monocultures that are susceptible to drought and over browsing. Whether you plant with fancy no-till equipment or bag spreader, and a lawnmower. Vitalize can work in any food plot.

For more information about vitalize and soil health practices, visit vitalize seed.com and be sure to file them on Instagram and Facebook.

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Wanna check out Radox cameras in person? Stop in at Little Mountain Outfitters in Richland, Pennsylvania and have a pee. Now back to the ship. Yeah. Very important points you're bringing up here in my mind, because again we're, you and I are very pro no-till pro soil health. Keep soil covered, keep living plants growing.

But one thing I learned I had a dairy farms a new dairy farm [00:27:00] startup about five, six years ago. And the farm that they bought was I'm not gonna say it was farmed out, but it was just really rough ground. Had some topography to it. And th this farm was doing a lot of double cropping, so they were taking a small grange planting it in the fall.

They'd let that come into about May, and then they're taking that off for forage, and then they're coming in and they're no-tilling corn. And the first year that we did that ground was extremely uneven. And it was to the point where, going across the field with wagons and carts was unsafe.

It was not fun. It was bumpy. And it's, then it's also a nightmare to take a corn planter through and go through a no-till. And, this farmer said, would you be opposed to tillage? And the one thing I've learned from some pretty wise people, and I'm saying all this to bring this point.

One instance of tillage to fix a problem such as unevenness. That can set you up for success way down the road further [00:28:00] than dealing with those headaches. And to the same point with with adjusting your Lyme, a surface applied Lyme application, there's a lot of different points of view.

But on average, I find that about it's gonna leach about a half an inch a year. So if we're looking at a soil profile that's, 8, 8, 10 inches, and it's gonna take quite a long time to have that lime work within the soil. So incorporating it into the soil, incorporating phosphorous and potassium into a really depleted system within the soil profile, that's a great way to jumpstart the system create a better environment for those plants to get started.

And then let nature do its take. I heard John Teeter say this one time I wanna make sure I word this right. He said something along the lines of, we have degradated, meaning humans have degradated so many things that it does take amendments to fix them. And the tools you're using in this instance just make so much sense to me.

And I think it's important for people to understand how those tools and implements are used. And to me, this is fitting the shoe properly.

Al Tomechko: [00:29:00] Absolutely. I couldn't agree more. I think that's, without going down too much of rabbit hole, that's one of the issues is people not understanding how amendments interact in the soil profile, specifically in the food plot world.

I'm sure you've probably seen full scale growers, maybe not even understanding some cases, but like the, understandable. What is, Excess nitrogen. What happens to it? And sometimes people think oh, that's just they're just, worried about the environment.

Yeah. We don't want nitrate just going, running everywhere, but there's also the fact that it can, in certain soils, can pull calcium with it. And calciums very important to the structure, right? So that's, it's not that we just don't, you buy nitrogen, right? But understand, there's other impacts that happen.

And likewise, like I don't phosphorus down I, right? But I do want you to realize, throw phosphorus down on a no-till food plot, granular [00:30:00] phosphorus you're not gonna get anything outta that. There's a lot of science that's proven Now if you're running it, people, oh, my farmer buddy does it.

Is he putting it in a two by two on his corn? That, in those little details, I feel like get left off a lot. Cause people don't, especially a lot of food flowers, but maybe not, aren't as familiar with some of that. So they'll say oh, he told me he puts phosphorous down every year.

It's different when you're putting it underneath the corn plant so that the roots are, you know what

Mitchell Shirk: I'm saying like, oh, absolutely, you're putting it where the root is going to take it up the best. There's a lot of data out there suggesting it. That's why there's even a lot of farms that have been no-till for a long time that are talking about doing rotational tillage to incorporate, fertilizer in the system.

I think there's other ways that they can do that, and I don't necessarily agree with the, with the action taken to correct the problem. However, what they're talking about shows significant response and that's, where we're coming from here. [00:31:00]

Al Tomechko: Yeah, exactly. And that's where there was a gentleman, people can look it up.

He's in Illinois, I think, but he did a big post. It got a lot of attention. I'm sure you've seen it, where he took the samples and showed where he had put PNK for 15 years and almost all of it was still within the first two inches. Yep. Soil file over 15 years. And he was a big time no-till and he still is.

But he did a rotational till to then go back to no-till. And by till, I mean he flipped it over and then he no-tilled into that, but with his planter. But he saw really impressive yields or impressive growth. It's looking like he's gonna get good yields, but the yield data, I think is come this.

Yeah. Yeah. So it's pretty impressive stuff. With all of that being said, for food plotters, I just think that's something to be considerate of. If you have these brand new fields and you're going to do a Lyme application or a specifically the nutrient [00:32:00] applications, right? It's really something to keep in mind that maybe that p specifically PK, I should say.

Sure. Maybe that pk, if you're gonna do it right, you're gonna do this onetime tillage, you're gonna work it in. And I'll be totally honest with you, Mitch, like I'm a point where my, with my established fields, my pH is like in a good enough range. Six two is six four. Like I'm happy with it. And on occasion will I put a little bit of lime down.

Yeah. But I haven't felt like I need to put enough down that justifies a tillage on those fields. But if I was starting fresh, like this example we're talking about, it's the ground's already bare, so why not get it right or at least try to get it as bright as we can off the bat. That's

Mitchell Shirk: kinda my thought was exactly.

Ground's already bare, already had equipment on it, do disturbing soil and stuff why not get it set right. But speaking of things that food plotters don't really understand a great deal. And what I really wanted to talk about with you today, [00:33:00] I wanna dive in a little bit to carbon load.

So we're getting through summer here we've got Nitro Boost in the ground, which that's the mix that you've talked about before on the show and many other podcasts. And in the two pass system, we're gonna, we're gonna terminate nitro Boost and plant carbon load and carbon load.

You've done some tweaking with it this year, and I want to, I wanna talk with you about it. First of all, what is carbon load? What are some of the things that are in carbon load? And talk about why this is a really great system when we're so used to monocultures and food plots.

We're so used to having a bra plot here, a cereal grain plot here, a soybean plot here yada, yada. And the thought that we have to maximize each of those specific plants biomass and it, many have said it can't be done with a multi-species cuz you the carbon load is a very high multi-species.

So tell me a little bit about carbon load this year.

Al Tomechko: Yeah, thanks. So [00:34:00] carbon loaders are fall mix. I've been using it on my farm for, I dunno, six or seven years now, and have tweaked it every year. And actually last year had gotten away from a couple of things I really enjoyed in the mix in the past and.

I don't know why, you just always are tweaking things and I, I really miss the one in particular being chicory. A lot of people will say, oh, chicory in the fall is too slow to establish. But what you'll see is grow in the spring is tremendous. It's very drought resistant.

It has a really good root structure. And it's just an overall great plant. Deer eat the snot outta it. We wanted to add that back in there. Some of the other things is, we have fall, triticale, winter wheat, rye, grain, oats those are our staple cereal grains that are in the carbon load.

When we make a mix, I sit down, I build Excel files, I and I build formulas that show me [00:35:00] percentage grains, percentage legumes, percentage brass, right? I break down

understanding of exactly where I'm gonna be from a carbon to nitrogen ratio on those plants. Now there's some variability there of course, depending on how late in the season they'll the plant grow and stuff. But in general, what is the makeup of this particular mix, and what is going to allow me to balance my grains to brassicas to get a deer hunter who just wants to see huge Nebraska tops and nice bald production and big radish production tubers but also still have highly attractive plot.

Some of the small smaller scale farmers that we sell to that are using this as their cover crop, that they just wanna see a nice lush green field for cover cropping all winter. And there's that balance there. And what I find very important, Mitch, and I think sets us apart from anybody else that's [00:36:00] doing this, is this fall mix.

I'm proud to say it's 55% zero grains, and some might say that's it. Then I say, yeah, that's it. And there's a reason for that. The reason is that not only is it only 55%, zero grain grains are inexpensive to, to buy, relatively speaking. So what happens is a lot of people sell the mix and 80 zero grain and then have all these really small numbers added to make it look really, you're diluting the overall mix.

But I think you also can struggle with in my opinion, having too much carbon in the system going into your spring planting, and you're gonna, especially in no-till, I think one of the leading causes of people giving up on no-till is not understanding the carbon and nitrogen cycle and how things break down.

That's another discussion, but I think that leads to a lot of frustration, a lot of tillers coming back outta the home. And when you take these mix like this, like [00:37:00] ours, 55% of that, 55% o the smallest percentage. And I do that in on purpose. Again, oats are really inexpensive, but I won't sell anything.

I won't plant on my own farm. So I, oats is a small one cause it's not gonna over winter in most of the whitetails range. So I'm not gonna have people paying for something that's not gonna over winter. So what do I do? I up my winter rye, I up my winter wheat and I up myle. Those are all probably three most expensive cereal grains to put in a mix.

But I feel it's important have in the mix to make sure that's gonna carpet throughout the season. Now I also have winter piece. And then buckwheat, he'll say, why do you have buckwheat in there? Buckwheat and oats germinate very quickly, so that's gonna give you this little nursing crop feature.

Nice. Another nice thing about buckwheat, I don't know much about honeybees, but I know that at the end of the season fall I talked to a guy who really into honeybees oh, having a fall plan, buckwheat's really good for [00:38:00] them for pollination. Cause they're running outta a lot of pollinating sources.

I dunno if that's true or not, but I told me that. I'm like, yeah, that's cool. Let's throw it in there. So we put in there cause knew it would also act as crop. So while your grains are getting established, your oats, which is a grain, but it pops outta the ground real quick, and so does that buckwheat acting as a nurse crop to let your grains, clovers, et cetera, starting to get established.

A little bit of the browse pressure off. So we have that in there with your winter peas as well. We throw in vetch, crimson clover. I'll just go through some of our clovers frosty and fixation as well. So again, try to keep nitrogen, keep the nitrogen in the system, take it outta the air fixation.

Lanza just a really great cloy frosty, bro. The deer just eat the snot outta it. It's just great tonnage, producer. It grows, so it looks like alfalfa steroids. It grows such a fibrous top big leaves. It literally, to me it always looks like the corner of my, I.[00:39:00]

Fixation belan. A lot of people know it. A major fixer which is really intense fibrous root system. And then course cri there, create ton biomass the next spring. What I'm most excited about this fall even though we have a lot of beautiful pictures from last fall and people loved it and it's not that inexpensive to do, but I wanted to do it because I wanted to just make the mix a little bit better, and that is I increased the brass.

So in this mix you're getting your grains, your winter peas, your legumes, and then you get almost a full acre rate of brass as well. So it's on the lower end, right? Brass, typically they'll say anywhere from two to six pounds per acre. And you're gonna be at like three pounds I think of brass in this mix.

[00:40:00] And it's a mixture between. Which isn't, it's a bulk from last year. So it's in that balance where you're gonna see good production, good grain production, and then legger. And that balance is just critical.

But that balance is so critical. And even going a step further in the balance is then balancing those subspecies, like I talked about with the grains, right? So we dove into why I picked certain grains at higher levels than others. Same with Nebraska's. So we have, purple top turnup and rad y, great tube production, good above ground biomass, but it's pretty well known if deer comes by or cow comes by and top bites the top off of a radish.

That's pretty much all she wrote, so we wanted to add really good quality or increase, I should say, really good quality forge radishes also. Those have been bred for, like Winfred Forge Brass weren't in our [00:41:00] mix right? Those have been bred for a long time to be able to withstand some brows.

Whereas, your purple tops and stuff, they can handle some, but not quite as much. So really excited. We also have the bark and the paja brass in there. Mark Nasha, Nebraska. So really excited about the overall mix this year. Not huge changes from last year but I think the plot's gonna feed even more deer.

I think it's gonna give a really good jumpstart to the soil in the fall. And it is one of those mixes, Mitch, that I tell guys who have smaller, they're, they got a 10th of an acre or a quarter acre and they're not sure about planting the spring nitro cause, trying to get soybean and sunflowers and that small.

I go, listen, you plant this mix and leave it. A year and then come back, terminate and plan it again. Cause there's that much diversity in there. It just is amazing to see how much biomass is created above and below ground.

Mitchell Shirk: It absolutely is. So [00:42:00] one of the things I wanted to highlight there, so you talked about the mix and you said about 55% cereal, grains, and you're spot on that so much of the negative talk about a multi-species that have all those different plants in, cuz you're talking about having legumes, you're talking about having some assorted broadleaf, some brassicas and cereals.

And one reason why so many people have made the comments that you can't do that is because of the ratios. It's a carbon and nitrogen ratio and it's just a competition thing. There's intra specific competition going on between those plants as they go, but at an appropriate ratio, it's amazing what they can do.

So in order for that second half of what you talked about, The brassicas the clovers the broadleafs. In order for those to have good success, the cereal grains can't outdo and can't outcompete those. And I think that's a really important thing to highlight of why you still get so much success from all of these plants [00:43:00] is because the ratios in which they're planted at make it successful, is what it is.


Al Tomechko: And I wanna be very clear to people too, like at these ratios you can shoot me a message. Mitch you and I in buddies for a while, you've seen the pictures. It's not like the next spring you go and, oh, there's no rye grain to roller cramp or to spray or to mow.

Like it's still a heavy stand of winter grains. Like I would not wanna have, like some of the recommendations I've seen out there are really high. I've seen 200, 300 pounds to the acre of rye, and it's really high. It's I, if you follow, I tell people all the time talk to some farmers, follow the cover crop groups on social media, and you'll see these farmers and they're like, yeah, I'm planting, 30 pounds to the acre of winter rye.

So this idea of, listen, you grow rye on our driveways. It's a great crop. I love it. But I don't know, I don't know where that got [00:44:00] so out hand where we're overseeing with rye to the extent which it's being done. Done. I just, I see some really high numbers and I really would love to know, even in some of those cases, what percentage of that is even germinated in, in some of these cases where guys are going in overseeing 200 pounds.

I don't even know if it could compete with itself at some of those rates. It's really quite a bit high. So there's. Big part of that, like you said is that balance. And with us, of course, we sell the one two system. So as that balance works with the Nitro Boost, over time, the system just continues to feed off of itself and it just gets better and more efficient and everything functions.

But even if you're just starting, it's still the right thing. Now, the one caveat I will say is everybody's soil is different. Everybody's deer density is different. Everybody's climate's slightly different. So if you're planting, and I just was actually talking to my buddy Adam from [00:45:00] Landon Legacy super nice guy, but he and I were chatting.

He said I go, if you're in Acre food pond in the middle of West Virginia, there's no agriculture around. You got more deer than people and you're the only shop in town, right? You might need to bump up your seating rates slightly on that acre because of just deer brows. The next guy.

And that's where like we have recommendations. We recommend 45 pounds to the acre. The reason we recommend 45 pounds to the acre is because we feel we have good balance of the brass to the grains. When you start to see 70, 80, 90 pounds to the acre, you probably wanna ask what's the grain ratio?

Cause it's probably a lot higher grain ratio than anything else in that mix. And that's why you're having to bump up a lot more through your drill, the broadcast spreader. At least that's what I've noticed. I dunno if you feel the same.

Mitchell Shirk: Oh, absolutely. And I think when you asked the question about where did that two to 300 pounds per acre of rye come from, one of the things [00:46:00] I think comes to mind is just the fact that Rye is fairly browse tolerant in high deer densities.

And I think it's one of those things that can be a last ditch effort to fill in some green and just get some vegetation and some tonnage in a food plot on high high deer densities. And that's great. And I think a lot of people then scratch your head then, and they go back to it just doesn't make any sense that I'm planting all these species at one time in the same location.

How am I gonna have enough forage? Because they're gonna, again, the thought is that they compete with each other. But when you're putting 'em all in the same location at. Lower percentages than what you would play in a monocle culture crop. Many people think you're gonna run out of food. There's a lot of, there's a lot of discussion when it comes to food plot of saying, I want to have, and I've done this before, Al I've done this where I'll have, try to have I'll try to match match the peak palatability or attractiveness [00:47:00] for seasons of the year.

First thing comes to my mind when, our October one bow openers basically we're, I think it's September 30th this year, but peas, soybeans, clovers, man, they're gonna get hit pretty hard early a lot of the time when they're planted alone. As they start to start to wind down in the amount of forage available, maybe they get frost hit, then you start to see maybe a transition to another monoculture.

And I know this is where a lot of time Nebraska's are. I think they're good anytime, a lot of people talk about them being somewhere in October end into November. And then we're gonna transition to just cereals. And the thought of putting that all together in the same location is just it's so confusing.

So many people don't understand it. And to be honest with you, Al, I don't know that you and I can sit here and talk about it and say how we completely understand it, cuz it's such a, an interesting system and how those plants work together. But it's amazing how number one brows, tolerance they are now, how well they work synergistically together to alleviate brows pressure and hold food throughout the season.[00:48:00]

Al Tomechko: Absolutely, and I think I'll probably get it wrong, but I believe it was Dr. Christine Jones, and she said something, it was so profound, and it stuck with me for a long time. I was listening to a webinar or a YouTube lecture that she had done and talking about the cattle industry and they really a big movement there for, mob grazing and rotational grazing and really diverse copper crop mixes.

And a lot of it's stuff that we do for whitetails, specifically for wintertime annuals. And or cool Susan annuals, I guess I should say. But somebody asked that question in the crowd. I can't remember exactly how it all transpired, but the main point of this was she stopped and she said the thing about bras, and they don't even understand exactly why this happens.

But if you look up Nebraska's and the s a R E cover crop manual or something like that, one of the first things that you end up reading about 'em, ah, great production, good browse product, good cover crop, then it'll say somewhere along the [00:49:00] ascor, they are known for not communicating withal network.

They're known for being off on their own. If you'll, right now they have good root trucks, they good tap roots, they're good nutrient minors or nutrient scavengers. You'll see those terms used a lot. But what does that mean non microcord? It means we're not taking advantage of all that fungal dominated, symbiotic relationships that we have where some of these other crops are.

But what they found, which is just mind blowing, is that when they are in a mix, like good ratios in a healthy system, is that they then tap into the network and now they're benefiting their neighbor, neighbors benefiting. Which general thought, if you're not familiar with network, think of it just as a communication change.

So one plant is super water dependent in one plant doesn't need, and they're communicating to


intense, very in depth, and some of the smartest microbiologists in the world have hours of lectures on it. But the point is isn't that interesting? Because when you think about micro fungi and microbiology and the communications that happen underneath our feet, when we're in the field, we know that there's connection there to nutrient solubility and nutrient assimilation and easier conversion of those nutrients to plant proteins.

That's proven. That has been proven. It's less stressful for the plants in functioning system. So isn't it odd, Mitch, that when I've had guys tell me, I've planted brassicas purple top. Let's just say purple. Top turn ups, big buck, buster, brass, whatever it, they planted, right? They planted brass. My deer don't eat em, my dear.

Don't eat em. Alright. Plant my mix car below and let know what you think and I'll get a call and they go. The deer had every damn brass I planted in that mix. [00:51:00] Why?

Mitchell Shirk: I was just gonna say, so all your stuff you're talking about from my microrisal fungi we're starting to get down that nerd avenue that you and I like to talk about, put that into English.

What does that mean to you as a deer hunter when somebody's just worried about deer and deer, forage and heaven, best forge and stuff like,

Al Tomechko: The way I look at it is like I could grow a, probably grow a big purple top, turn up in my neighbor's gravel driveway if I just dumped a bunch of nitrogen to it, right?

I could probably grow a big looking ball, but deer know what they wanna eat and they're concentrate selectors. And there's something about it when those plants are growing in synergy with each other in a balanced functioning system where they're helping out each other, that they're more nutrient dense, right?

You, whether you wanna use bricks readings, whether you wanna send plant tissue analysis, whether you just observationally, wanna watch deer feed. There's something that is happening there that is [00:52:00] biological, and it's driving the deer to like those plants more than when they're in a monoculture. And I can tell you from my own experience, Ohio, I might have shared this on another episode, but I'll share it quickly.

It's a state. I was tagged out one year, my uncle's hunting big, beautiful carbon load mix. I'm thinking, Hey, I don't hear him shoot, I don't hear him shoot. I'm kinda sitting on the front porch waiting and I knew I'd hear his gun go off. It was shotgun season and never heard him shoot.

I go and get in the truck and pick him up at dark and I'm like, oh man. I know the neighbor told me he's a real nice guy, but I know the neighbor told me he's baiting, they all those deer were over there. He goes, nah, I had 18 of them in that field tonight. I just didn't feel like shooting. That was the most deer we had seen all season was the second day of shotgun season in Ohio after he'd been shot at, day and a half.

And that just goes to show me the attractiveness of these diverse mixes. And as the system is functioning I've [00:53:00] seen it firsthand from, running, exclusion fences. The amount of the deer we're moving has actually gotten to the point, Mitch, where we've had up our doughs because we're like, goodness gracious, these plots went from being attractive to being darn attractive.

Shoot more deer. And we see it in the exclusion fence. It's 18 inch difference sometimes by October 10th. And that's brass causes, that's grains, that's clover, that's everything. Yeah and I went off on a tangent there, but hopefully I got people

Mitchell Shirk: got something outta it.

No that's the kind of tangent I was hoping for because to me it's incredible because my journey for food plots and finding what's attractive and what works and how to maintain the most, cuz most of the places I've hunted have been relatively high deer densities. E even even with my, my interest in knowledge in plants and food plots and stuff, I've been skeptical over the fact that can you really help with the browse pre the level of browse pressure and stuff like that, and also have the same level of attraction.

And it's been quite [00:54:00] eye-opening to see that transition. Through, through other people who have made the transition and seeing it on the ground up and running too. And it's one of those things that it's a, I think it's a hard pill swallow. Cause change is always hard whenever you want to do anything in life.

And especially true to food plots. You think you fine tune a food plot system and then you find another reason to change it. We talk about that a lot too, but it's so interesting because, many people would just think, why would I plant that mix? I've got this type of food plot, this situation that doesn't work for my situation.

But in all reality, I think there's probably very few situations where it doesn't work.

Al Tomechko: Yeah, I would agree. I think that even if you have a really high deer density, I would make the argument that's even more of a reason to use a really diverse mix. Cause what it's gonna do for you, like for our example, our mix, one of really good customer of ours, we've shared some videos and stuff on our Instagram.

Mr. Dwayne, He's yeah this carbon mode did exactly what it was supposed to do, and he was planting on his his really [00:55:00] nice tractor and everything, and he has really high deer density in West Virginia. It's really high. And his plots came back in March and he was, texting me, he's man, I, these deer doesn't look like there's that much out it out there, but they're still leaving, and telling me.

And then it just jumped outta the ground, and that's when he texted me. He's oh my goodness. This stuff is the clovers and the ve. And now if you would've went mix Mitch, what would then, You would've had to go in and mar, you'd had to spend more money on clover seed. You would've had a frost seed.

Would it have gotten established fast enough that spring to outcompete the weeds? There's a lot more that goes into that. Whereas if you plant that in the fall, that's why we go heavier on our clovers in the fall. Cause they do so well and they establish so strongly that even in March, one of the harshest times throughout most of the Midwest and certainly the northeast is not much different.

In that case, it's the, has been picked clean farm [00:56:00] fields. If you're in ag areas are harvested. There, there's just not a lot. And that carbon load, it's greening up. The grains are up. The, if there's left, they're tove.

Unless it's under snow, you have a green field there. Which I think is really cool. And it just allows it to kinda fill in

Mitchell Shirk: the gaps. I'm sure you've gotten a question somewhere along these lines, but within the mix you talked about all the different species in there, and there's two species in particular that when you think of food plot mixes and food plot seeds and their level of attraction, they're on the lower end of the spectrum.

And those two that come to my mind, when you gimme that mix of all the cereal grains, it's been argued, amongst people much that rye is not as attractive to white tails and that wheat and trade cal oats are more palatable and they prefer those over rye. So you've got rye in the mix. And [00:57:00] another one that I don't really see deer eat much of at all they will, but it's very low is hairy vetch.

When somebody makes the say saying, and they look at a seed tag, maybe they look at vi seed and say how's those two mixes? Deer don't eat those. What do I want that in my food plot for? Can you elaborate a little bit on why that's benefiting so much within that mix?

Al Tomechko: Absolutely. The rye, I would say I've never seen deer not eat right, I just whether it's on my own place or there's some places here not far where they've used rye as cover crop and the deer I see there, it's unbelievable. But will say that rye is very important because it's one of the most winter hearty cereal grains, so you'll likely see deer one it'll more stable even compared to winter wheat and triticale, right?

It's very tough in the winter, number one, and then the root mass rye, tremendous. And the hairy [00:58:00] vetch is an interesting one because I don't really think of it as, as one that I'm trying attract. Ive, but also that balance of legumes. So vetch is set you up for that next year really well.

It's a ton of above ground biomass. It's a good nitrogen fixer, and what I like about vetch is it kinda just fills the gaps. It just it's combining. It climbs, it kinda stretches out and it does this without taking up a lot of room. It doesn't have these huge leaves that are shading out.

Other things, it just kinda fills in the gap. So I look at a field or an acre field as a solar panel, and this solar panel we're trying to maximize. Photosynthetic capture and deer tractus on that particular solar panel, 12 months outta the year. So with this mix, we want rye green, even if it's 10 [00:59:00] degrees outside, we're gonna have green rye, right?

And deer are gonna eat it. We're gonna have our brass, of course, and everything else, and then that ve comes in because we're trying to catch every ray of sunshine. Think of it that way, like we're trying to catch every ray of sunshine. So we.

We don't want everything growing just perfect like corn where there's the sun's hitting down between Right. Eventually corn will reach out. But for food plotting, we want that to be a green solar panel. And that's where that, and even the peas really fit in nicely cause they vine in clean everything and help to capture all of that sunlight over shorter period of time.

Or over different periods of time, I should say. Where the peas are gonna be more in your fall and the vet is gonna kinda stretch out into your next spring coming outta dormancy.

Mitchell Shirk: Yeah. One of the things I'd like to, I like to explain to people is look, when you plant a mix like this and has species like this, you're not, just don't think short term.

Don't just think I'm planting this mix. [01:00:00] And the only benefit that this has is during the months of hunting season you the mix and the species that are in there, they are having a great benefit for the future from a nitrogen. Standpoint from a nutrient cycling standpoint, but also what you do when you have something that goes and stretches for sunlight and covers that ground.

It's a weed suppression. One of the biggest things that we deal with, and I still use herbicides as needed. I'm not anti herbicide, but man, if you don't have to use them, because plants do the work of competing with the plants that you don't want in your food plots, why wouldn't you want something biological over something chemical?

So there's an investment long term in a mix like this that's easily overlooked from food plotters because again, I think many of us deer hunters, and I'm guilty of it myself, man, we're narrow-minded. We have a one track mind. This is where it's going, but there's a greater good in a, in something like this.

Al Tomechko: Yeah. And r too, right? I should I, my apologies for not mentioning [01:01:00] that, but. The allopathy of it is phenomenal. Great job. It's

you. That's definitely rabbit hole. The herbicide versus the need for tillage versus the need for synthetic fertilizers to cycle things. So that's why that balance is important. We wanna weeds and again, having that suppress, I should say help. Versus just a monoculture of rye or a monoculture of something else.

You have a mix of different plants that are working differently to suppress different weeds. Coming outta spring, so I couldn't agree more with you. Thank you for adding

Mitchell Shirk: that. And car, like you said this earlier in our conversation, I'm gonna cap the episode off with this, but you were talking about small food plots and you can plant something like carbon load and it does so well that you can let it go throughout the entire growing season and replant it.

It's gonna reseed itself, it's gonna cover the soil, this and that. But a lot of food plots that we deal without are [01:02:00] small plots. I can think of many small food. I have one on a new property that's, it's hardly even a third of an acre. And I'm concerned about deer pressure browse pressure and things like that.

Do you ever run into situations though, where you think, you know what, you're better off with a clover food plot here, or you're better off with the monoculture. Are there ever cases where you feel that way, just given the circum circumstance? I'm, I along the lines of, I, I think multi-species can do it at all in a lot of cases.

It's just you have to understand how to set your expectations given the amount of food you put out. What are your thoughts on those micro plots?

Al Tomechko: On micro plots? No. If you can get in there with a backpack sprayer and do a like our, our mix my, my take would be, you buy a half acre, you put down a third of an acre.

If you can get back a month later, put down. Five pounds, whatever, put down a little bit on [01:03:00] top just if there's thin spots over gear, over browse. But I think you're not gonna beat that biomass creation. I think in a clover plot like that, what happens a lot of times in those really small plots, my experience with like monoculture of leggo, right?

Clover, something like that, unless you're doing like a roundup ready alfalfa is what ends up happening is that now you have this clover field, but then two years down the road you have this clover field that's dominated by weeds and the guy's I can't get any equipment in there. And he's trying to spray cleft in a backpack spray, and it just gets really messy.

They can't mow it, and the deer may mowing it, but not enough where it's keeping the weeds at bay or they're clover weeds have taken over. So I've seen that where clover or alfalfa can play. Or maybe areas where not necessarily a small area, right? But if there's an area where you can't get [01:04:00] equipment into or you're not going into there very often, it's almost like a sanctuary betting with a little food that you're not even gonna hunt it, right?

You're just putting something in there that you want the deer to keep in. And maybe it's a, a clover mix or something like that. You don't really care what it looks like. You're not really hunting over you. Like in, sometimes in those instances, I could see where you go in there, doing herbicide, burn down, throw some stuff down and you've done a couple areas where it's just we're drilling in 12 to.

And we got a couple spots, Mitch. They're just not safe on the tractor. It's really steep terrain. It's a big dropoff. We already have our main area of focus where we're trying to increase soil health and we're trying to deer our nitro boost and we'll carbon load. So like on that steep dropoff, we're like We might as well put something there that's better than what the fescue that's there and try to [01:05:00] alleviate some browse pressure in the summer months.

So my buddy had some alfalfa that I think he was spraying the amox on it or something like the one time treatment, go in there, just spray it with herbicide, see the alfalfa then can go in there and just backpack spray that half acre a box. And only reason we're doing that is, like I said, the terrain is so rugged that we're just, and we're trying to alleviate some of the pressure off of our bigger fields.

So it's a, something that you could maybe consider. But I think for a hunting plot in a micro plot, I've shot a lot of deer over six acre. You're not gonna get huge grass, but it's amazing how green it'll stay and what you can do in a small area.

Mitchell Shirk: Yeah. Amazing how green it'll stay, still produce tonnage and still be attractive.

And I think that's really important. The thing you were talking about with, areas that aren't necessarily food plots, but trying to I've heard John Teeter talk about that and that opened my up. It was a strategy I'd never heard is actually putting Green browse in a bedding area and planting it.

And that was like mind [01:06:00] boggling because I always thought, don't put a food plot somewhere where you're not gonna be able to kill him. But the concept he was talking about was something like just a low preference browse, like a cereal grain or a, or he even used Daniel Ryegrass, which is mind boggling to me because in a food plot that's to me was taboo.

But the concept behind it was, look deer when they bed, they want a location where they A, feel secure, and they b have something to browse on because deer are notorious for, they'll lay down, they'll get up, they'll move a little bit, they'll browse and they'll get down. And having a little bit of extra tonnage, having a little bit of extra attraction, even if it's low attraction, relates to that food plot really well.

And that's a concept that I want to explore more and learn more. But I think that's what you were alluding to there with what you just said in that steep situation.

Al Tomechko: Absolutely. Anything that I can do to make Deere feel comfortable on my property, I'm all for. I don't this is probably, again, I don't worry as much about a specific, the [01:07:00] limiting factor of my farm food.

So that period, end of story. So for me, I want the deer to feel really comfortable and I know there's enough mature bucks around that I just need one of, to make I don't have the time say I'm gonna hunt a deer, I just need, one buck that's mature to show up. So for me, I.

Food source where those deer can get up, eat a little bit of clover, go back to bed, and then at night work up to my carbon load food plot or something like that up on top of a ridge where I have a wind advantage, I'm all for it. Versus them bedding somewhere else where they're, Hey, I'm gonna bed, 200 yards from the neighbor's corn cooler and get out back, that happens when you can't, they're wild animals, that's why we love chasing them. But so for me, I'm always like, I wanna do everything I can to make those deer feel as comfortable as possible and get age on them. [01:08:00] And if you can get age on em, eventually, if you hunt smart with the right, one of them's gonna slip up in your favor.

And that's just the approach we've taken. There's a lot of ways to skin that gap, but that's something that, that I like

Mitchell Shirk: to do. It's a deadly approach. Hey man, thanks a lot for talking carbon load through us and talking some of that food plot strategy out, cuz it's here we're right around the corner for planting food plots for the fall.

And I wanted people to have that in their mind when they're making those decisions. Thanks al. Guy. Before we go, where where should people be looking to to get their vitalized and get their carbon load?

Al Tomechko: Yeah, vitalize seed.com. Check the distributors. There's distributors all over.

I think we're 25, 27, 23 something like that. There's distributors all over the the country. So check those ar areas out. Guys, gr, great group of guys that we have. Give them a call. We also have online orders free shipping. We ship to your house if the order's in before one o'clock Eastern, it's shipped the same day.

That's a promise we're doing this here. And one last thing I didn't touch on. We are now offering with [01:09:00] every order a broad spectrum inoculate. So that's included in the cost, whether you buy from a distributor or from us. It happened late, so if you get your online order and you don't have it, shoot me an email and I'll mail it to you.

But basically that's RH bacteria. That covers not only the legumes, but also helps with nutrient uptake in your cereals and things of that nature as well as a bio stimulator, humic based addition to that as well, to help that seed germinate and help some nutrient solubility and get those seeds off to a good start.

So that'll be in about a four to six ounce packet. It covers up to an acre, and you just put that on there as a seed coat and throw it out there. So really excited to be offering that. And no charge to the end user for


Mitchell Shirk: year. That's awesome. That's awesome, Al. Hey, I'm looking forward to it. And guys, if you are on social media, follow al follow vitalize seed there.

Always posting, updates and things within seed and you can watch that grow along and it's really just exciting. It fuels the fire for me leading into fall. So Al thanks for being on the show. Always a [01:10:00] pleasure. And man, best of luck to you this year.

Al Tomechko: Thanks buddy. Same to you, man.

We'll talk soon.