By Jim Strader, Outdoorsman and radio host
Let’s face it, when you are hunting deer, turkeys, doves, waterfowl or other wildlife, you know that food dictates their daily movement patterns. Simply put, wildlife goes where they can obtain the best and most nutritious food.
If you are involved in wildlife management these days, I’m sure you are hearing a lot about digestibility and nutritional levels in the various types of foods we grow for wildlife. These are all factors that determine the usage and results that these wildlife food plots will yield.
What if I told you there is a product on the market which helps make your food plots more attractive to wildlife by boosting the plant’s growth and development, and helping to maximize the plant’s yield and nutritional levels. The name of the new product is Rackvantage…a tested and proven spray-on plant food that is going to revolutionize food plot management.
As a professional outdoorsman with over four decades experience as an outdoor writer, radio and television host and producer of one of the southeast’s largest hunting and fishing expositions, I am always on the lookout for new and innovative products for outdoor enthusiasts. Throughout my career I’ve also worked as a wildlife management consultant, so I’m particularly interested in and passionate about products that are beneficial to wildlife. After extensive field tests with Rackvantage on many types of food plots, my colleagues who manage wildlife, and I have seen some amazing results.
Let me start by saying that Rackvantage is a spray-on plant food, not a traditional type of fertilizer. It doesn’t amend the soil like regular fertilizer; it actually feeds the plant from the top down. When sprayed directly on the foliage in your food plots, it feeds the plant a readily available NPK formula combined with vital micro-nutrients like boron and zinc, which are deficient in many soil types. This really invigorates the plants.
Used in concert with your current fertilization program, this innovative spray-on plant food stimulates growth and encourages stronger root structures. Spraying Rackvantage Food Plot Enhancer on your food plot produces better root development, higher leaf-to-stem ratios, and optimizes graze-ability. This really boosts the palatability and nutritional value of wildlife foods like clovers, alfalfa, beans, brassicas, sunflowers, wheat, rye and warm season grasses. Rackvantage can also be applied to natural vegetation such as honeysuckle, fruit bearing trees and other plants that are either natural food sources or provide cover for wildlife.
Rackvantage Food Plot Enhancer is nearly PH neutral, environmentally friendly and “rain fast” in just two hours. Unlike most fertilizers, Rackvantage has a low salt index and its unique “no-burn” formula can be applied as often as you like.
Rackvantage is formulated to be compatible with most herbicides and pesticides. When mixed with these products in your sprayer, it enables you to make a one-pass application, which saves time and money. Rackvantage can be used with boom sprayers or calibrated spray equipment, and is easy to apply on those hard-to-reach food plots with backpack or ATV sprayers.
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Here’s what wildlife managers who have thoroughly field-tested Rackvantage have to say about the product.
> John Hurter, Bourbon County Kentucky, Cow and Calf producer, B.S. UK College of Agriculture and former Ag Advisor and Liaison to the Kentucky House of Representatives: “I have tried for several years to establish a decent clover field on my wildlife property in Henry County, Kentucky. I took a soil sample and found problems with the soil, but because of inaccessibility to large trucks, I was unable to get enough Ag Lime to the field. I started using Rackvantage the spring of 2012 and made three applications during the growing season. Now, I not only have the best clover field I have ever had, it is so good that it is producing high quality hay, if I could just get my equipment to the field to harvest it. I have integrated Rackvantage into my management plans on all of my deer and dove plots as a result of the problems that it solved in my clover field.”
> Brad Graham, avid deer and turkey hunter from Harrison County Indiana had excellent results too: “I have 500 acres in Harrison County, Indiana and Hancock County Kentucky which are primarily managed for wildlife (8 food plots in all). One of my plots is a 3 acre alfalfa and orchard grass mixture. This spring there was weevil damage that resulted in a 25% leaf loss. I added 2 quarts of Rackvantage when I sprayed this field with insecticide. Leaf regeneration was close to 100% and the orchard grass production doubled. In the past 3 years this field has yielded 5,000 lbs per acre, and after spraying with Rackvantage, it jumped to 9000 lbs per acre. My neighbor who baled the field and does a lot of custom baling said it was the best field he has seen all year despite the weevil infestation. After the experimentation and results that I saw on my alfalfa field, I am looking forward to the results I expect to see on all my food plots.”
> Todd Carter, LaGrange Kentucky, Farmer/Wildlife Manager, Evolution Land Management Co.: “I sprayed a 9 acre plot of soybeans with Rackvantage and was totally blown away with what I saw. The deer completely demolished the field to the point where it had to be replanted. Rackvantage increased the palatability of the plant. I didn’t spray the field next to it and the deer hardly touched it! We are definitely going to use Rackvantage on our other plots.”
> David Huttsell, Indiana Department of Natural Resources Employee and farmer from Southern Indiana, had similar results: “As a farmer I was skeptical until it was proven to me on my own farm. Even though we had a severe drought, my food plots had healthier plants, more color, bigger roots and stalks, and double to triple head size on the sunflowers that were sprayed with Rackvantage Food Plot Enhancer compared to untreated sunflowers. I would definitely recommend Rackvantage to anyone growing food plots.”
> Neil Kaufman owns 5,000 acres in Caldwell and Webster Counties in Western Kentucky. Neil has received several national awards for conservation achievement from Ducks Unlimited and other conservation organizations: He used Rackvantage on Japanese Millet in the fall of 2012 for deer and ducks and had great results. After application, Neil noticed that the treated areas were much greener and 50% taller than the untreated areas even though the entire plot had conventional fertilizer applied. “Seed production really blew me away with 3 times the amount of seed. The plants must absorb a tremendous amount of nitrogen, because they greened up so much faster than untreated areas of the field. Now we are using it on our other plots as well.”
Ben Martin, a member of “The National Bird Dog Hall of Fame” and 4 time “National Springer Spaniel Trainer” from Franklin, Ohio, has seen great results as well. “I used Rackvantage on my Ladino Clover food plots and it has produced better clover than I’ve ever had. I sprayed it three times and I’ve cut it twice. It has remained so thick and lush that it has choked out almost all the weeds. I have never grown clover like this before. I’m really excited with the results I’ve seen and I’ll definitely be using Rackvantage on all my plots where I train my dogs.”
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About Jim Strader:
Jim Strader is an award winning outdoor writer, radio and television broadcaster from Louisville, Kentucky. He was the outdoor writer for Kentucky’s statewide daily newspaper, The Courier Journal, for 18 years. His syndicated TV show on Insight Cable was broadcast in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, and Tennessee and won two “National Telly Awards”. He was also the producer of Jim Strader’s Hunting and Fishing Expo for 17 years. Jim is the only Kentuckian to receive two “Governors Awards” for conservation achievements.
For the past 26 years Jim has hosted “Jim Strader Outdoors”, a 2-hour call-in show on 84WHAS Radio, a 50,000 watt clear channel station in Louisville which reaches 38 states. He is currently managing wildlife properties in Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and Georgia.