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Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014

Wild turkeys digging for gold chufa

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Turkey Gold Chufa is one of the most effective and is now becoming the most popular food plot crops planted for the wild turkey.

Wild Turkeys will use Chufa food plots on a regular basis and will continue this for months, doing what we all strive for when we plant food plots -- keeping them out will be a problem you just might like.

To keep wild turkeys on your land and to provide them with a ready food source is the goal of Turkey Gold Chufa. Chufa should be added to any written wildlife habitat management plan.

Chufa is an African variety of the native nutsedge, which is warm season perennial plant. Native nutsedge can be a problem weed in some areas. Chufa is not aggressive like the native nutsedges and will not create problems when other crops are planted after it.

Chufa foliage, which grows 1-3 feet tall, is not the favorite part for wildlife, rather the small nut-like tubers are. The tubers are about the size of the part of the peanut you eat. The tubers grow under the ground and each plant will produce from about 25 to 50 tubers each.

The tubers are high in carbohydrate and protein which is just what a wild turkey requires.

The general rule of thumb about growing chufa is that it will grow anywhere corn will grow. The best soil is moderately well-drained soils.

Sandy or loamy soils are preferred, but it will grow in clay soils also.

Chufa is normally planted from April through July depending on how much rainfall your area of the country gets. Chufa will mature in 90 to 110 days. As it matures the tops will turn golden brown.

Wild turkeys will start scratching the chufa tubers out of the ground.

The best option is to disk all or strip up so that turkeys have no delay in finding them.

Broadcasting chufa is the best method I have used because the seeds are large. About 50 pounds per acre is what is recommended and cover one to two inches deep. Seed comes in 50 pound bags and sells for around $110 per bag plus shipping.

I have used drags and harrows to cover my Turkey Gold Chufa seed and that worked just fine for depth.

Smaller food plots I have done became a problem. The first time I planted Chufa the turkeys wiped it out before it ever got a chance to start growing.

I thought since this was a new food source never found in their habitat and I knew that no chufa has ever been planted within their winter or summer ranges before, it would take a while for this to become a draw.

It was just the opposite, to the point of, that I had to constantly run wild turkey hens out of the food plot during the spring turkey season, which is a problem everyone should have with turkeys.

Chufa will only last one season and once the turkeys have found it, they will eat it down to the very last seed.

The National Wild Turkey Federation sells Turkey Gold Chufa seed through it's Project HELP, Habitat Enhancement Land Program.

For free brochure mail at request to:

National Wild Turkey Federation -- (HPS 025)

P.O. Box 530

Edgefield, SC 29824

or call (800)-THE-NWTF

Tell them you want a 50 lbs. bag of - TURKEY GOLD CHUFA -- (HPS 025)

Be sure you tell them you want the NWTF Wildlife Bulletin No. 7 which gives you a complete range, planting time, soil conditions, soil preparation, seeding rate, plot size, grass and weed control.

So set at least one acre aside this year and you will have wild turkeys digging for gold.

Hope to see you in the woods or on the water.

Horntagger.