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Sorghum which is also called the great millet or Indian millet, is such a lovely treat, not just for the nutritional value it provides. Still, its versatility is the main reason the crop is leading successfully in the USA, Africa, and Asia. Use it for food, feed, fodder, and fuel this great Indian millet will never disappoint.
But what about deer? Do they like it, and what could you possibly do so that deer won’t ruin your sorghum farm while ensuring that you don’t hurt them? Let’s know it all in one breath – hahaha, joking.
Will Deer Eat Sorghum?
Scientifically speaking, Deer don’t have any problem eating Sorghum; in fact, the crop has excellent health benefits, rich in calories, carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Above all, Sorghum shows better tolerance to snow and winter than other crops, which makes it an ideal crop for Deer to eat as their source of carbohydrates in winter when other crops are scarce.
I have done some research on what farmers have to say on deer attacking Sorghum; some said that deer do munch on boundary sorghum while they make their way, and few say that even though they live in high deer pressure areas, still somehow deer don’t seem to attack their sorghum farm.
Like, In an interview with Maryland Farm & Harvest, Greg said, “We have this farm and couple of other farms where we have a lot of deer pressure, but for whatever reason, deer do not seem to eat Sorghum, like they sure love to eat corn and soybeans.”
Here is a video proof where deer is visible munching on sorghum plants. So, yes, deer do eat Sorghum. However, they don’t prefer it more than corn and soybeans.
Is Sorghum Good For Deer?
According to FoodData Central, Sorghum is rich in water, energy, protein, carbohydrates, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, vitamin E, and vitamin B-6. Proteins are required for male deer to produce antlers. Calcium & Phosphorus is necessary for milk production, bone and antler growth, and general metabolism.
Vitamins are needed. However, the specific amount the deer body needs is still unknown, and vitamin deficiencies in deer are scarce due to the abundance of forages in natural habitats. So yes, you can feed Sorghum to deer, which will only do good.
While feeding Sorghum, it would be best to remember that deer need to eat different plants and forages because a single food source cannot fulfill all their requirements, so try to provide them with alternate meals.
Best Sorghum For Deer:
Deer can eat a variety of Sorghum without any problem. However, Milo and Johnson’s grass are two specific types that are easy to digest and have a high protein content.
Sorghum Food Plots For Deer
People build sorghum plots for deer for two reasons: one is to attract deer to hunt, and the other is to provide wildlife nutrition in seasons like winter when deer find it hard to fulfill their food requirements.
How to Keep Deer From Eating My Sorghum?
Here comes the exciting part, we want to help deer satisfy their food requirements. Still, sometimes, especially in the deer-pressure area, deer start to pay visits without invitation, and if your site has good deer pressure, they may munch on most of our plot/farm. So there are some practical steps that you could take to reduce these deer attacks, if not wholly cease them.
You can use a high-tensile or portable electric fence to protect your farm. The best protection is offered by high tensile because it will stand firm for years to come. However, the cost is also a bit high, say $10 per foot. If you mainly cultivate high-value crops, then it is a worthwhile investment.
Portable electric fencing can temporarily help by giving deer a mild shock and hence alter their behavior, though you need to be careful with such fencing cause it is not safe for children and pets to be around. Whichever fencing you opt for, it would be best that they’re at least 8 feet tall. Other fencing options available are metal wire fencing and polypropylene mesh. The polypropylene one is the most affordable option, but it has flaws like needing firm installation and not being as durable as metal or high tensile fencing.
Deer Resistant Plants or Sprays
Alongside your sorghum farm, you can plant some deer-resistant plants like artichoke, ranunculus, and abelia as they have a pungent smell and taste deer will tend to avoid them. Alongside these repelling plants, you can spray deer-resistant spray like Messina Wildlife Deer Stopper 2, which covers 10,000 square feet and guarantees 30-day protection.
One thing that you should know is this is a temporary solution, and deer restart the attacks over time, so it would be best if you use this particular technique for a golden period, like while reaping Sorghum. Also, consider buying different deer repellents, as deer will get used to them, and the first repellent will no longer be as effective as it used to be.
Use a Sprinkler System
You can go on installing a sprinkler system at the boundaries of the sorghum farm because, as you know, you may not want to wet the matured Sorghum. So I would say this technique is more effective when sorghum plants are in their growth stage and needs water.
What it will do is when the sensor detects movement, it will spray a few bursts of water to repel deer. This sudden impact style will keep deer at bay.
Setup Decoys & Scarecrows
Ok, I belong to the farmer’s family, and most probably you too, and setting up decoys and scarecrows are not new. People have been using scarecrows for generations, which is adequate for temporary purposes, but gradually, deer will understand your strategy and will no longer be working. What you can do to make it work for long is to build scarecrows in different patterns and interchange them every few days so that deer can not get familiar with them.
Dogs Are More Than Pets
Do you already have a dog or two? This strategy works better with two dogs, yet one still does the job. Built dog houses on the farm, and if they see any unknown movement, like the deer, then you know they will treat them as you would treat uninvited guests.
Motion Activated Lights & Alarm
It works similarly to motion activated sprinkler; the only difference is that instead of water, it will light up the farm and start playing the FM radio station you select; as the song is ever-changing and sounds like a human, deer can not act ear dead. This is a better solution than a sprinkler system if you are in a reaping period.
Michael is heavily inclined towards traveling to natural places and documenting cultures/people from different parts of the world. He also loves hiking and camping and is spirited toward all outdoor activities. He will share his passion for outdoor life and brands or products we use outside our homes. He has good research skills, and that’s why you can see why his articles are packed with info that is factual and not readily available. He also has the vision to travel the whole world and share it with all readers of Outdoor Favor.