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Food Plot Uses For Chufas
Chufas are a bunch grass with a peanut like underground nut - used
for food plots of deer, turkey, hogs and wild hogs. This plant produces "nuts /
seed" underground on its root system (called tubers) that are similar to peanuts, if you have ever seen hogs rooting peanuts,
they go after chufas the same way. Plant in spring through
summer - Some reseeding (biennial growth) may occur, but for best results
replant each spring. Wildlife digs up the chufas once they mature.
Chufas are a food plot plant that are one of the most popular foods for
wild turkeys. Chufa plants have underground tubers, which are
part of the
plant that turkeys eat. One chufas tuber will produce a plant that can
grow to 15-75 tubers when mature. Turkeys find the tubers by scratching
them from just under the surface of the ground. The tubers are high in
protein and fat, which makes them especially nutritious for wild turkeys. Chufa
can also make an excellent food source for other wildlife including deer and
Chufa plants grow well in the southern half of the US from Northern
California across to Southern Iowa and even Southern Pennsylvania. Chufa
plants grow in a variety of soil, but perform best on well-drained, sandy or
loamy soils. Clay soils can support chufa. When growing in clay
soils, lightly turn the soil in the fall to expose the tubers. This
practice can be done periodically to extend the food supply into winter and
early spring. Simply plow several strips twice a month until the entire field
has been plowed. Generally, chufa will grow anywhere that corn can be
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Planting Chufas For Food Plots
Planting: Plant 40 lbs per
Food Plots: 2-3 lbs per 1000 sq. ft.
Planting Depth of 1½
Plot sizes should be at least 1/4 acre for best results. Maturity
takes 100-125 days.
Plant spring through summer. (April - August depending on location).
Chufas mature in approximately 110-120 days after emergence.
Chufas are best planted in rotational plots to cut down on disease possibility relating to
tuberous growths that are grown in the same ground yearly. Chufas are easily introduced to a population of wildlife that may not be familiar with the tubers by scratching a few to the surface at maturity and leaving them to be found. These are especially a good food source to plant near trees that produce acorns. Chufa is
sold in wildlife seed mixes for small divided food plots for the attraction of turkeys and provide a longer lasting food source when some of the other crops have disappeared. Plant at the rate of 25-50 lb. to the acre in divided ¼- ½ acre sections with the addition of fertilizer with the 10-10-10 ratio.
You will often need to assist wildlife in
knowing where to find the chufas by digging so as to expose some of
the chufas tubers to the birds, etc. Once they find the tubers
they will scratch to locate additional tubers. You will know
they have been active when you see all the digging activity at your
food plot. We recommend replanting Chufas every year as
volunteer crop chufas generally grow too much of a root mass to
produce the desired chufa tubers. A newly seed crop will
produce the correct plant density desired for tuber production.
Chufas grow best in more sandy soils
Turkeys especially are attracted
to Chufas, with this probably being the single most preferred food plant that
attracts wild turkeys. Planting and growing Chufas is a fairly
simple process, involving broadcasting the seed and disking them
into the soil. Good soil moisture and temperature is important
for germination success. Germination can be anywhere from 10
days to over 30 days depending on condition. Chufa is an old plant of the south that has
been grown for years for wild hogs, turkey and deer. Chufa has a peanut like tuber and is
easily broadcast planted onto a full cultivated or lightly disked food plot area. Although
chufa can re-grow yearly the stand will be lesser in quantity and
smaller tuber output will be the result.
The Chufa Seed Sold By Seedland
The Chufa seed that we sell here at Seedland are
often imported from Europe (Primarily Spain). When available we try to
source and sell US produced Chufas but the cheap import prices have forced
almost all US growers out of the business. We are finding it difficult to
locate any US grown chufas the past several years. When available we do
purchase US grown types but have not been able to do so the past several years.
The European chufas produce
somewhat smaller size seeds and typically you may can plant less lbs. per acre
because of the tuber size.
See our zone map above for planting information.
Planting & Growing Chufa For Food Plots
Type: warm season annual sedge
Uses: This annual nut sedge will mature in about 100 days, producing
underground nuts or tubers that turkey, deer, ducks and hogs cannot resist.
Chufa will make an excellent plot by itself or mixes well with other plants.
Turkey will visit chufa fields time and time again searching for buried tubers.
Date: April - May
Rate: 50 lbs./acre or 1 ¼ lbs./1000 sq. ft.
Depth: 1-2" deep
More Planting Instructions:
Seed should be broadcast at a rate of 10-12 lbs. per 1/4 acre on a well-prepared
seed bed. After broadcasting cover the seeds with a harrow, disk or drag so that
you achieve a planting depth of 1
to 2 inches (soil cover).
Establishment of 3 to
4 plants per sq. ft of coverage is an adequate stand. Apply lime if needed to bright the pH to
between 5.5 and 7.0. A application of a balanced fertilizer such as the Pennington
Wild Game Fertilizer or a 10-10-10 at rate of 400 lbs. per acre (100 lbs. per 1/4
acre) will also help with growth and establishment..
Deer, Turkey, and Duck