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Imperial Whitetail Clover
Wild Turkey & Whitetail Deer Food Plot

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How To Plant Imperial Whitetail Clover *

  • Seed Type: Perennial, Single planting could last 5 yrs.
  • Soil Type Required:  Heavy soils that hold moisture like river bottoms, clay based or loamy soils
  • ph Level:  6.5 to 7.5
  • Sunlight:  4 to 6 hours of broken, filtered or full sunlight
  • Seeding Rate:  8lbs. per acre
  • Seeding Depth:  1/8" or less
  • Required Equipment:  Tillage equipment to break and smooth the soil

For detailed printable care and maintenance instructions for Imperial Whitetail Clover click here.

*Information provided by the Whitetail Institute

Imperial Whitetail Clover is a professionally formulated blend of high yielding clover varieties that offers very unique traits when compared to traditional plantings for wildlife. Wildlife biologists now know the critical importance of high-quality forage and browse for whitetails year-round, especially during the spring and summer months of antler growth and fawn development.

Without high-quality, high-protein browse during the antler-growth season, a buck's antlers will not reach their genetic potential.

Imperial White Clover Benefits In Food Plots

Like humans, a deer's available diet seldom supplies all of the minerals, vitamins and protein necessary for maximum good health and growth... Whitetail Institute of North America has changed all of that. This is a clover product that has been developed specifically for Whitetail deer and wild turkeys. Imperial Whitetail Clover is a revolutionary breakthrough in plantings for wildlife. As the result of years of painstaking efforts, Imperial Clover is the first clover product developed specifically for Whitetail deer and wild turkey. Until Imperial Clover was developed, no single planting was known to us that would stay green and productive 12 months a year throughout the Country and perform well from Canada to Florida. Imperial Whitetail Clover Produces 30 - 35 % protein 12 months a year and can last for up to 5 years without replanting, saving you time and money!

 Rodney Dyer - Wildlife Biologist

Researcher's Statement on Imperial Whitetail Clover

"In most natural Whitetail habitats, protein levels fall well below the ideal for optimum antler development. Plantings of high-protein, all-year forages, such as Imperial Whitetail Clover are essential, especially where large numbers of trophy-antlered deer are desired. On overpopulated Whitetail habitats, Imperial Clover can help support your Whitetail herds and improve their overall health at the same time, while your deer population is being brought into balance with the food supply."
Dr. Wiley Johnson  - Director of Forage Research


Imperial Whitetail Clover vs. Red Clover

Imperial Clover is the first and best clover product developed specifically for Whitetail deer and wild turkey food plots.  When Imperial Whitetail Clover was introduced in 1988, one of first questions we were asked was “ What is the difference between Imperial Clover and typical red clover?” This is a good question since clover has been used for years for agricultural applications. In some cases, different clovers have even been planted for deer. So, just what is it that makes Imperial Whitetail Clover special? One of the major advantages of Imperial Clover is its superior stolon survival in soils during the hot months of spring, summer and early fall. During these months, when plants are tough, falter, and die, Imperial Clover continues to produce, giving your whitetails 12 months of high-quality forage each year. Another important advantage of Imperial Clover is its ability to reproduce foliage from the plant's crown just above the ground. When foliage is eaten or otherwise removed, the crown immediately begins to put out new growth. Imperial Clover is truly a revolutionary breakthrough in Whitetail hunting and management. Because Imperial Whitetail Clover produces 30 -35 % protein 12 months a year and can last for up to 5 years without replanting, you provide your whitetail herd a valuable source of nutrition as well as saving time and money.

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Imperial Clover with tape measure to show sizeWill Whitetail Deer Come To My Food Plot With This Clover?

The answer to this question can be summed up in one simple statement: Imperial Whitetail Clover contains the only clover ever developed specifically for whitetail deer. In fact, it is the first and only food plot product on the market genetically developed for the nutritional needs and preference of whitetail deer.

Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a “typical” clover. There are literally hundreds of different types of clover, each having their own specific characteristics. Some are sweet, some are bitter. Some grow fast and some grow slow and some are higher in nutrients than others. There are some clovers that deer won’t even touch. The take-home message is that all clovers are different and you cannot simply buy “clover” and expect it to perform well as a deer food plot. You may as well walk into a boat store and simply tell them you want a boat. Sure, you may have wanted a ski boat but what you got was a houseboat instead. Both are boats and both will keep you out of the water, but each has its own specific traits.

The Development of Imperial Whitetail Clover  Working In Food Plot Of Imperial Whitetail Clover

The best way to explain why Imperial Whitetail Clover is different from other clover varieties is to walk through the development of the product.  As was previously stated, Imperial Whitetail Clover contains the only clover variety genetically developed specifically for whitetail deer. This process was started by choosing approximately 40 different clover varieties, each having traits desirable for a deer food plot. These varieties were tested for characteristics such as high nutrient content, attractiveness to deer, cold tolerance, heat resistance and longevity, as well as many other characteristics. The varieties that showed the best of these traits were interbred and the testing process was repeated.

Over several years the procedure was repeated until eventually one hybrid was developed that contained all of the characteristics desired. It was this hybridization process that gave Imperial Whitetail Clover the traits that are unmatched by other clovers.

So, exactly what are these traits? First of all, Imperial Whitetail Clover has a much higher nutrient content than other clovers.  For instance, the protein content in clover ranges from 13% or lower, to 25%. In comparison, Imperial Clover averages up to 30% to 35% protein. Equally important is that Imperial Whitetail Clover holds this high-protein content throughout the entire year.  At different points in the growth cycle of other clover varieties, protein levels can drop significantly. This can be detrimental to antler growth and lactation. Furthermore, red clover flowers for reproductive purposes, which expends large amounts of energy and drops nutrient content greatly.  Because Imperial Clover does not have to reseed itself, it stays alive through the root system and does not loose energy and nutrients from heavy flowering.

Another differing characteristic between Imperial Clover and other clovers is digestibility. Digestibility typically decreases as plants mature. This is due to the fact that compounds build up in the cell wall of plants that gives them a more rigid structure to keep them upright as they grow taller.  One such compound is called lignin. Lignin is good for the plant but bad for deer in that it is nearly completely indigestible. Furthermore, as the plant matures it becomes comprised more of stem than leaves. Again this is vital because the leaves are more highly digestible and have more nutrients in them then the stems. In fact, deer will usually not even eat the stem if it has hardened.

Most clover varieties available today were designed for hay production for domestic livestock such as cattle. Cattle have a much greater capacity to digest “stemy” forages so most clovers are designed for heavy, tall growth which requires more stem. As was stated earlier, deer do not have same capacity as cattle to digest mature forages so utilization of clovers designed for cattle and hay production offers at best a hit-and-miss food source. Imperial Whitetail Clover on the other hand, is designed to stay in a vegetative state for a longer period of time. Most of the growth occurs in the leaves and not the stem. This allows Imperial Clover to have both a higher nutrient content and stay more digestible than other clovers.

Imperial Whitetail Clover is further different from other clovers in that it was designed to be “user friendly”.  This means it was designed to be easier to establish and last longer than other clovers.  Imperial Clover is heat resistant, disease resistant and cold tolerant. In fact, Imperial can stay green an incredible 12 months out of the year compared to other clovers that are only available 3 to 6 months out of the year.

Imperial Clover comes pre-inoculated and coated so it is ready to use right out of the bag. Among other factors, our special coating and inoculation allows for a much higher germination rate that other clovers especially during stress conditions.

In terms of attractiveness as a food plot plant, Imperial Clover has no equal.  Part of the stipulation in the design of Imperial Clover was that it had to be the most attractive food plot available to the deer. After all, no matter how nutritious a food plot is, if the deer do not eat it, it doesn’t matter. In this respect, expectations for high attractiveness were exceeded. Due to its design with the lush, sweet highly digestible forage, Imperial Clover acts as a virtual magnet to deer ― actually pulling deer from surrounding areas.

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