Do you have any Rape, Turnips, Canola or Radishes growing on your land? Would you like to give your plantings a HUGE jumpstart of growth? The following has worked extremely well for me over the past 15 years:
1. Phosphorus and Potassium soil levels should have been corrected to the appropriate range prior to planting. I ideally like to apply Phosphorus and Potassium early in the Summer for our first work weekend, and then the Urea at the same time we are planting our first layers of cereal grains (oats and rye). This is great timing for the application of Urea, which falls about 3 weeks after germination...and 4-5 weeks after the initial planting of our brassica plots.
2. Approximately 2-3 weeks after germination apply Nitrogen in the form of 75-100#s of Urea per acre. I like to see that the plants are at least in the 4-8" range when broadcasting the fertilizer into the stand. Brassicas have roughly a 10 week maturity rate, which should be planned for to end with the timing of your expected first frost. Your plantings will also grow aggressively during the middle 6 weeks of growth, which coincides nicely with a post germination jumpstart of Urea!
*Before you even arrive at the point that you can jumpstart your brassica plots, make sure that you planted these powerful little seeds to correctly match your herd and habitat, by reading "Brassica Food Plot Forage Profile".
3. Make sure to apply prior to an immediate rain! Immediate rain can eliminate losses of the nitrogen to the atmosphere. If Urea remains on the soil surface during warm weather, you will lose a % of the nitrogen as each day passes when it volatilized into the atmosphere. The higher the temperature, the higher the % of potential loss, with a loss of nearly 100% in under 2 weeks a possibility with high temperatures. Did I mention to broadcast prior to a good rain? It's a must!
The application of nitrogen appears to have a great impact on the overall volume your brassica food plots experience, which is the exact goal of another planting method I strongly encourage, called "Layered Food Plots For Whitetails" which you can read here. Also, try not to let a particular date on the calendar tell you when to apply nitrogen. Let the size of the plants and the quality of an approaching rain define your timing for jumpstarting your brassica plots for whitetails.
*Seed provided by:Northwoods Whitetails, Inc..