I’m not going to lie to you, top-of-the-line tractors and implements make the food plotting process much, much easier. Serious habitat equipment will yield serious results, but there’s no doubt you’ll pay big expenses on the front end. Can’t do it? That’s alright; you’re by no means alone. The good news is you can drastically improve your wildlife habitat with small equipment. In fact, it’s amazing what you can accomplish with sweat equity and good old-fashioned hard work.
If you have access to even a small tractor (say 30 horsepower or less), there’s no shortage of ways to break ground. A tiller, disc harrow, all-purpose plow, scarifier, ripper, or even a drag harrow can be used to adequately disturb the soil before seeding. Depending on your intended crop, it’s often a good idea to use a cultipacker or roller to pack the freshly disturbed soil before and after seeding. Your goal should always be to develop a firm seed bed for adequate seed-to-soil contact. Tractors and implements usually can be rented for a fair price.
However, if a tractor is totally out of the equation, you still have options. There’s a growing crowd of whitetail hunters who are planting food plots with great success using UTV/ATVs and small attachment systems. Several manufactures offer modular attachments that can be mounted directly to a receiver hitch. Perhaps the biggest advantage to these compact tools, aside from being affordable, is their mobility. A well-equipped UTV can access remote areas that are inaccessible by tractor. Sometimes, planting a small food plot in a secluded spot can result in excellent hunting.