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Addition of new Insight Clover to Imperial Whitetail Clover blend boosts benefits to hunters

Imperial Whitetail Clover now includes two genetic varieties of ladino clover developed by the Whitetail Institute specifically for deer. Photo by Whitetail Institute

Hundreds of thousands of hunters and dozens of researchers said it couldn’t be done.

But 17 years after the introduction of Imperial Whitetail Clover – which marked the beginning of the “food plot era” – another important step in bringing hunters the ultimate food plot product has been taken.

Under the direction of Dr. Wiley Johnson, the Whitetail Institute has added yet another breakthrough ingredient to the Imperial formula. New Insight Clover*. And the best-selling food plot product has been improved once again.

“In 1997,” says Institute founder and president Ray Scott, “we added Advantage Ladino Clover to our already successful clover formula. Advantage Ladino is a variety that we genetically developed to give us the best possible protein production during the antler-growing months as well as better survival of young seedlings and improved drought resistance. All qualities never found in a single perennial clover before. We always operate on the assumption that any product can be improved.”

So the think-tank at the Institute gave staff agronomist Dr. Wiley Johnson yet another challenge. He’d heard it before. “We know we’ve got the best clover food plot product on the market. But let’s make it better.” Dr. Johnson didn’t blink an eye. As a matter of fact, he didn’t just reformulate the blend; he created an entirely new and superior clover variety. That’s a big accomplishment in the world of agronomy.

After long, patient plant research at the Institute, Dr. Johnson added Insight Ladino Clover to the highly popular Imperial Whitetail Clover formula. It took seven years of plant selection, cross breeding and thorough testing at the Institute’s satellite testing facilities across the U.S. and Canada.

The efforts produced a winner. The new clover variety improved the protein production and it was more cold tolerant. Though winter conditions at the Institute’s Northeast Saskatchewan research facility conclusively proved the cold tolerance of the new blend. The plants stayed green almost all year and grew over 24 inches tall in the spring and summer months – the critical antler-growing season.

But another “happy” accidental discovery had been made earlier in the original development. Before the extensive field testing that all Imperial products must undergo, initial testing is done in the controlled environment of a greenhouse. In this case, the watering system failed in the greenhouse. But surprisingly, some of the seedling plants survived extremely high and dry temperatures for an extended period of time.

The amazing drought-resistant genetics of those surviving plants were captured and added to the final product. Today the new Imperial Whitetail Clover blend thrives even in difficult, droughty conditions.

“What we’ve got with the addition of new Insight,” says Scott, “is a meaner, tougher Imperial Clover with even better protein production. And it’s still got the same great taste and attraction that brings deer to the plot over and over.

“As usual,” he continues. “Dr. Johnson met our challenge head on. Insight represents one more accomplishment in a lifetime of accomplishments. He is a brilliant plant breeder and we’re truly proud to have him on the Whitetail Institute staff.”

*P.V.P.A. 1994 applied for

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