Yessir, Jim, the exclusion cages allow you to ascertain usage of your plots.
Inside is what the field would look like with 0% browsing pressure.
Outside allows you to determine xx% browsing.
In the case of these plots, browsing pressure is rated as heavy - probably in the range of 75-90% pressure.
We do not have it all planted this year but with 36-38 acres of available plot ground (most with pH of 6.4 to 6.7), I conservatively estimate each acre probably supplies about 3 tons dry matter each winter and fixes in excess of 100 / lbs /ac N each year.
If we could get it all planted (38 ac), I believe we could provide about 120-140 tons of relatively high protein feed per winter and fix somewhere around 3800-4000 lbs N annually.
Again, I think these estimates are pretty conservative. We have corrected dirt, we fertilize at recommended rates and plant at the optimum time.
We have dependable winter rains each year (as opposed to risking drought in summer) and have been very successful with winter plots.
Thanks for sharing! The exclusion ring in your food plot and those big bucks are testament to how well your herd is doing! Congratulations on some really fine management. I hope to one day have my place doing that well.