The Downside of Soybeans as a Food Plot


Soybeans are a good plant species for a food plot, but they are not perfect. Soybeans do have a couple of downsides. First, the growing point on the plant is above ground — and if deer, hogs, or turkey remove the top of the plant the two-leaf stage — it simply will not grow back. Thus, in areas with a high deer density, soybeans just are not feasible. Even in areas with low to moderate deer numbers, beans should be planted early enough to get past the deer while the does are fawning.

Another great option thanks to new technology: with the entrance of Round-Up Ready beans to the market you can drill seeds into residue and let the growing weeds “hide” your beans until the young plants are past the critical stage. Then, clean the food plot up by spraying the field and removing the competition.

Second, although soybeans are fairly drought tolerant, they do not yield as many tons of food per acre as alfalfa or even clover. In areas with lots of whitetail, the susceptible young plants combined with forage production could be a big limiting factor for your food plot.

3 Replies to “The Downside of Soybeans as a Food Plot”

  1. Does anyone have knowledge of the best kind of hay to feed deer as a limited supplement. Alfalfa, coastal or other are available in Texas. I’ve read that unless it is semi-natural in the hunting area it should not be supplied too much. I will be hunting in central Texas where there is a lot of Mesquite. Thx

  2. I am in New York and it’s my second year doing food plots. I have a one acre plot and looking for best option. So my seeds to pick from. Any ideas?

  3. Mike,
    I would look at varieties that are mostly grown in your state. Try and contact a local agriculture agent , here in texas they are agriculture extension agents. If non are available contact your area USDA natural resource conservation office . they should have a list that will work. You can also access a good resource through the usda-nrcs web soil survey for your specific location that will will label and list species of legumes and such.
    good luck and keep us posted

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