Food plots are one of the most effective ways to maintain the population of grazing animals around your property. Even a small food plot can go a long way to strengthen the number and vitality of the animals in the area. Soybeans make an ideal food plot crop. They provide nutritious summer grazing for deer and because they are so hardy, they can withstand a considerable amount of grazing and still produce pods.
Plan to plant soybeans in early June. During this time, pregnant does are fawning and tending to their young and are less likely to feed on your germinating soybeans. Although soybeans stand up well to grazing, if they are eaten while still in the two-leaf stage, they will not grow back. Planting at this time will give the soybeans in your food plot the best chance to survive to maturity.
Prepare the planting area. Use a rototiller to till the soil in the food plot to a depth of 4 inches. Then, spread a 4-inch layer of aged compost over the soil and 1 cup of organic fertilizer per 10 feet of row you intend to plant. Till the soil again, to a depth of 8 inches, and then rake the soil smooth.
Plant the soybeans 1 inch deep and 3 inches apart in rows that are 3 feet apart. Planting can either be done by hand or by a rented soybean planter.
Water the soil lightly so that the top few inches are moist, not soaking. Continue to keep the soil moist until the soybeans have germinated in one to two weeks.
Things You Will Need
- Aged compost
- Soybean planter
- Ideally, you should have two food plots totaling 5 acres to satisfy the deer in any given area. Plots smaller than this will likely be consumed before they have a chance to grow.