When to Plant Soybeans for Deer in Your Region?

Written by

William Golder


Dorian Goodwin

when to plant soybeans for deer

Deers love soybeans but only during certain times of the year. Therefore, the question of when to plant soybeans for deer becomes prominent.

Depending on the region in which you are, the 15th of April to around the 20th of June can be a good time to plant soybeans.

Does it sound too broad? Fret not; check the section below for a more accurate time to plant soybeans for deer.

Best to Plant Soybeans for Deer

The time to plant soybeans can be further bifurcated according to the planting region (rather than going state by state, like, when to plant in Alabama or in Georgia) and the temperature.


1. Southern regions

South evidently offers a large planting duration from mid-April to June. The bare minimum temperature needed for soybean to germinate is 50°F. And, the ideal temperature is closer to 77°F.

As per National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the mean US temperature in April is 50.7°F. However, the temperature in the southern states is likely to be 63.3 °F or higher. This temperature is much closer to the ideal temperature needed to plant soybeans.

Therefore, planting soybeans from mid-April to June is suitable in the south.

2. Northern cities

In the north, the average temperature is 69°F in June, with some northern states experiencing an average temperature of 6°F higher, moving it closer to the ideal soybean germination temperature.

Therefore, in the north, it can be planted in late June. If you are wondering how late you can plant soybean, the answer is at the end of June and not beyond that.

Do not get caught in the planting dates, and simply pay attention to the period and temperature.

Best Time to Plant Soybeans for Deer

A few additional parameters determine the planting time apart from the region.



Tilling increases moisture and nutrient content in the soil, aiding the germination of seeds (including soybean). Therefore, in a tilled field, one can plant soybean towards the start of the abovementioned periods (around mid April)

Crop rotation


Rotating corn and soybean increases the yield of both crops due to enhanced root function and reduced number of parasites. Another study highlighted that better root function enables higher yield. The point is if one plant’s soybeans after corn, then due to enhanced root function, it can be planted right at the start of the season when the temperature is near the minimum of the range (50°F) rather than at an ideal level.

Row spacing


Row spacing of less than 30 inches facilitates faster canopy closure (difference of 15 days). Faster closure means better yield and more time saving because of faster closure.

All this can be achieved when soybean is planted in rows less than 15 inches apart at the ideal time. Time-saving means even if you plant soybean a bit late, the harvesting will be on time.

Planting depth

The time of soybean planting is also determined by the depth at which you plant it. Plant it in the early season if you plan on planting at a depth of 1 to 1.5 inches. Plant it deeper than 1.5 inches, and you can opt for late planting. However, you shouldn’t plant it below 2 inches as it decreases yield.

Seeding rate

Planting time and seeding rate are related. If one delays the planting time, more seeds are needed per acre (towards the end of June). Otherwise, 1,00,000 to 1,20,000 seeds per acre is enough.

Tips for Successful Soybean Planting for Deer

Apart from knowing when to plant, tips mentioned below increase the yield.

1. Plant in large plots


Deers often feed on soybean when it isn’t ready, thus putting excessive pressure on the plant leading to substandard yield. Therefore, you should find a plot over 2 acres to grow soybeans.

A simple solution to this problem is to plant it over a large area so that the entire herd is scattered and doesn’t feast on a few plants resulting in better yield. Scattered feeding reduces plant damage and increases the chances of recovery.

But what to do when you don’t have a large soybean food plot?

In that case, follow the tip below.

2. Erect a deer fence


Erect a deer fence to protect the soybean plants until the soybean matures fully. Keep in mind that deers can jump up to 8 feet to forage soybeans. However, many fences like Mklsit Deer Netting Fence are 8′ tall to prevent deers from jumping into the plot. When soybean is ready, one can remove the fence or create a large gap.

3. Plant strategically

What if deer had better food options?

Plant soybean on the plot at least 3 weeks after the farmers planting a crop in adjacent fields. Simply put, their crops will likely grow before yours, providing deers with more options. More options will distract them from your field, allowing soybean to mature without disruption.

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4. Ensure less gap between rows

Plant soybean in rows with a gap of 15 inches (as highlighted above). Doing so leads to faster canopy closure, increasing the growth rate. Whether one plants soybeans on time or late during the soybean growing season, rows less than 15 inches apart result in a better yield. Also, narrow rows lead to less weed growth, ensuring soybean plants get maximum nutrition.

5. Use a row cleaner

Fields often consist of residue, which impacts the germination of seeds. A better approach is to clean the seed zone before planting to remove the residue. Doing so certainly aids with germination and also helps increase the yield.

Frequently Asked Questions


Do deers eat soybeans in October?

Deers prefer soybean in summer and early winter. October might be too late since deer might have a lot of other crop options in the surrounding area. The only exception is when the deer herd is pretty large and competes for food sources.

Can I plant soybeans in August for deer?

The ideal time for planting soybeans is mid-April to June. Soybean planted in August should be 50% of the entire crop area. The rest of the area can be used to grow corn, sorghum, and wheat.

How long will deer eat soybeans?

Deer consume soybeans in late summer and early winter. Acorns are what deers prefer during October. In fact, in many states where hunting is permitted, acorns are used to attract deer herds.

What can I mix with soybeans for deer?

Mixing corn with soybean for deer is a good choice. A single acre can yield 40 lbs of soybean and 10 lbs of corn. Since both of these are staples for deers, attracting deers becomes easy. If one is wondering how many seeds are needed for that, it translates to 1,30,000 soybean seeds (by broadcast seeding) with 15,000 corn seeds for every acre.

Why aren’t deer eating my soybeans?

Usually, if the deers aren’t eating your soybeans, the yield quality is lower than other soybean options available to deers in the vicinity. Tasting a few soybean leaves lets you know if the yield is proper. Bitter leaves indicate that the yield is tough to chew, which can keep deers away.


The guide above highlights when to plant soybean for deer and various tips to increase yield and attract deer herds. Once you follow the guide, planting soybeans at the right time will be easier than ever.

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