Soybean Questions answered by Duane Hopkins and Don Higgins

The very first product that Real World ever brought to market was soybeans. We had grown tired of planting ag beans that often shattered before the deer ate them and in our trials to find a shatter resistant soybean we also noticed that deer clearly preferred some varieties of soybeans over others. After testing nearly 300 varieties of soybeans to come up with our blends, we still continue to test new varieties each season.

Now in our 12th year in business, soybeans have been our leading selling product every year and sales have increased every year from the previous year. This is proof that Real World soybeans offer a noticeable difference over other soybeans for wildlife.

We continue to get a lot of questions from food-plotters looking to try soybeans in their plots so to help our customers be successful we have assembled some of the more common questions we get and listed them here.

What is the ideal planting date for soybeans in the Midwest?

Soil temperature should be 60 degrees or above for soybeans. Proper planting time will change from area to area. Read the season, not the calendar!

What is the difference between Generation 2 soybeans and the Northern blend?

Both soybean blends sold by Real World should be recognized as a Generation 2 product. The Northern blend is designed for area with a shorter growing season. Both were chosen for being higher in oil and protein content as well as for yield, shatter resistant and standability. In the past you may have noticed the difference in the color/type of bag between the 2. This was an attempt to use up the original bags and separate the appearance on the shelf.

Starting in 2020 both soybean blends will be packaged in the same Generation 2 bag. The Northern blend will have a Northern sticker on the front of the bag and a Yellow tag. The original or Midwest blend will have a white tag.

Can soybeans be broadcast planted into loose soil if I don’t have a planter or drill?

Yes! A lot of food-plotters broadcast soybeans and get great stands. When broadcasting use about 65# of soybean seed per acre versus 50# when using a planter. Also, drag or cultipack the plot after broadcasting to get some soil covering the seed. If possible broadcast plant right before a rain for better germination.

Do Real World soybeans need to be inoculated?

Typically inoculant is not needed on Real World soybeans as most soils have enough rhizobia present to make nodulation occur naturally. One exception is if you are planting soybeans into a site that had been in a long term grass stand. In this case inoculating would be a good idea for better germination rates.  Real World soybeans are treated with a fungicide to protect against diseases that reduce stand counts in cold wet weather. This is why they are a pinkish-red color.

I have some soybean seed leftover from last year’s planting. Can I plant them this spring and expect good results?

Germination in soybean seed changes more from year to year than most other seeds. Never assume the soybean seed you have leftover from a previous season is still good.  Do a simple germination test by putting 100 seeds on a wet dish towel and cover with a second towel. Keep this moist and  in a warm place for 10 days. Then uncover and count the number of seeds that have sprout to determine the germination rate.

Will soybeans do well in a small plot?

Small soybean plots are always a challenge. When you have large fields of soybeans near your plots you can sometimes get away with smaller plots, depending on deer density. The only way to know for sure in your situation is to try it. If the soybeans fail you always have the chance to come back with a fall planted plot like Deadly Dozen, Plot Topper or Harvest Salad.

What are the pH and fertilizer recommendations for soybeans?

PH should be 6.5 to 7.0. You will have to do a soil sample to learn the correct fertilizer requirements for your plot. When sending in your soil sample tell them you intend to grow soybeans and they will give you a fertility recommendation.

Can I mix Real World soybeans and forage beans to get the best of both worlds?

We strongly urge you not to mix Real World soybeans with forage soybeans. Instead plant half of your plot in each and see which one does best for you on your specific property. Then you will know to buy only Real World soybeans next year!

Would you suggest adding other foods which are more attractive between the green phase of soybeans and their late season attraction?

We strongly encourage a diverse food-plot program that offers both “greens” and “grains” during the fall and winter months. There is a very interesting blog post about food-plot diversity on the Real World website that will cover this in detail.

Can I plant winter wheat or some other cover crop in the fall, then in the spring, broadcast the soybean seed and then mow the cover crop?

This an excellent question and it will work. The cover crop will suppress the weeds and your beans will stay cleaner. Stay tuned To RWWP web site and blogs as we are currently testing some seed blends for this purpose.

What is the latest date I can plant Real World Gen 2 soybeans and still have them reach full maturity?

This varies by region but ideally we would like to have our soybeans planted by June 10 in most of the Midwest.

If I am running behind getting my food plots planted in the Midwest, should I plant the northern beans instead of Standard Gen 2?

We suggest staying with the Gen.2 soybean. If you get past July 1 then you should consider waiting and planting a fall plot blend.

 Additional Tips from Duane Hopkins – Head Seedsman

  • There is NO substitute for doing it right the first time!
  • Start clean when establishing a new food plot!
  • Quality seeds are worth the price you pay!
  • Learn how to read a seed tag, They are a wealth of information!
  • Read the season not the calendar!