How can forage soybeans be planted if a no-till or conventional drill isn’t available?

By Grant Woods,

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If a no till drill or even a planter is not available to use when planting forage soy beans, what do you suggest I should do? Broadcast it and pull a drag over it with an atv or something different than that.


Soybeans (all forage crop seeds) need good soil contact to sprout. To accomplish this I prepare a seedbed and broadcast the seed just before or during a rain.  Rain will splash some dirt over the seeds and insure there’s adequate soil moisture to germinate rapidly.  Rodents and birds can remove a substantial amount of the seeds rapidly if they don’t germinate and aren’t covered with soil.  

Using a drag can help.  I prefer to broadcast the seed and use a drag just before it rains.  It’s often best to plant 10-50% more seed (depending on how rough the seedbed is) when broadcasting compared to using a drill (placing the soybean seeds one inch deep in the soil).  

Just as an FYI – most county NRCS offices throughout the whitetail’s range rent no-till drills for a very reasonable fee.  I’ve rented several for $7 to $10 per acre!

Enjoy creation,


November 29, 2015