The sun setting on a soybean field of John DeVries in Marion, ND.


Ideal depth for planting soybeans is 3/4″. Maximum depth is 1 1/2″. Soybeans must be able to push the entire seed out of the ground. Putting the seed too deep under less than ideal conditions can prevent the seed from doing this.

Planting population should be around 150,000 to 200,000 for narrow row planting (15” or less). For wider rows the population should be in the 130,000 to 170,000 range. Population should be adjusted up or down based on the condition of the seedbed and ability of the planter to put seeds at proper depth and spacing.

Like corn, normally the earlier you can safely plant, the better, in terms of maximizing yield potential. If planting early we would recommend using treated seed to protect the seed if it sits in the ground too long. Use of Saltro treated seed is recommended in areas with a high chance of Sudden Death Syndrome.


Soybeans consume a lot of  potassium and phosphorous. Make sure there are adequate levels of both. Soybeans should get the majority of their nitrogen needs from symbiotic nitrogen fixing bacteria on their roots. If there is a past history of soybeans in the field there should be enough of a native population to colonize the roots except under high drought or high moisture conditions. Virgin soil that has not seen soybeans require a bacterial inoculation at twice the normal rate. 


Soybeans tend to be very forgiving once they have established. Aggressive early weed control should be followed to keep weeds under control. If in areas where white mold can be an issue, watch for cool and wet conditions at flowering. Here a fungicide treatment might pay for control of white mold.