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Soybeans – Why Should I Consider Growing Them as a Part of My Rotation?

Feb 2, 2023

What are the reasons that you should consider growing soybeans in your rotation? Well, we can speak from experience as we have grown this crop for over a decade, and can share some insights, both good and bad to give some guidance as to whether this crop is a fit for your operation. Many improvements have been made in the past 5 years with soybean breeding for our climate, and even though you have probably heard “We (or our neighbor) tried those things once and they didn’t work, so don’t bother” is NOT a reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater. There are many reasons that soybeans DON’T work, especially if you don’t have any agronomic support from those who provided you with the seed. Over the past decade we have found it’s the little things along the way that contribute 4% here, another 6% there and so on until cumulatively you have a 15-25% gain on yield that you wouldn’t have otherwise. Choose wisely where you get your seed, and more importantly who gives you advice on the crop. Do they have over a decade of boots on the ground production experience, or are they resellers of seed using a sell sheet with “soybean facts” only?


  • Spreads out your seeding operation. Soybeans are seeded later like dry beans, which allows you to get your peas, cereals, canola, spuds and beets planted first.
    They are an excellent choice for cleaning up your fields in preparation for a higher value crop next year. There are Roundup Ready with Dicamba or RR with 2-4,D tolerance to accomplish this.
  • You don’t require specialized equipment. What you have will work fine. We now have varieties available to fill in row spacings for 22” planters efficiently and slender types also 7.5” solid seeded units. Harvesting is simple. Every combine has settings for soybeans. Augers work just fine. Unlike peas or dry beans, Soybeans are soft at harvest and can take a lot of abuse.
  • Dockage- as previously mentioned, soybeans are very forgiving, especially GMO’s going for crush. If you split a soybean, its not dockage, if you split that half again, it’s still not dockage. Dockage would be unthreshed pods or dirt in the sample.
  • Spreads out harvest. Just like planting, you can select a variety that will mature when you want to harvest. And, if the crop is ready and you aren’t, no problem. They will wait until you get there. They are very shatter resistant and do not lodge.
  • Properly inoculated, they will fix organic N that will benefit you for next 2 years crops. Contrary to what agronomists will tell you “what the research shows”, our decade-long experience growing this crop proves otherwise…provided the first 2 words in this paragraph are followed. We can help you with that.
  • Aphanomyces resistant. If you are restricted from growing a pulse crop due to Aphanomyces on your field, soybeans can be planted in the field with no issues.
    Lower input costs during the growing season. You won’t need a fungicide (if you don’t follow canola) and you certainly won’t need an insecticide. Depending on fields, that could be a $70.00/ acre saving right there.
  • No exorbitant fertilizer costs to grow the crop. And keep in mind they do leave residual N behind for your next 2 crops.


  • Not an early seed crop. For those of you who want to be done seeding by the 20thof April, this crop is not for you. Stay with peas.
  • Irrigation or higher rainfall needed. Soybeans don’t need huge amounts of water to grow the crop, but “August is where you build your yield” is still an adage that is accurate. If you are in a dryland area where you typically don’t get rain in August or won’t have your soil profile almost full by July, we wouldn’t recommend these to you. You just won’t be successful.
  • Higher seed/ inoculant costs. Because of the RoundUp Ready Technology, seed costs are higher (same concept as canola or corn), and we have an additional cost for inoculants; keep in mind even with this cost, is infinitely cheaper than a full fertility program on a cereal, corn or canola program.

These are some of the considerations when looking at soybeans to see if they work for you in your operation. Give us a call if you have any further questions on this crop.

Need Financing Help?

Fabian Seed Farms is happy to offer financing options through Scotiabank’s Yield More Financing™ program. The Yield More Financing™ program provides a fast, flexible and convenient line of credit for use at Fabian Seed Farms, so you can stock up for the growing season without worrying about the upfront cost. We’re more than happy to help you sign up and get you set up for your growing season. Contact us today to get started.