Soybean Production Guide
The Florida acreage of soybeans harvested for
beans increased from zero in 1942 to 8,000 acres
in 1951, 30,000 acres in 1960, 45,000 acres in 1963,
and to 62,000 acres in 1964. The average yield
per harvested acre has ranged from 12 bushels
in 1954, an extremely dry year, to 26 bushels in
four of the last eight years. It has averaged 24.5
bushels for the last 10 years-1955 to 1964.
About half the 1963 crop of soybeans was
grown in Escambia County. Most of the remain-
der of that crop was grown in Santa Rosa, Oka-
loosa, Calhoun, Jackson and Walton counties but
small acreages were grown in at least eight other
counties in the general farming area of northern
and western Florida.
Soybean varieties now available can be grown
successfully on suitable soils in all sections of the
state. Florida soybean acreage is expected to in-
crease, not only through larger acreages in most
of the counties where the crop is now grown, but
also through plantings in other counties in the
general farming area-including those where soy-
beans have not been grown in the past.
Soils and Rotations
Grow soybeans on well-drained soils that have
fair to good moisture-holding capacities, in rota-
tion with other crops that have been well fer-
Crops that are well suited for rotation with
soybeans include the small grains-oats, wheat
and rye-and other grasses, such as corn and
sorghum. Other legumes should be avoided as
immediately preceding crops.
Liming and Fertilization
Improve soil fertility of fields to be planted
to soybeans by liming and fertilizing for maxi-
mum economic production of other crops in the
Liming-The kind and amount of lime to ap-
ply depends on consideration of the pH prefer-
ences and calcium and magnesium requirements
of the crops in the rotation, and of the pH values
and calcium and magnesium content of soil
samples analyzed in the laboratory.
There are two kinds of limestone-calcic and
dolomitic. In addition to reducing soil acidity,
calcic limestone supplies the plant nutrient cal-
cium, and dolomitic limestone supplies calcium
Soybeans respond better to lime than do most
other crops with which they might be rotated.
To be most effective any limestone needed should
be applied several months before the soybean
crop is planted; but it may be applied during
preparation of the seedbed for the soybean crop.
Fertilization-Soybeans respond well to re-
sidual soil fertility. However, application of ferti-
lizer just before or at the time the soybean crop
is planted is a desirable practice. Use Table 1
recommendations as guides for fertilizing your
Have soil tested; shred crop residues; broad-
cast the recommended kind and amount of lime-
stone (also fertilizer if the immediately preced-
ing crop was a small grain); disk land and turn
it with a moldboard plow so that all litter will be
If the immediately preceding crop was corn
or other spring or summer planted crop, turn land
in early spring; broadcast fertilizer and disk it
into the soil just before planting time.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FERTILIZATION
A. ON BASIS OF SOIL-TEST RESULTS
Recommended Fertilizer Applications
Soil-Test Results Ratio Lbs./A.
Phos. Potash N-PO5-KO N-P2,O-K2O
Low Low 0-1-1 0-60-60
Low High 1-3-2 or 20-60-40
High Low 1-2-3 or 20-40-60
B. WITHOUT BENEFIT OF SOIL-TEST RESULTS
Recommended Fertilizer Applications
Surface Soil Ratio Lbs./A.
Sand 1-2-3 or 20-40-60
Loamy Sand or 0-1-1 0-60-60
Sandy Loam 1-3-3 or 20-60-60
Peat or Muck 0-2-3 or 0-40-60
Rates recommended are for fair soil moisture condi-
tions. For good soil moisture conditions, increase by 1/5.
When inoculated with the proper strain of nitrogen-
fixing bacteria, soybeans do not respond to applications
of fertilizer nitrogen. However, many farmers like to in-
clude nitrogen as well as phosphorus and potash in fer-
tilizers for soybeans. For this reason, a complete, as well
as an incomplete, mixed fertilizer is recommended for
each set of conditions except for peat or muck.
The indicated fertilizer of your choice, containing sul-
fur and any of the minor elements that are needed, should
be applied (broadcast) just before planting time. (For
more detailed information, see "Seedbed Preparation".)
If for any reason it becomes necessary to apply
fertilizer at planting time, rather than just before, it
should be placed in continuous bands 2 to 3 inches to
each side of the seed row and 2 to 3 inches below the
level of the seed.
Choose varieties that are well-adapted to your
area and soils.
Soybean varieties are grouped on the basis
of maturity dates into nine groups, O to VIII
inclusive. Varieties adapted to Florida conditions
belong to Groups VI, VII, and VIII. Group VI
varieties usually mature during the first or second
week of October; those in Group VII, during the
third week of October; and those in Group VIII,
during the fourth week of October. Varieties in
these groups recommended for the different sec-
tions of Florida, listed in order of preference, with
average maturity dates in parentheses, are as
Maturity Group VI: Lee (10/10); Ogden (10/7);
Maturity Group VII: Bragg (10/18); Jackson (10/20)
Maturity Group VIII: Hampton (10/25); Hardee )10/26);
CENTRAL AND NORTHEASTERN FLORII)A
Maturity Group VII: Bragg (10/18); Jackson (10/20)
Maturity Group VIII: Hardee (10/26); Hampton (10/25);
Maturity Group VI: Lee (Maturity date for this variety
on organic soils, usually in the last half of October,
is later than on mineral soils in the same area.)
Use high quality seed of known pedigree,
purity and performance, and inoculate seed with
the proper strain of nitrogen-fixing bacteria just
before they are placed in the planter. Be sure
inoculant is for soybeans.
Plant between May 15 and June 15, at times
when soil moisture conditions are favorable for
germination and growth. Varieties in maturity
Groups VII and VIII may be planted any time
during the recommended planting season. Group
VI varieties should be planted near the middle
of the recommended planting season.
Space seed approximately one inch apart in
36- to 42-inch rows and cover them to a depth
of 11' to 2 inches, with soil slightly compacted
with a packer wheel.
After the seed are covered, the top of the seed
row should be slightly below the middles. Rows
slightly below the level of the middles aid in weed
control during the first cultivation. If too low,
however, heavy rains before germination may
cover seed too deeply.
Use a good weed control program. If seedbed
is not freshly prepared, disk soil just before plant-
ing time or cultivate with rotary hoes or sweeps
at planting time.
Use rotary hoe for the first cultivation soon
after plants pass the crook stage. Later cultiva-
tions may be accomplished with sweeps set flat.
Continue cultivation as necessary to control weeds
up to the time cultivation equipment causes
damage to the plants.
If cockleburs become a problem, they may be
pulled by hand or controlled with an application
of the amine salt of 4-(2,4-DB), at the rate rec-
ommended on the label, during the early part of
the blooming period.
To control insect pests of soybeans use the
Armyworms, corn earworm (bollworm) and
velvetbean caterpillar-Use carbaryl (Sevin) at
1 to 11 pounds active ingredients per acre. Apply
20 to 30 pounds of 5/ Sevin or 11/ to 2 pounds of
80; Sevin sprayable.
Stinkbugs, blister beetles, Mexican bean beetle
-Use carbaryl (Sevin) as above, or methyl para-
thion at 2I pound active ingredient per acre. This
is equal to 20 pounds of 21,.'; methyl parathion
dust or 1 quart of methyl parathion 2E (contains
2 pounds active ingredient per gallon) per acre.
Do not apply methyl parathion within 20 days
of harvest. There is no time limitation for car-
Caution-Methyl parathion is highly toxic to man
and animals. Read and heed all cautions and
warnings on the container label.
Harvest with combine as soon as possible after
moisture content of beans reaches 14 percent.
Newer varieties are very resistant to shattering
but losses in yield and quality may occur from
other causes if harvesting is delayed.
Adjust combine according to the manufactur-
er's instructions and make changes in adjust-
ment as necessary.
Keep field loss of beans to a minimum by
running cutter bar as low as possible and ad-
justing the speed and height of the reel.
If excessive cracking of beans occurs, re-
duce cylinder speed or increase space between
cylinder and concaves.
If harvested beans are to be stored on the
farm for sale at a later date, dry to moisture con-
tent of 12 percent or slightly below and place
them in clean, dry bins that can be aerated as
necessary to remove moisture that accumulates
during damp weather.
This guide was prepared by J. R. Henderson, Agronomist,
in cooperation with John R. Strayer, Assistant
Entomologist, and T. C. Skinner, Agricultural Engineer
COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN
AGRICULTURE AND HOME ECONOMICS
(Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914)
Agricultural Extension Service, University of Florida
Florida State University and
United States Department of Agriculture, Cooperating
M. O. Watkins, Director