Do Deer Eat Soybeans? (and How To PROTECT Your Crops)

I’ve always been curious about the type of food deer consume, so I decided to do some research on an interesting topic: do deer eat soybeans? The answer may surprise you, but before we dive into it, let’s take a closer look at what soybeans are and how they relate to deer feeding habits.

Deer do consume soybeans, making them a potential food source for these animals. However, it is crucial to weigh various factors before deciding to use soybeans in food plots. These factors include the number of deer in the area, availability of complementary food sources, prevailing weather conditions, and size of the food plot acres, among others. Proper consideration of these factors is important to strike a balance in soybean cultivation and preparedness for varying circumstances.

Do Deer Eat Soybeans?

Deer find soybeans to be a highly nutritious food source, with a rich content of crude protein ranging from 25% to 35%. It’s true that soybeans aren’t a staple food in a deer’s diet, but they can make a great occasional treat.

Their feeding habits depend on the season and their food preferences. So, yes, deer do eat soybeans, but before deciding to use them in food plots, several factors should be considered. These factors include the number of deer in the area, availability of complementary food sources, prevailing weather conditions, and size of the food plot acres.

Nutritional Value of Soybeans for Deer

One option to provide a nutritious food source for deer in your wildlife food plot could be to plant soybeans. These legumes contain high levels of protein, with around 25 to 35 percent crude protein. While deer do consume soybeans, their consumption will vary based on the season and individual food preferences.

The Damage Deer Can Cause to Soybean Crops

Soybeans are one of the favorite food sources of deer, which can result in significant damage to soybean crops. Overgrazing by deer can lead to reduced yields, resulting in substantial economic losses for farmers and food plotters. The damage caused by deer can be in two forms: physical damage and yield loss.

Types of Damage

Physical damage occurs when deer browse on the growing soybean plants, resulting in snapped stems, broken branches, and mangled foliage. Yield loss, on the other hand, occurs when deer graze on the soybean pods and eat the developing beans inside, resulting in reduced yields.

Severity of Damage

When there are many deer around, a lack of rain, or not enough plants, the soybean crops will suffer greatly. During these times, the deer will not discriminate and will consume any and all soybeans, regardless of their appearance or hydration levels.

Solutions for Managing Deer Damage

Several solutions are available to manage the damage caused by deer. These include the use of repellents, fencing, and hunting.


Soybean growth can be impeded due to excessive grazing in certain areas, but repellents can provide a solution. Nonetheless, it should be taken into account that deterring deer from consuming the planted crops might not be the ideal choice.


Fencing can be used to protect soybean crops from deer damage. However, fencing can be expensive and may not always be practical.


One of the most effective ways to manage deer damage is through hunting. By properly managing deer populations, you can ensure that they don’t overpopulate and harm the natural habitat on your property. Additionally, it’s important to focus on creating more food plots to provide a sustainable food source for the deer. While deer do consume soybeans, their eating habits are influenced by a variety of factors and can vary greatly.

It’s important to weigh various factors and find the right balance in soybean cultivation before deciding to use them in food plots. The damage caused by deer can be significant, but several solutions are available to manage it. Repellents, fencing, and hunting can be used to prevent and manage damage to soybean crops.

Best Practices for Soybean Farming

A significant step towards achieving this objective is selecting a suitable soybean variety, customized to thrive in the specific conditions of your land.

This method allows seedlings to establish themselves and grow their root system in a nutrient-rich environment before transfer, reducing the risk of disease and pest attack.

When it comes to soybean fields with poor nitrogen-bearing soil, inoculation plays a crucial role in stimulating the growth of nodules on plant roots, which ultimately results in higher yields. Protecting soybean crops from pests, including deer, pests and diseases, is essential to ensure a profitable and bountiful yield.

To maximize your soybean crop, seek advice from a local expert on which soybean variety fits your goals. Don’t forget to inoculate soybean seeds with the correct code, S, prior to planting.

There are several exceptional forage soybean varieties available in the market, including Tyrone, Laredo, and Quail Haven, which have been observed to flourish in different conditions.

Factors to consider when choosing the most suitable crop variety include the intended use, soil type, expected yields, and tolerance to diseases and pests, among others.

Selecting a Suitable Crop Variety

When it comes to soybean farming for deer food, selecting the right crop variety is crucial. With a diverse range of options available, it’s important to consider factors such as yield potential, growth habits, and resistance to diseases. Variety selection can impact everything from the success of the planting to the nutritional value of the soybeans for deer. So, do your research and choose wisely!

Planting and Nutrient Management

When it comes to planting soybeans for deer food, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, make sure to plant soybeans in an area that is easily accessible for deer. Secondly, soil preparation is crucial for the success of soybean farming. Lastly, proper nutrient management is key in ensuring that the soybeans provide the necessary nutrients for deer to thrive. By following these best practices, you’ll increase your chances of attracting deer to your land and providing them with a nutritious food source.

Crop Protection Strategies

Successful soybean farming requires effective protection against pests and diseases. This includes monitoring for common issues, using preventative measures like crop rotation and resistant seeds, and only using pesticides when needed. Soil health and nutrient management are also crucial for resilient crops.


When it comes to harvesting soybeans for deer food, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, make sure the beans are mature enough for harvesting by checking their color and feel. Next, use a combine harvester or handpicking method to collect the beans. Then, dry the beans properly before storing them in a cool, dry place. With these best practices, you can ensure that your soybean crop will be a delicious and nutritious food source for deer.


Do deer consume uncooked soybeans?

One may wonder if deer are likely to consume unprocessed soybeans. It’s important to note that while raw soybeans contain soluble protein, deer can easily fulfill their nutritional needs through alternative sources. However, roasted soybeans offer a distinct flavor profile that deer find desirable and may act as a more effective way to attract and nourish them.


So, do deer eat soybeans? The answer is a resounding yes! However, using soybeans as a food plot for deer should be a well-thought-out decision. It’s like shopping for clothes – you don’t just grab the first item you see without considering whether it fits you, the occasion, and the weather. The same goes for soybeans as deer food! You have to weigh various factors to ensure that your plan is viable and sustainable.

Overall, it’s crucial to do your research, talk to experts and seasoned farmers, and consider all factors before deciding to use soybeans as deer food. As they say, “measure twice, cut once,” or in this case, “weigh everything, plant once.” This way, you’ll be sure to enjoy a bountiful harvest of soybeans, and your deer friends will have a nutritious food source to thrive and grow.

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