View Full Version : broadcast spreading corn/beans

12-16-2004, 10:07 PM
I recently read that as companion corps, corn and soybean can be "broadcast" distributed. I'm curious if anyone has every used a broadcast spreader (like you tow behind your ATV) to broadcast corn or soybean seed, or do they mean broadcasting by hand. Thanks.

Muddy Fork
12-16-2004, 10:43 PM
You can plant any seed with any broadcast spreader as long is it can spread it. You just need to make sure you try to get the seed at the best soil depth. With corn and soybeans you want to work up the ground a little before you firm the soil. Just don't plan on it growing in rows or producing as much is if it was in rows. smileys/smiley4.gif

12-16-2004, 10:47 PM
welcome to the forum!

I have spread soybeans with a broadcast spreader pulled behind my ATV--I have never done corn though!


12-17-2004, 01:24 AM
Corn is a hybrid so you do not expect to be able to buy corn at $2/bu, plant it and have it come up identical to what you planted. For best results you have to buy hybrid seed corn.Soybeans are not hybrid seeds and you can use this years crop (bin seed) as seed.It won't produce as well as seed soybeans but it works. Some farmers only buy soybean seed every other year, using bin run seed from the prior year's crop in the intervening years.For corn it's hybrid seeds every year. Depending on how it's stacked (features) seed corn can be expensive, $100/bag of 80,000 seeds, compared to bin corn at $2/bu. Bin soybeans are about $5/bu, stacked seed soybeans are about $30/bag.

The seed depth is roughly proportional to the size of the seed. For field corn the range is 1/2 - 2", for soybeans the range is 1 - 1 1/2"

12-17-2004, 09:25 AM
Any seed can be broadcast sown. However, some seeds require planting at a specific depth. It can be very difficult to cover broadcast seed with the right amount of soil.

I actually plant all my own food plots without the use of a tractor (since I don't own one! smileys/smiley19.gif ). I just broadcast the seed on top of the ground. I do not turn the ground at all (because I can't). You can produce some very nice plots using this method IF you use the right seeds (small seeds) and you have prepared the plot properly (mowed tight to the ground and then hit hard with Roundup). But again, large-seeded plants do not germinate well with this planting method. Small seeds, like clover and brassicas will do fine, but large-seeded plants like beans will not. In addition, due to the lower germination rate of seed laying on top the ground, I usually over-seed by 50% above recommended rates per acre.

12-17-2004, 04:16 PM
We plant cow peas, lab lab, soy beans, etc.. down here, and usually dont' have any problem with broadcasting them. Believe it or not, we use hand pushed fertilizer spreaders to spread our seed. After we disc up the soil in our plots, we drive along in our trucks with someone sitting in the back holding onto a fertilizer spreader full of seed, pulling it backwards. Spreaders work nicely both forwards and backwards! If you make one pass before you start spreading, you can run the spreader in the ruts of the previous pass, which helps tremendously. We plant about 40lbs of beans, peas, lab lab, to the acre, and then drag over the disked ground with a large railroad tie and some chain link fence. This usually gives us a seed depth of between .25 inches to 1 inch, depending on how much dirt gets drug over the seed.

12-17-2004, 08:00 PM
Thanks guys. I thought that the beans/corn might be too big to gravity feed into the broadcast speader hole(s), but based on your responses I will give it a try. Thanks again.

12-18-2004, 04:40 AM
I just finished my second year with broadcasting corn and beans with a spreader that I got from tractor supply. It has a 3 point hitch and runs off a pto and is pretty sweet, but obviosly not an option from your 4 wheeler. My first year was pretty much a failure. I prepared a good seed bed but made some costly mistakes. I planted too much corn seed, which is easy to do when broadcasting. Do NOT plant more than 20 pounds per acre (which roughly seems to be a seed about every 12 inches) and you must fertilize. The beans were much more forgiving and I will likely increase from the 50# acre I broadcasted to 75# as the early season browsing knocked them back. I really like round up ready soybeans and this year the only thing I wish I had done was plant more acres!
good luck

12-18-2004, 09:07 AM
I usually broadcast all of my seed except the corn. I do not own a tractor either but I have a guy that lives next door to the farm I manage that does all my tractor work for 25.00 per hr. I get him to turn/disk for me, I do the rest. When broadcasting grains or larger seeds I almost always use a heavier than recommended spread rate. The seeds will usually all germinate, but fewer of them take root unless covered.

12-18-2004, 11:41 PM
Thanks CMAX. I will use you suggestions (stored them away in a file). Have to find a good broadcast spreader to work on a Mule with Bed on back. Was going to get an AgiFeb tow behind but all the feedback from a different post was negative, in that they did not stand up well to food plot use. Going to see if there is a way to use a direct mount electric broadcast spreader on the bed of a mule.