bean; soya

Crop production: Can I plant the seed from my previous soya bean harvest?

Question: I often hear from my fellow farmers that they use their soya bean harvest from previous years as seed for the new crop season. According to them, they also obtain better harvests afterwards. And some people say they get better harvests and that the soya beans get used to the soil. The question is, are there any merits to this practice? As far as I know, your harvest is determined by sufficient moisture and nutrients in the soil.

Yes, you can plant seed from your previous harvest, but only if is not hybrid seed. Hybrid seed are bred in such a way by seed companies that you won’t be able to replant it and harvest successfully.

Commercial seed is also inoculated with Rhizobium to aid the plant with the nitrogen fixing. Rhizobium, however, can be found commercially in shops. Do an internet search for more information.

You are correct, your harvest will be determined by soil conservation practices, available soil water and fertilising of your soya beans. I haven’t heard of any scientists who said that plants can get used to a specific type of soil.

A specific cultivar might just be better adapted or it might be the best cultivar for the specific region. It is well-known that certain cultivars do better in certain regions.

This has to do with microclimate and the combination with the specific soil. It is always helpful to do research for the recommendations on the soya bean cultivar you should plant in your region and to plant a few of these cultivars and to see which performs best.

  • This article was written by Dr. Eduard Hoffman from the Department of Soil Sciences, Stellenbosch University and originally appeared on

share this