Project Details:

Reducing Deer Damage to Soybean Using Forage Soybean as Biological Fencing

Parent Project: This is the first year of this project.
Checkoff Organization:Maryland Soybean Board
Categories:Insects and pests, Soybean utilization
Organization Project Code:
Project Year:2019
Lead Principal Investigator:Nicole Fiorellino (University of Maryland)
Co-Principal Investigators:
Nicole Fiorellino (University of Maryland)
Bo Zhang (Virginia Tech)

Contributing Organizations

Funding Institutions

Information and Results

Comprehensive project details are posted online for three-years only, and final reports indefinitely. For more information on this project please contact this state soybean organization.

Click a section heading to display its contents.

Final Project Results

Updated November 23, 2020:

View uploaded report PDF file

Forage soybean yield on farms - Complete crop loss of the forage soybean due to deer overgrazing was observed on several of the fields in 2019. Project PI’s were disappointed with results in reducing deer damage in 2019 compared to 2018. Because we felt that we did not have enough deer pressure in 2018, we intentionally put the trials in areas of known high deer populations, leading to grazing of the forage soybeans at or near emergence, inhibiting the plant’s ability to establish itself. This is demonstrated in Figure 1, showing the extremely low yields in the areas of this field near treeline border. A possible factor in the difference between 2018 and 2019 is that all of the trials in 2019 were planted earlier then in 2018.

Because of the disappointing results in 2019, investigators at University of Delaware are conducting a demonstration project on double crop beans using deer repellant to provide the forage soybeans a chance to emerge and establish themselves prior to heavy grazing by deer. It may have been beneficial to apply deer repellent on sprayed our forage beans with deer repellant to buy them time.
Variety Yield, bu ac-1 (mean ± standard error)
73P93R 34 ± 3 a
7447XTS 26 ± 3 bc
AG48X9 31 ± 4 ab
BigFellow 14 ± 2 d
S53-F7X 25 ± 3 c
V12-4590 17 ± 1 d

Soybean yield at Beltsville REC – Six varieties, including one forage soybean variety (BigFellow) were evaluated for yield and sugar content in 2019. Yield measurements below demonstrate the low yield observed in the BigFellow forage soybean variety compared to the rest of the agricultural soybean varieties. The BigFellow performed similarly to V12-4590 variety, however this variety was planted extremely late and its yield potential was likely limited due to this.
Foliar sugar content – Compared to last year, the foliar sugar content data was not as straightforward. The forage soybean did not have increased total sugar content at any sampling time period compared to agricultural soybeans, nor did it have increased content of the different sugar forms (fructose, glucose, or sucrose). The V12-4590 variety that was planted quite late had higher fructose concentration at the third sampling time period than any other variety evaluated. Further research should identify which sugar type is most attractive to deer and if a later planting date might increase that sugar content enough to divert deer from commodity soybeans.

Project Years