Eagle Forage Soybeans vs Ag Beans - Full growing season comparison.

January 2, 2018

I get asked many times each year how well Eagle Forage Soybeans grow in a given area and how do they compare to regular ag soybeans.   In 2017, a good friend of Midwest Monster's volunteered his property to do a side-by-side comparison for a full growing season.

 

This test plot was grown near Lake Elmo, Minnesota, about 15 miles west of St. Paul.  We planted Eagle's Wildlife Manager's Mix North for the test plot.

 

Eagle Forage Soybeans were grown in one plot and in a second plot of equal size about 100 yards away a leading Roundup Ready field soybean (appropriate to the area and growing past growing conditions) was planted.  The soybeans were planted on the same day, with the same row/plant spacing.  

 

Planting day was May 28, 2017.  

 

 

Germination and Early Growth - Eagle Forage Soybeans - Here are some pictures of germination and early growth of the Eagle Forage Soybeans.

 

Eagle Forage Soybeans - June 10 - 13 days after planting.

 

 

Eagle Forage Soybeans - June 15 - 18 days after planting.  Excellent growth rate.

 

 

Eagle Forage Soybeans - June 22 - 25 days after planting.   At this point the Eagle Forage Soybeans have canopied about half the row already.

 

 

 

Comparison Pictures - Eagle Forage Soybeans vs Ag Beans - Here's how the Eagle Forage Soybeans stack up against a conventional ag bean.   Both plots were planted on the same day and are within 100 yards of each other, so soil and growing conditions are the same.

 

June 28 - 30 days after planting

 

Eagle Forage Soybeans

 

Conventional Ag Beans

 

 

July 9 - 41 days after planting.

 

Eagle Forage Soybeans

 

Conventional Ag Beans

 

 

July 23 - 55 days after planting.

 

Eagle Forage Soybeans

 

 

Conventional Ag Beans

 

 

July 30 - 62 days after planting - Here's some great trail cam pictures to give you a sense of scale.  

 

Eagle Forage Soybeans

 

 

Conventional Ag Beans

 

Late Season Growth - As of August 1, the ag beans had reached their greatest height and size for the season.   Deer browsing pressure prevented them from growing any more and as the season progressed, the ag bean plants got smaller and smaller.

 

 

September 11 - 103 days after planting.  Despite heavy browsing pressure, the Eagle Forage Soybeans continue to produce huge plants with lots of leaf and stem mass.

 

September 28 - 120 days after planting.  At this point the Eagle Forage Soybeans had reached their maximum height for the year.  A frost ended the growing season on October 10, so this picture represents the peak of plant size.

 

Conclusion 

This side-by-side comparison shows the clear advantages that Eagle Forage Soybeans have over conventional ag beans:

  • Better for small plots - Most of our customers at Midwest Monster are planting soybeans in plots that range from 1 to 5 acres of soybeans.  Eagle Forage Soybeans have such aggressive growth and regeneration after browsing that they clearly outperform ag beans.  Eagle soybeans produce 38 average nodes per stem in trials, compared with 14-20 nodes for your average field variety.
     

  • More food per acre - In a soybean plot, most of the food value for deer is in the leaf and stem mass.  While beans are a good source of protein,  the vast majority of the nutritional value of a soybean plot is in the leaf and stem mass that the deer consume throughout the growing season.   In growth trials, Eagle Forage Soybeans produce up to 10 tons of food mass per acre. 2 to 5 times more than ordinary field soybeans.  Our experience with this head-to-head comparison seems to bear that out.
     

  • More growth into the late season -  Eagle forage soybeans do not have a "programmed die-off" like most ag beans.  They continue to grow all the way up until the first hard frost kills them.  This means a plot of Eagle beans stays greener and grows longer into the growing season than ag beans, many of which will begin to yellow an die off in early September.

    Keep in mind, this trial was completed near St. Paul, Minnesota.  In areas further south, it would not be unusual to have 3-4 weeks or more of growing season before the first hard frost.

 

A special thanks to Tim K, the wildlife property owner and manager who completed this trial and took the pictures for this blog.   

 

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