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Midwest Monster Test Plots 2018 Review Part 1: Eagle Forage Soybeans

It's now early fall here in Midwest Monster country and it's time to take a look at how well our Midwest Monster seed blends and the Eagle Forage Soybean test plots did in 2018.

Because of space constraints, we don't test all plot blends every year. This year was especially challenging because we're coming out with some exciting new products in 2019 and we needed plot space to test the final versions of those blends. Watch this space! Exciting news coming!

I'm going to publish the 2018 test plot reviews in 4 parts:

  • Part 1: Eagle Forage Soybeans

  • Part 2: Mega Clover Plus

  • Part 3: Brassicas Bender

  • Part 4: Monster Rye

Please keep in mind that the number one factor in seed performance is the weather! Past performance (both good and bad) does not serve as an absolute indicator of future results. As every food plot grower knows, we can't control the weather!

Part 1: Eagle Forage Soybeans 2018

Midwest Monster is the Eagle Seeds dealer for Minnesota and Western Wisconsin. For 2018, Midwest Monster Whitetail Products has two Eagle Forage Soybean test plots: One in Lake Elmo, Minnesota and we also grow a test plot on the Midwest Monster Farm near Hinckley, Minnesota.

Variety Tested: In 2018, we tested Eagle Forage Soybeans, Wildlife Manger's Mix North. Eagle Seeds strongly recommends this blend for all growers north of southern Iowa because it is a hardy, well performing blend that can handle the cool start to our northern growing season, yet still perform well in the heat of mid-summer.

Performance Review: Stellar! That sums up the 2018 Eagle Forage Soybean performance in a single word in both of our test plots. We had outstanding performance throughout the whole growing season.

Lake Elmo Test Plot

The Eagle Forage Soybeans in this plot were the thickest, tallest, and most lush crop of forage soybeans we've grown. By September, the rows was so thick and full, it was almost impossible to walk through the plot. The average plant size is 34 to 38 inches tall and as you can see in the pictures, there are many plants that are 4 feet tall or even taller.

The pictures are literally worth a thousand words. Picture below was taken on September 14, 2018 at our Lake Elmo, Minnesota test plot:

The picture below really shows the massive plant size of the Eagle Forage Soybeans in the Lake Elmo test plot. The plot is small, but it contains tons of high-protein plant mass. The plants are so large it's no longer possible to find the rows. Picture also taken on September 14, 2018.

Photo below is NOT of Eagle Forage Soybeans! To demonstrate why Eagle Forage Soybeans are better than standard ag soybeans for the food plotter, the picture below is the ag bean field directly across the fence line (about 30 feet away) from the Lake Elmo test plot. Photo taken September 14, 2018. This whole field has died off and turned brown while the Eagle beans are still lush and green.

Lake Elmo Test Plot Summary 2018

  • Variety: Eagle Forage Soybeans, Wildlife Manger's Mix North

  • Planting Date: May 20, 2018

  • Growing Weather Notes: Ground was very wet at planting, but almost ideal growing conditions with timely rains throughout the growing season.

  • 2,430 growing degree days (GDD or "heat units") produced from planting to September 15, 2018.

Midwest Monster Home Farm Test Plot

Planting was considerably later at the Midwest Monster home farm near Hinckley, Minnesota. Due to late snow and a wet early spring, this northern-most of our test plots wasn't planted until May 31.

The Midwest Monster home farm test plot receives much more browsing pressure than the Lake Elmo test plot. This plot provides a good test of Eagle Forage Soybeans performance under what many property owners might consider more normal conditions as far as deer pressure.

Simply put, the deer hammered the Eagle beans at the home farm. There were 4-6 deer in the plot browsing at most times, morning and evening. Browsing pressure got so intense that we put up a Plot Saver fence in August to protect the plot and ease browsing pressure to allow the plot to continue to grow.

The Eagle Forage Soybeans were able grow to an average of 30 to 34 inches high by September 15. This despite the fact that even with the Plot Saver scent fence, every plant in the plot had been browsed heavily.

Below, the Midwest Monster Home Farm test plot near Hinckley MN. Photo take on September 21, 2018.

Browsing pressure is very heavy in the Midwest Monster Home Farm test plot as this picture shows. The Plot Saver fence (seen in the background of the picture below) greatly reduced browsing pressure, but the deer wouldn't stay completely away from the Eagle Forage Soybeans. The plot was thick and very healthy. It is easy to see that conventional ag beans could never have withstood the browsing pressure in this plot.

A typical evening traffic jam at the Home Farm test plot. Even with the Plot Saver fence, the deer were only slightly deterred.

Midwest Monster Home Farm Test Plot Summary 2018

  • Variety: Eagle Forage Soybeans, Wildlife Manger's Mix North

  • Planting Date: May 31 2018

  • Growing Weather Notes: Ground was very wet at planting and planting was later than desired. Summer was cool and wet, with above-average rainfall

  • 15% more rainfall in 2018 (compared to 10 year average)

  • 1,845 growing degree days (GDD or "heat units") produced from planting to September 15, 2018.

Closing Thoughts

Again in 2018, Eagle Forage Soybeans do exactly what they promise--grow massive plants that can withstand tremendous browsing pressure throughout the growing season. The size of the plants was especially impressive in 2018, likely helped by timely rain and good overall growing conditions.

Another great year for Eagle Forage Soybeans.

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