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The Hype on Eagle Forage Soybeans

Since their debut into the forage and foodplot industry just a few short years ago, Eagle Forage Soybeans have rapidly become a well know and very popular source of soybean plantings for whitetail deer foodplots. Eagle beans are the result of decades of tedious soybean plant breeding, acquiring selective plant traits that are known for producing huge leaves that are 3x the size of normal ag planted beans and giant soybean plants growing in excess of 6 feet tall. Eagle beans plant growth is nothing short of amazing but one of the more important reasons that I recommend planting Eagle Forage Soybeans is their too tough to die attitude. Eagle Beans have amazed me here in Nebraska with our less than ideal soil profile that I have been dealt with on my own property along with the custom foodplots that are planted here in northern Nebraska. I have personally recorded going in excess of 30 days without any sizeable amounts of rainfall with some of my Eagle Forage Soybean foodplots with no noticeable slowdown in plant growth. Eagle beans are bred to grow and survive in drought like conditions far better than any other foodplot seed blend I have tried. By far the most important reason why I choose to keep planting Eagle beans in my foodplot lineup is their ability to keep producing forage in high browse situations where regular ag beans would struggle and eventually become browsed down to the dirt. In explaining the advantages of using Eagle Forage Soybeans over regular ag beans in foodplots for deer to new customers, I always compare them to a noxious weed. meaning no matter how hard we try to rid our property of them, alot of times they just keep growing and Eagle beans are alot alike except in a good way. I have literally witnessed Eagle Beans browsed down to nothing but a shrub and within a two week period, covered with new growth high protein leaves. Eagle beans are best planted in the early spring starting in middle to mid May in the Northern US. Here in the Northern part of Nebraska where the bulk of my custom foodplots are planted, I generally plant once the chance of frost is gone which is usually after the first week of May or so but more importantly when soil temperatures are near 60 degrees. Ideally before Eagle soybeans are planted is the best time to apply the P and K fertilizer as needed. Generally 300lbs of 5-20-20 or similiar low nitrogen fertilizer will work well since Eagle soybeans are classified as a legume plant species which can fix it's own nitrogen by pulling it from the air. During the actual planting process of putting Eagle seed in the ground I always apply 5-7 gallons per acre of liquid starter fertilizer which is placed next to the newly planted seed. This benefits the soybean plants immensly because by placing the liquid fertilizer close to the seed, the roots will quickly find and take in the nutrients which results in rapid plant growth. Eagle bean planting depth in foodplots can be a tricky issue for beginners and must me monitored closely. By planting the Eagle soybean seed too shallow, dry soil conditions may be encountered which will delay germination. Planting Eagle seed too deep is far more destructive than planting too shallow in my opinion. The unique trait that all soybean seed even Eagle soybeans possess is their unique style of how they germinate. Germinating soybean seeds have to work much harder than most other seeds when pushing through the soil because they have to push the entire seed out of the ground with them. This is where planting too deep and when soil conditions are too wet can cause problems in your soybean foodplots for deer. When soil moisture is adequate which it normally is in the springtime, Eagle soybean seed is ideally planted at a depth of one inch to inch and a half deep. When weeds and grasses start to take over your whitetail deer foodplot, rest assured because Eagle beans are the only forage soybeans on the market today which are blessed with the round up ready trait which means ease of weed control in your soybean foodplots. Eagle soybean plots that need sprayed are best taken care of before invasive weeds get out of control and too tall which makes them harder to kill. Weeds and grasses are best sprayed early on as the longer you wait to spray your soybean foodplot, the more moisture and fertilizer they are robbing from your beans but generally 1 1/2 qts per acre of roundup will knock weeds clean out. In past years, Eagle Forage Soybeans were given mixed results mainly in the northern states for their inability to successfully fully pod out for a late season foodsource. Since some of the Eagle bean varieties contain group 6, 7, and 8 varieties which are long maturing varieties not suited for the short northern growing season, Eagle seed recently came out with a northern blend of roundup ready forage beans that will successfully put on pods to satisfy us northern foodplotters. The mix of Eagle beans geared towards us northern folks is called the wildlife managers mix northern blend which contains 4 different types of soybeans. The wildlife managers mix northern blend contains 20% big fellow, 20% large lad, 10% whitetail thicket which is a climbing bean, and 48% of an early maturing dryland bean that will put on fully filled bean pods to satisfy even us northern plotters. Here are a few common questions that I get asked on a regular basis: 1. What size of bag do the Eagle Beans come packaged in and how many acres will one bag plant? Eagle Soybean seed comes packaged in 50lb bag lots and the seeding rate of these forage soybeans is 50lbs per acre if rowplanted with a planter or drill. 2.What is the best row spacing that I should plant my Eagle Forage Soybeans on? Generally this comes down to personal preference but for my custom seeding operation, I prefer 15" rows for the Eagle beans and when deer densities aren't too high will space the rows on the forage soybeans out to 30" as well. The reason I like 15" rows for the Eagle soybeans is that this spacing allows the roundup ready forage beans to canopy much quicker which means much less maintanance in terms of weed control and soil moisture savings. 3. What type of fertilizer do you recommend for growing Eagle soybeans? Since Eagle soybeans are classified as a legume plant species which fixes it's own nitrogen from the air, very little actual N is needed to grow soybeans or other legume foodplot species as well. A good dose of 5-20-20 dry fertilizer applied at a rate of 300-400lbs per acre will yield an incredible amount of forage from these Eagle beans. 4.What is inoculant and do I need to apply it to my soybean seed before planting? Soybean inoculant can either be purchased in a dry or liquid form and is basically made up of a certain type of bacteria that is applied to the seed shortly before planting to help soybeans nodulate which is the process in which soybean plants fix nitrogen from the air. In order for soybeans to successfully fix nitrogen this certain type of bacteria either has to be present in the soil or applied to the seed as an inoculant. If soybeans have never been planted before such as in a new foodplot that was recently cleared, than your soybean seed should be inoculated. Also I recommend inoculating your Eagle Soybean seed if you have sandier soil types as well.

By: Brent Jungman

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