|Copyright 2002-2015. All Rights Reserved. Eagle Seed Company.
| "Eagle Seed Company has new forage soybean
varieties that can produce 9.8 tons of dry matter
per acre with up to 28% whole plant protein proven
by university testing. Compared with other forage
and food-plot varieties, they grow taller with bigger
leaves and have greater browsing tolerance. The
varieties were grown at Southern Illinois University,
LSU Ag center in Louisiana, and Oklahoma's Noble
Foundation. "They're awesome," Dr. Atkinson
(forage specialist at SIU) says. "They got up to
almost 6 feet tall."
|Hay and Forage Grower Magazine
SIU; LSU; Noble Foundation; Ardmore, OK
#1 Forage Soybean
#1 in Tonnage
#1 in Protein
|The Big Fellows in this picture were planted in
Missouri near Exeter. The measuring stick used
in the picture is four feet in length. Protein
content was 36%. The beans were not irrigated
and were planted on a very rocky soil.
|"Testing Tall Soybeans as Forage:
Researchers Report Early Results
with New Forage Varieties"
Excerpted from Hay and Forage
written by Neil Teitz
Andrews University; Berrien
Southern Illinois University
Two new tall-growing forage soybean varieties look awesome to Dr. Rebecca
Atkinson, Southern Illinois beef forage specialist. They perfomed well in an
on-farm rotational grazing study in her second year of testing and one of the
varieties yielded 6 tons/acre of hay when planted late after last summer's
wheat harvest. Results from a sliage test at Andrews University, Berrien
Springs, MI, resultied in 10 tons/acre of soybean silage, testing 14% protein,
41% ADF and 51% NDF. He grew 10 acres of the soybeans, and if the silage
performs satisfactorily, he'll plant 40 acres this year.
The Roundup Ready varieties — Large Lad and Big Fellow — were
developed at Eagle Seed Co., Weiner, AR, primarily for use in wildlife food
plots. They were tested as forage crops at three universities in 2008, and the
results were reported in the March 2009 issue of Hay & Forage Grower (see
our story, “They're Awesome”). The soybeans were evaluated at several
additional locations last year. Although they're long-season, Group 7
varieties, they can be grown anywhere in the U.S., says Brad Doyle, Eagle
Seed general manager.
Doyle sees them as a promising alternative to alfalfa, especially for farmers
who can't grow the perennial legume. Lab tests have shown the soybeans'
leaves have up to 42% protein, he says. In Illinois, Atkinson is interested in
them mostly as a pasture crop for cow-calf producers. Yields were
impressive in a 2008 simulated grazing study, with Big Fellow peaking at 9.6
tons of dry matter per acre and Large Lad at 8.9 tons/acre. So last year she
convinced a producer to plant 2 acres of the soybeans in one of 12 paddocks
in his rotational grazing system.
“I instructed him to graze it down to 10” but not past that, and that's what he
did,” she reports. The producer grazed the paddock twice, but didn't apply
glyphosate, so weeds took over after the second grazing. If he had sprayed,
he could have gotten at least one more grazing, she says. He usually rotates
his cattle every three days, but soybean growth was so great that he left them
in that paddock an extra day.
“He was so impressed with them that he's going to plant 4 acres next
summer to graze his cattle on again,” says Atkinson.
In the double-crop hay trial, the beans were planted in 15” rows June 29 and
mowed into windrows when they were 3-4' tall. The yield was exceptional, but
field drying was problematic, says Atkinson. The soybean stems weren't
conditioned severely enough, and it took several days to get the crop dry
enough to bale. She plans further work to find out how much conditioning is
needed. Wider windrows should speed drying, too, and narrower rows might
result in smaller stems that dry faster, she says.
In the Michigan silage trial, Birney planted half the 10 acres to each of the
varieties and mowed the crop into windrows after last fall's first frost. The
beans were about 5' tall, and since both varieties are indeterminate, plant
tops had new growth while the bottoms were more mature.
“We had everything from blooming and putting on new leaves down to
pods,” says Birney.
“It had monster leaves and the silage smells just like alfalfa silage,” he adds.
|"Heifers Thrive on Soybean Baleage"
Hay and Forage Grower Mag.
Excerpted by Neil Teitz, p 11-10
Fuller Cattle Farm
Marcantel Cattle Farm
| “It’s a pretty superior product” in terms of its TDN and
protein content, notes cattleman Bill Fuller. Mastering
the harvest required some learning, he cautions.
Marcantel cut the soybeans when they were about 5’
tall with minimal pod development. He baled them at 40-
45% moisture about 36 hours after cutting. Looking
back, he wishes he’d used a conditioner as he mowed
because the thick, hard stems made the crop difficult to
bale. Wrapping the bales was troublesome, too.
“The stems poked through the plastic wrap,” he
reports. “A conditioner would have crimped the stems,
making them easier to handle. When I net-wrapped it
first, that helped.”
Marcantel also had to change things at feeding time.
First he tried feeding whole bales. “The cattle wasted
the stems. They were too long, too hard and too tough
He solved the problem by running the bales through a
tub grinder. “It made all the difference,” he notes.
“They ate it like candy.”
Bottom line for this grower: “The heifers grew a lot of
frame and meat. I sold quite a few, and the ones I have
left look just as good as the other cattle. I definitely
plan to do it again.”
|Research above and below courtesy of :
Arkansas State University
The above photo was taken on the ASU
farm in Jonesboro, AR. The field was planted
in late May with Big Fellow RR soybeans.
The Big Fellows were chopped in late
|“I wanted something to blend with corn as a protein supplement,” to make it a
more complete feed for his beef cattle says Fuller, of Kinder, LA.
He began to investigate alternative protein sources when forage soybeans
caught his attention. For two years, Fuller has teamed up with Chip LeMieux
and Bill Storer, animal scientists at McNeese State University, Lake Charles,
LA, to grow, harvest and evaluate forage soybeans developed by Eagle Seed
Co., Weiner, AR.
Last year they tested Big Fellow, a late-maturing Group VII Roundup Ready
variety. A center-pivot-irrigated field was divided into sections for corn planted
at a seeding rate of 28,000 and soybeans planted at 100,000 seeds per acre.
Both were on 30” rows to match the harvester. The soybeans were planted in
late March, one week ahead of the corn.
The corn reached dent stage in August and dropped to a lower moisture level
than is typical for silage. That allowed the soybeans to gain more vegetative
growth, reaching growth stage R5 and yielding 3.9-4.4 tons/acre of dry matter
at harvest despite the inter-plant competition.
A pull-type forage harvester chopped both crops at a combined dry matter of
about 36%. To layer the crops, corn was chopped until the silage wagon was
half full, then soybeans were chopped for the remainder of the load. The two
forages were mixed as they were bagged.
Fuller fed the silage free-choice to cows with calves. “I had to run the cows
out,” he says. “They would eat and eat. If I let them, they’d eat over 50 lbs/day,
and that is too much.”
The soybeans averaged 18-19% protein, and adding them to corn in roughly a
50-50 mix resulted in silage protein levels of 13-14%.
Fuller definitely feels he’s on the right track, although he’s quick to remind
that, while soybeans are intriguing, experimenting with them remains second
to producing the best silage corn possible. The row spacing, harvest timing
and other details have to benefit the corn.
The corn-soybean silage also is being evaluated as part of McNeese State
University’s heifer enhancement and development program. Directed by
Storer and LeMieux, the program is a joint venture of the
university and Fuller Farms.
Producers bring their heifers to the university feedlot for a five-month stay,
LeMieux reports. Each heifer is weighed once a month. Before it leaves the
feedlot, researchers evaluate it for daily gain and other characteristics that will
determine how well it will perform as a replacement. Feeding the silage mixture
to developing heifers under controlled conditions will confirm a lot about the
value of soybean forage as a supplemental protein source, he adds.
So what’s ahead for soybeans as forage? LeMieux, Storer and Fuller are
involved in agronomic studies to pinpoint exactly what works best in the field
– everything from soybean row spacing, plant population, planting and
harvest dates to the finer points of harvesting. This year the team is
evaluating Large Lad, another Group VII Roundup Ready variety, as well as an
experimental Group V soybean, both produced by Eagle Seed. According to
Storer, Large Lad seems to perform similar to Big Fellow in the field, both
reaching heights of over 6’. The Group V tops out at about 3’ and is much
bushier with greater pod development. Storer is looking closely at
leaf-to-stem ratios and stalk thickness.
|"Souped-Up Silage: Chopped Corn,
Excerpted from Hay and Forage
written by Florrie Kohn
Independent Research: McNeese
|"Soybeans as Forage: New
Varieties Rival Alfalfa for Quality"
Excerpted from Midwest Producer
written by Loretta Sorensen
Midwest Producer serves
Kansas and Nebraska
|This photo demonstrates that Eagle Seed Forage
Soybeans have twice the biomass, leafiness and
browsing tolerance of other soybean cultivars.
|Public researchers planted plots at the University of Nebraska. Analysis of
Large Lad and Big Fellow's nutrient qualities about 10 weeks after planting at
nearly three-foot heights tested better than alfalfa, with 23.5 percent to 27
percent crude protein in freshly clipped plants with fairly soluble protein. "NDF
(neutral detergent fiber) was a little high for fresh forage, about 38 to 39
percent, similar to alfalfa in the late vegetative or early bloom stage," Atkinson
says. "ADF (acid detergent fiber) was 28 percent, which is also similar to
Atkinson's research process also investigated digestibility of each variety and
found it to be in the range of 69 to 71 percent. Net energy content scored well
at .65 for maintenance and .39 for gain but is less than alfalfa. TDN (total
digestible nutrient) was similar to alfalfa at 61 percent.
Whether there is more value in soybean or alfalfa forage depends on
producer's geographic location. One benefit of soybeans is ability to rotate
crops and not tie up a field five years. Forage soybeans would be planted
Depending on location, forage soybeans need between a 90-day and 120-day
growing season. Beef producers using them for forage would have to balance
soybean forage with pasture of other types of hay to prevent nitrates from
reaching dangerous levels. "Depending on soil nutrient level and rainfall
amounts, nitrate levels could become high," Atkinson says. "They wouldn't be
toxic, but it wouldn't be healthy for cattle."
Since news of her research was released, Atkinson has heard from beef
producers considering or planning to use soybeans as a forage or haylage
"One Indiana producer is considering a 10-acre test plot for grazing," Atkinson
says. "If he goes ahead with that, it would be the end of June before he could
put cows on it. An Ohio producer is considering using it for hay, and another
Kansas producer is looking at 100 acres to make silage for feed yards."
In testing forage soybeans for hay, researchers will consider how to rake and
dry bean forage and how much moisture to retain to maintain nutritional value.
Atkinson is waiting for funding before continuing her next year's research.
With Illinois' strong dairy industry, she plans to include dairy cattle in coming
projects. She also plans to test planting patterns of forage soybeans and corn
silage to increase corn silage quality.
"You want to harvest the beans before the seed gets hard," she says. "We
harvested test plots when pods were full and seeds were still soft, about an R5
stage. One of our challenges intercropping with corn will be the soybean's
tendency to vine. I think you could get at least two cuttings of hay from these
varieties, but I won't know for certain until testing is completed."
The economic contrast between soybean forage and other types of hay and
silage wasn't reviewed in any of the current research projects. Atkinson says
existing data would allow researchers to provide economic comparisons.
"There are a lot of elements to consider and geographic location would be an
economic factor," Atkinson says. "We know if you're using soybean forage for
stocker cattle, you should be able to cut back on other protein sources and
may not need another protein source. You'd have to really look at details, like
seedbed prep, how much time is invested in planting, herbicide and insecticide
|"Feed Trials Suggest Cows
May Join Soy Bandwagon"
Mid America Farmer/Grower
Excerpted from March 2010 Issue
Louisiana State University
|Dr. Rebecca Atkinson, nutritionist from Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, found that cows would readily chow down on soybean plants
both growing in the ground and served up dry. What's more, the plants
provided pretty much the same the summer slump when forage quality
starts to decrease due to the lack of rainfall," says Atkinson.
These aren't your grandfather's soybeans...Forage soybeans, developed
specifically as deer and livestock feed, can reach 6 feet in height and sport
leaves as big as a fist. Those huge leaves pack a powerful protein punch,
and because the plants retain the legume family's ability to enrich soil, these
beans still can fit into a standard crop rotation. Because grazing doesn't
carry the costs harvesting does, farmers who already plant corn or beans
could save some money by letting the cows have at it. "All you'd have to do
is make sure the fences are good, supply a bloat block to be safe and
ensure that they have some water, " Atkinson said. "They'll take care of the
Still, the numbers got even better when Atkinson turned harvested plants
into silage. Crude protein rose to 26%, while NDF and ADF percentages
came to 32% and 36%. Overall, it scored 194 in relative feed value.
"This tells me that it compares well to alfalfa silage in terms of
|Eagle Seed's Forage Soybeans have
twice the biomass, leafiness, and
browsing tolerance of other soybean.
Pictured left is a commonly available RR
soybean variety. Large Lad Forage
soybean is on the right. When standard
soybean cultivars are blooming and have
reached their full height, Eagle Seed's
forage cultivar is just beginning to
increase in height. Our forage soybean
will remain In its vegetative or
pre-reproductive cycle and grow 6 to 8
weeks after the commonly available
soybean cultivar is harvested.
|Silage Nutrient Values for
Big Fellow RR and Large Lad RR soybean.
|Hay Nutrient Values for
Big Fellow RR and Large Lad RR soybean.
|"Eagle Forage Soybeans Deliver Yield and Quality, Research Shows."
|CALL 870-684-7377 TO ORDER.