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  • Produces up to 9 tons of high protein forage per acre.
  • Laboratory analysis commonly shows the Crude Protein (CP) to be 20% or greater, ADF of 30% and NDF to be at least 40%.
  • Provides protein when bucks need it the most for antler growth and for does during fawning.
  • More resilient to browsing than Iron Clay Cowpeas.
  • Will stay green and succulent longer than regular soybeans. Great for bowhunters!
  • Will produce a soybean crop that will be used through the fall and winter months by deer, ducks, turkeys and quail.
  • Dairymen and cattlemen are using forage soybeans as an economical source of high protein forage.
  • Forage soybeans are comparable in nutrition to alfalfa.
  • Available in RoundupTM and conventional varieties.

Forage soybeans were once grown for both hay and grain but have been replaced in recent years to shorter growing season varieties that mature earlier allowing farmers to harvest their crops during more favorable weather conditions.  Soybeans are put into maturity groups (MG) based on the length of time it takes them to produce a mature seed after planting.  Maturity groups range from 0 to 8.  In general, the MGs planted by farmers increase in numerical rating as you go south in the soybean’s range.  In Canada you will see a MG 0 planted while the predominate MGs planted in the SE United States are MG 4 and MG 5. 

Today’s production soybeans have been bred for high soybean yield, less plant material (i.e., foliage and stems) and the capability to produce a crop in a narrower window of time.  These are all good traits for a farmer trying to maximize grain yields on every acre, but not for the wildlife manager that wants to provide high quality forage for a long period of time. 

Forage soybeans are what every wildlife manager has been looking for.  They produce up to 9 tons of high protein forage per acre.  Laboratory analysis commonly shows the Crude Protein (CP) to be 20% or greater, ADF of 30% and NDF to be at least 40%.  There is no native forage that can produce the amount of high quality forage as forage soybeans do for the length of time they are available.  Forage soybeans are comparable in nutrition to alfalfa.

Forage soybeans can be planted from April through mid July and most varieties will stay green until the first frost.  Iron Clay Cowpeas have been used for years for deer forage, but most wildlife managers have been disappointed at one time or the other with Iron Clay Cowpeas intolerance to deer browse pressure.  Very few people have ever seen Iron Clay Cowpeas planted for deer browse produce a seed.  That is due to their susceptibility to over browsing will limit their seed production.  That is not true with forage soybeans.  Forage soybeans were designed for “forage” and will still produce a grain crop.  The grain will act as attractant once frost has killed the plant.  Deer, ducks, turkeys, and quail will benefit from the grain crop.  This seed will stay in the pod longer and it not as prone to shatter as shorter MG soybeans are.  This is very important consideration for wildlife managers.  Seed that sprout or rot is not beneficial for wildlife.

Specialty Seed, Inc. offers the largest selection of forage soybeans and backs them up with on the ground wildlife management experience.  Both conventional and Roundup Ready® (RR) varieties are available.  The Roundup Ready® varieties offer great weed control in convenient package.  The conventional varieties may be more appealing to some that do not have very intense weed pressure and no need to spray Roundup® over the top of the soybeans.