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BY Austin Delano on Mar. 08, 2018

BioLogic’s LabLab: A Unique Spring & Summer Forage for Whitetails

With more gamekeepers asking what to plant for their deer herd for spring/summer nutrition, we decided to make a comparison between two of the more popular warm season annual plantings and why LabLab is superior in almost every category. This is not to knock soybeans as they are a good warm season forage for whitetail, but unless you are planting them for the actual bean production for late winter food plots, they fall short in most all categories compared to BioLogics Lablab. In my experience, Lablab is also less likely to get over browsed early, this is typically the main reason for failure in small soybean plots.

Maturity Rate

One major advantage on Lablab is its long maturity rate, which is almost impossible to achieve in the U.S. with our length of days. Being a subtropical plant, Lablab will very rarely flower or produce any beans in our climate, it needs 150+ days to reach that even close to the equator where the length of days is long. This is a benefit over most all soybean varieties which begin to mature, yellowing of leaves and leaf drop at 60-90 days depending on variety used. Deer typically immediately discard use of soybean fields as soon as leave begin to yellow and only return once any beans that are produced dry in the pod. Even when planted as early as the first week of April, I have Lablab fields that are still producing great forage the second week of October before frosts arrive, that’s close to 170 days of forage. 


From a nutritional standpoint, Lablab leaves have a pretty good advantage over most all soybean varieties, even those touted as a forage variety. Typical row crop production beans would have even lower nutritional value because they are bred for bean yield. Most all warm season forages including legumes typically have a decline in nutrition as the plant matures. A trial on the variety of Lablab BioLogic uses actually showed an increase in crude protein % and TDN (total digestible nutrients) when above average rainfall was received. Even in dry climates similar to TX and OK, Lablab had average of 30.5% CP at 50 days post germination and 24.7% at 135 days pg. Forage beans were 20% and 17% respectively. Some young leaves of Lablab tested had CP levels as high as 38%!

Drought and Browse Tolerance

Drought and browse tolerance are both areas where Lablab also shines. Lablab stands up well to heavy browsing and continues to put on new leaf growth as long as the main stems are not damaged. Lablab is grown in some of the driest climates in the world for livestock feed and even in poor stands, livestock show milk production improvements and weight gain. Lablab also grows in a wide range of soils from deep sands to heavy clays, provided drainage is good, and from pH levels from 4.5-7.5

Overall Advantages Of LabLab

  • Subtropical forage legume (BioLogic uses Rongai variety)
  • High browse tolerance
  • Drought tolerant
  • 24-31% average Crude Protein
  • Over 150 days of forage production
  • Great nitrogen producer for the following crop to utilize
  • Grows in a wide variety of soil types and pH levels, requires minimal fertilization and can thrive without any in good soils
  • Highly attractive to whitetails
  • Weed control is easy with both Weed Reaper herbicides

When To Plant

LabLab can be planted in the spring (when soybeans are being planted in your area, or once the soil temperatures reaches 65 degrees or higher) or in late summer (excellent for early season bow hunting plots). For best results, conduct a spring planting to establish an attractive and nutritious summer forage, followed by plowing and planting a fall attractant in early autumn.

How To Plant

Mechanical grain drills are an excellent method for planting LabLab. However, it can also be broadcast onto a well prepared seed bed and covered with a ½” of soil. Be certain to soil test and follow instructions for lime and fertilizer.

In short...
BioLogic's antler growing LabLab is unique summer forage that is extremely palatable and nutritious. whitetails are strongly attracted to the succulent leaves and eventual bean pods. Landowners and managers appreciated how vigorously it grows. The only thing more impressive than our LabLab's vigorous growth is the nutrition it delivers. This spring and summer planting is a favorite for those who manage their plots year-around for optimal herd health and maximum antler production.

Order Online Or Inquire At Your Favorite BioLogic Dealer 

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