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Early double-crop can pay

ISA's Dan Davidson stands in a field of early planted double-crop soybeans at this year's Farm Progress Show at Decatur / CIFN photo.

By selecting an earlier wheat variety and planting double-crop soybeans into the field a bit earlier than normal, growers have the potential to add to their pocketbook.

Through the early wheat harvest system promoted by the Illinois Soybean Association at this year’s Farm Progress Show, growers select an earlier maturing wheat variety which can be harvested about a week sooner at a higher moisture level. This means soybeans can be planted in the same field 10-14 days earlier than normal.

“That would gain them one bushel per day in yield,” said Dan Davidson, technical consultant with the Illinois Soybean Association.

If a farmer takes off a 30-bushel soybean crop through a traditional double-crop program and breaks even, that same farmer can improve yield by 10 bushels through the earlier method.

“In that double-crop system, wheat has a lot of benefits in the rotation,” Davidson explains.

A wheat soybean double-crop pattern can economically outperform corn. The plot on display at Farm Progress Show included soybeans planted on June 20 following wheat and soybeans planted July 8. The pod counts looked good on the earlier soybeans, according to Davidson. He believes they have the potential to reach 60 bushels per acre if rain continues to fall.

The Illinois Soybean Association has been working with the Illinois Wheat Association on the double-crop initiative to improve the productivity and profitability of the system. More information can be obtained from the website.

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