Looking at Double Cropping Soybeans?

Soybean close-up

What you need to know

Consider all the implications before planting a late soybean crop after harvesting a cereal crop. It’s a gamble.

 

MANAGEMENT OF DOUBLE CROP SOYBEANS

Planting date is critical

  • Plant July 1 – yield potential of 30 bu./ac.
  • Plant after July 1 – yield decreases by 1 bu./ac. per day. 

(Horst Bohner, OMAFRA). 

Moisture levels

  • Adequate soil moisture is critical to get quick emergence and to establish the crop.
  • If June is dry – don’t try. A warm fall is key to ensuring plants will have time to mature and fill the pods.

The right variety

  • Tall plants with a large number of flowers are key to maximum yield.
  • Plant a full season variety to ensure a good pod set. The photoperiod effect will take care of the maturity.
  • Small seeded varieties work best to establish the canopy quickly.

 

MANAGEMENT OF WHEAT BEFORE DOUBLE CROP SOYBEANS

Harvest the wheat crop early and be ready to plant soybeans the very next day.

  • Leave 8-12 inches of stubble, and spread the chaff and straw evenly over the field to increase soybean stem elongation for higher bottom pod height.
  • Control weeds in the wheat either before planting or pre‑emergence of the soybeans.
  • Volunteer wheat must be controlled in the soybean crop.
  • Plant no-till to save time and maintain all available soil moisture.
  • Plant in narrow (7.5 inch) rows with a high seeding rate
  • (250,000 seeds/acre) to encourage taller plant growth.
  • Planting depth is important and success of the emergence
  • depends on the chance of rain after planting. Planting to
  • moisture delays the time to emergence and decreases
  • yield potential.
  • Harvest will be late October, early November. Make sure there
  • is time to harvest the beans during the corn harvest.
  • Plant only enough beans that can be harvested in one to two days.

 

CONCERNS OF DOUBLE CROP SOYBEANS

  • No crop insurance for soybeans planted this late.
  • Consider rotational implications. Adding an additional soybean crop will impact existing soybean disease issues.

 

VARIETY RECOMMENDATIONS

>2800 CHU: Choose a variety close to full maturity.

<2800 CHU: Choose a slightly earlier variety.

 

REMEMBER

Double cropping soybeans is a gamble.

The odds of a feasible, profitable crop are:

75-80% Before July 10

50% July 10-15

10% July 15-20