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'Fire and ice' factors for double-crop soybeans this year

John Walter 06/28/2012 @ 10:31am

A new information tool can help farmers judge one of the major risks of planting double crop soybeans. The Climate Corporation reported this week that it has developed a system that calculates median and earliest freeze dates for some 1,000 U.S. locations.

"Unprecedented warm weather is presenting growers with the opportunity to double crop in unusual places this year," said Jeff Hamlin, director of agronomic research for The Climate Corporation.

In Wisconsin, for example, winter wheat development ran three weeks of schedule, offering producers the "potential profit" to double crop soybeans this year, according to a University of Wisconsin report.

"One of the main risks to planting double crop soybeans in Wisconsin, and many other locations this year, is the chance than an early fall freeze will kill the plant before sufficient yield is realized for the second crop to be profitable," Hamlin wrote.

A "First Freeze Date" analysis developed by the Climate Coproation is available on the company's website: http://www.climate.com/2012outlook/double-crop-freeze-risk

PLANT IN THE DUST?

Farmers from across the country have focused attention on another major barrier to double cropping this year--the expanding dry weather.

"I have 30 acres of wheat stubble just sitting there," a southeast Illinois grower told Agriculture.com in its Marketing Talk forum.  "I can't convince myself to throw another couple thousand or so dollars out there to wait on a rain."

A northwest Ohio farmer added, "This year I plan on double cropping to soybeans IF, and that is a big if, we can get enough moisture before we plant. Problem with that is it will take a minimum of two inches to be enough. And we will need a whole lot more timely rains if they are going to yield anything. It would most likely take another three inches to get them to yield enough to combine.  Might be asking too much this year."

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