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Southern double-crop soybeans look good

05/25/2012 @ 3:48pm

DES MOINES, Iowa (Agriculture.com)--Thad Killebrew, a Lexington, Mississippi farmer is planting soybeans as a double-crop for only the second time in his career. This year, Killibrew will raise his total soybean acres by 50% vs. a year ago. Why?

Soybean prices offer better profitability than cotton. Also, the U.S. South is coming off of two consecutive years of very dry weather, leaving farmers with higher irrigating costs. Soybeans will require less irrigation than a cotton crop.

"In the last two years, farmers around here have had to irrigate their crops a lot to even get them to market. In fact, there are farmers irrigating corn, already this year," Killebrew says. "The more diesel-fueled irrigation, the more costs, and the less profit."

In the Deep South, diesel prices are running about $4.00 per gallon, up 20-cents vs. a year ago.

"On paper, soybeans look more profitable than other crops we have planted. Also, there is just less risk in raising soybeans compared to other crops.

Overall, the Mississippi farmer plans to plant 800 acres of soybeans this year, 400 acres of corn, 400 acres of peanuts and 200 acres of "wheat-beans" or beans after harvesting wheat.

Having planted his first soybean crop on April 25, 2012, Killebrew planted his double-crop soybeans beginning May 17, 2012. This week, he is seeing a nice stand on his double-crop soybeans.

"Conditions are really good so far. This is the first time we have ever seen a soybean stand, following a wheat crop. We tried it before, but the beans never came up," Killebrew says.

"We're suppose to get rains this week. Don't know if that will happen or not. Beans in wheat stubble were planted 5/17/12. Planting into burned wheat stubble was 5/24/12.

As of Friday, Killebrew has some soybeans that are 4.5-inches off of the ground. "We have a nice stand on early planted wheat-beans," Killebrew says.

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