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Sponsored: Double the Crop, Double the Potential
As wheat harvest begins in the southern Corn Belt, many farmers are turning their attention to double crop soybeans. While there is potential to make a profit, careful management is required for production to avoid double the trouble.
It is important to manage your soybean population, especially in a double crop system. Typically, soybeans have the ability to compensate very well at low populations. However, as we push later into the months of June and July, soybeans hit their reproductive stages much more quickly which means few nodes than compared to earlier planted crops.
Over the last three years, Beck’s Practical Farm Research (PFR)® team has conducted their Double Crop Population study across multiple sites in the Midwest to determine the Economic Optimum Seeding Rate (EOSR). Planting at higher populations later in the season, when the wheat comes off, typically requires more plant/A. to maximize sunlight interception. What Beck’s has found in their three-year, multi-location, PFR Proven™* Double Crop study is that the practice of planting soybeans at 260,000 seeds/A. has been the highest yielding and most economically rewarding.
The major challenges with double crop soybeans is making the most efficient use of sunlight and establishing enough vegetative growth and plant height to maximize nodal development during the shortened season. There is also a challenge in getting enough height and overall vegetative growth to the plant prior to going into the reproductive stages.
We can influence soybean plant height by increasing the seeding population. As population increase, the in-row plant-to-plant spacing decreases. This generates quicker row closure and more competition between plants for sunlight. As a result, the soybean plants grown taller, the potential for more nodes increases, and higher pod counts are observed.
In summary, high soybean populations PAY in double crop scenarios.
The important thing to remember is that though crucial, planted population is not the only double crop yield influencing factor. Be sure to take advantage of seed treatments, fungicides, and/or insecticides, and make sure to scout early and often.
If you have any questions about this data or the best planting populations for your area, please consult your local Beck’s representative.
To see regional data for this study, check out the links below.
- 2016 Multi-Location Results
- 2016 Indiana Results
- 2016 Kentucky Results
- 2016 Central Illinois Results
- 2016 Ohio Results
Beck’s PFR is the largest source of unbiased, cutting-edge agronomic information in the industry. More than 110 different studies were conducted in 2016, comparing over 150 products across multiple locations to learn how different management practices and new technologies perform in field environments. In evaluating agronomic practices and input products, not comparing seed products, Beck’s PFR aims to help farmers maximize their input dollars and increase their bottom line. To view more studies from the 2016 PFR book, click here .
*PFR Proven™ was developed in 2016 to identify the products and practices that are likely to be most profitable. If a product has been tested in PFR and found to provide yield gains and averages a positive ROI over a minimum of three years, then that product will earn the status of PFR Proven and should be something to consider trying on your farm. If a practices has been tested in PFR and found to be the most profitable, then it will also receive the status of PFR Proven. Please consult with your local Beck’s representative or trusted advisor for best management practices in your area.
Practical Farm Research (PFR)® and PFR Proven™ are trademarks of Beck’s Superior Hybrids Inc.