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Sponsored: Wheat Harvest and Double Crop Soybeans
With wheat harvest officially underway, here are a few tips for harvest and planting double crop soybeans.
When preparing to harvest wheat, the ideal moisture is between 14% and 20%. Below 14% moisture we start to see yield loss and we could also run the risk of a rain lowering test weight and quality. Air drying wheat will give you the best quality. For long-term storage, make sure to dry your wheat to 12.5% moisture.
If you have a field showing signs of head scab, be sure to increase your fan speeds and use air to blow out the light, discolored kernels. The image below shows what a head of wheat infected with head scab will look like. If you are going to store wheat infected by head scab, be sure to dry it down quickly below 13% to help stop the spread of vomitoxin. This will not eliminate the vomitoxin, but it should stop it from spreading.
As you work to adjust your combine, remember that 17 kernels per square foot left behind the combine equates to losing about one bushel per acre. Cut your wheat at a height of 8 to 12 inches. The taller stubble helps to maintain soil moisture and encourages more height from the double crop soybeans. If you are planning to bale the wheat stubble, consider the fertilizer you are removing. Wheat straw can remove 0.68 lb. of P2O5/Bu. and 2.03 lb. of K2O/Bu. For example, 80-bushel wheat straw will remove 54.4 lb. of P2O5 and 162.4 lb. of K2O. If you are not baling the straw, be sure to set the combine up to spread evenly across the width of the grain table. This will make planting double crop soybeans more level.
When planting double crops soybeans, select a medium to long season variety. It normally takes soybeans 90 days to mature, so be sure to give yourself enough time before the average first frost date for your area. For southeastern Indiana, our average frost date is around October 16, so we should be able to safely plant soybeans up to July 15. Another thing to keep in mind when planting double crop soybeans is that 15-inch rows or narrower are best. Also, plan to plant higher than normal populations. We want to encourage fast growth and a quick canopy. Most double crop soybeans are planted in 15-inch rows at 200,000 seeds per acre or higher and are drilled at 220,000+.
The most important part of double crop beans in planting them into moisture! Good seed-to-soil contact with moisture means quicker emergence and higher yields!
Steve Gauck, CCA | Field Agronomist