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Agronomy Update

S. Indiana: Wheat Harvest and Planting Double Crop Soybeans

Published on Tuesday, July 1, 2014

As wheat harvest has begun across southern Indiana, I wanted to leave you with a few tips about harvest and planting double crop soybeans.

When preparing to harvest wheat, the ideal moisture is between 20% to 14%. Below 14% moisture we start to see yield loss occur, also we run the risk of a rain lowering test weight and quality if the moisture is below 14%. Air drying wheat will give you the best quality. For long term storage, make sure to dry wheat to 12.5% moisture.

If you have a field that shows signs of Head Scab, be sure to increase your fan speeds and use air to blow out the light, discolored kernels. 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 quickly down below 13% to help stop the spread of vomitoxin. You will not eliminate the vomitoxin, just stop it from spreading.



As you work to adjust your combine remember that 17 kernels per square foot left behind the combine equals about 1 bu./A.

Cut 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 lbs of P2O5 per bushel and 2.03 lbs of K2O per bushel. So 80 bushel wheat straw will remove 54.4 lbs. of P2O5 and 162.4 lbs. 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 even.

Planting Double Crop Beans
When planting double crop beans 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 frost date for your area. For southeastern Indiana, our average frost date is around October 16, so we should be able to safely plant beans until July 15.



For best double crop soybeans, plant 15" rows and narrow. We want to encourage fast growth, and a quick canopy. Plant higher than normal populations, most double crop beans are planted in 15” rows at 200,000+ and drilled at 220,000+.

The most important part of double crop beans is planting them in good moisture! Good seed to soil contact with moisture equals quick emergence and higher yields!


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Steve Gauck

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