How much yield can you expect from double-cropped soybeans? In 2016, harvested yields from across Ontario have ranged from 25 to 45 bushels per acre.
In the final episode of our Soybean School series on double cropping, Real Agriculture agronomist Peter Johnson and Syngenta agronomist Eric Richter return to Embro, Ontario, farmer Ian Matheson’s field to inspect his crop and examine how the system fared in 2016.
Matheson’s crop yielded an average 32 bushels per acre. Richter believes that it’s now realistic for growers to expect to harvest 30 bushels from a double crop. He notes that experienced growers are pushing that bar even higher, looking to punch through the 40-bushel plateau.
Johnson adds that one grower near Sarnia followed a whopping 183 bushel-per-acre winter barley crop with 42-bushel double-crop soybeans. But he notes that nothing is guaranteed and growers need to temper their enthusiasm because the month of August produced 20% more sunshine than average and also delivered timely moisture.
In the video, the agronomists assess how the 2016 crop has helped confirm many of the established best management practices – from planting date and populations to the importance of planting into moisture and the need to select shorter-season varieties. They also discuss the preferred crops for soybeans to follow and the challenges hay fields present for soybean establishment.
Richter says one very interesting aspect of Matheson’s harvest was the confirmation of the relationship between final plant population and yield. “The areas of the field with populations less than 200,000 plants had yields peaking in the mid 30s, while the areas of the field with final populations in the 250,000 to 300,000 plants per acre had yields into the high 40s,” he notes.
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