Soybean School: 2016 Double-Crop Harvest Fuels Optimism

Real Agriculture agronomist Peter Johnson and Syngenta agronomist Eric Richter return to Embro, Ontario farmer Ian Matheson’s field to examine how his double crop soybeans fared in 2016.

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.

In the first two episodes of the series, Johnson and Richter discussed whether double crop soybeans are a good fit for your farm and reviewed best management practices.

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.

Click here for more Soybean School episodes.

Watch more:

Soybean School: Will Double Crop Soys Fit Your Farm?

Soybean School: Five Keys to Double Crop Success


Bernard Tobin

Bernard Tobin is Real Agriculture's Ontario Field Editor. AgBern was raised on a dairy farm near St. John's, Newfoundland. For the past two decades, he has specialized in agricultural communications. A Ryerson University journalism grad, he kicked off his career with a seven-year stint as Managing Editor and Field Editor for Farm and Country magazine. He has received six Canadian Farm Writers' Federation awards for journalism excellence. He's also worked for two of Canada's leading agricultural communications firms, providing public relations, branding and strategic marketing. Bern also works for Guelph-based Synthesis Agri-Food Network and talks the Real Dirt on Farming.


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