Intercrop soybeans a financial boost over double-crop soybeans
"Intercropped soybeans have more growing degree days, with more time to establish and set seeds," he said. "Intercropped soybeans this year are at R4 to R5 growth stage now compared to double crop soybeans, which are at R2 stage now."
Tips to consider when intercropping soybeans into wheat, Prochaska said, include:
- Wheat row spacing modification to allow soybean planting equipment to pass without running down plants should be made in the fall. Optimal wheat row spacing for modified relay intercropping ranges from 10 to 20 inches. As wheat row spacing widens, wheat yields may decline, research has shown.
- Various row configurations can be used to allow soybean planting equipment. Some wheat producers have slide row units to a 6-inch row spacing with a 14-inch planting strip for soybeans.
- Producers can use corn or soybean planters to sow wheat using a 15-inch row configuration.
- Row spacing data suggests that wheat is an adaptable plant that will yield well over various row spacing's up to 15 inches.
- Use a tram line to accommodate soybean planting and allow for better wheat management via fertilizer, herbicide and/or fungicide applications. Generally, the tram line will be set up for the modified relay intercropping tractor tires.
- Planter equipment tires can be moved if necessary to follow tractor tires.
- Wheat culture for modified relay intercropping, outside of row spacing modification, should remain the same as for monoculture wheat.