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He aerially seeded soybeans into standing wheat
When wet weather made it impossible to plant soybeans conventionally, Rick Krone, DuQuoin, Ill., hired a pilot to aerially seed 220 acres of soybeans into standing wheat. It was a gamble that paid off for him as he was expecting 30 bu./acre soybean yield at harvest when we went to press.
A number of other southern Illinois farmers who couldn't get in their fields last spring also took to the air. About 5,000 acres of soybeans were aerially seeded in Krone's area alone.
"My crop input costs were less than they would be for conventionally planted soy-beans because I didn't have to work the ground four or five times or spend as much on herbicides," says Krone. "I figure I've got about $31 per acre invested in my aerially seeded crop, including $6 per acre for aerial application, $9 per acre worth for seed, and $12 per acre for herbicides. The rest was for miscellaneous costs. I should be able to break even with a yield of less than 10 bushels per acre.
"Aerially seeding isn't something I'll ever plan on doing because there's more risk, but it worked out alright this year. The ground was saturated and luckily we got about two inches of soaking rain within two or three days of seeding which kept the soybean seed moist so it would take root. We got timely rains after that all summer."
Krone aerially seeded 1 1/2 bu., or 90 lbs. per acre, of Group V seed on May 10 when the wheat was just starting to head. He harvested the wheat on June 20 when soy-beans were about 1 ft. tall, running the combine cutterbar just above the top soy-bean leaves. "We had a good wheat stand which choked out weeds so we didn't need to use a burndown herbicide," says Krone. "Within a week the soybeans had canopied and choked off most of the weeds that tried to come up through the wheat stubble. We did apply a broadcast postemergence herbicide. The soybeans grew so fast reaching for sunlight that they developed small stems which caused them to lodge as they grew taller, but they seemed to come back up later on."
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Rick Krone, Rt. 2, Box 279, Du Quoin, Ill. 62832 (ph 618 542-5925 or 5942).

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1990 - Volume #14, Issue #6