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He Grows Whole Season Double Crop Soybeans
Roger Henkener's wheat and soybean yields are 10 to 15% below yields on neighboring farms but that's because he grows both crops in the same field at the same time.
Henkener developed his cropping system after a 6 in. rain in 1979 severely eroded his wheat fields. In three years of testing, traditional double cropping wasn't protecting his fields from erosion and wasn't producing competitive yields due to the short growing season in his area of Ohio.
"We had to modify equipment in order to plant beans into standing wheat and to harvest wheat in standing soybeans," Henkener told FARM SHOW. He plants his winter wheat in the fall with an IH 6200 drill with 7-in. spacing. He plugs every third opening, leaving a 21-in. gap for the soybeans, which are planted in the spring with a 21-in. spaced planter.
Because Henkener got the beans in early between April 24 and May 5 last year they were nearly as tall as his wheat by harvest time. As a result, he had to attach "feet" to the bottom of the combine cutterbar to push the beans down out of the way. "These attachments should not be necessary every year," says Henkener. Once the wheat crop is off, a specially designed mower is used to cut wheat stubble and weeds out from between the soybean rows.
Henkener planted 100 double crop acres last year and plans to increase the amount this year. He used the same amount of wheat seed in every two rows as he would have used in three, simply increasing each row by 50%. A set of 10-in. tires on a Deere tractor minimizes crop damage when planting the beans in the spring and when mowing wheat stubble out of beans later in the summer.
For more information, contact: Roger Henkener, 5 Willipie, Wapakoneta, Ohio 45895 (ph 419 753-2429).


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1983 - Volume #7, Issue #2