By Allen Wrather, University of Missouri Division of Plant Science
Farmers in south Missouri will begin harvesting wheat in about one to two weeks and then begin to plant soybean into these fields. They can help the double crop soybean grow and yield as well as possible with the following four procedures.
1. For south Missouri, plant a maturity group (MG) 4 or very early 5 variety. In our tests, yields of mid-June planted MG 3 varieties were always lower than yields for MG 4 and very early 5 varieties. The yields for the MG 4 and 5 varieties were about the same. The harvest date for a mid-June planted MG 4 variety will be about mid-October.
2. Plant seed that has been commercially treated with a fungicide in fields where irrigation will be used to help the soybean seed germinate. This treatment will help protect the seeds and seedlings from rot that may develop due to wet soil from irrigation. Fungicide seed treatments available now are more effective than those available a few years ago.
3. Scout the crop frequently during the summer and fall to determine if insecticides are needed, especially for stink bugs and pod feeders; to determine if foliar fertilizer is needed, especially potassium; and to determine if a foliar fungicide is needed at beginning pod fill.
4. Irrigate if possible but do it properly. Following these suggested procedures will give farmers a better chance of realizing a profit with double-crop soybean in 2011.