Relay intercropper set to harvest 100-bushel soybeans

Indiana farmer Jason Mauck says he isn’t getting much sleep these days. He’s spending many restless nights wondering whether his relay intercrop soybeans will yield 110 or 120 bushels per acre.

Relay intercropping is essentially a special version of double cropping, where the second crop is planted into the first crop before harvest, rather than waiting until after harvest as in true double-cropping. Wheat is harvested with little disturbance to the growing soybean crop.

Several years ago, Mauck shared his experience with intercropping at the Innovative Farmers Association of Ontario’s annual meeting and in spring of 2018 the first trials were planted in Ontario to determine whether the system would be suitable for farmers in the province

See Related: Will relay intercropping work in Ontario?

Last week at the Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa, Real Agriculture’s Bernard Tobin spoke with Mauck about how he’s modified his approach since his visit to Ontario. He’s now planting wheat in 60-inch rows with soybeans planted at 20 and 40 inches. He explains how he made the change to better manage the architecture of wheat and soybean plants and to give the soybeans as much light as possible.

The soybean crop isn’t in the bin yet, but Mauck is excited about the potential yield and the road ahead for relay intercropping.

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