Monday, August 24, 2015

Double Crop Soybeans - August 23

The better part of my soybeans, I'm not gonna show the bad parts

There's actually some pods on the plants

Marestail in the soybeans

Back on June 25 after I'd finished harvesting the wheat, I planted about four acres of soybeans as a small test to see if it was possible to double-crop soybeans around here.  There's nothing really interesting or a whole lot to write about a little test plot of soybeans, but I'll write about them anyway so I'll better remember how they grew.

To my inexperienced eye,  they seem to be growing okay, sort of so-so, not bad but they could be better. Right now (August 23) about 60 days after I planted them they are about 18-20 inches tall and seem to be growing taller and wider every day.  They are far from completely canopying and filling in the rows, but that might be partly because they're planted on 30 inch rows.  They're flowering and setting pods. 

Since I have almost no firsthand experience with growing soybeans, I'm not sure if any of that is good or bad, or ahead or behind of schedule.  It's been a while since I haven't been exactly sure about what I'm looking at and whether I should be satisfied or disappointed with my efforts, but right now I think they are growing halfway decently, they could probably be better, but I don't really know for sure.

One thing I have figured out is that weed control is pretty important when growing soybeans.  I knew I was going to have problems with marestail, and I purposely planted my test plot in this part of the field because it has had some problems with marestail in the past and I wanted to see how big of a problem it would be when growing soybeans.  I quickly reached the conclusion that I definitely don't want any marestail in my soybeans, and that paying close attention to marestail control will be one of the most important parts of growing soybeans.

In the future, getting rid of marestail will be better done before planting soybeans, but I reached the point where I couldn't stand all that marestail out in my soybeans anymore, so I've been walking the field trying to get rid of all the  marestail off and on for about a week or so.  I'm not done with my weed control yet, but I'm closer to being finished than I was when I started. Walking four acres to control weeds is barely doable, but a hundred acres seems like it would be almost a herculean task.

I was expecting to see a significant amount of deer damage especially since this is the only soybeans for miles around, but so far I haven't seen much damage at all which is a little surprising.  It might be due to the wetter summer we've had, the grain sorghum field might be more attractive, or they might show up later in the fall, otherwise I'd think there would be more deer activity in the soybeans.

Stay tuned for action-packed updates about harvesting soybeans this fall, or how I feel like shooting a bunch of deer because they wiped out my soybean field before I could even harvest it, or some combination of harvesting soybeans and deer shooting.      


  1. Back when we used to plant 30 inch rows for soybeans, I remember walking them with weed wipes through the month of June. By July, the rows were closed over. But I'm guessing that was for beans planted in mid May and not a month later like yours. Hopefully you are getting some moisture down there so that the pods fill out. I think we are in for a bit of a dry spell now by the looks of things up here.

    I can't remember the last time anyone around here put soybeans in 30 inch rows. I'm sure it has been over a decade. For my father, his last time was when his free labor supply ran out with my younger brother heading off to college. He bought a drill that winter a couple decades ago. Most drill though a neighbor does have a 15 inch row bean planter.

    1. For the last couple of weeks it seems like they've gone into some sort of growth spurt so it's always possible that they might get pretty close to filling in the rows in the next few weeks or so, but it's all kind of new to me, so I don't know for sure yet.

      There are two different larger local farmers that both grow soybeans, one grows grain sorghum and soybeans and uses an air drill for both. The other farmer grows corn and soybeans and uses a planter for both. With the typical growing conditions around here they both seem to grow decent soybeans from what I can tell.