Double Cropping in Iowa

Double Cropping in Iowa - Double Cropping in Iowa Corey...

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Double Cropping in Iowa Corey Hillebo Introduction For many years corn and soybeans have been Iowa’s staple crop. Corn has been around longer than the soybean. Since the US started growing soybeans for seed in the nineteen forties and early nineteen fifties, corn and soybeans have gone hand in hand, and Iowa producers began to look the other way when a different crop was mentioned (Gibson and Benson, 2005). This was because it was fairly easy to farm a corn and soybean rotation. Farmers these days are farming with bigger and more powerful equipment. This is allowing them to farm more acres over a period of time. With the rising costs of inputs to today’s farmer, new opportunities are being looked into. Ground is becoming so expensive that it is getting harder to acquire more land, or raise a single crop in one year. The time has come to look into a possible new source of income. A very popular discussion going around right now is double cropping. This means raising two crops in one growing season. If possible and economical, double cropping could be a great source of additional income for today’s modern farmer. Analysis For reference, corn and soybeans will be summarized first. Average corn yield in Iowa is 163 Bu/A. Average corn price is $2.19 (USDA-NASS, 2006). Average soybean yield and price is forty-six and a half Bu/A and $5.66 (USDA-NASS, 2006). Seed costs average $180 per bag for corn and $35 per bag for soybeans (Moore, 2007). Both corn and soybeans take a lot of fertilizer and most producers in Iowa have the machinery to farm soybeans and corn. Wheat is a highly talked about contestant to be the double crop in Iowa. Through wheat’s history, we see it can be grown in Iowa because before the civil war, wheat was
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the number one crop in Iowa. After the civil war though, the prices plummeted and wheat got shoved aside (Bonney, 2005). Wheat grown in Iowa would most likely be planted in the fall as a winter wheat. The most common wheat that would be good for our climate would be hard red winter, hard white winter, and soft red winter (Skrdla and Gibson, 2007). Every year Iowa has a crop performance test called The Iowa Crop Performance Tests. This test provides how well different crops performed in Iowa from three separate locations. Each variety is tested in multiple plots at each of the three locations for a better average. Hard red winter wheat in Iowa had a three year average grain yield of seventy-five Bu/A and an average test weight of fifty nine and one half lb/ Bu. Hard white winter wheat in Iowa had a three year average grain yield of seventy seven Bu/A and an average test weight of sixty and four tenths lb/Bu. Soft white winter wheat in Iowa had a three year average grain yield of eighty one and one half Bu/A and an average test weight of fifty nine and three tenths lb/Bu (Skrdla and Gibson, 2007). Inputs for wheat are usually much smaller than corn especially in Iowa because most of
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Double Cropping in Iowa - Double Cropping in Iowa Corey...

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