LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Frequent rain is delaying some Indiana farmers who
need to harvest winter wheat and then plant a crop of soybeans right
after that while there is still time in the summer growing
While nearly all of Indiana's soybean crop already is in the
ground, some farmers who "double crop" have not yet planted their
beans. They are facing crucial dates this month for planting them,
generally sooner in the central parts of the state and later in the
south. Double-cropping is not recommended in the north because of
its shorter season.
"This year's wheat harvest is a polar opposite compared with
2012, when nearly every acre was already harvested by now," said
Purdue Extension soybean specialist Shaun Casteel. "Delayed wheat
harvest directly affects our double-crop soybeans."
Only 32 percent of the winter wheat acreage in Indiana had been
harvested as of the week ending July 7, compared with 98 percent
last year and the five-year average of 69 percent, according to the
U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics
Service. Still, 76 percent of the crop was rated good to
Wheat development was delayed this season when cooler
temperatures extended into the spring, Casteel said. The cool and
wet spring, however, benefited many wheat fields with extended
period of grain fill.
"Unfortunately, the rain cycle continued for many of our areas as
the wheat matured in June and now into July," he said.
Farmers who double-crop would need to plant their soybeans so the
plants can reach maturity before the first freeze in autumn. Because
double-crop soybeans need about 90 days to reach the first
harvestable stage of development, Casteel recommended that farmers
target July 15-25 as estimated planting deadlines depending on their
location in the state.
Farmers in southern Indiana usually have more time because that
part of the state typically does not have a first freeze until late
October. But a first freeze by mid-October is possible anywhere in
Indiana depending on weather conditions at the time, Casteel
In addition, the timeline of 90 days to maturity is more accurate
from the time plants emerge rather than the planting date, Casteel
said. Although double-crop soybeans should emerge in 5-7 days, they
could take several weeks should soil be dry after planting.
He said farmers would need to assess their field conditions and
adjust their planting schedule accordingly.
A detailed report that Casteel wrote on planting decisions for
double-crop soybeans is available here.