By Extension

This year?s early wheat harvest has opened a wider than normal window of opportunity for double cropping, and Marion County farmers have several options when deciding what that second crop should be.

Deciding what to plant after wheat harvest is as important as deciding whether to plant. The key is to stay compatible with your long-term rotation plan.

How?s the soil moisture? Will I want to graze cattle on the land later? Will a herbicide for this year?s second crop adversely affect what I plant next spring?

These are questions each grower should ask when deciding whether to plant soybeans, grain sorghum or sunflowers on just-harvested wheat acres.

Sorghum hybrid selection is important. Farmers are advised to choose a mid- to early-season sorghum variety for double cropping.

Ideally, sorghum planting should be done by the end of the first week in July. There?s no absolute date, but after that the risk increases that the crop will not mature ahead of a fall freeze.

When double cropping soybeans, again it is recommended to use the same soybean varieties that are used in full-season fields. Soybeans should be in the ground by the first week in July. Drilling is the preferred method of planting because of the savings in soil moisture and for quicker weed control.

Sunflowers should be planted by mid-July at the latest. Planting in wide rows with a planter will allow for more precision down the row and more uniform head size. Again, producers can use the same seeding rates as for full-season sunflowers.

— No Till Field Day July 19. Marion County will host a no-till field day July 19. The event will be held at the Tabor College Cafeteria beginning at 9 a.m.

Program speakers will discuss fertilizer application methods and timing, what works in no-till and no-till rental agreements. A free noon meal will be served.

Meal reservations must be made with the Marion County Extension Office by July 10. Commercial vendors will be available and the afternoon session will feature a tour to a local farm with field visits and demonstrations planned.

— Wheat variety test plot results. Thanks to the cooperation of Ervin Ediger, yield results have been obtained on the Ediger plot located two miles west of Hillsboro.

Plot results are Coronado 40.2 bushels/acre; Dominator 45.5; Enhancer 49; Heyne 40.2; Hondo 34.2; Jagger 57.3; Karl 92 29.8; Mankato 43.4; Onaga 41.5; Pecos 39.5; Trego 34.8; T100 40.2; 2137 44.5; 2174 42.9; Goertzen 12058 39.5.

The plot was planted Oct. 8 and harvested June 22.

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