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Saturday, January 3, 2015

"What Are Double Crop Beans?"

Happy New Year!

Yes, I'm still stuck in the craziest part of chaos, but the last project comes to an end today!  Can't wait to tell you about it and show you pictures, but that would ruin a BIG surprise.

So I thought I would chat just a bit with you and answer a question I get a lot of times, "What are double crop beans?"

Double crop beans are soy beans planted, usually, on top of a newly cut field of wheat.  We cut wheat right around the 4th of July, so planting beans after that is kind of chancy, but it also gives a farmer two crops off of one piece of ground.  The yield is usually lower than an average field planted at the normal time (end of May through the first couple weeks of June), but it's still a crop worth money. It's like in your garden, your radishes and other first-in-the-ground-veggies are harvested early enough so that you can work up the ground and plant later veggies like more broccoli, cabbage, and even green beans!.

This project is kind of  risky, though, because an early frost will kill the soybeans before they have matured in the bean pod......Then you tell yourself you have a very nice cover crop for next year's soil.  We were fortunate to get our double crop beans in, and they didn't do too bad.  We do, however have an unusual situation on the farm we custom farm in the county south of us.  Those double crop beans are still in the field!   When we were down there finishing up corn in the snow, the beans just weren't ready to be picked.  They were not mature enough, and the ground was very wet, so we left all the equipment down there hoping for three good days to get back down there and cut them.  Good days are bright, sunny, DRY days, and Mother Nature was simply not accommodating when it came to those requirements.

Around December 17 or 18, we finally gave up.  We had to bring back the combine, bean head (also called a platform), and a semi from the field back home to store for the winter.  Tall Guy still has an eye on the weather, but it looks like we will not be picking that last field until spring.

One last bit of information:  "Custom farming" is what we call farming ground for someone else.  We use our equipment to plant and harvest, and the farmer helps us out with our ground/planting/harvest work and/or his, and that figures in to the final bill.  It's not like cash rent where we do it all.  I really like this arrangement because when Farmer Tim comes up and helps us, that puts four of us in the field and ramps up our job efficiency!

More pictures and crazy stories from the farm coming soon, but I need to scoot off and get ready for today's  BIG SURPRISE !!


  1. I learned something new! :) I had no idea what double crop beans were. Sorry that your last crop didn't quite work out. I'm sure that's so frustrating!

    1. Jessica, There will still be beans to cut in the spring, but there will be a bit of loss. Regular beans yield around 60 bushel to the acre on average. Double crop are usually half that at most. It's just of the butter on our biscuit.



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