Farmers throughout the Corn Belt may want to consider diversifying traditional corn and soybean rotations to increase agronomic sustainability and to spread financial risks associated with low market prices of corn and soybean. An alternative is a more diverse crop rotation using field pea (short-season grain crop) followed by cover crops, forages, or short-season crops (Figure 1).
This one-year study of soybean production in west central Nebraska looked at how adjustments in cropping practices affected various components of crop yield, showing possible areas where changes could increase profitability.
To learn about getting started with pulse crops or how to enhance your existing pulse production, don’t miss the 2019 Nebraska Pulse Crops Expo January 7 in Kearney. The program is free but registrations are needed by Jan. 2.
Research conducted at Grant found that spring tillage prior to planting caused faster germination and better yield of field peas and chickpeas as compared to no-till during the above-average wet and cool 2018 growing conditions.
A research project in eastern Nebraska is evaluating a double crop production system as a potential alternative to the traditional corn/soybean rotation. Following an early season crop of yellow field peas, short-season crops (corn, soybean, grain sorghum, millet and sunflower) and annual forages (forage sorghum and sorghum-Sudangrass) were planted.
While continuous corn is the most common cropping sequence in southwest Nebraska, adding soybeans to a rotation could help break pest cycles. On-farm research comparing 15- and 30-inch soybean row spacing found increased yields of 4-12 bu/ac with an average 7 bu/ac increase with 15-inch rows.