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While doublecropping has long been an option for no-tillers located in the South and southern Corn Belt, it’s an option their northern counterparts have not been able to enjoy.
Yet that could soon change with the introduction of a relay intercropping system that will let farmers in the mid- to northern climates no-till soybeans and wheat in the same field.
Having undergone 3 years of on-farm evaluations, the system relies on the Intellicoat polymer for soybeans that’s been developed by Landec Ag, Inc. of Monticello, Ind. Reacting to certain environmental conditions, this polymer seed coating technology controls the timing of soybean germination. This allows no-tillers to grow soybeans and wheat at the same time in one field.
These soybeans are typically no-tilled at a rate of 200,000 seeds per acre some 45 to 50 days prior to the projected wheat harvest. Since the seed coating delays germination, the soybeans are relatively small and suffer little damage as the wheat is harvested.
Claude Butt, a Landec Ag senior agronomist, says the polymer-coated soybean slowly takes on moisture over time. Once the appropriate number of heat units have accumulated in the environment of the seed, soybean germination begins and the seedling is protected from soil pathogens by an attached fungicide. The polymer’s germination delay can be adjusted for a pre-determined number of days.
Since polymer-coated soybeans won’t emerge for about 25 days with current product formulations, no-tillers can interplant this coated soybean seed in early May, when the wheat…