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With a push by the Biden administration to expand double-cropped acres by 100% over the next 8 years, you can bet most of this anticipated increase will be no-tilled. After all, farmers have long recognized no-till makes the most economic, cost-cutting and environmental sense when double-cropping wheat and soybeans.
In a mid-May visit to the farm of Jeff and Eugenia O’Connor in Kankakee, Ill., President Biden called for an expansion of double-cropped acres to fill part of the gap in global food supplies created by the war in Ukraine. This means expanding our 12-15 million acres currently being double-cropped to 30 million acres by 2030.
Located 60 miles south of Chicago, the O’Connor’s have harvested 80-bushel double-cropped soybeans after wheat in an area well north of where this double-crop combination has been most popular.
With Biden’s plan, USDA is offering a reduction of $10 per acre in double-cropping insurance premiums in nearly two-thirds of all U.S. countries to encourage more wheat and soybean production.
The President earlier this spring had asked Congress to provide a $10-per-acre direct payment to growers who plant soybeans after winter wheat in 2023. When that plan didn’t gain momentum, a shift was made to reduce crop insurance premiums by $10 per acre for double-cropped ground.
However, University of Illinois ag economists indicate USDA’s $10 per-acre crop insurance premium reduction with double-cropping will have limited impact on wheat and soybean acres.
Even so, there are major benefits to…