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INTERCROPPING


augercreek
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Do any of you follow the farming shows on RFD channel? They talk a lot about intercropping corn and beans. When you plant four rows of corn and then four rows of beans next to the corn how do you harvest these crops? Four row combines or what? How about the spraying of these crops? According to them they get better yields by doing the intercropping way.

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I saw one field planted that way this year. It was 8 rows each. I assumed that they had an eight row combine. 

This style of planting has been discussed for decades, but I don't think it is widely used. We always thought that the outside rows was the poorest yielding. This was probably due to compaction, drainage, competition from trees etc. Not sure if I would want a field full of outside rows. 

The outside row or two were definitely shorter than the middle 4 rows in the field I saw this summer. I don't know anything about the yield. 

I would think that GPS would make planting much easier today. Otherwise,  yes a pita. 

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It was talked about a lot here back when RR corn and beans was still relatively new and Roundup worked really well. That isn’t the case anymore and using a lot of different chemistries for chemicals is necessary now. I have heard about it still being used in places where resistant weed pressure isn’t a problem. If you could get by with just a post emerge pass of roundup, and both crops were tolerant, I can see how it would work. I think it would cause some mild headaches logistically and I’m not sure there is enough, or any, benefit to justify it. 

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As others have said it's been talked about for years, I've always heard of it as strip cropping.  I guess I can see how there would be some yield advantage, especially for the corn as you would have more sunlight available.  However I would think the problems with drift from herbicides and the hassle logistically would far out-weight the small yield benefit.

Before we did all no-till we did a little strip cropping with alfalfa and corn/soybean row crops on 1 farm that has a portion that is very highly erodible.  The strips of alfalfa followed the contour and were strictly for erosion control, not for yield benefit.

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2 hours ago, DT Fan said:

And watch the waterhemp flourish in this part of the country.

Marestail here. 

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6 hours ago, Matt Kirsch said:

Roundup ready corn. Roundup ready beans. Spray with roundup. Done.

Roundup isn't very effective anymore round here. Pigweeds are completely resistant. I've even got glyphosate resistant grasses...

Enlist beans and milo might work...

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A good friend of mine started doing it in 8 row strips 3 or 4 years ago, they used liberty corn and soybeans. They even tried different hybrids of corn in the outside 4 rows vs the middle 4, claimed a huge yield bump on the corn but I never saw any data. Imo there is a yield drag with liberty hybrids, especially in soybeans. I think what you might gain on the corn you will lose on the soybeans. You also can't plant corn in the endrows because around here the beans are ready first. By the time they were done making all the trips spraying herbicide, sidedressing the corn and spraying fungicide on both crops at different times the endrows were pretty much destroyed. Leaves falling off the corn made harvesting the beans a challenge because the head would push them and plug up. Crop rotation also becomes a problem too, roundup has become all but useless around here. I didn't hear anything about strips this year so maybe they gave up.

 

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7 hours ago, Big Bud guy said:

Around here neighbors are experimenting seeding flax and peas together or a brassica crop and a pulse crop.  Suppose to reduce inputs mainly fertilizer.  

I've heard of peas and canola but not really much at all of it being done. Supposedly works really good. 

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12 hours ago, db1486 said:

I've heard of peas and canola but not really much at all of it being done

I have one neighbor who tried that combo.  From what I’ve seen but I don’t know if you gain anything.  Still have run everything through a cleaner  

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