Monday, October 27, 2014

Continuous Soybeans

"Greg Anderson follows a soybean production practice that might, in some people's view, fall into the category of, “Don't try this at home.”
He will be planting his 19th continuous soybean crop this spring on his dryland farm near Newman Grove in northeast Nebraska. Ninety-five percent of his row-crop acres are in continuous soybeans.
“I'll be the first to say that it's not for everybody,” says Anderson, immediate-past chairman of the United Soybean Board and dedicated promoter of the crop.
But it's economic rationale, not unchecked enthusiasm for soybeans, that keeps him planting them year after year. “If we get 45 bu./acre or better, we're competing with anything I could do with corn — and certainly this season with high fertilizer and diesel fuel costs,” he says.
He lists several other economic factors that favor continuous soybeans over a corn-soybean rotation on his farm:
  • No dryer and drying costs, which corn requires most years.
  • Less trucking volume vs. corn.
  • No corn head to own.
  • No special planting equipment"
My area is known for continuous soybeans.  I know many farmers who have made a livelihood growing soybeans every year.
Soybean Cyst Nematode is the biggest threat to reducing profitability and Phytopthora root rot is not far behind.
Like the article says, it is not for everyone but many farmers make it work.
Until these fertilizer prices compared to corn and wheat prices adjust, I expect to see more continuous soybeans.
Weed control is my concern.
How about your area?


  1. No soybeans grown here (that I know of) but continuous anything has always been considered poor farming practice and just asking for disease problems. Canola was always recommended to leave three years between crops although many have "pushed" that rotation due to better canola prices. We have huge disease problems in wheat too this year and I don't know anybody that grows wheat on wheat. I'm hearing of fusarium and vomitixin levels in this year's wheat crop that render it unfit for anything other than heating fuel. (in other words, burn it) Maybe I should try it?

  2. I know Ralph, it is considered a poor farming practice to me, too.

    We cannot grow wheat on wheat but we can grow corn on corn.

    I see all of these fellows who grow good soybean crops after good soybean crops and I have to wonder.