Skyrocketing soybean prices at points over the past two months may leave you attempting to devise any way possible to raise more soybeans and maximize the total number of bushels you will have available to sell this fall or next winter. One option for those where the growing season is long enough and where Mother Nature tends to cooperate is double-crop soybeans. It may be especially attractive this year if prices remain high or if you forward contract soybeans, including some on double-crop acres. And it may tempt those thought to live too far north to try it to flirt with the notion of planting doublecrop soybeans in '08.
If you decide to doublecrop soybeans after wheat, can you insure the soybean crop? Generally, the answer is yes, experts say, as long as you live in a part of Indiana where the practice is considered as accepted.
"There are rates set in federal crop insurance policies for double-crop soybeans," says Jim Rink, director of farm and crop insurance for Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance. But typically you can only sign up for the practice through crop insurance in counties where it's considered as a normal farming practice. That means if you live in Knox or Gibson County, where doublecropping soybeans after wheat is a way of life on almost every farm, there's no question that you can insure your crop of doublecrop soybeans with federal crop insurance (assuming you plant them by a specified date.) By the same token, if you live in Newton County or Allen County, well within northern Indiana, you wouldn't be able to sign up for coverage if by some strange reason, you should elect to try doublecrop soybeans. That areas is simply considered far north to get soybeans planted in time and give them a reasonable chance to mature and produce acceptable yields, consultants say.
In fact, Jack Wagster of Top Land Risk Management, Seymour, says that if you live in areas where the practice is accepted, roughly south of U.S. Highway 40 that dissects Indiana running east and west, you must take out coverage on any double-crop soybeans if you're also applying for coverage on first crop soybeans.
There are cut-off dates associated with planting doublecrop soybeans in the crop insurance world, Rink says. In most cases, you must have soybeans after wheat planted by a certain date specified for your area for coverage to be valid. That rules out much of northern Indian, because the cut-off date is generally before most folks could get beans planted after wheat there, even if they were willing to try the practice that far north.
This series is independently produced by Indiana Prairie Farmer and brought to you through the support of Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance.