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Leaving stubble on fields reduces erosion

Whether it’s stubble from harvest last fall or this summer, leaving stalks in the field helps farmers using conservation tillage systems.

Planning and selection make double cropping possible

Farmers sometimes plant wheat in the fall. After harvesting that crop in early summer, farmers can plant soybeans directly into the stubble left behind. Wheat and soybeans work well in this system and farmers are careful to select the right varieties.

planned rows of soybean crops


Planting winter wheat to harvest in early summer ahead of planting soybeans is the most traditional double-crop system in Missouri. Other crops that have been explored include canola with soybeans.


Farmers select an early crop variety that matures in time to be harvested in the early summer. When following with soybeans, the soybean variety is usually one with a medium length growing season so they mature before frost becomes a threat.


The timing for double-cropping is critical. The first crop is planted in the fall. It then emerges, remaining dormant through the winter. Growth resumes early in the spring when temperatures become warmer. Shortly after harvesting the first crop in early summer, the second crop goes into the ground.

Stubble from last year’s soybeans or this year’s wheat improves the field for another crop

Helps with pest and weed control

An early season cover, such as cereal rye, helps with early season weed control in soybeans by providing a mulch to prevent weed germination. By not planting the same crop back to back, pest infestations can be reduced.