How We Feed Soybeans

Harvest 2012 concluded a few weeks ago. We chopped all of our corn, so soybeans were the only crop left to combine. We don’t plant very many soybeans because we can’t feed them. In fact, they’re the only crop we sell. It’s too hard on the soil to plant corn in every field every year. The two fields that were planted with soybeans this year were planted in corn for the previous two years.

One of the fields also had rye on it in between that we chopped this spring. Soybeans are a good choice for double cropping after a winter crop (like wheat or rye) because their growing season is shorter than corn, and they use different nutrients, so they give the soil a break without requiring any fertilizer.

Because we were short on corn, at times we wondered if we should have planted a crop like milo that we could feed to the cows or calves. The beans did reasonably well for a severe drought, though, and the income from selling them will be used to buy dairy quality alfalfa hay to feed the cows over the next several months. I guess indirectly all of our acres, even the soybeans, were used for feed.

Our first load of dairy quality alfalfa from Western Kansas.

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