Market News & Headlines >> Brock Consultant Katie Hancock's Blog: Second-Guessing Double Crop Plans

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Insights from Brock Associates Consultant Katie Hancock

The Sept. 11 Brock Report detailed the decline in the wheat market. Supplies are abundant around the world, the U.S. dollar is firm, and U.S. wheat exports are limited. Winter wheat planting is rotated behind corn acres; however 2016 shows negative implications for double cropping wheat and beans. 

I reach this conclusion by looking at my own farm’s budgets along with estimates by Greg Halich of the University of Kentucky’s Agricultural Economics department. Greg found net profit for full-season soybeans to be favorable over double cropping winter wheat and soybeans.

Differences in double cropping included lower soybean yields with additional costs such as fuel, machinery, labor, and inputs. Unfortunately, both rotation options showed a loss, and sometimes you have to choose the lesser of the two evils. 

Budgets vary farm to farm—especially for land rent. That’s why this is a time to sit down and consider the rotation you will have in 2016. Due to my budget estimates, this October my farm will cut winter wheat acres in half compared to an average rotation.

ARC and PLC Farm Bill programs on base acres will improve these expectations, but even the best case-scenario would incur losses. 2016 may prove to be a challenging year and we have to make choices accordingly. Look at your rotation—especially for double cropping wheat and soybeans. Making decisions based on habit may cost you dearly.

Email Katie at [email protected]