Submitted to: Crop Management
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 24, 2009
Publication Date: June 15, 2009
Citation: Sorensen, R.B., Butts, C.L. 2009. Yield, Grade, and Revenue of Double Cropped Green Bean and Sweet Corn with Cotton. Crop Management. DOI:10.1094/CM-2009-0615-02-RS. Interpretive Summary: Double-cropping in the Southeastern US is a common practice with traditional field crops where crops are gown over the winter, harvested in early spring, and a summer crop is planted. Double cropping traditional field crops may work well on larger tracts of land where sprinkler irrigation is available to maintain soil water conditions for maximum yield. Conversely, non-irrigated systems with double cropping can be higher risk and may only be economical when rainfall is adequate. Installing an irrigation system can reduce the risk caused by drought but also increases the cost to produce a crop. The use of drip irrigation and the double cropping of vegetables have been well established. Peanut has been raised in rotation with bell pepper and SC. Subsurface drip irrigation has been used to irrigate SC, winter squash, and cabbage in North Dakota. The double cropping of vegetables with row crops, such as cotton, corn, and peanut, has not been accepted into the row crop community because of special equipment needs or large labor force needed to harvest the crop. It is feasible to double crop vegetable crops with row crops provided there is no overlapping of maturity to planting date for the successive crop. GB and SC can be grown in early spring prior to planting CT and peanut. GB and SC use the same equipment for planting but require specialty equipment or labor for harvest. Research information is needed to identify potential yield, crop quality, irrigation requirements, and economics for double cropping of vegetables in the spring with row crops. The objectives of this research were to: 1) quantify the yield of double cropped GB and SC with CT; and 2) determine the economic revenue of these cropping systems. A SSDI system was installed in the spring of 2000 near Sasser, GA on Tifton loamy sand with 2 to 5% slope. Drip laterals were spaced 3 ft apart, buried 12 inches deep with 12 inches between emitters. Water flow rate was 0.45 gal/min-100 ft of tubing or 0.27 gal/hr-emitter. The irrigation system was automated using an electronic datalogger. The experiment was a randomized complete block design with four GB and SC seeding rates and five CT seeding rates replicated three times. Seeding rates ranged from 1.0 to 8 seeds/ft depending on crop species. Individual plots were 6 ft wide by 120 ft long with actual vegetable yield samples taken from a 6 ft by 10 ft section selected in the middle of each plot. GB and SC were planted following peanut in adjacent sites during the 2002 to 2006 growing seasons. Cotton (CT) was planted as soon as possible following the harvest of SC and GB. Cultivars used were Champ (SC), Bronco, (GB) (Seminis; us.seminis.com), and SG 215 (CT: Delta and Pine Land, www.deltaandpine.com). Crop values used were $32/cwt, $14/cwt, and $0.52/lb for GB, SC, and CT, respectively. GB yields were very good except for 2002. The yields for 2002 were low due to a management decision to harvest early to plant CT. This was a management mistake because the revenue received from the GB far exceeds the revenue received from CT. An average yield of 5076 lbs/ac includes the 2002 and 2005 year. The average gross revenue for GB for all years averaged about $1624/ac. By removing the 2002 (low yield) and 2005 crop failure years from the average, GB had an overall average of 7482 lbs/ac or average revenue of $2394/ac. Sweet corn had consistent yields over the years except for 2005. These yields may have been lower but the corn to cob ratio was 98% indicating that corn kernels formed nearly all the way to the tip of the cob. There were some differences in grade factors measured over the years indicating climatic and management factors can affect yield and grade. Overall average sweet corn yield and gross revenue was 12,708 lbs/ac and $1784/ac, respectively. Taking into account the crop loss during the 2003 growing season re
Technical Abstract: Double cropping green bean, (Phaseolus vulgaris L.; GB) and sweet corn (Zea mays L.; SC) with cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.; CT) can increase the economic return but can also be at risk of crop failure due to inclement weather patterns. The objectives were to: 1) quantify the yield of GB and SC double cropped with CT; and 2) determine the economic revenue of these cropping systems. The experiment was a randomized complete block design with four GB and SC seeding rates and five CT seeding rates replicated three times in 2002 to 2006. There were crop failures of GB and cotton in 2005 and with SC in 2003. The gross return for GB for all seasons averaged $1624/ac. Removing crop failure years from the average, GB had an overall average of 7482 lbs/ac and an average gross revenue of $2394/ac. Overall SC yield average and revenue was 12,708 lbs/ac and $1784/ac, respectively. There was no yield difference with CT when planted following either GB or SC. The average CT yield and revenue for the four years where CT was actually harvested was 612 lbs/ac and $335/ac, respectively. Gross revenue values for GB-CT and SC-CT were $2664/ac and $2120/ac, respectively. Cotton revenue averaged just 14% of the total revenue with either GB or SC double cropping system. This implies that growing vegetables would be much more profitable than growing CT. However, it must be stressed that vegetables have a higher risk factor due to marketing, biological damage, weather, harvest challenges (labor), and storage that must be considered before entering the fresh vegetable market.