Submitted to: Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/14/2011
Publication Date: 9/14/2011
Citation: Gesch, R.W. 2011. Double-cropping camelina and soybean in the northern Corn Belt [abstract]. The Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops. Available: http://www.aaic.org/11program.htm.
Technical Abstract: Growing camelina as a winter annual crop provides potential economic and environmental benefits that may make producing this relatively new industrial oilseed crop attractive to farmers. Previous research showed that winter camelina in the northern Corn Belt can be harvested early enough to allow producing a second crop in the same season. Soybean serves well as a second crop following camelina. However, further work is needed to develop this cropping system to optimize yields of both crops to improve economic returns. Another issue of double-cropping is seasonal water use. The objectives of the following study were to determine the best method of double-cropping (DC) soybean and winter camelina in west central Minnesota that improves yields while reducing inputs and to compare seasonal crop water use. DC treatments included sequentially following camelina with an early maturing soybean (MG 00) and inter-seeding a full-season soybean (MG I) into camelina (relay-cropping) early in the spring. Swathing and herbicide treatment of camelina were also evaluated as methods to hasten camelina harvest. Total crop water use was assessed in all treatments including full-season mono-cropped soybean. Camelina seed yields ranged from 1106 to 1393 kg ha-1 among treatments, but were not significantly different, and oil content ranged from 40 to 42% (wt wt-1). Moreover, camelina provided good weed suppression throughout the early growing season. Soybean yields ranged from 1765 kg ha-1 (26.5 bu acre-1) for sequential double-cropping to 2764 kg ha-1 (41.5 bu acre-1) for relay-cropping. As expected, crop water use was higher for the DC treatments, but not greatly different than a full-season soybean crop. Results indicate that a winter camelina-soybean double-cropping system is feasible for the Corn Belt region and may be a sustainable means of producing biofuel feedstock without sacrificing food/feed production.