What is in this article?:
- New Oil Fields | Industrial Oil Crops for the Northern Corn Belt are on the Horizon
- Winter camelina
- Double crop camelina + soybean
Double crop camelina + soybean
Winter camelina’s short life cycle makes it a good choice for double cropping with soybeans.
In the Midwest, winter camelina produces about 63 gal./acre of oil. Double cropping with soybeans boosts total oil production to around 110 gal./acre, Gesch says. “This looks very promising in terms of economics.”
In a double cropping system, winter camelina would be seeded in late fall, following soybean or corn harvest. The plants emerge in very early spring and are ready for harvest in mid-June. After harvesting, you could plant a short-maturity soybean variety or another crop such as sunflower or millet.
But more promising, Gesch says, is interseeding soybeans between the rows of camelina in May. Fast-growing camelina quickly overtops the soybean plants, allowing the camelina to be harvested without damaging the young soybean plants. The combine runs on the camelina stubble. “Total oil yield exceeds either crop alone,” Gesch says.
The plant: Winter camelina produces seeds primarily at the top of the plant, allowing harvest over the top of young soybean plants.
Production: Camelina seeded in late fall; no-till soybeans seeded between camelina rows in spring; glyphosate application in early June to dry down camelina; camelina harvested mid-June; soybeans harvested as usual.
Yields: In Midwest,1,200-lb./acre winter camelina, plus 35-bu./acre soybeans.
In a corn-soybean rotation: Doubles the amount of oil per acre, compared to soybeans alone.