A number of growers in the Upper Southeast made the decision last fall to increase wheat acres, planning to double-crop wheat with soybeans.

Wheat at the time was selling in the $7-$8 per bushel range and soybeans were $13-$14 per bushel.

What was a good plan back in October is turning out to be major challenge for many growers, as record May and June rainfall in some parts of the Upper Southeast extended into July.

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North Carolina seems to be the hardest hit by the unusual weather pattern, but wheat harvest and soybean planting has been delayed throughout the Southeast.

Historically, wheat planted for a double-crop with soybeans is harvested in mid- to late-May. In most years, like 2012, virtually all the wheat in the Carolinas and Virginia is harvested by mid-June. Hence, all the double-crop beans are typically planted by that time, or shortly later.

This year in North Carolina, Dan Weathington, executive director of the North Carolina Small Grain Growers Association, says as late as July 1 more than 300,000 acres of wheat was left to be harvested and by mid-July as much as 150,000 acres remained to be combined.

 

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Needless to say, the negative impact on wheat production has been dramatic. However, the impact on the following soybean crop may prove to be worse, with many growers throughout the Upper Southeast struggling to find enough dry ground to plant double-crop soybeans.

In North Carolina, which annually produces about 1.5 million acres of soybeans, North Carolina State Soybean Specialist Jim Dunphy says, “It gets iffy whether even double-crop soybeans will be profitable after July 10 or so.