What is Double Cropping?


If you are a farmer with limited space, you may wonder how you will ever increase your production and/or your profits. Today, there are many multi-crop strategies brewing to make this better, of which the most common is double cropping.

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Double cropping is a way to double (or increase) the amount of produce you grow without increasing the size of your acreage. The most common crop to double crop is wheat, with soybeans being the next most popular crop to be double-cropped. In other words, once you harvest one crop, you immediately plant another in the same soil.

What are the Benefits of Double Cropping?

Double cropping has a variety of benefits including:

  • You may prevent soil erosion by using the soil year round rather than keeping certain areas open for only specific crops
  • You can spread the cost of the land over the various crops, giving you a greater return on your investment per acre
  • You can sell a larger yield of crops
  • You may decrease the risk of pest and disease on your acreage

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Tips to Make Double Cropping Successful

Timing and weather are two of the most important factors in the success of double cropping. While you can’t control the weather, you can control your timing. Pay close attention to the harvest dates of the first crop (typically wheat) and time the next crop (typically soybeans) right afterwards to get the greatest yield.

Other tips for double cropping include:

  • Make sure to manage the residue during the wheat harvest to protect the integrity of the soybeans
  • Choose soybeans with a later harvest date to ensure that you have enough time before the first frost to harvest the soybeans
  • Try to control the pests and potential disease to your acreage to ensure that you don’t lose both crops

Double cropping is a fragile process that if it works, can be very profitable. Understanding the ins and doubts of the process and timing it perfectly is the best way to have a great outcome.

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