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Early Harvest of Cool-season Crops Opens Up Double Cropping Possiblities

While double-cropping is nothing new in the southern Sandhills and Piedmont region of North Carolina, and upper Piedmont of South Carolina, some of the choices for cool season crops have changed. Rick Morris, Regional Agronomist with NCDA:

“We have a number of acres of rape that is being grown now. Those acres have probably doubled in the last few years. We have some canola being grown and also a new crop- flax.”

Harvesting of flax, canola and rape seed two to three weeks earlier than winter wheat creates more double-crop possibilities explains Morris:

“Growers are going to be planting soybeans and sorghum and cotton, especially if they can get the flax out early enough they will look at cotton.”

Morris explains that corn futures hitting the skids last week has made the relative stability of cotton prices look more attractive to growers in his region:

“It wouldn’t surprise me to see a few more acres of cotton to go in.”

In fact, Morris explains, those stable cotton prices may open up some sorghum seed for southeastern growers:

“Sorghum seed will be tight this year. But with the interest in cotton there may be some seed that might be freed up.”

Other than getting a late start on corn planting, Morris says growers in his region are looking forward to a good season:

“We are getting some timely rainfall right now but need a bit more. Growers are really ready to the corn in the ground but we still have some more time.”

NCDA Regional Agronomist Rick Morris. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.