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© 1991, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


This publication covers crop variety selection, weed control, and other cultural practices for relay intercropping a crop like soybeans into growing winter wheat or oats.

Multiple cropping refers to growing two crops on the same field during the same year. One method of multiple cropping is doublecropping, which is the growing of a second crop after harvest of the first crop. In Nebraska, where opportunities for doublecropping are limited, relay intercropping is a possible alternative.

In relay intercropping, two crops are in the field at the same time during part of the season. A small grain is usually relay intercropped with a summer row crop. For example, the small grain is planted at the normal time _ September for winter wheat or early spring for oats or barley. Then soybeans or another row crop is no-till planted into the first crop to minimize damage to the small grain by wheel and planter traffic. The relay intercrop will be well established when the small grain is ready for harvest. This may result in higher grain yield than with conventional doublecropping. However, relay intercropping requires more careful management than most crop production systems. Any grower trying relay intercropping for the first time should do so on a limited scale.