Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Intercropping pecans with soybeans

    Yesterday we spent the day preparing the soil and planting a soybean crop within our double row pecan orchard (photo at right). We established this pecan orchard back in the fall of 2002 and have raised soybeans, wheat, or oats between the trees since that time. 
   The double row system was designed to put tree care first. It features a grass alley way between each double row of pecan trees to allow easy access to the trees all season long.

    In this photo taken a few years ago, you can see recently grafted trees, an oat intercrop, and the grass alley between the double pecan rows The pecan trees are planted 40 ft apart within each row. Trees in adjacent rows are offset so that the distance between the double row is 22.5 feet and trees are 30 feet apart on the diagonal. The space between each set of double rows allows at least 50 feet for grain crop production.