Winning yield tops 75 bushels

SOYBEAN YIELD CHALLENGE WINNERS RECEIVE ACCOLADES

The results are in from the second annual Soybean Yield Challenge. Three finalists were announced from three provincial soybean maturity zones, for a total of nine winners.

“The challenge has been met with great enthusiasm,” says Dale Petrie, Director of Strategic Development and Innovation at GFO. “We had 75 farmers enter the competition this year, which is up from the 41 participants last year.” Of the 75 challenge entrants, only 34 completed the competition. Weather in the fall made it difficult for some farmers to complete the necessary weighing at harvest therefore making them ineligible for the competition. Others made the decision to forego the competition as a challenging season resulted in yields that may not have been as good as anticipated in the spring.

“Considering the challenges of this growing season, we were very pleased with the number of original entrants and final participants,” says Petrie.

Although some areas experienced less than ideal weather this year, the yields of participants did not appear to suffer. “The top yield is over 75 bushels per acre, three bushels more than the top yield last year,” says Crosby Devitt, Manager of Research and Innovation with GFO.

The average yield of all participants was just over 53 bushels per acre and the split between conventional and Roundup Ready soybeans was nearly 50/50. This average was a full 12 bushels higher than the expected provincial average of 40 bushels per acre.

“One interesting point I found when analyzing the data from the participants was the number of varieties that had high average yield indices reported in the 2009 Soybean Performance Trials report. Almost all of the varieties from the 34 entries were published in the trials and the average yield index was 105.2. This shows that the farmers saw selection of the right variety as a crucial factor,” says Devitt.

Both John Nanne and Don Rickard, winners in zone one and zone two respectively, attribute their yield partially to choosing the right variety. “I think choosing the right variety has a big role to play in yield. We planted NK-S05-T6. I knew this one particular variety did well on our farm,” says Nanne. He was a runner up in the competition last year with the same variety.

Rickard had success with Hyland Seed variety Colby, on his farm. He humbly attributes his success to the weather and the variety. “We didn’t do anything over and above our regular management programs to achieve those yields,” says Rickard. “It was a very unique year. I think we had a great September for weather which extended the growing season.” He postulates that a longer growing season is more beneficial than a short one given the same amount of heat units.

The 2009 GFO Soybean Yield Challenge winners are:

zone 1 – 2700 chu and under 
Winner:   John Nanne, Pakenham - 66.1 bushels per acre

1st Runner Up:  Hans Steen, Staffa - 57.3 bushels per acre

2nd Runner Up: Dan Shantz, Petersburg - 55.7 bushels per acre

zone 2 – 2725 chu to 3000 chu
Winner:   Ceresmore Farms Ltd., Bowmanville, c/o Donald Rickard - 59.9 bushels per acre

1st Runner Up:   Jim Williams, Bradford - 57.8 bushels per acre

2nd Runner Up:  Robert Hodgins, Lucan - 57.4 bushels per acre

zone 3 – 3025 chu and above
Winner:   Clayton Crow,  Dover Centre - 75.7 bushels per acre

1st Runner Up:   Mailloux Farms Ltd., c/o Josh Mailloux, Amherstburg - 63.9 bushels per acre

2nd Runner Up:   Wayne Paling, Dresden - 60.7 bushels per acre. •