SOYBEAN YIELD CHALLENGE ALMOST COMPLETE
AS SOYBEAN HARVEST heads into full swing, excitement over the Soybean Yield Challenge is heating up. The challenge is in its second year and has been met with great enthusiasm. Participation from 75 farmers this year is up over the inaugural year of the challenge which saw 45 participants.
The rules are fairly simple, grow soybeans, weigh them in the field at harvest and submit your data. Entrants can grow either conventional or GM soybeans but the seed must be certified and the field must be a minimum of 10 acres.
Winners and two runners up are chosen for three different zones, determined by crop heat units.
Dan Shantz, winner in zone one from last year and entrant in this year’s challenge, anticipates lower yields compared to his winning yield of 69 bushels per acre last year. “I think it has something to do with the cool nights,” he says. Although his beans are taller than last year he worries there aren’t as many pods, especially at the bottom of the plant.
Despite the trials of this year’s growing season, Shantz is still positive his management practices will provide good yields.
“The most important thing you can do is making sure you put the seed in the ground right,” says Shantz of his management techniques. Proper depth and making sure seeds are well packed and covered are important factors to ensure growth starts off right.
Stay tuned for information about the 2009 Soybean Yield Challenge winners. •