Mississippi should produce its highest average soybean yield ever on a crop that was planted earlier than ever.

“This is the best crop per-acre average on record,” says Alan Blaine, soybean specialist with Mississippi State University. “Early planting got the crop off to a good start, we had a near-perfect growing season and we avoided late-season dry weather.”

While there were areas of extremes with as few as 20 bu./acre, other producers “made yields they've only dreamed of,” Blaine says.

The USDA predicted a 39-bu. average yield for the state. Blaine, however, is predicting the final figures to be more like 40-41 bu./acre on average. The state's average per-acre yield is about 30 bu.

“I don't think people have a real handle on what the early planting and early maturing varieties have meant to the South,” Blaine says.

By May 14, 83% of Mississippi's crop was in the ground. Harvest began about Aug. 10, and by the end of October about 98% had been harvested.

Blaine says the growing season was nearly perfect except for heavy rain in mid-June. Because of this, Mississippi is experiencing high production, as are the rest of the soybean-growing states.