Kip Cullers, Purdy, MO, has established a new world soybean production record. Averaging 139.39 bu./acre, Cullers is the winner of the conventional category of the 2006 Missouri Soybean Association (MSA) yield contest. He accomplished this by planting Pioneer soybean variety 94M80 on an irrigated and conventionally tilled field.

“The exciting thing about this world record is that it points out how the yield capacity for soybeans is dramatically higher than most people believe,” says Dale R. Ludwig, MSA executive director/CEO. “Therefore, this causes us to pay greater attention to capturing higher yields by focusing on every aspect of production management.”

Cullers utilized BASF Headline fungicide and Syngenta Warrior insecticide on his soybeans during the growing season as instructed on the product labels.

The record-setting yield was harvested Oct. 7, 2006. Cullers' weigh check was witnessed and verified by a third-party, MSA-approved official. The award-winning crop was grown in a sandy loam soil in Newton County near Stark City, MO. The seed populations used on the field were close to 300,000 with about 245,000 plants in the final stand. The soybean plants averaged approximately 120 pods/plant.

This is the first year Cullers has entered the MSA soybean yield contest. Last year, he posted the second-highest corn yield in the nation in the National Corn Growers Association yield contest with 345.95 bu./acre.

There is currently no national soybean yield contest; but according to past USDA records, no soybean yield has ever come close to Cullers' yield of 139 bu./acre.

Cullers' attention to detail and proactive management style helped him achieve this yield. He monitors his fields closely to check for production challenges, such as disease and insects. He says a good fungicide program is critical to growing quality crops, as are good genetics.

“During two decades of farming, I've come to realize that starting with great yield potential through good genetics is key,” says Cullers. “We build from there by making sure our plant populations are in the right range for our rich, red soils.”