Missouri has long been known as a great place to grow soybeans. Two farmers are helping to prove it, growing soybeans that yielded more than 100 bu./are in the Missouri Soybean Association’s (MSA) 14th Annual Yield Contest. Kip Cullers of Purdy, MO, had the top overall yield with 117.1 bu./acre using Pioneer’s 94B73 soybean variety and won the contest’s irrigated category. Charles Hinkebein of Chaffee, MO, won the conventional category with a yield of 109.3 bu./acre using Asgrow’s 4903 soybean variety. Hinkebein also claimed top honors in the No-Till category with a yield of 92.3 bu./acre using Pioneer’s 94M30 soybean variety.
Hinkebein, who becomes only the third farmer on record to grow soybeans yielding more than 100 bu./acre, credits an emphasis on plant health for his high yields. To protect his crop, Hinkebein uses a fungicide, insecticide and herbicide. He also says soil maintenance is important.
“You only get back out what you put into your crop,” Hinkebein says. “I think a good fungicide and insecticide are invaluable. I know I’ve made more back on those investments than what I’ve put in it.”
For Cullers, this marks his third consecutive year in a row producing high-yielding soybeans. He broke the world record for soybean yields with 139.39 bu./acre in 2006 and then beat his own record with 154.7 bu./acre in 2007. Although he didn’t set a new record this year, Cullers was happy to report that his non-contest fields averaged nearly 100 bu./acre.
“We’re seeing really promising yields with Pioneer’s Y-series beans,” Cullers says. “Picking the right varieties for your area is extremely important for yields, but what I’ve learned is just to experiment with my non-contest fields just like I do with my contest fields. Now we’re managing our non-contest beans a lot like our contest beans and they’re yielding better.”
“Kip Cullers and Charles Hinkebein have demonstrated that there is room for significant gains in soybean yields if growers choose the right strategies,” says Dale R. Ludwig executive director/CEO of the MSA. “Reaching these levels continues to support that it’s a new playing field for soybeans, with yields moving dramatically higher. This puts the spotlight on production management practices and the latest genetics.”
The purpose of the MSA yield contest is to encourage farmers to try new practices to produce higher yields. The goal is to identify high-yielding strategies and then share them with growers to use on all soybean acres to increase overall production. All entries are verified by MSA yield contest officials.