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Missouri producer sets soybean yield record

Kip Cullers, Purdy, Mo., has established a new world soybean production record.

Averaging 139.39 bushels per acre, Cullers is the winner of the conventional category of the 2006 Missouri Soybean Association yield contest.

He accomplished the yield 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,” said Dale R. Ludwig, MSA executive director/CEO. “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 per plant.

2006 was the first year Cullers had 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 bushels per acre.

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

Cullers' attention to detail and proactive management style helped him achieve the 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.”

Cullers co-owns and operates a diversified farm, K&K Farms, located southeast of Joplin, Mo. Cullers has been involved in farming for more than 20 years, owning or managing farms in Newton and Barry counties in Missouri.

He manages more than 5,000 acres of corn, soybeans, green beans and greens — spinach, collard, kale, mustard and turnips. The farming operation is located in Missouri's fertile Newtonia red soil.

K&K Farms also includes beef, hay and poultry. Cullers and his wife, Michelle, have two sons, Noah and Naaman.

MSA is a membership organization comprised of more than 1,700 farmers from across the state.

The purpose of MSA is to communicate challenges facing farmers and rural Missouri to legislators at both the state and national level to increase profitability for Missouri soybean farmers.

MSA is directed by a volunteer board of 16 farmer leaders.

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