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Winners awarded prizes for high-yielding soybeans.

Whitney Haigwood, Staff Writer

February 26, 2024

5 Min Read
Rows of soybeans in a field at midseason, not yet to canopy.
In 2023, there were 79 entries in the Go for the Green Soybean Challenge. Of those, 48 finalists submitted harvest yield reports – with 45% achieving 90 bushels per acre or higher.Whitney Haigwood

At a Glance

  • Of the 2023 Arkansas Go for the Green Soybean entries, 45% achieved yields of 90 bushels per acre or greater.
  • Two soybean yield contestants broke 100 bushels, landing them a spot in the 100-bushel club.
  • All Grow for the Green entrants share their production practices and methods in their harvest reporting.

Arkansas soybean farmers were honored for their winning yields in the Go for the Green Soybean Challenge, Feb. 6, 2024, at the 60th annual meeting of the Arkansas Soybean Association.  

Jeremy Ross, Extension soybean agronomist at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said there were 79 entries in 2023, with 48 of those submitting harvest reports for the competition. He reported that 22 of the 48 finalists, or 45%, achieved soybean yields of 90 bushels or greater. 

“If you look at the overall trend on averages this past year, they were up compared to 2022. I think that is reflective of the environmental conditions we had in 2022,” Ross said. 

“The state average this year is a new state record of 54 bushels per acre. The state average typically reflects the averages we see in the Grow for the Green, and we were up in 2023 compared to 2022. 

Ross announced the top three finalists in each division, noting not every division had three entrants. 

“I highly recommend if you are in one of these areas where there are only one or two winners, next year you may think about throwing your field into the race, because there is still money left on the table,” Ross encouraged. 

Regional Division Finalists 

Plaques and prizes were presented to winners by Arkansas Soybean Association President Derek Helms and Executive Director Dawn Howe. 

Related:Arkansas Cooperative Extension announces irrigation contest winners

Division One (Northeast Delta) 

  • 102.424 bushels per acre, Jeff Wells, Greene County

  • 96.094 bushels per acre, Casey Hook, Craighead County

  • 94.332 bushels per acre, Roger Reddick, Greene County

Division Two (Northeast) 

  • 101.611 bushels per acre, Mark Williams, Clay County

  • 94.635 bushels per acre, Adam Fisher, Cross County

  • 91.136 bushels per acre, Nick Ragsdell, Randolph County

Division Three (White River Basin) 

  • 93.011 bushels per acre, Richard Walker, Jackson County

  • 81.573 bushels per acre, Isaac Davis, Independence County

  • 81.289 bushels per acre, Terry Fuller, Monroe County

Division Four (Central and Grand Prairie) 

  • 96.282 bushels per acre, David Strohl, Prairie County

  • 93.224 bushels per acre, Taylor Burdett, Arkansas County

Division Five (East Central Delta) 

  • 99.365 bushels per acre, Allen Culp, Phillips County

  • 95.928 bushels per acre, Blake Culp, Phillips County

  • 90.614 bushels per acre, Parker Rohrscheib, Phillips County

Division Six (Southeast Delta) 

  • 85.521 bushels per acre, John Allen McGraw, Lincoln County

Division Seven (Western) 

  • 92.256 bushels per acre, Blake and Chris Mans, Yell County

  • 86.333 bushels per acre, Ronnie Cross, Yell County

  • 82.277 bushels per acre, Justin Crow, Pope County

Division Eight (Conventional) 

  • 87.153 bushels per acre, Dennis Stephens, Cross County

  • 82.585 bushels per acre, Riley Stephens, Cross County

New additions to the 100-bushel club 

The 100 Bushel Club was established as part of the soybean challenge in 2013, when three participants broke the 100-bushel barrier. Since then, a total of 35 Arkansas soybean growers have reached that level of production – including two farmers exceeding 100 bushels in 2023. 

The newest 100 Bushel Club inductees were life-long farmers, Jeff Wells and Mark Williams. 

Split screen of two award winners. Each man is holding two plaques, with a room full of people in the background.

Wells grows soybeans and corn outside of Paragould, in Greene County. He has entered the yield competition before, taking top honors in the Northeast Division in 2022. Prior to that, his father won in the same division in 2020 and 2021, making this the fourth consecutive district win for the family farm. 

Regarding production, Wells did nothing different in 2023. “Like I always say, there are three things that have got to be good. The good Lord, of course he’s always good, the good weather, and good dirt. That is what it is all about,” Wells said with a big smile. 

For Williams, it was his first-ever Go for the Green entry. Williams grows rice and soybeans in Clay County near the McDougal area.  

“This was our first time to enter. We had made over 100 bushels before and decided to go ahead and enter. The year before last, we actually made better than we did this time,” Williams reported.  

Outside of standard production practices, Williams noted no extraordinary measures on the winning field. He said, “We cut back on our phosphorus and potassium and used chicken litter. We used fungicides and farmed it like we normally do.”  

Once a winner breaks the 100-bushel barrier, their future entries are moved into the Champion of Champions category. Ross said these growers are encouraged to enter their yields, even if they do not anticipate breaking 100 bushels. 

In 2023, Tim Fisher of Cross County broke 100 bushels for the second time in the Champion of Champions division, coming in at 102.090 bushels per acre. 

Also breaking 100 bushels in 2023 were Layne Miles and Matt Miles, achieving the highest overall yields at 115.270 and 110.722 bushels per acre, respectively. While their entries did not make the deadline for cash prizes, they were allowed to submit their yields. This marks the nineth year for Matt Miles to break 100 bushels. 

Gathering top agronomic information 

All Grow for the Green entrants share their production practices and methods in their harvest reporting. Agronomic information from these reports like varieties, planting dates, seeding rates, and application timings can be found on the Arkansas Soybean Promotion website at

Ross congratulated the winners and thanked the many involved in the success of the soybean yield competition. He said, “I want to give a big thank you to Dawn Howe for managing this and keeping everyone on schedule.” 

He also expressed appreciation to Arkansas Cooperative Extension county agents responsible for field judging. “I know this is a big job. It takes several days for all these entries during an especially busy time of the year,” Ross acknowledged. 

Finally, Ross thanked the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board for funding the Grow for the Green Soybean Yield Challenge. 

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