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Kansas soybean growers recognize contest winners

Yield and value contest winners were honored at the Kansas Soybean Expo on Jan. 10.

Jennifer M. Latzke

January 18, 2024

3 Min Read
YIELD CONTEST: Kansas soybean farmers overcame challenges during the 2023 growing season to take home yield and value contest honors Jan. 10. Jennifer M. Latzke

The annual Kansas Soybean Expo on Jan. 10 brought farmers together from across the state to hear speakers and see their colleagues recognized for outstanding yield achievements.

Former U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., was the featured speaker for the luncheon. He was also recognized by the Kansas Soybean Association with its Meritorious Service Award for his work on behalf of Kansas soybean farmers during his tenure in Washington, D.C.

Roberts was first elected to represent the 1st Congressional District of Kansas in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1980. In 1996, he was elected to the U.S. Senate, and he announced he would not seek re-election in 2019. During his public service, Roberts had the distinction of chairing the agriculture committees of both the U.S. House and Senate.

“Pat Roberts is well-deserving of this award because of his commitment to Kansas agriculture,” Charles Atkinson, Great Bend, said in a statement. “I have had the honor to work with Pat on three farm bills over the years, and he always took time to listen, ask us the hard questions and challenge us as Kansas farmers to engage with other members of the Senate to carry on agriculture’s story.”

Yield contest

The 2023 crop season tested farmers to their limits, yet the Kansas Soybean Yield Contest had 40 participants, up from the 2022 contest.

Brett Froese, Inman, Kan., grew the highest-yielding entry for 2023, with a no-till, irrigated field of Pioneer 42A84E soybeans that yielded 104.2 bushels per acre. Statewide, in second place was George Enze, Inman, with his 94.4 bushels-per-acre entry. In third place was Menold Farms, Hiawatha, with an entry of 92.3 bushels per acre.

Batchelder Farms, Highland, Kan., took home honors for the highest dryland yield, with its entry of conventional-till Xitavo X03922E soybeans that yielded a whopping 101.3 bushels per acre.

In the statewide conventional-till irrigated division, Doug Mills, Hugoton, took home first place with an entry at 102.2 bushels per acre. Chad Penner, Inman, earned second place with an entry of 100.2 bushels per acre. And third place went to Sam Miller, Haven, with an entry of 94.8 bushels per acre.

Chad Neill, Effingham, took home the top place in the statewide value contest. His entry of Pioneer 39A45X soybeans earned a premium of $1.27 over cash value, as calculated by AGP. The value contest analyzes a 20-ounce sample for value-added qualities and then calculates the premium.

Other results included:

North-northeast Conventional-till Dryland. Second place, Gary Diveley, Severance, Kan., 91.4 bushels per acre; third place, Jesse Clark, Robinson, 90.8 bushels per acre.

North-northeast No-till Dryland. First place, Johnson Ag Inc., Bendena, 88 bushels per acre; second place, Paul C. Johnson, Bendena, 85.1 bushels per acre; third place, Alex Noll, Winchester, 80.4 bushels per acre.

Northeast No-till Dryland. First place, Vering Land and Pork, Marysville, 90.7 bushels per acre; second place, Jared Lock, Hiawatha, 87 bushels per acre; third place, Derek Gigstad, Valley Falls, 82.8 bushels per acre.

North Central Conventional-till Dryland. First place, Rod Stewart, Washington, 62.8 bushels per acre.

North Central No-till Dryland: First place, Ryan Stewart, Washington, 62.4 bushels per acre.

East Central No-till Dryland: First place, Robert Litch, Melvern, 59.6 bushels per acre. The entry also earned him second place in the statewide value contest with a premium of $1.26 over cash value.

Southeast Conventional-till Dryland. First place, Roger Draeger, Galena, 79.5 bushels per acre; second place, Chris Payne, Buffalo, 68.6 bushels per acre; third place, Luke Bellar, Mound Valley, 65.1 bushels per acre.

Southeast No-till Dryland. First place, Dalton Draeger, Galena, 73.4 bushels per acre; second place, Bradley and Emily McVey, Fredonia, 69 bushels per acre; third place, Jared Nash, Parsons, 51.9 bushels per acre.

South-central No-till Dryland. First place, Aaron Pauly, Viola, 69.5 bushels per acre; second place, Bruce Seiler, Colwich, 42.1 bushels per acre.

Learn more about the Kansas Soybean Yield and Value contests at kansassoybeans.org/contests.

About the Author(s)

Jennifer M. Latzke

Editor, Kansas Farmer

Through all her travels, Jennifer M. Latzke knows that there is no place like Kansas.

Jennifer grew up on her family’s multigenerational registered Angus seedstock ranch and diversified farm just north of Woodbine, Kan., about 30 minutes south of Junction City on the edge of the Kansas Flint Hills. Rock Springs Ranch State 4-H Center was in her family’s backyard.

While at Kansas State University, Jennifer was a member of the Sigma Kappa Sorority and a national officer for the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow. She graduated in May 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications and a minor in animal science. In August 2000 Jennifer started her 20-year agricultural writing career in Dodge City, Kan., on the far southwest corner of the state.

She’s traveled across the U.S. writing on wheat, sorghum, corn, cotton, dairy and beef stories as well as breaking news and policy at the local, state and national levels. Latzke has traveled across Mexico and South America with the U.S. Wheat Associates and toured Vietnam as a member of KARL Class X. She’s traveled to Argentina as one of 10 IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders in Agricultural Journalism. And she was part of a delegation of AAEA: The Ag Communicators Network members invited to Cuba.

Jennifer’s an award-winning writer, columnist, and podcaster, recognized by the Kansas Professional Communicators, Kansas Press Association, the National Federation of Presswomen, Livestock Publications Council, and AAEA. In 2019, Jennifer reached the pinnacle of achievements, earning the title of “Writer of Merit” from AAEA.

Trips and accolades are lovely, but Jennifer says she is happiest on the road talking to farmers and ranchers and gathering stories and photos to share with readers.

“It’s an honor and a great responsibility to be able to tell someone’s story and bring them recognition for their work on the land,” Jennifer says. “But my role is also evolving to help our more urban neighbors understand the issues our Kansas farmers face in bringing the food and fiber to their store shelves.”

She spends her time gardening, crafting, watching K-State football, and cheering on her nephews and niece in their 4-H projects. She can be found on Twitter at @Latzke.

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