A record yield of 171-bushel-per-acre soybeans has been documented in Georgia.
The record-breaking yield for Georgia, and what might be the new U.S. record, came from a 3.15-acre plot of UniSouth Genetic 74A74, a group 4 indeterminate variety, recorded at Randy Dowdy's farm in Brooks County, Ga.
Writing on his Facebook page Aug. 28, Dowdy said:
“We started harvesting some 4.7 USG74A74 today. Woohoo!!!!!!!!' They're excellent!!!! So proud right now and thankful. Thanks again Dan Poston, Brandt, Genesis Ag, Southeastern Ag Lab, Southern States, DuPont, BASF, David Hula @ Renwood Farms, Irrigation team at Nashville Tractor and USG for the help in our efforts to accomplish capturing some really good soybean yields.”
Dowdy was not immediately available for comment today (Sept. 8). But the official yield of 171.8 bushels per acre was recorded and witnessed by Ben Shirley, University of Georgia Extension agent in Brooks County, for the 2016 Georgia Soybean Production Contest harvested on Dowdy’s farm Aug. 28. The contest is a vehicle to showcase the achievements of Georgia soybean growers and an Extension tool to help promote and develop educational programs for Georgia soybean farmers.
Jared Whitaker, UGA Extension agronomist who oversees the contest, confirmed the entry yield for the contest after being contacted by Southeast Farm Press.
BASF Sept. 8 released a media alert announcing a press conference in Tifton, Ga., Sept. 9. The announcement says, "The 2016 harvest is a record breaker. To share the story behind how the grower achieved his incredible accomplishment, BASF has arranged a press conference with the grower to reveal his record yield number.”
A BASF representative wouldn't confirm Sept. 8 what crop or grower would be showcased during the event. But it is believed to be an event for Randy Dowdy and his record soybeans. A livestream of the event is scheduled for 10 a.m. EST and can be seen at the BASF Facebook page.
Check back with Southeast Farm Press for details after the event.
Editor's note: This story was updated 1 p.m. Sept. 9 with the following information:
Representatives from BASF, DuPont Pioneer, Brandt, USG and University of Georgia were recognized for their collaborative efforts to help Dowdy reach the record yield during a press event in Tifton, Ga. “We have done a lot of work and spent a lot of time and a lot of people contributed intellectual property and resources,” Dowdy said.
“I really appreciate the honor of being here. The record (US soybean yield) has stood for a while. It’s 160-bushel beans, a record that was set several years ago by Kip Culler of Missouri. And, you know, Kip motivated Randy. He set the bar high and I wanted to be able to understand what it took to achieve the yields that he did. So, we’ve learned a few things,” Dowdy said.
Dowdy said the goal next is to duplicate the yield with the data collected and figure out how to go higher and do it more economically.
Dowdy's soybeans entered into the Georgia contest were planted April 22 and 23 on 15-inch rows with a seeding rate of 156,000.
Dowdy is well known locally and nationally as a yield champion, student and consultant for soybeans and corn, and is a farmer who does all he can to eliminate any stress to his crops, whether the stress come from fertility, diseases, insects or weather.
In 2014, Dowdy broke Georgia’s soybean record, harvesting 110.66 bushels per acre Sept. 11 on a plot of SS 4917N R2. On Sept. 18, he hit an average of 109.41 bushels per acre on a plot of P47T36R. In 2014, Dowdy won the National Corn Growers Association National Corn Yield Contest with 503 bushels per acre using the DKC 62-08 variety.
Kip Culler of Missouri holds the current national soybean record of 160.6 bushels per acre.