For the third year in a row, East Bend, N.C., farmer Kevin Matthews topped 100 bushels per acre to win the 2019 North Carolina Soybean Yield Contest. This was also the third straight win for Matthews.
Matthews Family Farm won first place in the irrigated division of the contest with a record state yield of 108.9 per acre on the farm in Davie County in the northern Piedmont Region.
Matthews Family Farm’s record yield winning entry in 2019 bests the family’s previous North Carolina record yield of 107.4 bushels per acre set in 2017, garnering the family first place in the irrigated division that year.
For the 2018 soybean yield contest, Matthews also won the irrigated division with a yield of 104.7 bushels per acre, also a record yield for the contest that year.
In winning the 2017 yield contest, Matthews became the first North Carolina soybean farmer to make a yield of more than 100 bushels per acre in the soybean yield contest. His winning entry of 107.4 bushels per acre in the irrigated division that year bested the old contest record by 14.1 bushels per acre.
First place honors in the dryland division in 2019 went to James Allen of Washington County in the Tidewater Region with a yield of 99.1 bushels per acre.
The yield contest winners were announced at the North Carolina Commodities Conference in Durham Jan. 9. North Carolina State University Extension Soybean Specialist Dr. Rachel Vann noted there were 38 entries in 2019, up from 24 entries in 2018.
In an Extension posting, Vann noted some of the production practices that contributed to high yields in the contest:
• Early Planting: 50 percent of the entries were planted before May; 90 percent of the entries were planted before May 15;
• Early Maturing Varieties: 68 percent used a maturity Group III or IV, 26 percent used a maturity Group V;
• Narrow rows: 76 percent used 20-inch row spacing.
Second place winner in the irrigated division was Will Shooter and Sons in Robeson County in the southern Coastal Plain with a yield of 89.7 bushels per acre.
Second place winner in the dryland division was 3B Farms in Washington County in the Tidewater Region with a yield of 93.1 bushels per acre.
The winner of the Tidewater Region with a yield of 92.2 bushels per acre was Boerema Farms, in Hyde County.
The winner of the northern Coastal Plain Region with a yield of 82.3 bushels per acre, was Boykin Farms, in Johnston County.
The winner of the southern Coastal Plain Region with a yield of 87.6 bushels per acre, was Locklear Brothers Farm, in Robeson County.
The winner of the northern Piedmont Region with a yield of 87.5 bushels per acre, was Will Cox, of Randolph County.
The winner of the southern Piedmont Region with a yield of 76.9 bushels per acre, was Jason Smith, of Rowan County.