Sherrie Miles on Thursday became the second Arkansas soybean grower to break the 100-bushel-per acre barrier in two straight years -- just a week after her husband Matt became the first to repeat the feat.
Miles laughed when asked if she wished her plot was harvested before Matt’s, saying that “they weren’t quite dry enough.”
Her yields were certified at 106.499 bushels per acre, growing Pioneer 48T53R. Last Thursday, husband Matt’s field came in at 100.609 bushels.
“She kicked my butt, that’s all I can say,” Matt Miles said. “She took a field that’s been a lower-producing field and did better that I did.
“A guy told me, ‘To be a good farmer, you have to have a better wife’,” he said. “There’s a lot of truth in that.”
At the elevator on Wednesday, Miles, her family, farm manager Billy Garner and consultant Rob Dedman were all sitting around the table waiting to hear the results. “I was trying to be a lady, trying to be real calm, but was just eaten up inside,” she said. “The men were all excited and talking about it and guesstimating the total before the weight came through. It was all very exciting.”
Last year, Matt and Sherrie broke the 100-bushel mark together on land that had been in Sherrie’s family for three generations.
“We work well together, she said. “I’m very proud of him and I know he’s the same of me.”
Sherrie Miles’ plot this year “was a whole different field in a whole different county. It’s in Ashley County,” she said.
2014 has been a good year for Matt, Sherrie and their son Layne. “We’ve had several other fields that cut exceptionally well this year,” she said, adding the family saw a lot of 90-plus-bushels per acre yields.
As for a Miles family celebration, “we have to get through the harvest first,” she said. “Then I’m sure there will be something.”
“I’ll say it again, the Mileses know how to grow soybeans,” said Wes Kirkpatrick, Desha County Extension staff chair.
A number of factors, including the Grow for the Green contest hosted by the Arkansas Soybean Association and funded by the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board, have helped focus attention on soybeans.
“Soybean markets have been up and we’re figuring out we can make some money if we manage them right,” Kirpatrick said. “There are a lot of good soybeans this year.”
Kirkpatrick, who is part of the contest certification team, said yields have been so good the last two years that “decimal points are separating some of the contestants.”
Soybeans are Arkansas’ biggest crop by acreage, with more than 3.15 million acres planted in 2014.
For more information about the Grow for the Green contest, visit www.arkansassoybean.com.