Scott McKee, Hawarden, S.D., won the South Dakota Soybean Yield contest with a 103 bushel per acre entry. McKee, who lives and farms in Union County, S.D., is the first to break the 100 bushel per acre yield mark in the South Dakota Soybean Association's and South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council's yield contest.
"This year, everything just worked for us," McKee says
He planted 240,000 seeds per acre of DuPont Pioneer 92Y70 variety in 15 inch rows on Big Sioux River bottom land. He created the 15-rows by planting the field once with his 30-inch row planter, then he moved over between the rows and planted it again. He fertilized the soybeans heavily, which is not his usual practice; applied a 2 pints per acre of Treflan rather than his usual 1.5 pints per acre, and followed up with a post emergence application of Roundup Ultra and Cadet. He sprayed the beans for aphids in August.
Conditions were exceptional all growing season, McKee says.
It never got too hot to stress the plans or abort blossoms. Hail didn't hit the field, even though there was plenty in the area last year. Moisture conditions were ideal all year long. The early freeze missed the field and the plants had two to three more weeks of ripening weather than most other beans in his area.
The land the soybeans were grown on is exceptionally fertile, McKee says. It produced 294 bushels per acre of corn in 2013, earning McKee a top state place in the National Corn Growers Association's yield contest.
More than 300 farmers submitted Soybean Yield Contest entries in 10 different categories this year. First place winners by category were:
•Rodd Beyer -- 74.9 bushels/acre, Roberts County, Group 0 Non-Irrigated Category
•Kent Mettler -- 73.2 bushels/acre, Yankton County, Group 0 No-Till Category
•Joe and Grant Locken -- 69.3 bushels/acre, Brown County, Group 0 or 1 Irrigated Category
•Randy Kienow -- 77.3 bushels/acre, Brown County, Group 1 Non-Irrigated Category
•Kent Mettler -- 79.8 bushels/acre, Yankton County, Group 1 No-Till Category
•Scott McKee -- 103.7 bushels/acre, Union County, Group 2 Non-Irrigated Category
•Brent Leiferman -- 82.2 bushels/acre, Brule County, Group 2 No-Till Category
•Kory Standy -- 87.2 bushels/acre, Charles Mix County, Group 2 or 3 Irrigated Category
•Scott McKee -- 94.4 bushels/acre, Union County, Group 3 Non-Irrigated Category
•Jerrod Rolston -- 68.5 bushels/acre, Charles Mix County, Group 3 No-Till Category
Each first-place winner received a $2,000 cash prize and up to $2,000 for a non-transferable trip for two to the 2015 Commodity Classic in Phoenix, Ariz. The second place winner in each category received a $1,500 cash prize, and the third place winner in each category received a $1,000 cash prize.
The Soybean Yield Contest also featured a quality contest. The top two highest quality entries in each maturity group (Groups 0, 1, 2 and 3) received $500 cash for first place and $300 cash for second place. Soybean quality is determined by the Estimated Processed Value from the oil and protein content of soybeans, and is expressed as a value of converting the protein and oil in the soybean into soybean meal, oil and hulls. View the 2014 Quality Contest Results.
South Dakota Soybean has scheduled a series of Soybean Success Seminars to talk about practices that contributed to the winning yields. The locations, venues, dates and times are:
•Aberdeen -- Dakota Events Center, Jan. 27, 10 a.m. to noon
•Watertown -- Events Center, Jan. 27, 4 to 6 p.m.
•Mitchell -- Highland Conference Center, Jan. 28, 10 a.m. to noon
•Sioux Falls -- Best Western Ramkota, Jan. 29, 10 a.m. to noon
•Yankton -- Best Western Kelly Inn, Jan. 30, 4 to 6 p.m.