Earlier this year I saw one of the soybean fields that yielded more than 80 bushels per acre in the South Dakota Soybean Yield Contest.
It was on Kory Standy's farm south of Platte, S.D.
In August, the soybeans were nearly chest high -- probably 4 ½ feet tall -- and loaded from the top to bottom with pods.
Standy ended up pulling an 82.30 bushel per acre entry from the field for the contest. It was the fifth highest overall yield in the annual contest sponsored by the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council and the South Dakota Soybean Association.
Huron Colony, Huron, S.D., won first overall with 88.75 bushels per acre. Scott McKeee, Alcester, S.D., was second with 85.86 bushels per acre. Jerome and Tyler Poeschl, Yankton, S.D., were third overall with 85.14 bushels per acre. Robert Swisher, Groton, S.D., was fourth overall with 83.21 bushels per acre.
The 80+ bushel acre yields were produced all across eastern and central South Dakota – from the Nebraska to the North Dakota border, and the from the Iowa line to the Missouri River. They came from Group O and Group II and III varieties and were produced on no-till, dryland and irrigated fields.
What's the secret to producing 80+ bushel soybeans?
For Standy, part of the answer is new technology. He has a subsurface drip irrigation system. Plastic drip tape is buried 14 inches deep on 60-inch centers. Each day during the growing season, Standy puts on .27 inches of water on the field.
Read more in our online magazine.