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What's highest soybean yields can soar?

Mid-South soybean yields of 90-plus bushels per acre on some fields are possible when weather, management and genetics all come together to make a perfect season, according to Mississippi Extension soybean specialist Alan Blaine.

“There are a lot of factors that come into production, but I think we in Mississippi can consistently produce 60- to 70-bushel soybeans,” Blaine said. “When you step out on some better land, those yield potentials can increase.”

Blaine says that Mississippi soybean producers have stepped up their management in recent years, especially with early soybean planting systems.

“But getting them planted is one thing. You have to be timely and the whole package has to come together. It's not just weeds. It's not just bugs or fertility. It's putting it all together that makes it work. You stub your toe on one thing and you won't make 70 bushels.”

Blaine noted that several SMART fields in the state cut in the low 70s in 2003. “So we know the potential is there. I have no doubt that we have the genetic potential to produce 90-plus bushels. But a lot of things have to come together.”

Blaine said that Midwest-type weather in 2003 showed many producers what can happen when the stars are lined up right. But even in years when the weather doesn't always cooperate, exceptionally high yields are possible.

Even heavy ground in Mississippi put to level “is as productive as any land in the country. It may not make 70-plus bushels consistently, but it can make the mid-60s. That's a goal we have to set.”

“The first thing we need to do is step up our management a little bit. Just pay a more attention to details. And I think our growers are starting to do that.”

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