Arkansas soybean yield records continue to fall

James Wray
James Wray of Poinsett County, Ark., was the latest grower to break the state soybean yield record — photo courtesy University of Arkansas

Despite challenging conditions this season, a handful of Arkansas farmers have topped the 100-bushel threshold, with two of them breaking the standing state record within a week of each other.

They are participants in Arkansas’ Grow for the Green Soybean Yield Challenge.

“I’m a little surprised that we have had five fields so far break the 100-bushel-an-acre mark,” Jeremy Ross, University of Arkansas Extension soybean agronomist, said in a news release. “I didn’t think we would see these numbers this year with the hot, dry weather pattern we saw during June and July, and then the wet, cloudy conditions we had during the first of August.”

The latest record-breaking entry was James Wray of Poinsett County, who harvested 118.8 bushels per acre.

Wray, who farms in Poinsett County, planted Pioneer 47T36.

He also came oh so close to the 120-bushel-per-acre yield which would net him $10,000.

The Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board set that yield target to be achieved by 2020. Wray actually thought he had achieved the goal when his yield was initially pegged at 120.002 bushels. But when foreign matter was subtracted, he dropped to a shade under 119 bushels.

Wray broke the record set a week earlier by Martin Henry of Desha County. Henry harvested 113.888 bushels per acre with Armor 48D24.

Joining the century club in 2016 are Wray’s father, Eddie, also of Poinsett County. The elder Wray also planted Pioneer 47T36 with a yield of 109.701 bushels per acre.

Barbara Wray, James’s mother, also topped the century mark with 109.843 bushels per acre,

Michael Taylor Jr. of Phillips County planted Asgrow 47X6 and harvested a yield of 101.319 bushels per acre.

Chicot County’s Layne Miles netted 100.94 bushel per acre, using NK S47K5 soybeans. He is following in the footsteps of his father, Matt Miles, who was in the century club 2013-2015.

The 100-bushel-per-acre yield mark was first broken in Arkansas in 2013 by Nelson Crow of Dumas. Soon after, century mark yields were certified for Eddie Tackett of Atkins and Matt Miles.

The following year, David Bennett of Lake Village joined the 100-bushel club. Matt and Sherrie Miles achieved their century marks in both 2013 and 2014, and Matt Miles scored 100-plus again in 2015. Brothers Perry and Charles Galloway were also added to the 100-bushel club in 2015.

The Grow for the Green contest is funded by the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board using producer checkoff funds and is managed by the Arkansas Soybean Association.

The University of Arkansas provides information to producers and serves as judges and verifiers.

The contest fields consist of 5 to 7 acres and must have been planted in soybeans at least once in the previous three years.

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