The University of Tennessee is launching the Tennessee Top Bean Soybean Yield Contest this year for growers of irrigated and non-irrigated soybeans.
Tennessee had a soybean yield contest in the 1990s, but it faded away some years ago, says Angela McClure, UT Extension corn and soybean specialist. She, fellow Extension specialists and county agents had received a number of requests to resurrect the contest, so they did so this year.
An added impetus was the states around Tennessee that had successfully conducted soybean yield contests for years, notably Arkansas with its Grow for the Green program and 100-bushel soybean goal.
“We all know producers who have good ground and can grow some really good soybeans, but we didn’t really have a way to highlight or spotlight and reward them for what they’re doing,” she says.
But the contest won’t be just about who can grow the most beans. Extension specialists will collect information about inputs from high-yielding fields to find out what is working to increase production.
The state will be divided into five yield districts, and each district will have an irrigated and non-irrigated category. Operations will be limited to one irrigated and one non-irrigated entry.
First- and second-place awards, which includes prize money, will be presented for irrigated and non-irrigated in each of the five districts. The first place in each yield district will then compete for the Top Bean overall prize in irrigated and Top Bean prize in non-irrigated.
The deadline to submit your notice-of-intent entry — kind of like a pre-registration — is Aug. 1. This will help the university determine how to allocate personnel, who must supervise harvest.
The deadline to submit all completed paperwork is Dec. 1.