Lancaster Co. farmer posts top soybean yield: 97 bu.

Hershey Farms
Pictured left to right are Brian Zimmerman, Jim Hershey and Marc Hershey.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Hershey Farms LLC from Elizabethtown, Lancaster County, was Pennsylvania’s top producer in the 2018 Pennsylvania Soybean Yield Contest, with a winning yield of 97.19 bushels per acre.

The contest is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Soybean Board.

Hershey planted Pioneer P27T03 in 15-inch rows following corn. The crop was planted using no-till techniques May 2, 2018, at a seeding rate of 170,000 ppa. The field was harvested Oct. 3, 2018, at 14.05% moisture.

Hershey used Acceleron seed treatment, and Roundup Ultra, Canopy, Sharpen as a pre-herbicide, and Roundup Ultra, Classic, Dakota as a post-herbicide.

The mean yield of the contest entrants in 2018 was 79.15 bu./acre, down from the 2017 average of 80.85 bu./acre.

“Growers faced a number of challenges this year,” said Penn State Extension Educator Del Voight, who coordinates the contest.

“Rainfall was much higher than normal. Spring rains affected planting dates, and we saw the impact of the rain at the end of the season, with issues including delayed harvest, white mold and sprouting.”

Regional winners

The contest recognized not only the statewide grand champion, but also the top growers in each of five regions of Pennsylvania, based on maturity maps:

First place overall and southcentral region: Jim Hershey, Hershey Farms (Lancaster County), 97.19 bu./acre;

First place central region: Leslie Bowman (Franklin County), 88.75 bu./acre; Pioneer P39T28X;

First place southeast region: Tim Stewart (Bucks County), 86.21 bu./acre, Asgrow AG36X6;

First place northern region: Vernon Martin (Tioga County), 72.57 bu./acre, Pioneer P31T77R;

First place western region: Thomas Hoovler (Mercer County), 71.06 bu./acre, Asgrow AG30X6.

As the state winner, Jim Hershey will receive a trip for two to the Commodity Classic, the annual joint convention of the American Soybean Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, and the National Grain Sorghum Producers, Feb. 27 through March 2, in Orlando, Florida.

The regional winners also receive a trip to the 2019 Commodity Classic.

A summary of the crop production practices from the 2018 contest entrants will be available at


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