Pa. soybean growers top 100 bushels per acre in contest

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soybean harvest
Soybean harvest (Farm and Dairy file photo)

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Charles Farms, from Lancaster County, was the state’s top producer in the 2017 Pennsylvania Soybean Yield Contest, sponsored by the Pennsylvania Soybean Board. The farm’s winning yield was 107.17 bushels per acre.

According to contest coordinator and Penn State Senior Extension Agent Del Voight, for the first time in the 25-year history of the contest, three of the contest entrants exceeded 100 bushels per acre.

Lebanon County growers Darren Grumbine and Zach Alger also recorded 100-plus bu./acre yields of 105.75 bu./acre and 101.5 bu./acre respectively. The mean yield of the contest entrants in 2017 was 80.85 bu./acre, up from the 2016 average of 76.82 bu./acre.

“Growers in the north cited too little rainfall during pod fill as the major issue impacting yields,” said Voight. “Over the 25 years of the contest, the yields reported by the contest participants have increased at a rate of 1.2 bushels per acre per year. This is more than double the state average of .4 bushel per acre increase per year.”

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:

Regional winners

First place Overall & South Central Region, Charles Farms (Lancaster, Pa., Lancaster County) 107.17 bu./acre; first place Central Region, Jay Arentz (Littlestown, Pa., Adams County) 92.24 bu./acre; first place Southeast Region, John Frederick (New Hope, Pa., Bucks County) 83.55 bu./acre; first place Northern Region, Scott Snyder (Montoursville, Pa., Lycoming County) 62.37 bu./acre; first place Western Region, Mike Reskovac (Waltersburg, Pa., Fayette County) 71.08 bu./acre.

In addition to the statewide title, Charles Farms was the South Central Region winner, planting Pioneer P31T77 in 7.5″ rows following corn. The crop was planted with a drill using no-till techniques on April 20, 2017, at a seeding rate of 192,000 plants per acre.

The field was harvested on Sept. 26, at 13.3 percent moisture. The Charles’ used Pioneer Premium seed treatment, Priaxor fungicide for pest management, and Gly Star K-Plus and FirstRate for herbicides.

Central region

Adams County’s Jay Arentz won the top yield honors in the Central Region with 92.24 bu./acre. He planted TA Seeds 2849 RR2 STS.

John Frederick, from Bucks County, was the top producer in the Southeast Region. He planted HiSoy 39A22 and yielded 83.55 bu./acre. Scott Snyder, of Lycoming County, won top honors in the Northern Region.

He planted Pioneer 36T86 for a 62.37 bu./acre yield. Mike Reskovac, Fayette County, was the top entrant in the West Tier with 71.08 bu./acre yield with Diehl Fields DF2.6.

Awards

As the top state winner, Charles Farms 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-March 1, in Anaheim, California.

The regional winners also receive a trip to the 2018 Commodity Classic.

The contest was launched by the Pennsylvania Soybean Board in 1992. A summary of the crop production practices from the 2017 contest entrants will be available in January at the Pennsylvania Soybean Board booth at the 2018 Keystone Farm Show in York, Pa., and on the Soybean Yield Contest page at www.pasoybean.org.

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