Finding the Maximum Yield of Soybeans - June 2013
[Research: Maximum Yield of Soybeans. Ryan Van Roekel, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Arkansas. University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Research and Extension University of Arkansas System, Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board.]
I’m Ryan Van Roekel, Ph.D. Candidate, at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. I’m studying under Dr. Larry Purcell on the maximum yield of soybeans. We’re out here today in England at one of our strip trials where we’re trying to take some of our maximum yield practices and apply them to the field rand see if we can raise our yields overall in eastern Arkansas. [Video shows Ryan Van Roekel looking at soybean plants in a soybean field conducting and documenting his research.]
This particular field was planted April 25th, a little bit later than last year, but what a difference a year makes. You can see today the soybeans are about V4. We’ve closed the top of the beds, they’re planted in 38 inch twin rows on top of beds, will be furrow irrigated.
Last year in our podcast, we showcased our location in Newport, Arkansas. This location in England is very similar. Not a lot has changed in a year and we’re praying for a little bit better weather, a little cooler weather during pod fill and if we can set a few more beans, maybe we can get over a hundred bushels per acre.
Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board sponsors an annual yield contest and several years ago they started actually a race for a hundred contest. It was a one-time prize for the first farmer to grow a hundred bushels of soybeans over five acres. That went unclaimed for several years. As of 2013 it’s still not been achieved. So one of the big ideas was, why can’t our Arkansas farmers raise a hundred bushels of soybeans, when Mr. Kip Cullers in Missouri can.
This research we kind of brainstormed, as part of my Ph.D. project, we’ve become maximum yield in Fayetteville and last year we were able to raise 115 bushels per acre in Fayetteville. Now the problem is we did that with an immense amount of inputs, both water and fertility, so we wanted to step back and say well in eastern Arkansas, how can we break a hundred bushels without breaking the bank. That’s really where this idea came from.
We’re focused on simply things like early planting, row spacing, good fertility, taking good care of these soybeans and trying to really elevate our yields in practical ways that we can share with everybody.
This research is being conducted at three locations. Here in England, also Newport and Helena. The specifics are all slightly different. Here in England, particularly, it was corn last year and then we have two tons of chicken litter incorporated and then we’re on beds, will be furrow irrigated and it’s twin rows, 38 inch centers, 8 inches apart on top of these beds.
Make sure to check back in with us throughout the season and follow our progress. Thanks.
[For more information visit www.uaex.edu. University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Research and Extension University of Arkansas System, Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board.]