All in the family: Wray family counts third 100-plus bushel soybean field
By Mary Hightower
U of A System Division of Agriculture
- Wray family posts third 100-plus bushel field
- Barbara Wray field certified Thursday
- Field is sixth this season to go over century mark
TRUMANN, Ark. – Good things come in threes – especially for the Wray family of Poinsett County.
On Thursday, Barbara Wray’s entry in the Arkansas Grow for the Green Soybean Yield Challenge was certified at 109.843 bushels per acre, marking the family’s third 100-plus field this year. The certification comes a day after her son, James Wray, became the new state soybean yield record holder with 118.8 bushels per acre. Barbara’s husband, Eddie, also joined the 100-bushel club this year with a 109.701 yield figure.
While the Wrays might make that triple-digit yield seem easy, Jeremy Ross, extension soybean specialist with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said it’s anything but.
“It’s pretty amazing that one family could grow three fields over the 100-bushel-per acre mark,” Ross said. “And two of those fields were close to 110 bushels. It’s just phenomenal to be able to do that across multiple fields.”
Ross said Tuesday that the uncooperative weather during the 2016 growing season made the big yields even more astonishing, but that same weather hit many Arkansas soybean growers hard.
“For ever field we certify over 100 bushels, I get 20 calls about ones that aren’t anywhere close,” he said.
Before James Wray’s certification on Tuesday, Martin Henry of Desha County held the state yield record for a week. He was certified having harvested a plot of 113.888 bushels per acre.
Aside from the Wrays and Martin Henry, joining the century club in 2016 Michael Taylor Jr. of Phillips County, with a yield of 101.319 bushels per acre, and Chicot County’s Layne Miles, who clocked in with a 100.94 bushel per acre effort.
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 System Division of Agriculture is a major component of the contest by providing information to producers and serving as judges. The contest fields consist of five to seven acres and must have been planted in soybeans at least once in the previous three years.
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. (See: http://www.arkansassoybean.com/2015_revised_booklet.pdf)
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
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Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service