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Results from MSPB's 2023 Soybean Yield Contest

 

Results from MSPB’s 2023 soybean yield contest for Mississippi are finalized. These results are divided into categories for Delta Irrigated [9 entrants], Delta dryland [6 entrants], non-Delta irrigated [7 entrants], and non-Delta dryland [8 entrants]. Below is a summary of the results and the practices used to achieve those results for each category.

Delta Irrigated.

•    Winning yields [1-3 places] averaged 94.1 bu/acre, with a range of 92.7 to 95.3 bu/acre. Yields of all entrants were at least 80 bu/acre.

•    Winning yields were achieved with varieties from MG’s 4.4 [winner] to 4.8 planted in mid-April at rates of 110, 140, and 137.5 thousand seeds/acre, respectively.

•    Row spacing was 30 in. [winner], and 40- and 38-in.-wide twin rows for the second and third place entrants, respectively.

•    All three of the top producers used treated seed.

•    Producers with the top three yields applied irrigation water by the furrow method, and all other entrants except one did the same.

•    All three of the top producers applied both a foliar fungicide and insecticide. The second and third place producers, plus all but one of the remaining entrants, applied a desiccant/harvest aid prior to harvest.

•    Plant populations at harvest for the entrants with the top three yields were 75 [winner], 123 [runner-up], and 130 thousand/acre.

•    Conventional tillage was used by all entrants.

Delta Dryland.

•    Winning yields averaged 66.9 bu/acre, with a range of 62.5 to 69.1 bu/acre among the three entrants with the highest yields.

•    Winning yields were achieved with varieties from MG’s 4.2 [winner] to 4.6 planted in mid-April to very early May.

•    Seeding rates used by entrants with the top three yields were 145 [winner] and 140 thousand seeds/acre. Row spacings were 38 in. twin rows [winner] and 38 in. for the second and third place entrants. All three of the top entrants used a seed treatment.

•    The two highest yielding producers applied a desiccant/harvest aid prior to harvest.

•    Plant populations at harvest were 107, 111.5, and 131 thousand/acre for the entrants with the first through third place highest yields, respectively.

•    Conventional tillage was used by all but one of the entrants, and by all three of the entrants with the highest yields.

Non-Delta Irrigated.

•    The top three yields averaged 95.2 bu/acre, with a range of 93.7 to 98.0 bu/acre. These yields are comparable to the above top three Delta irrigated yields.

•    The top yield was achieved with a MG 4.8 variety, whereas the second and third highest yields were achieved with MG 5.3 varieties.

•    Planting dates for entrants with the top three yields were Apr. 23, 24, and 10, respectively. Seeding rate ranged from 120 [winner] to 90 thousand/acre, and row spacings used for the top three yields were 15 [winner] and 30 in. All three of the top yields were achieved with treated seed.

•    Irrigation water was applied by the pivot method by all entrants.

•    Entrants with the three highest yields applied a foliar fungicide and insecticide at about growth stage R3.

•    Harvest plant populations were 88, 108, and 95 thousand/acre for places 1, 2, and 3, respectively.

•    Conventional tillage was used by all three entrants with the highest yields.

Non-Delta Dryland.

•    The top three yields were 88.9, 86.3, and 82.7 bu/acre, for an average of 86 bu/acre.

•    The top three yields were achieved with varieties from MG’s 4.8 [winner and third place] and 5.3 planted on Apr. 25, Mar. 30, and Apr. 23, respectively. Seeding rates used by entrants with the top three yields were 123.5 [winner] and 120 thousand/acre. Row spacing used by entrants with the top three yields was 30 in. Treated seeds were planted by all entrants.

•    Entrants with the three highest yields applied a foliar fungicide.

•    Entrants with the first and second place yields used minimum tillage, while all other entrants used conventional tillage.

•    Plant populations at harvest for the top three yields were 104, 88, and 111 thousand/acre, respectively.

Overall Results.

•    Click the above link to view a detailed summary of the results from the contest.

•    The previous crop grown by the entrants was either soybeans or corn in the Delta region, and either soybeans, corn, or cotton in the non-Delta region.

•    All or most of the entrants in the above four categories used a seed treatment and a foliar application of a fungicide and insecticide.

•    The vast majority of entrants in all categories used mid-MG 4 varieties planted in mid-April.

•    Seeding rates used by all entrants were below 140 thousand seeds/acre, and the majority used seeding rates below 120 thousand/acre. Plant populations at harvest were generally between 120 and 80 thousand plants/acre.

•    The average of the three top Delta irrigated yields [94.1 bu/acre] were similar to the average of the top three non-Delta irrigated yields [95.2 bu/acre]. However, average of the three top Delta dryland yields [66.9 bu/acre] was much lower than the average [86.0 bu/acre] of the top three non-Delta dryland yields. Thus, irrigation response was much greater in the Delta environment.

•    The vast majority of entrants in each of the above four categories used conventional tillage. There is no mention if any of the entrants used a cover crop, or had used any conservation production practice either in the short- or long-term. It is assumed that the growers who entered this contest did not incorporate perceived conservation production practices such as minimum/no-till or cover crops because they did not view such practices as contributors to maximum soybean yield. This may change in the future as programs designed to encourage use of such practices are adopted by producers.

TAKEAWAY BASED ON RESULTS OF THE 2023 MISS. SOYBEAN YIELD CONTEST

These results support the following for Mississippi soybean growers.

•    To achieve maximum soybean yields in Miss., growers should be planting treated seed of mid-MG 4 varieties at between 120 and 140 thousand seeds/acre in mid-April in rows no more than 30 in. apart.

•    Soybean growers should strive for a harvest plant population of at least 100 thousand/acre.

•    Irrigation of soybeans will provide the most benefit for Delta vs. non-Delta producers.

Up-to-date information about all of the inputs used for soybean production in both irrigated and dryland environments in the Midsouth is presented in White Papers that are posted on this website.

Composed by Larry G. Heatherly, Mar. 2024, larryh91746@gmail.com