Jim Dunphy, Extension soybean specialist at North Carolina State University, is optimistic the state will soon reach that magic number.
"We haven't documented 100 bushels in North Carolina but soybean producers are working to get there," Dunphy
"The North Carolina Soybean Producers Association
has an offer out of $2,500 to the first guy who goes over 100 bushels.
a member of the American Soybean Association
plants the field, they'll double it to $5,000."
said North Carolina has gotten close to producing 100 bushels per acre.
The record was set in 2006 by the McLain Farm (Mike, his
brother Phil, and Phil's son Phillip) in Iredell County which recorded a yield of 92.9 bushels per acre.
"Nobody has bested that yet," Dunphy
Using check-off funds from the North Carolina Soybean Producers Association
will do a maximum yield study this year where he
and Ron Heiniger, professor of crop science and cropping systems specialist at N.C. State, will see how high a dry-land yield they can achieve at various locations across the state.
"I don't know how high a yield we'll get, but I expect it to be easier to achieve with some varieties than with others," Dunphy
While varietal selection is certainly important to achieve maximum yields, timeliness may actually be a more important factor.
For example, Dunphy
said it is critical to plant soybeans on time.
"I'd want to plant early enough to be sure I get the middles lapped with 3-feet tall plants, to capture as much sunlight as soybeans know how to capture," Dunphy
"What that date turns out to be depends somewhat on the maturity of the variety used, since later maturing varieties have more days to get that big.
I'd a little prefer to see the reproductive growth occur earlier than later, but not at the expense of having too small plants."
Timeliness and attention to detail are also critical when managing weeds, insects and diseases, Dunphy
"If you go out on Monday morning and you find you have some little weeds coming up, you're going to have to spray them this week, not next week.
Get them sprayed on time, when they are still little.
Don't wait until Friday to spray; you need to spray on Tuesday or better yet Monday afternoon."
If the soybean crop doesn't find enough nutrients left over from the previous crop, be it corn, cotton or wheat, farmers should add phosphorous and potash directly to the soybeans to achieve top yields, Dunphy
"Very high yielding soybeans will require more fertility than average-yielding soybeans.
That may or not be the key to getting the big yields, but if I don't have a high enough fertility level, I certainly won't achieve top yields."
"Achieving 60 bushel yields takes about 48 pounds of phosphorous per acre, while achieving 100 bushel yields takes about 82 pounds of phosphorous," Dunphy