Quest for Higher Soybean Yields

Cindy Zimmerman

title=Illinois farmers are on a quest for higher soybean yields, according to University of Illinois soybean specialist Vince Davis, who spoke at the BASF Science Behind Soybeans seminar at the 2010 Commodity Classic on Wednesday. “There’s a lot of discontent about where they’re at with soybean yields,” Vince said. “A lot of them feel that soybean yields are not keeping pace with corn yields in Illinois.”

BASF The Science Behind Soybean Vince DavisThe average soybean yield in Illinois has been 45-46 bushels per acre the last two years, which Vince says has been pretty consistent for the past five years and growers would really like to see that improve by at least two bushels per acre. They would really like to see yields as high as the 100 bushels per acre that Kip Cullers sees on his farm, so Vince took a closer look at what Kip does last year to bring back to Illinois. “There’s a lot we have left to learn on how to maximize each individual plants’ productivity in soybean and really approach some of the levels of individual plant management like we’ve been doing in corn,” said Vince. He stresses the importance of early weed control as something growers can do to help improve yields. “Controlling weeds, starting with a clean field and making sure you don’t lose bushels to weeds early in the season is very important,” Vince said.

The Illinois Soybean Association, with the help of the universities and sponsors like BASF, is helping to provide some incentive for growers to increase yields with a new program called the Illinois Soy Yield Challenge. “It’s different than a contest in that we’re really focused on a team concept,” said Vince. “We’re also focused on being able to compare practices between farmers’ normal practices and experimental practices and see what we can do in Illinois,” he said. Find out more at

Commodity Classic Photo Album

AgWired coverage of the 2010 Commodity Classic
is sponsored by: BASF and New Holland

Audio, BASF, Commodity Classic, Soybean