Arkansas soybean producer reaches 104.83 bushels per acre
A field that’s put up big numbers for every crop planted there has made a Pope County soybean farmer Arkansas’ fourth to see a triple-digit yield.
“We got lucky and found a sweet spot in the field,” said Eddie Tackett, the Atkins farmer whose Race for 100 soybean plot was verified at 104.83 bushels per acre on Sept. 27. His verification team consisted of Pope County Extension Staff Chair Phil Sims, Conway County Extension Agent Kevin Van Pelt and Jack Clark, Yell County Extension Agent for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.
The Race for 100 is a contest sponsored by the Arkansas Soybean Association and the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board. At stake is a $50,000 prize to be divided among the growers whose certified yields hit 100 bushels per acre.
First outside of southeast Arkansas
Tackett is the first to break the 100-bushel mark outside of southeast Arkansas. The earlier three were: Rob Dunavant of Eudora, whose soybean contest plot was verified at 100.07 bushels per acre; Nelson Crow of Dumas, measured at 100.82 bushels per acre; and Matt and Sherri Kay Miles of McGehee, whose yield was 107.63 bushels per acre.
“This little field has got 204-bushel rice, 275-bushel corn and now it’s been in the soybean yield contest every year,” Tackett said Monday. “We’re blessed with some good dirt up there.”
The Mileses and Dunavant grew Asgrow 4632, Crow used Pioneer 93Y92 and Tackett grew the Pioneer 94Y70 variety.
“This variety is the one Kip Cullers has been growing in Missouri,” Tackett said. In 2010, Cullers broke his own world record with a 160-bushel per acre yield.
While Tackett was pleased at his good fortune the five-acre sweet spot might not even be his best field. “We might have some beans that might cut a little better.”
“The dirt hasn’t changed, but the technology has,” he said. “We have fungicides we didn’t have before, but the biggest jump is because of the soybean breeders.
““To increase yield 40 percent in 40 years … they’ve got some very strong genetics, from the hard work of the soybean breeders,” he said.
Tackett echoed other growers’ sentiment that weather was critical to the big yield. “Last year, we had 20-something days of 100 degrees, this year we only had three to five days with 100 degree temperatures,” he said.
However, rain was hard to come by again this year. “We were living on 4 inches of rain since May,” Tackett said. ‘We’ve been giving these beans 14 inches of water, plenty of fertilizing and some tender loving care.”
Willing to try new things
Sims said Tackett goes into each growing season with an open mind.
“He really does his homework and is not afraid to try new things,” he said. “This field has proven to be a high-yielding field in past years. This year it just all came together.”
Lanny Ashlock, a former Extension soybean agronomist who is now a project manager for the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board, said, “I’ve had the privilege of working with Eddie for several years and I certainly agree with Phil in that Eddie is very innovative and will do everything within his power to remove any factor that stresses the soybean plant—he truly strives for maximum yields regardless of crop.”
Paying off for everybody
Shannon Davis, chairman of the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board, said the panel will likely discuss the future of the Race for 100 at a meeting in December.
“I think we’ll still maintain the contest because it’s definitely stirring a lot of interest in soybean production,” he said. “Producers are taking note of the details and inputs and people really paying a little bit more attention. That was the premise behind all of this.”
“This is paying off for everybody,” Davis said.