Contest hopes to push the limits of Arkansas’ top soybean growers

by George Jared ([email protected]) 142 views 

There’s hope that a farmer in Arkansas will produce 120 bushels of soybeans on one acre this year.

“Grow for the Green,” the perennial competition that challenges the state’s soybean producers to put their growing know-how to the test has set that lofty goal in 2017. The contest is sponsored by the Arkansas Soybean Association, and if a grower tops that bar he/she will receive $10,000 on top of whatever other prize money they might win through the contest.

It’s the second time the additional money has been offered for 120 bushels per acre, ASA Executive Director Dawn Howe said. The 2016 contest was dominated by the Wray family of Poinsett County. James Wray produced a yield of about 118.8 bushels per acre; his mother, Barbara Annette Wray, took second place in the Northeast Delta region with about 109.8 per acre, barely edging out her husband, James Wray, Jr., who turned in 109.7 per acre. In Desha County, Martin Henry yielded about 113.9 bushels per acre, putting him in second place state-wide.

Overall, six producers in Arkansas yielded 100 bushels an acre or more. The 2017 contest invites growers to enter in one of seven geographic regions, as well as the state-wide competition category for non-GMO soybean production.

Cash prizes will be awarded for the top three producers in the state with a minimum yield of 60 bushels per acre. The top producer in the state will also receive a trip to the 2018 Commodity Classic, to be held in March in Anaheim, Calif.

Experts with the ASA and the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture will help compile information and results from contestants. Jeremy Ross, extension soybean agronomist with the Division of Agriculture, said the contest is a way for Arkansas growers to see the latest in agricultural technology and skill put to the test.

“These contests and the production information gleaned from the producers show the continued potential of soybean production in Arkansas,” Ross said. “All producers should be interested in the results.”

The deadline to enter the 2017 contest is Aug. 1. Entry forms, rules and other information can be found at www.arkansassoybean.com, www.themiraclebean.com, or by calling the association at 501-666-1418.