Management Summary of the 2012 WSA Soybean Yield Contest Finalists

Image 1. Geographic Divisions

2012 was the third year of the WSA sponsored soybean yield contest.  The format was changed in 2012 to allow more growers to compete against their peers from areas of Wisconsin that had equal yield potential.  Four geographic divisions were created based on county historic yield data (Image 1.).  As expected, the winning yields in each division were proportional to, and reflected the productivity of the regional yield potentials. 

A management summary of the nine finalists is as follows (Table 1.)
  • The mean planting date was May 12th
  • The mean seeding rate was 156,000 seeds/acre.
  • 67% used seed applied inoculant
  • 89% used fungicide and insecticide seed treatments. 
  • 56% used a foliar insecticide and a fungicide.
  • 100% rotated following corn
  • 67% were in a row spacing less than 30”

The most important variable that was key to high yields was variety selection.  Among this year’s first place winners, three of the four varieties planted were starred (not significantly different than the highest yielding variety) in the Wisconsin Soybean Variety Test Results. Other than variety selection, there was no single management factor that separated the winners from the other contestants. Yields achieved were the result of a combination of good management and favorable environmental factors.

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