Yield contest provides ‘powerful dataset’ for analysis

November 20, 2023

The Early Riser Session at the 19th Annual AgOutlook Conference and Trade Show features Dr. Cheryl Reese talking about yield and agronomic management. The South Dakota State University soils and agronomy specialist will summarize the South Dakota Soybean Yield Contest results. That friendly competition generates what Dr. Reese calls “a very powerful dataset.” Seed companies do important work in that regard, according to Reese, but on smaller, localized plots of ground.

“The great thing about the yield contest is it’s the farmers managing the land on a larger scale,” Dr. Reese told the South Dakota Soybean Network. “We have the [agronomic management data] across the whole eastern side of the state.”

Further adding to yield contest data is that entrants provide management input information such as planting dates, seeding rates, varieties and genetics, inoculants, insecticides, herbicides and fungicides.

“This allows the development of a huge dataset that lets us investigate trends that increase yield on a much larger scale across the state,” she explained.

The beauty of entering the yield contest is that participants, through collecting their own data, can answer questions they have about reasons for low yields.

“When I look at the most important agronomic management traits I’m not going to say there’s one thing across South Dakota that’s going to be best for everybody,” said Dr. Reese. “That’s what precision agriculture’s about, it’s a farm-by-farm, field-by-field basis scouting, keeping records and understanding what is limiting your yield and then addressing that problem."

The dataset analyzed by Dr. Reese was generated over a twelve-to-fourteen-year span of South Dakota yield contests. That gives Dr. Reese a lot to talk about during her Early Riser Session at AgOutlook on December 7th.

“It’s a very good way to use South Dakota Checkoff dollars and get their money back looking at ‘how can I improve yield based upon farmer-generated information,’” said Dr. Reese. “We are here to help you answer questions on your farm.”

Dr. Cheryl Reese talks about yield and agronomic management during the first session at the 19th Annual AgOutlook, on December 7th, at the Sioux Falls Ramkota Exhibit Hall. The conference also features Eric Snodgrass, an atmospheric scientist with Nutrien Ag Solutions, who will talk about high-impact weather in production agriculture. Strategic leadership consultant Don Norton will speak about his experience as the former CEO of South Dakota Agricultural and Rural Leadership. Fourth-generation farmer/rancher Tregg Cronin, a commodity market analyst, will be the last speaker of the day talking about the new normal of agriculture markets and interest rates.

The event is free and includes a noon meal, door prizes and a late afternoon social hour.

Register Today!