Yield Contest chairman suggests thinking ‘outside the box’
The deadline to enter the South Dakota Soybean Yield and Quality Contest is August 31st. Contest Chairman Jeff Thompson, who farms at Colton, says the contest is a fun competition, and most importantly, is a source of important data.
“It’s a means for us to gather information, what the yields and what the quality of the bean crop is doing this year,” said Thompson, “and it gives the opportunity for the participants to win some money and prizes and just knowing where you place in your farming practices and what you can do and how things turn out.”
There seem to be annual challenges with diseases, pests, and especially this season, with the weather. “It’s been a weird year for all of us, from storms to drought, to too much water,” said Thompson. “Take the time to do some field scouting, something we don’t do enough of, probably anyway, and see what you’ve got out there.”
Something is satisfying about growing a good crop, but, said Thompson, from a business standpoint, it’s about efficiency and yield. “To be efficient, you need to increase the yields and one way of doing this is this winter we’ll have some meetings where we can share the data that comes back from yield contest: what worked with different operators, what the historical trends and farming practices are,” he said. “A lot of these no-till fields, they’re yielding just as good as some of these conventional ones a lot of times, so just think outside the box and try something different.”
Thompson, who is also the South Dakota Soybean Association’s second vice-president, is feeling cautiously
optimistic about South Dakota’s soybean crop this year, even though favorable weather has been the exception.
“Sioux Falls got five inches [of rain], I got one inch 20 miles away, so it’s been really spotty. I think there are going to be some pretty good crops out there. I think we’re ahead of where we were last year. Last year kind of surprised us how things turned out,” said Thompson. “Looking pretty good, I think.”