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High Yield Team 'hits a double' in 2006

Agriculture.com Staff 12/18/2006 @ 2:40pm

The majority of farmers participating in the High Yield Team program in 2006 said they reached their goal of improving soybean yields on fields they enrolled in the program, according to a post-harvest survey.

The High Yield Team comprises farmers who took a personal challenge last spring to boost yields on soybean acres that have proven to be a problem in the past. As a group, the team of about 1,200 farmers aimed to boost yields this year by about 30% on average.

Of the farmers responding to the survey, 28% said they hit their target on yield, while another 25% said their yields were above their target. Still, 41% said their yields came up short.

Those that missed their target mostly blamed the weather (73%), followed by variety performance (20%).

"The program shows that no matter how hard we try, weather still controls the outcome," says Chuck Myers, a Nebraska farmer and adviser to the High Yield Team.

About half of the growers in the program selected new varieties this year as a way to boost yields. Other new production practices tested by the team included seed treatment products (28%), fertility program change (18%), crop protection change (17%), and tillage change (13%).

While weather has the last word, growers continue to strive for a more management intensive system. High Yield Team members say they plan to try a number of new production practices next year, including selection of new varieties (54%), planting earlier (29%) and seed treatments (21%).

"Most of us can't water the crop every day like he can, but there are seed treatments, insecticides, fungicides, grid sampling services and other production tools we better be looking into."

The majority of farmers participating in the High Yield Team program in 2006 said they reached their goal of improving soybean yields on fields they enrolled in the program, according to a post-harvest survey.

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