A trio of Arkansas soybean producers -- first ever in the state to harvest 100-bushel-per-acre crops -- took center-stage at the recent Tri-State Soybean Forum.

“Nelson Crow was the first to ease over the 100-bushel barrier and, man, did the excitement start,” said Lanny Ashlock, who moderated the Jan. 3 panel discussion in Dumas, Ark. “The best we’d done before was just over 94 bushels -- we were still five or six bushels away. So, this was a big jump and Nelson made it.”

Several weeks later and just a few miles south of Crow’s field, Matt and Sherri Kay Miles, harvested right at 108 bushels.

Later in the year, on September 27, Eddie Tackett harvested a field in the Arkansas River Valley that almost reached 105 bushels.

So what did these producers do to get over the hump?

Crow has been in a corn/soybean rotation for the last three years. His Winchester field that broke the record used to be in cotton.

“Those of us working (towards 100 bushels) have been putting out fertilizers, lots of chicken litter,” said Ashlock. Southwest Missouri yield king “Kip Cullers puts out eight tons (of litter). But Nelson decided not to put any (pre-plant fertilizer) out.”

Later in the year, at R-2, Crow did side-dress 100 pounds of urea per acre. He hit the field with some foliar feed a bit later with two pounds of sugar.

Why did Crow forgo the pre-plant fertilizer?

University recommendations “told me not to,” said Crow.

The fact that Crow broke 100 bushels with a 3.9 (Pioneer 93Y92) “shocked me,” said Ashlock. “I know a 3.9 can do well. We’ve done a lot of research over the years. But I didn’t know it could do that well.”

100-bushel soybean barrier broken by Arkansan Nelson Crow

The variety was planted on 30-inch bedded rows at a seeding rate of 145,000. Why plant a late 3.9 on April 24?

“Most everything I plant is a late 3 and planted earlier,” said Crow. “Generally, they’re planted on non-irrigated ground. On irrigated ground, though, they wanted me to plant it later to get the plant height. Plant it in April and you’ll still harvest in August, still be able to get the August delivery dates.

“There’s about a three or four week window to plant this bean. In this area, you’ll still be cutting around August 15.

“Fifty-seven days after you plant this bean you need to be watering. Don’t wait on rains. You’ve got to be running. It doesn’t back, it’s a racehorse. If you miss something it’ll show up in the end.”

Missing an irrigation event is, “a stumble that the crop won’t recover from. If you miss it, you’ve messed up.”