Eddie Tackett, who farms near Atkins, Ark., has been in a corn/bean rotation for a decade. On September 27, he harvested a Pioneer 94Y70 104.832-bushel field that had been planted on 30-inch beds on May 13.

The seeding rate was 150,000. The stand count was 140,000.

“We have everything from sugar sand to gumbo clay,” said Tackett.

One difference in the winning field between 2012 (when Tackett harvested nearly 90-bushel soybeans) and 2013 was the application of two tons of chicken litter. “That’s above and beyond what the university asks for fertility. We give some of the credit to the litter – 90 bushels versus 104 – and a lot of credit to the cool weather.”

Tackett uses polypipe and irrigates every other middle. “This particular ground wicks 60 inches across. I don’t think I’m losing anything on yield, but possibly could be…

“To get the higher yields, you’ve got to have internal drainage and can’t waterlog the roots for long, cut the oxygen off.

“It takes about two inches of water per irrigation. That means we use 14 inches. We had really good subsoil moisture to start with -- totally different than 2012 when it quit raining in March in the Arkansas River Valley.”

What about weed control?

“We used a pint of Dual pre-plant. We also had a gromoxone-type burndown.” About 15 days after planting, Tackett applied, “a quart of Flexstar and a quart of Roundup.”

The field received deep tillage. “That particular ground doesn’t have much of a hard-pan. But to get to 104 bushels, I don’t think you can have many things go wrong. Some of the things we can pre-fix, like compaction, we try and take care. We don’t do it on every piece of ground we have but we’ll do deep tillage there.”

Many things must go right to grow such high yielding soybeans. “This is my recipe: good seed, good soil, good fungicides, good insecticides, good weed control, good irrigation and good weather.”

The importance of weather can’t be overstated, said Tackett. 2013 weather allowed producers “to cut better beans than in 2012. It just wasn’t as hot. In 2011, on August 6, it was 117 degrees in the River Valley.”

Asked about production costs, the trio agreed the figure was between $300 and $350 per acre.