What is in this article?:
- Matt Miles takes top spot in chase for highest Arkansas soybean yield.
- Harvested a Group 4, 107.63-bushel field in mid-September.
- How did he do it?
Arkansas producer Matt Miles broke his state's soybean record with 107.63 bushels per acre.
Three combines were in the 47-acre field when it was time to harvest. The Miles also run a trucking company, so there was a whirlwind of activity going on at the same time.
“We’re sitting at the field waiting for Robb and Wes to arrive,” recalls Miles. “After 2012, I already knew what it was going to be like. I was saying to myself, ‘Be patient. Allot the time because this field looks so good.’ It was hard, though.
“Robb got there and was bouncing around, all excited, ready to find out if we’d done it. Wes figured out to get 100 bushels, we needed almost two hopper loads. I was under a shade tree watching things develop. They got the first hopper and I called Robb and asked if the combine was over halfway. He said, ‘We aren’t close to halfway.’”
At that point, says Kirkpatrick, “We were pretty sure Matt had done it.”
With a second hopper filled and dumped, the field still wasn’t harvested.
“That’s when my heart started racing, when I really allowed myself to get excited,” says Miles. “I had to keep harvesting, so Robb and Wes went with the truck. But the more I thought about it, the more I couldn’t stand it. I called Billy, my farm manager, and told him to drive to the elevator and wait. I said, ‘you call me when it’s official.’”
The record still wasn’t a done deal, though.
“Because of high moisture, they had to clean out and that took an hour-and-a-half,” says Kirkpatrick. “That high moisture made me a little nervous because we had to correct it to 13 percent. We lost 6 percent of the total weight because of that.
“But it wasn’t even close. We needed around 524 bushels and ended up with over 600. That meant 107.63 bushels per acre.”
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Word got out while they waited. “People started coming in to have a peek,” says Dedman. “Other folks were calling wanting to know if we’d done it.”
Kirkpatrick says seed companies must get credit for providing good genetics. Dedman agrees: “The whole contest process is a race for everyone. Everyone takes pride in it – the consultants, the farmers, the input companies, the seed companies, everyone.”
“And we have the best farmers in the world here in the Delta,” says Kirkpatrick. “We have excellent soils. Desha County is where three major rivers come together. Eons ago, this area was regularly flooded and soil was deposited. We have very good sandy loams. This year, everything just came together.”