ISA’s Yield Challenge is a great way to push your soybean production to new levels and experiment with new production practices on your farm. In fact, most winners from previous years say they take what they’ve learned from their Yield Challenge plots and apply it to more acreage the following year. So whether you’re thinking about changing your approach to soil fertility, seed treatment, weed control or other management practices, enter the Yield Challenge to help you run your own on-farm research trial.

A friendly competition

In addition to all of the benefits you’ll reap learning from this program, you can also qualify to earn cash prizes. The top two soybean growers with the highest percentage increase in yields for their district will be crowned winners and recognized for their achievements. First place winners receive $500, and second place receive $250.

You can even work with your most trusted advisors and suppliers. In fact, companies are encouraged to sponsor and work with growers to test new technologies and farming practices.

Your New Goal: 100 Bushel Soybeans.

Illinois was the number one soybean producing state in 2013 and we want to hold that title again in 2014. That’s why we are continuing with the “100 Bushel Challenge,” rewarding the contestant who reaches the highest number of bushels above the 100 bushel per acre mark with $5,000!

Soybeans have remarkable yield potential, potential that’s best shown in a high yield management system. Researchers estimate that 50 to 70 percent of soybean flowers and pods are lost naturally, even in a normal year, so imagine the increased yields that could be captured if even a few more of those flowers and pods could be saved. 100 bushels per acre is possible in Illinois.

About the Challenge

Entries must be set up as two side-by-side plots. The plots must be located on soil that is as similar as possible, allowing three to five acres for each plot. Participants will designate one plot as a “Check Plot” (three-acre minimum), in which no special treatments are applied, and soybeans are grown as they normally would be grown by the participant.

The other plot (also a three-acre minimum) will be designated as the “Yield Challenge Plot”—in which the grower uses an innovative treatment or set of treatments or management practices that could enhance yield. The variety that is originally entered must be the same variety in each plot and also reported during Data Collection. Entrants must harvest two acres, which must be verified by a third party. Third party verifiers need to meet ISA guidelines to qualify.

Registration is only $25 per participant

Ready to get started? Online registration starts April 15 and all registration information must be submitted by September 1.

You can complete a grower interest form online now at A coordinator from the Agricultural Science Club (ASC) at Illinois State University will be in contact to get you fully registered and answer questions.

If you have any questions check out the Official Guidelines for the Challenge, call (888) 826-4011 or email

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