2017 Illinois Yield Challenge Winners Announced; 100-Bushel Yields Continue

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. December 18, 2017—Several soybean growers topped 90 bushels per acre (bu/A) in the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) checkoff program’s annual Yield Challenge competition. Now in its seventh year, the Yield Challenge offers farmers four ways to compete—the 100-Bushel Challenge, the Crop District Shootout, Double-Crop challenge and the Side-by-Side Sponsor Plots.

“Year-after-year we see crop technology and innovations continue to grow,” says Jenny Mennenga, soybean farmer from LeRoy, Ill., and at-large director for the Illinois Soybean Association. “Growers continue to challenge their limits and push their crops to their maximum potential. All for the sake of exploration and expanded management strategies; and the Yield Challenge encourages that in-field experimentation. It’s an exciting time to be growing soybeans.”

For the third year in a row, Robert and Jason Lakey won the 100-Bushel Challenge with a 110.03 bushel-per-acre yield on their Champaign County test plot.

Honorable mentions include Greg McClure, from Lawrence County, and Alvin and Scott Landrey from Montgomery County, who also exceeded the century mark during the 2017 growing season. McClure broke 108.18 and 101.84 bu/A, and the Landreys reached 104.67 bu/A.

The 2017 District winners are:

Dan Luepkes 1 1 95.32
Luke Heaton 1 2 91.52
Daniel Arkels 2 1 88.29
Grant Strom 3 1 94.01
Paul Klein 4 1 99.02
Charles Hickey 4 2 84.47
Joe Klein 5 1 99.31
Mike Trainor 5 2 73.12
Alvin and Scott Landrey 6 1 98.77
Kevin Burrus 6 2 96.43
Greg McClure 7 1 101.84
Travis Albin 7 2 85.1
Matt Krausz 8 1 81.34
Mark Krausz 8 2 78.63
Casey Douglas 9 1 70.24

First-place winners of the Crop District Shootout who achieved the highest percentage yield increase in each crop reporting district will be awarded a $500 cash prize; second place winners receive $250.

The 2017 Side-by-Side winners are:

Brian Colberg 1 58.74 67.26 8.52 1
John Breedlove 4 63.24 68.34 5.1 1
Dan Vogel 4 76.4 82 5.6 2
Mike Trainor 5 64.11 70.2 6.09 1
Keith Pokarney 5 58.28 61.71 3.43 2

The Side-by-Side Sponsor Plots contest rewards growers for testing innovative practices in a challenge plot against their regular practices in a standard plot. The grower with the highest percentage yield increase in his or her district gets $500. Second highest gets $250.

The 2017 Double-Crop winners are:

Dan Luepkes 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 75.54
James Garlisch 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 64.31
Chad & Kyle Kuenstler 6 & 7 51.2
Matt Krausz 8 & 9 55.82
Matt Krausz 8 & 9 51.28

The Double-Crop challenge rewards growers who double-crop soybeans after wheat or another crop harvested that same season. First place receives $500 and second place earns $250 in each region.

ISA established the Yield Challenge—funded by the Illinois Soybean Association checkoff program—in 2010 to help build Illinois’ position as a global leader in soybean production. The competition challenges soybean farmers throughout all nine crop reporting districts to set up side-by-side plots: one using traditional methods; the other using new, innovative techniques.

Yield Challenge winners and top achievers will be recognized in Springfield, Ill., the evening of Jan. 10, at an Awards Banquet hosted on the eve of the annual Soybean Summit at the Wyndham Springfield City Centre Jan. 11. Farmers are encouraged to visit for valuable information on new soybean management practices and other key updates.

Illinois Soybean Association
The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) is a statewide organization that strives to enable Illinois soybean producers to be the most knowledgeable and profitable soybean producers around the world. ISA represents more than 43,000 soybean farmers in Illinois through two primary roles; the state soybean checkoff and legislative and regulatory advocacy efforts.



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