It was a challenging harvest season, but we harvested our last plot today. Yields were very good, ranging from the upper 40’s to upper 70’s. Across all maturity groups in our variety tests, full-season yields averaged 63.3 bushels/acre and double-crop averaged 60.0 bushels/acre.
Virginia soybean are now predicted to average 45 bushels/acre, a new state record. We are just shy of the predicted national average. Over the last 20 years, we have been increasing yields at a rate of 0.6 bushels/acre per year. This is quite a feat! While better genetics are part of this increase, I think that most of the increase is coming from better overall management of the crop. This management includes long term (e.g., better soil quality, etc.) and short term (e.g., timely planting, etc.).
Of course, we cannot forget the weather. It was relatively cool during the critical pod and seed development stages. More importantly, rain came at the right time.
2017 Virginia Soybean Variety Results
Below are some preliminary results to our soybean variety tests. I caution you that these are preliminary – some changes could still be made. But, I feel pretty good about the data presented here. Some double-crop data from Orange and Painter is still outstanding due to variability. We will be trying to determine its cause and have those data available ASAP.