Soybean Yields All Over The Board

What would soybeans yield in a good year?

Published on: Oct 23, 2012

Many farmers in drought-stressed areas say their soybeans may yield more than their corn. They are not smiling nor joking when they say it. And for some, that doesn't mean the beans will yield well, just better than the corn. It doesn't take much to out-do 35 bushels of corn per acre.

Reported soybean yields, based on talk in the country, are all over the board. Some short-season beans planted early have yielded at 30 bushels per acre or less. Several farmers report 35 bushels per acre soybeans.

However, those with fuller-season beans planted a bit later, say in mid-May, benefited from the rains which finally began around August 5. Bean size is larger, often with three beans per pod. Early indications are several fields yielding in the low 50 bushel per acre range.

Better than expected: These arent 70 bushel soybeans, but theyre much better than the farmer expected earlier in the season.
Better than expected: These aren't 70 bushel soybeans, but they're much better than the farmer expected earlier in the season.

Here's where the wild talk starts. One reliable source says they have harvested entire fields beating 70 bushels per acre in west-central Indiana. Obviously they were in a pocket catching rains. Another source in east-central Indiana says their beans should go 60 bushels per acre plus.

Seedsmen are verifying the wide range and the rumors. One seedsman says a farmer harvested 70 bushels per acre, and in lower ground that was made up of heavier, wetter soils, the yield monitor was bumping between 110 to 120 bushels per acre.

Fact or fiction? You decide. Consider this – many parts of Indiana have had two, and some have had three, summers which were drier than normal in August in a row. Soybean genetics have continued to improve. Just what can you expect from soybeans if Indiana finally gets a summer with favorable rainfall again statewide in August? Just how high could soybean yields go?

That question will be easier to answer once we finally get that kind of summer!