“Grow for the Green,” the perennial competition that challenges the state’s soybean producers to put their growing know-how to the test, is hoping 2017 will be the year for at least one grower to hit 120 bushels per acre. The entry deadline is Tuesday, Aug. 1.


The prize is an additional $10,000, on top of any additional prize money a grower might collect, including $7,500 for the state’s top yield.


The contest, now in its seventh year, is sponsored by the Arkansas Soybean Association. Dawn Howe, the association’s executive director, said 2017 is actually the second year the 120 bu/ac bounty has been offered.


“We had one grower who got awfully close last year,” Howe said.


The 2016 contest was dominated by the Wray family of Poinsett County. James Wray produced a yield of about 118.8 bu/ac; his mother, Barbara Annette Wray, took second place in the northeast delta region with about 109.8 bu/ac, barely edging out her husband, James E. Wray, Jr., who turned in 109.7 bu/ac. In Desha County, Martin Henry yielded about 113.9 bu/ac., putting him in second place state-wide.


Overall, six producers throughout Arkansas yielded 100 bu/ac or more.


Contestants typically isolate plots of about five acres, Howe said, putting their best fields into competition, Howe said.


“They really pamper these fields,” she said.


The association is using the tag line “120 by 2020,” hoping to inspire growers to achieve the previously unthinkable, she said.


The 2017 contest invites growers to enter in one of seven geographic regions, as well as the state-wide competition category for non-GMO soybean production.


Cash prizes will be awarded for the top three producers in the state with a minimum yield of 60 bu/ac. The top producer in the state will also receive a trip to the 2018 Commodity Classic, to be held in March in Anaheim, California.


Experts with both the Arkansas Soybean Association and the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture will help compile information and results from contestants.


Jeremy Ross, extension soybean agronomist with the Division of Agriculture, said the contest is a way for growers throughout the state and region to see the latest in agricultural technology and skill put to the test.


“These contests and the production information gleaned from the producers show the continued potential of soybean production in Arkansas,” Ross said. “All producers should be interested in the results.”


The deadline to enter the 2017 contest is Aug. 1. Entry forms, rules and other information can be found at www.arkansassoybean.com, www.themiraclebean.com, or by calling the association at 501-666-1418.


Details: Cooperative Extension Service agent or visit www.uaex.edu.