BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — An AgriGold soybean variety recognized by the Illinois Soybean Association High Yield PLUS Quality program for high livestock feed value set a new world yield record for non-irrigated soybeans in 2020 on a Nebraska farm. The variety, G3520RX, yielded 148.8 bushels per acre.
Rulo, Nebraska, soybean producer Jimmy Frederick achieved the yield record on a five-acre block within a 204-acre field that overall averaged more than 90 bushels per acre.
This was the first time that Frederick had ever planted an AgriGold variety, and he did so based on a recommendation from friend and fellow farmer Greg McClure, who farms near St. Francisville, Illinois.
The two farmers are both moving their operations towards a regenerative farming system that emphasizes soil health, and they became friends while attending meetings and seminars on this subject.
Not surprisingly, Frederick plans to plant more G3520RX in 2021.
“I like the plant architecture of this variety — the leaves are narrower and triangular, which lets more sunlight into the bottom of the canopy,” he said. “Plants are about waist high, with five to seven lateral branches producing 400 to 500 pods per plant with four-bean pods on both top and bottom branches.”
“I thought that G3520RX would be a very good fit for Jimmy’s farm environment,” McClure said. “This variety has a top-end extra gear that responds well to high-yield management practices. It handles stress very well, and I knew Jimmy would do the variety justice.”
In addition to growing corn and soybeans, McClure has a wean-to-finish swine operation that produces approximately 20,000 pigs annually. He also raises Champion angus cattle as breeding stock.
“The ISA HY+Q designation for this AgriGold soybean variety’s above-average livestock feed value is yet another benefit in addition to its high yield potential,” McClure said. “More than 70% of soybeans produced in the U.S. go to feed livestock. Growing soybeans with high livestock feed value is vitally important for both domestic and export markets.”
Chuck Hill, specialty products manager for AgriGold, noted that G3520RX has consistently been one of the seed brand’s best performers for several years running.
“This isn’t the first time this variety has broken the 100 bushels per acre mark,” he said. “My first thought upon hearing about this world-record yield was that G3520RX is an HY+Q variety. This is great proof that a farmer does not have to sacrifice yield to achieve higher livestock feed value when selecting soybean varieties.”
While record-breaking yields are usually associated with large volumes of costly production inputs that are unreasonable and economically unacceptable, this was not the case for Frederick’s bin-buster yield.
By lowering plant populations to a range between 30,000 and 90,000 plants per acre and reducing applications of synthetic fertilizers and other inputs, Frederick estimates that he has cut production costs by at least 15% and increased yields on average by 10% across his entire 2,500-acre operation.
“My focus is on soil health, crop rotation, low plant populations and reduced reliance on synthetic products,” said the Nebraska farmer, who also set a yield record of 138 bushels per acre two years ago in the same field with an Asgrow soybean variety. “I’ve been working towards these goals for six years, and it’s paying off for me.”
For more information on G3520RX and other AgriGold soybean varieties, go to www.AgriGold.com, call 800-262-7333, or visit your local AgriGold seed representative.