Their winning yield in the 2020 competition was 100.69 bushels per acre. The mean yield of the contest entrants in 2020 was 80.59 bu./acre, down from the 2019 average of 83.18 bu./acre.
Penn State Extension Educators Del Voight and Andrew Frankenfield coordinate the contest.
“Again, this year we topped the 100 bu./acre mark,” says Frankenfield. “Looking back at the growing season, the spring planting window was not ideal. Generally cool and damp weather in April pushed more of the plantings into May than normal. Across the state generally the east had adequate rainfall over the summer and above average yields, but central and western parts of the state had significant dry periods that drastically impacted their yield. As we approached harvest in late September and early October, rain prevented early harvest, but the skies cleared and nearly 75 percent of the entries were harvested within the same week of October 5-10.”
The contest recognized not only the state-wide grand champion, but also the top growers in each of five regions of Pennsylvania, based on maturity maps:
- 1st Place State Overall and South-Central Region – Twin Lane Farm (Lancaster County)
- 1st Place Central Region – Jim and Ward Chapin (Columbia County) 90.05 bu./acre
- 1st Place Southeast Region – Brad Kiefer (Northampton County) 94.07 bu./acre
- 1st Place Northern Region – Justin Jones (Bradford County) 45.15 bu./acre
- 1st place Western Region – Henry Sniezek (Lawrence County) 68.45 bu./acre
In addition to the statewide title, Twin Lane Farm was the South-Central Region winner, planting Pioneer P32T26E in 15″ rows following corn. The crop was planted using minimum-till techniques on May 4, 2020 at a seeding rate of 151,000 ppa. The field was harvested on October 1, 2020. Twin Lane Farm applied Foli-Pop-K fertilizer, Approach Prima as a fungicide, Province II as a foliar insecticide, Credit Extra, Prowl H20, 2,4-D and Cloak 75DF as pre-herbicides, and Credit Extra and Curio 25DF as post-herbicides.
As the top state winner, Twin Lane Farm will receive an educational trip for two to the Commodity Classic, the annual joint convention of the American Soybean Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, and the National Grain Sorghum Producers. The regional winners will also receive an educational trip to the Commodity Classic.
The contest was introduced by the Pennsylvania Soybean Board in 1992. Since 1993, the Pennsylvania average soybean yield has increased about ½ bushel per year while the winning contest yield is increasing 1.5 bushels per acre per year. A summary of the crop production practices from the 2020 contest entrants will be available on the Pennsylvania Soybean Board website.