Merchantcircle.com recently wrote a review about how customer Ron Small used Pro-Soil to produce 100 bushels per acre of soybeans. The article can be found below.
Indiana Corn and Soybean Producer Ron Small shares his secrets for raising 100 Bushel Soybeans five years in a row. A retired engineer formally with John Deere, Ron Farms 6,500 acres of corn, soybean and wheat in the Wabash River Valley, about 60 miles south of Terre Haute, Indiana near the Illinois Border.
No Small Feat
KNOX COUNTY, INDIANA – Ron Small has achieved what soybean breeders and University geneticists only recently predicted farmers wouldn’t see for another five years — consistent 100-bushel per acre soybeans.
He’s done it five years in a row.
And we’re not talking contest plots. Ron has proven that 100 bushel soybean yields are possible in real-world conditions on farm-size commercial fields.
One of the largest commercial farm producers in Southwestern Indiana, Ron grows corn, soybeans and wheat on 6,500 acres of lightly rolling fields nestled between the White and Wabash rivers near Monroe City, Indiana — a region of 44-inch annual rainfall and sandy loam soils.
Ron refers to it as ‘The Garden of Eden,” although he says that farming a river basin can be challenging.
Farmers in Southern Indiana have a lot less sunlight to work with compared to their counterparts further North and the lightly rolling fields make it more difficult to accommodate big machinery, “or do anything quickly,” says Ron.
“We have a rough time down south. We really have to make everything work right,” he says.
Ron broke the 100 bushel soybean yield barrier in 2006 with a 25-acre field of soybeans that yielded 108 bushels per acre and an overall farm average of 80 bushels.
“I had a 40 ft Mac-Don cutting those beans and it was like picking corn — now that’s a pleasure when you see those little golden-yellow round things going in the hopper like corn.”
In 2007, he did it again with 342 acres averaging 100-plus bushels per acre, including one 42 acre soybean farm that yielded 118 bushels.
“That first soybean field where I made 118 bushels had huge pod clusters like grapes – each one with four beans to a pod,” says Ron.
And 2008 was no exception.
Despite excessive rains that had put a damper on farming across the state, Ron managed to ring the bell again with a 114 bushel per acre soybean crop.
The same farm averaged 106 bushels in 2009 — his forth year to produce triple-digit soybeans.
And this year?
This year Ron tells us that he had one field come in at 110 bushels per acre — making this (2010) his fifth consecutive year to produce 100-bushel per acre soybeans.
National soybean yields continue to hover between 38 to 43 bushels per acre.
Move Over Kip Cullers?
Comparing commercial fields, Ron may have surpassed yield records set by “Soybean King” Kip Cullers. Cullers, K&K; Farms, Joplin, MO, is famous for setting then breaking his own World Record for soybean yields on plots grown in the Missouri Soybean Association (MSA) yield contest — 154 bushels per acre soybeans in 2007 and 139 bushels per acre in 2006.
According to Cullers his highest non-contest soybean yields to date are from his home farm in Missouri. He’s had one 85-acre irrigated soybean field that yielded an average of 103 bushels per acre and another 160-acre field that made 106 soybean bushels per acre.
Depending on how you slice it, Ron’s had probably twice as many non-contest soybean acres yield 100 bushels or more per acre – and a couple of fields that produced more bushels per acre of yield.
What’s His Secret?
With more than forty-five years devoted to production farming, Ron’s had time to perfect several management practices that work to improve yield potential on his farm.
Ron says his biggest success is owed, however, to time spent working with Ray Trent and Pro-Soil Ag Solutions to refine a fertility and production system with a biological approach.
Biological Farming works with natural systems and methods to build optimum soil, plant and animal health, while incorporating the best of conventional farming methods to maintain production levels and quality. “It’s the best of both worlds,” says Ron.
Using Pro-Soil FOUNDATION 1-0-1™ as his primary soil-builder, Ron’s been able to ease off chemically intensive management practices that decrease soil fertility and focus on nurturing beneficial soil life.
“Over the past seven seasons we have gradually cut back on fertilizer, herbicides and insecticides. Our ground has improved every year and our yields have actually increased,” he says.
In fact, Ron says, “Pro-Soil enhances yields more than anything I’ve done in the last 40 years I’ve been in agriculture.”
On Wheat: “We really saw the benefits in our second season, when — despite drought stress — our treated acres made 25 bushels better. This season we averaged 95 bushels per acre with some areas yielding over 120 bushels.”
On Corn: “Our soil is softer and the root mass is three times greater than before. Pro-Soil has lifted our corn yields 10-15 bushels per acre” says Ron, “The best thing is that we’re spending less money per acre and we’re raising healthier crops,” he says.
8 Secrets to 100 Bushel Beans
Ron has been kind enough to boil down his system for growing consistent, 100-plus bushel per acre soybeans to eight, easy-to-apply “Secrets.”
A popular keynote speaker at Top Producer Seminars, Ron isn’t shy about challenging his audience to strive for 100-bushel soybean yields. Ron tells audiences,
“I’ve raised 100 Bushel Soybeans every year for the past five years … and if you do what I tell you — with a little bit of cooperation from Mother Nature — you’ll have 100 bushel beans on at least one or two fields.”