Eligibility

Any Illinois soybean producer (owner-operator, tenant or tenant landlord) who produces soybeans in Illinois is eligible to enter. A producer may register more than one entry per category. Each entry must be registered independently. 

A producer with more than one entry will be eligible for only one award per category entered. For example, a producer who enters and wins the 100-Bushel Challenge will be exempt from winning the District Contest. Or a producer who enters the District Contest will be exempt from winning both 1st and 2nd place. However, a grower can enter the District Contest and Side-by-Side and win in each category, but only one place in each category.

There are no restrictions on management practices applied however genetic (variety) comparisons aren’t allowed. ISA reviews registrations and determines eligibility of all entries.

Registration

In 2017 there is no official sing up, entry date or entry fee. The entry/harvest form isn't due until November 15. However, if you are contemplating entering, please send an email to Mike Scheer.

Categories

100-Bushel Challenge: Highest Yield over 100 bushels across Illinois.
Growers who achieve the greatest qualifying yield over 100 bushels per acre take home the top award of $5,000. The 100-bushel record has been broken three times bow in Illinois; 103.9 bu in 2014, 108.3 bu in 2015, and 106.3 bu in 2016. A single winner will be recognized in 2017.

Crop District Contest: First and second highest yield in each crop district across Illinois.
While growers may set their sights on 100 bushels, they can still compete in a second competition with other growers in their crop district for the top yield. First place gets $500. Second place gets $250. Winners will be recognized in all nine crop districts.

Double Crop Competition

Growers who double crop soybeans after wheat, or another crop harvested that same season can now submit a yield entry. Crop Districts 6+7 and 8+9 will be combined into two regions. First place receives $500 and second place earns $250 in each region.

Side-by-Side: First and second greatest yield gain in side-by-side comparison.
The Yield Challenge started with the side-by-side comparison when growers compared standard practices (Check plot) with improved practices (Challenge plot). The grower with the greatest yield increase per acre each crop district gets $500. Second highest gets $250. Winners will be recognized in all nine crop districts.

Field Requirements

The field entered must be one continuous area. In the 100-Bushel and District Contest, generally only one plot will be harvested and in the Side-By-Side, two plots will be harvested. Field areas need to be larger than harvest areas. A minimum of two acres must be harvested per plot and area of each plot measured.

Plot length and width will be physically measured. Plot width will be measured from the first harvested row on the left to the first unharvested row on the right (to assure that inclusions of the equivalent of one-half the average row width beyond the outside harvested row on each side). The measurements should be made by a third-party witness, such as a local FFA or ag club advisor, crop insurance agent, ag lender, university personnel or other impartial witness. Family members, employees or sponsors aren’t allowed to make plot measurements. 

All measurements must be made with a steel or fiberglass tape or measuring wheel and recorded in feet. Each measurement should be recorded on the proper Harvest Report Form (100-Bushel/Crop District Contest Harvest Form, Double Crop Harvest Form or Side-by-Side Plot Harvest Form). If a whole field is harvested and entered in the contest (and due to the irregular shapes and dimensions of whole fields), the acreage determination for the whole field will be accepted from the County FSA Office as determined from official USDA aerial photographs.

Yield Determination

A third-party witness, such as such as a local FFA or ag club advisor, crop insurance agent, ag lender, university personnel or other impartial witness (approved by the committee) must be present to supervise measuring, harvesting and weighing of the yield for each entry. For the Side-by-Side Plot Challenge and District Contest, a single witness is required. For the 100-Bushel Challenge, two witnesses are required with one being provided by ISA.

Before the plot is harvested, the person supervising the harvest must ensure the entrant has emptied the combine, cart, wagon or truck, so no soybeans have been left in it. Carts, wagons and trucks will be weighed are empty on a certified scale to record tare weight. Harvested soybeans may be weighed in a weigh wagon or on a certified scale. 

A third-party witness must be present when harvesting the two-acre area for the contest. The witness must verify with a signature that all harvest data is correct on the proper Harvest Form (100-Bushel/Crop District Contest Harvest Form, Double Crop Harvest Form or Side-by-Side Plot Harvest Form). A representative sample must be taken immediately for determining moisture content. For the 100-Bushel Challenge, grain must be weighed on a certified commercial scale and the original scale ticket submitted with the 100-Bushel Harvest Entry Form and signed by both verifiers.

Yields will be calculated based on No. 1 grade soybeans and will consist of the weight of harvested soybeans, corrected to 13 percent moisture and converted to bushels per acre. Percent moisture must be measured. If you are measuring in the field take an average of three moisture samples. If you weigh at a commercial scale, the scale ticket will report percent moisture. Foreign matter does not need to be determined.

Data Submissions

To complete your entry in the Yield Challenge, download the 100-Bushel/Crop District Contest Harvest Form, Double Crop Harvest Form or Side-by-Side Plot Harvest Form. Complete the form, scan and email it to yieldchallenge@ilsoy.org. Submissions by email are only being accepted to prevent entries from being lost in the mail or misplaced if hand delivered. Please complete all the information requested in the harvest forms. This information helps us recognize your production practices and those treatments that contributed to yield. Failure to complete the form can lead to being disqualified.

Harvest forms are due no later than November 15, 2017.

Questions?

Call or email Mike Scheer, Yield Challenge Coordinator, at (309) 531-2610 or mscheer@ilsoy.org.