January 5, 2024


Arkansas, US anticipates record soybean yields despite 2023 challenges


Soybean yields are poised to reach unprecedented heights in Arkansas, United States, with an estimated average of 53 bushels per acre, according to Jeremy Ross, soybean extension agronomist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, Talk Business reported.


This optimistic outlook comes in the face of challenging conditions, including drought-like situations across the Mississippi Delta Region in 2023. Enhanced farming practices, proactive irrigation, advancements in plant genetics, early planting, and favourable weather conditions have collectively contributed to the anticipated increase in soybean yields.


While the final numbers will be unveiled by the US Department of Agriculture in February, Ross expressed confidence that the average yield might surpass the initial estimate of 53 bushels per acre for Arkansas. The state's previous record was 52 bushels per acre in 2021, matched in 2022.


Ross acknowledged the impact of adverse weather conditions in certain regions but highlighted that, overall, Arkansas had a successful year. With soybean harvests completed before Halloween, many farmers are already preparing for the upcoming planting season in 2024, gaining an early start on land preparation.


Despite challenges like heavy rains, cold conditions, and hailstorms in various parts of the state, the soybean industry in Arkansas thrived in 2023. Some farmers reported this as their best year for soybeans, with fields yielding 4 to 5 bushels more per acre across the entire farm.


Ross noted that dry periods helped manage fungal disease pressure until the end of the season when challenges intensified. Soybean fields planted earlier demonstrated better resistance to diseases, and early harvesting allowed farmers to stay ahead of pests.


While Arkansas benefited from favourable weather conditions, the Midwest faced drought, resulting in decreased soybean yields and low-water levels on the Mississippi River. This had downstream effects, including limited barge traffic, filled-up grain elevators, delayed fertiliser deliveries, and challenges in post-harvest preparations.


Despite these hurdles, Ross observed that farmers in Arkansas adapted, trucking soybeans longer distances and navigating post-harvest challenges. Soybeans continue to be the state's most widely grown row crop, with over 3 million acres harvested in 2023 and an estimated value of US$2.38 billion.


-      Talk Business

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