The results of the Ultimate Soybean Challenge are here! And the winner is…
TEAM A/Best Management Practices – Crowned the winner in both yield and profitability!
Yields weighed in at 47 bu/ac for Team A, 35 bu/ac for Team B and 24 bu/ac for Team C. These stark differences were likely due to varying plant populations (163,000 pl/ac for Team A and ~60,000 pl/ac for Teams B and C). Other contributing factors included shallower seed depth for Teams B and C under dry conditions without timely rains after planting (increasing seed mortality), and heavy weed competition in Team C plots due to the volunteer tillage radish.
Several assumptions were made in order to compare the profitability of each management system. Cost assumptions were based on quotes from Ag retails and the Farm Machinery Custom & Rental Rate Guide. Assumptions also included the cost of fuel consumption for weed control, due to the different number of passes required for inter-row cultivation. In the end, assumed $/ac costs were similar.
Revenue assumptions included yield and expected grain price ($11.50/bu for Teams A and B, $13.30/bu for Team C – $2.00/ac premium for organic marketing). However, dramatic yield differences showed themselves once again in the overall marginal return over input plus fuel cost, leaving Team A and BMPs the winner in both categories!