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Illinois Grower Wins State Yield Contests with NK®Varieties

  • Varieties from Syngenta help grower earn first place in two Illinois Soybean Association yield challenges
  • In a dry season, S27-M8X and S26-P3 brands outperformed other varieties in the area
  • Grower credits deliberate management decisions, including proper product positioning and effective use of irrigation, for the achievement
Dan Luepkes had much to celebrate at the end of 2017, securing two first-place rankings in the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) yield contest. Overcoming a dry growing season, the Chana, Illinois-based grower credited careful management decisions and NK® varieties from Syngenta with his victories in the District 1 and Double Crop challenges.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicted Illinois soybeans to average around 58 bushels per acre (bu/A) in 2017, but Luepkes’ yields reached much higher – producing 95.32 bu/A with NK variety S27-M8X brand in the District 1 Challenge and 75.54 bu/A with NK variety S26-P3 brand in the Double Crop Challenge.
“The high yields were a result of a mixture of management practices and advanced seed technology,” Luepkes said. “The varieties grown had good stand establishment alongside solid genetics with disease resistance and produced high yields.”
Luepkes’ success came despite less rain than usual, a challenge he overcame through an advanced irrigation system. With sandy soil and uneven land, subsurface drip irrigation allowed him to spread water and nutrients underground, directly to the roots.
“Dan is not afraid to challenge himself and take risks,” said Mike Friedlund, an Illinois-based NK sales representative. “He is a leader in his local area when it comes to adapting and challenging his own operation.”
Friedlund helped Luepkes select S27-M8X and S26-P3 brand varieties, which are both notable for being consistently high performers. The NK seeds lineup includes unique and innovative options driven by the latest scientific advances. Originating from a proprietary pool of genetics, they help growers truly spread risk and maximize returns.
“I put faith in our soybean breeders and the NK soybean pedigrees that we work with,” Friedlund said. “After talking to Dan, we worked with him to match varieties within his desired maturity rating that we knew would work in his yield environment and with his management tactics. As his victories in the contest showed, we found a good fit.”
ISA established the Yield Challenge to help build Illinois’ position as a global leader in soybean production. The contest drew in 35 participants this year, the best of whom were recognized in January at an awards banquet before the annual Soybean Summit in Springfield, Illinois. Winners in each region also received a monetary award of $500.
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