Although delayed harvest caused by frequent rain led to fewer overall entries in the 2018 Wisconsin Soybean Yield Contest, a winner was still crowned at the Wisconsin Corn/Soy Expo in late January.

Jeff Riley of Riley Brothers Farms in Darlington accepted the top honor, also securing first place in Division 4. Riley grew Asgrow AG2636 with harvested yields of 99.58 bushels per acre, just shy of his goal of 100 bushels per acre.

“Wish we could have got 100,” Riley said. “We were close but not quite.”

Riley and his wife, Suzanne, along with their son Mitchell, sister-in-law Cheryl and her son Jacob, shared in the recognition. Their farm is more than 80 years old, with the third generation of the Riley family carrying on their farming tradition.

Originally a dairy farm, Riley Brothers Farms is now a fairly large beef operation consisting of 600 beef cattle. The Rileys hold two sales annually, a bull sale and a female sale, along with cultivating about 5,000 acres of corn and soybeans and additional acreage of hay for the animals.

While they have seen successes and received accolades for the beef cattle, receiving the top award for soybean yield is also something the family is proud of.

“I’m thrilled to accept the award and we are already looking ahead to next year, aiming for the 100-bushel mark,” Riley said.

Riley has entered the contest that last couple of years, reaching 90 bushels per acre one year and pushing him to strive for 100 bushels the next. The family has experimented with different things on the farm since then, trying to get their best, and with a little luck, are hopeful they can reach their goal.

He gave credit to his local team at Darlington Insight FS, who have helped him select the right varieties, build a sound fertility program and care for the crop from planting through harvest. They work closely throughout the year to assist the Rileys in meeting their farm goals.

“They are a good company to work with and are willing to try new things,” he said. “We’ve been working with them for more than 10 years and are happy with the results.”

“Working with the Riley family is a pleasure,” added Pat Herbst, a certified crop specialist at Insight FS in Darlington. “We’d like to congratulate them on this award and thank them for the opportunity to serve as their agronomy partner in Darlington.”

Taking second place in Division 4 was Venable Farms of Janesville, growing Jung 1243R2X with harvested yield of 93.22 bushels per acre.

In Division 3, Jim Salentine of Luxemburg took first place after he harvested 79.32 bushels per acre with Steyer 1401L; second place in Division 3 was awarded to Oeh My Farms of Abbotsford, with their harvested 77.90 bushels per acre with Credenz CZ 1028LL.

In Division 2, Custer Farms of Chippewa Falls achieved 72.67 bushels per acre from Asgrow AG19X8, earning them first place, while second place in Division 2 went to Adam Majeske of Balsam Lake for his 56.64 bushels per acre yield with Asgrow AG17X8 soybeans.

No entries were submitted for Division 1 this year.

Kreuziger Grain Farms of Juneau was the winner of The Soybean Quality Contest, an optional component of the contest that looks at highest protein plus oil yield per acre. Their winning entry detailed 2,737 pounds of protein plus oil per acre from Pioneer P22T41R2.

The Wisconsin Soybean Yield Contest, sponsored by the Wisconsin Soybean Program, is organized to encourage the development of new and innovative management practices and to show the importance of using sound cultural practices in Wisconsin soybean production.

For more information about the contest, contact Shawn Conley at 608-800-7056 or spconley@wisc.edu.