2015 Virginia Soybean Yield Contest – Rules and Regulations

PURPOSE:  The purpose of the Virginia Soybean Yield Contest is to emphasize and demonstrate the practices necessary to produce maximum economic yields, to recognize those producers who grow high-yielding soybeans, and to gather data on the practices utilized by these outstanding producers.

CONTEST SPONSORS:  The Virginia Soybean Association in cooperation with Virginia Cooperative Extension sponsors this program.

CONTESTS:  There are four Soybean Yield Contest categories: 1) Full-Season, Non-irrigated; 2) Double-Crop, Non-irrigated; and 3) Irrigated (Full-Season or Double-Crop; and 4) Most Efficient.  A full-season system is defined as the grain or seed harvest of one summer crop (soybean in this case) from the same field in one year. Double-crop is defined as planting soybean immediately following grain harvest of barley or wheat; thus harvesting two crops from the same field in the same year.  If soybeans are planted after a cover, silage, or hay crop of small grain, then the entry will be considered full-season.  If field has been irrigated one or more times, the entry will be considered an irrigated field and the will be placed into the irrigated contest.  Yield alone (bushels/acre) determines the winners in the first three categories.

MOST EFFICIENT YIELD (MEY) CONTEST:  The goal of this contest category is to emphasize practices associated with efficient and profitable soybean production and to gather data on the practices utilized by top producers.  It will compare cost of production (cost to grow a bushel of soybean) instead of yield.  All full-season and double-crop contest entries will be automatically entered into the MEY Contest.  Information needed for this contest is included on the forms.  Be sure to completely fill out the forms in detail so that all costs of production are estimated properly.  No one will see the details of a participant’s production costs except David Holshouser and the producer.  However, the participant’s overall cost of production ($/Bu) and an enterprise budget for the “average participant” (average of all entries) will be shared.  In addition, a spreadsheet containing production costs for various inputs of all entries (ranked from lowest to highest so no one can tell who’s production costs is whose) will be shared only with participants.  More details on this contest category and how costs of production are calculated can be found on pages 3 and 4.

ELIGIBILITY:   Any grower (owner-operator, tenant, or tenant-landlord team) who is a member of the Virginia Soybean Association and produces 10 acres or more of soybeans within Virginia’s boundaries is eligible.  Participants may enter one, two, or all contests.  A grower may submit more than one entry per category, but will only be eligible for one award in each contest category.  There are no restrictions on cultural or management practices used.  There is no charge for participating in the contest.

FIELD AND YIELD MEASUREMENTS:  Please contact your local Virginia Cooperative Extension office if you wish to enter the contest.  The Extension Agent or his/her designated representative (agricultural education instructor, private crop consultant, certified crop advisor, cooperative extension staff, or Virginia Tech/Virginia State University agricultural staff) shall measure the test area, be present when test area is harvested, supervise weighing on State-inspected scales or approved weigh wagon, and sign the Certification of Yield form.  If no extension agent exists in the county or neighboring counties, contestants may contact David Holshouser and he can arrange for a qualified representative to collect measurements.

Three or more acres in one block (ex. 209 ft. x 627 ft. = 3 acres) from a field of at least 10 acres within the physical boundaries of Virginia shall be selected and harvested by the grower.  The field or portion of the field entered must be one contiguous area and composed of one or more three- or four-sided figures, with all sides being straight lines.  All sides must be measured to the nearest inch or 1/10 of a foot.  At least 2 adjacent sides must be 100 feet in length.  For convenience, the test area may be measured after it has been harvested.  GPS-measured acreage will not be accepted.

In measuring, plot width should be measured from the first harvested row on the left to the first unharvested row on the right.  The length of each measured row will include half the distance between the first plant harvested and the last plant not harvested.  Measurements are to be made by a County Extension Agent or his/her designated representative.

The Extension Agent or designated representative shall arrange for official sampling, grading, and moisture determination of the harvested soybeans.  If the harvested soybeans are to be placed in farmer-owned storage, the Extension Agent or designated representative shall then obtain an official sample for grading and moisture determination according to federal grading standards (i.e. a local grain buying station).  Moisture content shall be obtained on a state approved moisture meter from the sample drawn for this purpose as stated above.  To qualify for an award, the sample may not exceed 3% damaged beans as defined by federal grading standards. This rule will be waived only under extreme weather conditions existing over the entire region or state.  Yields will be calculated in the basis of 13% moisture.  All foreign material in excess of 1% will be deducted from the gross weight.

SUMMARY OF PRODUCTION PRACTICES:   Applicants must complete the Summary of Production Practices form.  Provide as much information as possible.  This information will be used to identify information on practices associated with high yields and efficient soybean production.  Grower-specific information, such as cost of production, will not be shared.

DEADLINES:  Notice of intent to participate must be submitted to your county/city Extension Agent’s office 5 days before harvest or in an acceptable time frame for your extension agent.  Extension Agents shall send duplicate record sheets and applications of all participants to Dr. David L. Holshouser, Extension Agronomist, Tidewater Agricultural Research and Extension Center, 6321 Holland Rd, Suffolk, VA  23437 by December 31.  Upon receipt of applications by David Holshouser, the grower and agent will be notified in writing that the application has been received.  If notification has not been received within 1 week after submission, please contact Dr. Holshouser.

AWARDS:  First, second, and third place winners of the full-season, double-crop, and irrigated contest will be recognized with appropriate trophies or plaques.  In addition, cash awards of $200, $100, and $50 will be presented to the first, second, and third place winners in each categories.  The winner of the MEY contest will receive a plaque declaring him or her the most efficient soybean producer in Virginia for that year.

Contestants who produce in excess of 70, 80, 90, or 100 bushels per acre for the first time from a plot officially entered and measured in the contest will be inducted into the appropriate club.  New inductees will receive an engraved plaque giving him membership in the 70-, 80-, 90-, or 100-Bushel Club.  Only one plaque for each category will be awarded per contestant per lifetime.

Results of the contest will be announced at the annual Virginia Grains and Soybean Association’s Winter Conference to be held in February.  Winners will be notified in advance in order to insure recognition at the Conference.  Seedsmen will also be contacted in advance so they may also be present.

The Virginia Crop Improvement Association will give $500 to the 1st place winner if the producer purchased and planted Virginia certified seed and has proof of purchase (invoice or seed tag).  Cash awards from several seed companies may be given to top producers.

PUBLICITY:  The production practices used by participants who produce 80 bushels or more per acre will be publicized at the time county and state winners are acclaimed.  Results of these demonstrations and contests will provide excellent news material.  Participants complete all required record forms provided with the application, and meet all other requirements as herein stated to become eligible for awards.

INPUT PRICES TO BE USED IN THE VIRGINIA MOST EFFICIENT YIELD CONTEST:  The goal of the Virginia MEY Contest is to emphasize those practices associated with efficient and profitable soybean production and to gather data on the practices utilized by top producers.  With such a contest, there would be no need for a separate full-season, double-crop, or contests.  The highest yield will not necessarily be the most efficient yield.  A double-crop system could win the contest with less yield but lower cost of production.  Likewise, irrigated soybean may not win due to high yields if production costs are also high.  Below is more information regarding input price calculations:

  • Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Enterprise Budget System Generator (BUDSYS) will be used to calculate costs of production for each entry.
  • Soybean price ($/bushel) is standardized and will be determined from USDA/VDAC average estimated soybean price for the year (This is not a marketing contest, but a production contest). If the producer grows a value-added soybean crop (i.e., organic, tofu, natto, etc.), a verified premium is added to the standardized soybean price.
  • Input costs are standardized. Prices of seed, chemical, fertilizer, and fuel are based on average price of three Virginia distributors chosen at random.
  • A greater of 1/3 ton per acre of lime or actual amount of lime applied over 3 years will be charged. The greater of 0.8 lbs per bushel of P and 1.3 lbs per bushel of K or the actual amount of each nutrient applied will be charged.
  • Machinery costs, including fuel, oil, lube, repairs, are based on actual use. Equipment size is standardized based on that required for 500 acres of soybean.  Fixed costs are standardized based on the average of new equipment sold in Virginia and depreciated over 10 years.
  • Land rents will be adjusted for soil type based on NRCS expectations for that soil type (this allows those farming low-yielding soil to compete with those having high-yielding soils).
  • For double-cropping systems, cost of lime, applicable machinery, land charge, and overhead will be one-half.

 For additional information, contact

David Holshouser at

O: (757) 657-6450 ext. 412

M: (757) 355-2972




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 Applicant _____________________________________                   County _______________________

Address ______________________________________________________________________

Telephone _________________________       email _____________________________________

Contest Entered:      Full Season ____                Double-Crop ____               Irrigated ____

Calculation of CERTIFIED YIELD (Calculated on basis of No. 1 soybean)

bu/A = lbs of soybeans x (1 – (% moisture ÷ 100)) x (1 – (% foreign matter ÷ 100))

(52.2 x acres harvested)


Example Applicant’s Figures
15,650 lbs of soybeans lbs
13.1% moisture (to 1 decimal) %
0% Foreign Matter (in excess of 1%) %
4.214 acres (to 3 decimals) A


EXAMPLE:  bu/A = 15,650 x (1 – (13.1 ÷ 100)) x (1 – (0 ÷ 100))

(52.2 x 4.214)

= 13,599.9 ÷ 219.97 = 61.8 bu/A




I certify that I have read the rules and regulations for the 2008 Virginia Soybean Yield Contest and believe all information presented on this entry to be true and in accordance with the above rules and regulations.

Date ________         Print Name & Sign: ____________________________________________________

(Extension Agent)

Date ________         Print Name & Sign: ____________________________________________________

(Person Making Measurements & Determinations)

Date ________         Print Name & Sign: ____________________________________________________




A diagram of the soybean field from which this yield was determined and the harvested plot dimensions are to be shown below (measurements to be the nearest foot).  GPS-measured acres will not be accepted.  Please show your calculation of the number of acres next to the field diagram.


Applicant ________________________    County ___________________________



Name ____________________________________   County ________________________


Soil types used in plot area:



Previous year’s crop(s) ________________      Previous crop harvest date (mo/yr) _________

Previous year’s crop(s) ________________      Previous crop harvest date (mo/yr) _________


Tillage (including cultivation, rotary hoe, etc):



Soil pH _______________            Lime applied _______________  T/A on ___________ (mo/yr)

Date Applied Fertilizer Applied (includes manure) Rate/A Band or Broadcast lbs/A
N P2O5 K2O X1 X2
Type of manure: X1 = X2 =
Totals =

Total Number of Applications _______________


NOTE:  A copy of soil analysis report must accompany this application.

Tissue Analysis reports are also welcome, but not necessary.


Brand & Variety planted ______________________________         Certified Seed (Y/N)? _____

Seed saved___ or purchased___ at $ ___________(includes seed trt) per ___________ lbs.

Seeding rate (seed/A or lbs/A) ______________ Plants per foot row achieved ____________

Seed Treatment _______________________________________ Inoculant _____________

Planting date (mo/day) _________          Row width _______ Harvest date (mo/day) __________

Planting Equipment ____________________  Harvest Equipment ___________________

Chemicals used (list tank mixes on the same line and as the same application number):

Applic. No. Name Rate/ Acre Name Rate/ Acre Name Rate/ Acre Name Rate/ Acre

Irrigated (Y/N) ____ Type equipment __________________________________________

Times used _______________     Inches of water applied ___________________

Scouting charge/A _______________    Insurance cost/A _______________

Other costs:


Other equipment charges:


Assume all tillage, herbicide, and fertilizer applied since harvest of the previous crop, or within 30 days of planting soybeans, is for the soybeans.  Previous crop could be a winter cover crop.  Estimate as well as you can any practices you don’t have accurate records for (better you and your grower’s estimate than David Holshouser’s).  Except for cost of purchased seed, insurance and scouting, standardized costs will be applied to the inputs and rates listed.

Region:  Regions are defined as 1) Mountain (including Shenandoah Valley); 2) Piedmont (heavier-textured clay soils); and 3) Coastal Plain (lighter-textured sandier soils).

Soils:  If the field has been mapped, estimate the percentage of the harvest area represented by each soil mapping unit (loamy fine sand and clay are not mapping units; Eunola loamy fine sand and Davidson clay are mapping units).  If that field isn’t mapped yet, please see if someone from your local NRCS office can help determine the mapping unit.  If you cannot get it mapped, contact David Holshouser.

Tillage:  If more than one implement is pulled through the field at the same time, please list them together on the same line, or somehow indicate that they were not separate trips.

Pesticide Applications:  If more than one pesticide is sprayed on the field at the same time, please list the products together on the same line, or somehow indicate that they were not applied in separate trips.




You must be a member of the Virginia Soybean Association (VSA) to enter the Virginia Soybean Yield Contest.

If you are not a member, you may join using the application below.  The membership application must be received in the VSA office before January 1, 2015.  If the application is not received by this date, you will not be eligible for the contest.


Membership Application – Virginia Soybean Association (Affiliated with the American Soybean Association)

Name:_______________________________________ Spouse:_____________________ Date:________________

Farm/Company:________________________________ Phone:__________________ Email:__________________

Address:_______________________________ City:_________________________ State_______ Zip:___________

Soybean Acres:_______________ County:________________________

Age Category:  _____ 30 or under _____ 31-45 _____ 46-59 _____ 60 or above * DOB: _____________________

Occupation: ______ Farmer ______ Elevator ______ Finance ______ Extension ______ Agribusiness ______ Other

Dues Enclosed: _____ 1 Year – $60     _____ 3 Year – $165

Mail Application and Dues To:

Virginia Soybean Association, PO Box 1627, Tappahannock, VA 22560

Recruiter: David Holshouser

Credit Card Type: _____ Visa _____ Mastercard _____ Discover_____ American Express

Credit Card #:___________________________________   Expiration Date: ___________