In a classic case of the student surpassing the teacher, Total Acre grower Alex Harrell of Smithville, Ga. has bested the current soybean yield record holder, Randy Dowdy. Harrell has established a new world soybean yield record at an astonishing 206.7997 bu/ac.
With a goal of raising 200 bu/ac, Harrell was looking to push his field’s potential. And with the help of his crop consultant, Caleb Traugh, he did that and more. They formulated the perfect plan and executed it to perfection, making only a few alterations when tissue samples revealed specific nutrient demands.
Harrell called it a testament to the Total Acre grower camps led by Randy Dowdy and David Hula and their pay-it-forward approach to crop production strategies.
“Randy Dowdy truly set the bar and gave me something to chase,” said Harrell. “He made me realize that it was possible to achieve record yields here in Georgia.”
Harrell and his father strive to make the most of their acres using learnings from Total Acre camps. To pair population and variety, they planted AG 48X9 coated in their standard practice seed treatment with the addition of BRANDT Seed Zone Zn. They planted on 30” row width. Despite their prayers for good weather, the Harrell farm received a packing rain shortly after planting, resulting in a final stand of 77,000. Mother Nature threw another setback at the crop with a 10-day flooding rain in early June. From there, the crop saw ideal weather the rest of the way.
As the season progressed, Harrell realized the potential of his crop. Initially predicting at least 150 bu/ac soybeans, the Georgia farmer began to understand the crop’s potential after he desiccated it and saw pod load and bean size. Still uncertain he would best Dowdy’s yield record of 191 bu/ac, Harrell knew he had something special. After celebrating his record with his father, Harrell said he wanted his first phone call to be to Randy Dowdy to share the news personally.
“Randy Dowdy and I would like to congratulate Alex on breaking the milestone of 200 bu/ac for soybeans,” said David Hula. “Alex represents a portion of the Total Acre members who are not only focused on ROI but are also driven to push yields to the limit.”