Thursday, June 4, 2020
Wegner Family Farms of rural Sparta was recognized recently as the top Division 2 farm in a state soybean yield contest. Mike Wegner (right), his father, Dean Wegner (not pictured), and stepson, Nick Wolf (left), operate the 4,000-acre farm along Highway 27 just north of Sparta. Herald photo by J.P. Schaller.

Wegner Family Farms tops in its field

Rural Sparta operation earns statewide award for soybean yield

Last year was the first that Wegner Family Farms entered a statewide soybean yield contest.

Turns out, they’re pretty good at it.

The 4,000-acre rural Sparta farm operated my Mike Wegner, his stepson, Nick Wolf, and his father, Dean Wegner, captured first place in Division 2 of the 2019 Wisconsin Soybean Growers Association contest.

Mike Wegner said he didn’t even plan to enter the yield contest when he first planted his crops.

“I had soybeans in the field and the dealer (Jarred Huber of MaxxYield in Westby) I bought them from suggested entering the contest,” he offered. “He suggested we enter because they looked good throughout the summer, and the soybeans were good enough to win our division in the state.”

Wegner Family Farms’ yield for the 75-acre contest test plot of soybeans was 75.63 bushels per acre.

A 5.5-acre section of the plot was calibrated and weighed for the contest.

Wegner uses a rotation of two years of corn and one year of soybeans on the clay loam soil parcel of land.

He said the plot was planted with Pioneer P23A15x with a 12-row John Deere in 30-inch rows, dropping 150,000 plants per acre.

The crop was harvested in mid-October at 14 to 15-percent moisture.

“It’s pretty cool. It makes you feel like doing better next year,” offered Wegner.

“Farming isn’t always rosy, so you have to have something to look forward to,” he continued. “We’re always looking for more yield from whatever we do. It’s more dollars per acre.”

He said the toughest weed escape on the plot is giant ragweed, so Valor was used at three ounces per acre the day after planting the soybean crop.

Later last summer, Wegner said he followed-up with one quart of Roundup per acre and used a fungicide treatment of five ounces of Fortix and one quart of Roundup midway through the growing season.

“Choosing varieties that fit our soil type, taking advantage of that early planting window and making sure the planter is in top condition are key components to achieve an excellent yield,” said Wegner in an article published in the April edition of Wisconsin Agriculturist.

“The biggest hurdle we faced was dealing with the 37 inches of rain from April through October. We have learned that helping hands and having another set of eyes can benefit your cropping program,” he continued. “It certainly was a nice perk and pleasant surprise to receive first place. I’ll plan to enter next year and hope for 80-plus bushels per acre.”

The contest also resulted in a little good-natured ribbing between Wegner and his stepson, Nick.

“Nick normally plants all the beans, but last year I planted the good ones,” concluded Wegner with a big grin.

Evans Print & Media Group

1302 River Rd.
P.O. Box 252

Sparta, WI 54656-0252

Office Number: (608) 269-3186
Fax Number: (608) 269-6876


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