As farmers watch the soybean crop mature, they should start thinking about the annual Kansas Soybean Yield and Value Contests. Entries must be postmarked no later than Dec. 1.

A Kansas State University Extension faculty member or designee must witness the harvest. Designees may be anyone not involved with the farm enterprise. For example, a family member or input supplier may not serve as the witness.

Pertaining to harvest, some of the contest rules highlights include:

An entry shall consist of one field of at least 5 acres contiguous. Farm Service Agency measurements will serve to verify a field's size if entered in its entirety. If not, the harvest witness must take measurements with a measuring wheel, GPS device or smartphone app. If using an electronic method, a color printout must accompany the entry.

Contestants should notify their Extension county offices of when harvest is to begin as early as possible.

The harvest witness must inspect the combine's grain hopper and verify it is empty before harvest begins.

Only official elevator-scale tickets shall verify the soybeans' weight. While a minimum of 5 acres must be checked, the entire field's weight may be taken.

Thanks to the Kansas Soybean Commission (KSC), the highest dryland and irrigated yields in the contest each will receive a $1,000 award. The overall winners could earn an additional $1,000 for achieving 100 bushels per acre. In each district, first place will win $300, second will earn $200 and third will receive $100. The No-till on the Plains organization will supply additional awards in the no-till categories.

Managed by the Kansas Soybean Association (KSA), the contests are free to all Kansas farmers, but there is a limit of one entry per field. One person may enter multiple categories -- conventional or no-till, dryland or irrigated.

Farmers may enter the value contest, which evaluates protein and oil contents, without entering the yield contest and vice versa.

The complete rules are available at on the Web, from the Kansas Soybean office (877-KS-SOYBEAN, 877-577-6923 or, and in K-State Extension offices across the state.

Doug Shoup, Ph.D., K-State Southeast Area crops and soils specialist, coordinates the project as the Extension representative on the KSA Board of Directors.

"The contest is an incentive for farmers to maximize soybean yield and protein and oil contents and an opportunity to share the production practices that achieve those high levels of yield and value," he said.

KSC and KSA will recognize the winners with plaques, certificates and monetary awards during the Kansas Soybean Expo on Jan. 6 in Topeka.