ST. LOUIS -- The American Soybean Association and BASF Corp. invite U.S. soybean producers to sign up for the 2009 Secure Optimal Yield (SOY) Challenge. In pursuit of greater profitability, nearly 300 growers in 25 states took part in the 2008 SOY program, and many more utilized the methods and products described in the program to conduct their own "unofficial" field trials.

The SOY program provides an opportunity for growers to use enhanced crop-management technology and techniques to maximize yield and profitability in soybeans. In addition to the one post application of glyphosate routinely used on Round Ready(R) soybeans, SOY program test acres are to be treated with a burndown application that includes a BASF residual herbicide plus one application of Headline(R) fungicide at R2-R3.

"ASA is partnering with BASF on the SOY program because part of our mission is to help identify new ways for ASA members to maximize soybean yield and profitability," said ASA President Johnny Dodson, a soybean producer from Halls, Tennessee. "The crop management practices outlined in the SOY program give soybeans a better start on account of reduced weed pressure, and the use of a fungicide to boost overall plant health is consistent with our goal of providing customers with high quality U.S. soybeans for food, feed and fuel."

The 2009 program will again provide a free one-year ASA membership (new or renewal) for all growers who sign up to participate in the field trials. Growers who enroll, participate in three online training modules and submit field trial results will also receive a $200 Cabela's Gift Card. And on top of that, growers who take just a bit more time to submit a "success story" about their experience with the SOY Challenge will be eligible to win prizes that include a 2010 Dodge Truck, $2,000 cash and trips to the 2010 Commodity Classic in Anaheim.

"BASF is very proud to partner with the American Soybean Association on this very important program," said Nevin McDougall, Group Vice President, North America, BASF. "With the growing global demand for food and energy, it is important for American growers to get the most out of every acre. We believe programs like SOY help achieve that goal."

Participants agree to reserve at least 20 acres for a field trial comparing two herbicide programs in Roundup Ready(R) soybeans. Control acres should be treated with a single pass of glyphosate in-crop. Test acres are to receive an application of a BASF residual herbicide, such as Prowl(R) H20, Scepter(R) or Extreme(R), followed by a post application of glyphosate in-crop as needed. In addition, the test acres are to be given an application of Headline(R) fungicide for Plant Health, while the control acres receive no plant health benefits or protection against fungal diseases.

All ASA members will soon receive by mail an information flyer with program and sign up details. The 2009 SOY field trials sign up form and complete program details are available at: The sign up deadline is March 13, 2009.