Cullers, who lives near Purdy, has set a new soybean-yield world record of 160.6 bushels per acre, Gov. Jay Nixon announced today. Cullers has achieved multiple world records for soybean yields, including the most recent record of 154.57 bushels per acre, which he established in 2007. By contrast, a typical Missouri acre yields about 40 bushels a year.
"Agriculture is the backbone of Missouri's economy, and growers like Kip Cullers are the reason why," Gov. Nixon said. "Missouri farmers feed, fuel and clothe world, and they also create jobs, support local businesses and help our communities thrive. When it comes to soybeans, Kip Cullers continues to take the science to a whole new level, and his work is blazing new trails that will keep Missouri agriculture moving forward."
During a ceremony at Cullers' fields near Stark City, Gov. Nixon presented Cullers a special trophy from the soybean industry's 100 Bushel Club to honor the new world record. The Governor also recognized Cullers with the Governor's Award for Agricultural Achievement, which honors outstanding farmers, growers and processors in a variety of commodities.
In 2008, Cullers was one of the inaugural inductees into the soybean industry's 100 Bushel Club, which recognizes growers who achieve certified yields in excess of 100 bushels per acre. Cullers and another Missouri grower are the only individuals who have met the requirements for this prestigious industry honor.
Gov. Nixon was joined at the announcement today by Dr. Jon Hagler, director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture, and Dale Ludwig, executive director of the Missouri Soybean Association.
"Agriculture is vital to Missouri's economy, and it's also an integral part of our Missouri way of life," Director Hagler said. "Under Gov. Nixon's leadership, the Department of Agriculture continues its efforts to help Missouri farmers thrive and prosper."
Cullers co-owns and operates a diversified farm, K&K Farms, located southeast of Joplin. Cullers has been involved in farming for more than 20 years, owning or managing farms in Newton and Barry counties. The farming operation is located in Missouri's fertile Newtonia red soil. K&K Farms also includes beef, hay and poultry.
Soybeans are Missouri's No. 1 cash crop. Missouri farmers harvested 5.3 million acres of soybeans in 2009, with a total value of more than $2.17 billion. Nationally, Missouri ranks fifth among states for total soybean acreage. Approximately 35,000 farmers produce soybeans in Missouri.
Missouri is a national leader in soybean research, including projects related to biotechnology, value-added soybeans and identity-preserved soybeans. Missouri is also the top biodiesel-producing state in the country.
Missouri is home of the National Center for Soybean Biotechnology, the American Soybean Association, the United Soybean Board, the U.S. Soybean Federation, the Mid-America Research and Development Foundation, the Missouri Plant Science Center and the National Biodiesel Board.
"Missouri is leading the nation in the production and processing of soybeans," Gov. Nixon said. "Kip Cullers' success truly shows that Missouri growers are the best of the best."