North Carolina's soybean crop delivered record yields last year thanks in large part to favorable weather.
The average yield on the 1.58 million acres that were harvested last year was 39 bushels per acre, easily beating the previous record of 34 bushels per acre set in 2009.
"We had a pretty good weather year once we got through some initial dryness at the beginning of the year," said Charles Hall, CEO of the N.C. Soybean Producers Association. "We picked up some timely rains later in the summer."
Hall said North Carolina's soybean crop also benefited from the fact that it can remain dormant in periods of high-heat and dryness and rebound when it rains.
"Which is somewhat a factor of farmer skill and seed technology certainly, but definitely having some timely rain late in the growing season helped it this year," he said.
The record yields came at a good for farmers. Soybean prices have been elevated for several years, and spiked late last summer in large part because of severe drought in the Midwest.
"It was a good price situation," Hall said.
The state harvested 220,000 more acres of soybeans last year than in 2011. The bulk of the state's soybean crops are grown east of Interstate 95, particularly in the counties of Hyde, Robeson, Sampson and Duplin.