ST. LOUIS — Improved seed varieties, advanced production techniques and innovative growing practices helped corn growers achieve ever-higher yields in the National Corn Growers Association 2015 National Corn Yield Contest.
Entrants continued to far surpass the national average corn yield, setting a contest record with a new all-time high yield of just over 532 bushels per acre. Additionally, a record five national entries surpassed the 400-plus bushel per acre mark.
The National Corn Yield Contest is now in its 51st year and remains NCGA’s most popular program for members. Participation in the contest remained strong in 2015, with 7,729 entries received.
“The contest does more than just provide farmers an opportunity for friendly competition; it generates information that shapes future production practices across the industry,” said Brent Hostetler, chairman of NCGA’s Production and Stewardship Action Team. “The techniques contest winners first develop grow into broad advances that help farmers across the country excel in a variety of situations. Our contest emphasizes how innovation, from growers and technology providers alike, enables us to meet the growing demand for food, feed, fuel and fiber.”
The 18 winners in six production categories had verified yields averaging more than 386.4 bushels per acre, compared to the projected national average of 169.3 bushels per acre in 2015. While there is no overall contest winner, yields from first, second and third place farmers overall production categories topped out at 532.0271.
This record was set by David Hula of Charles City, Va.
“The National Corn Yield Contest drives so many corn farmers to initially join NCGA,” said Patty Mann, chairwoman of NCGA’s Grower Services Action Team. “While they may initially join to gain contest entry, these members become increasingly involved and supportive as they learn more about the breadth of activities NCGA carries out on farmers’ behalf. Just as the contest promotes the on-farm techniques developed by many single growers to benefit all corn farmers, NCGA’s grassroots efforts join the single voices of members together to create positive change and real opportunities for our industry.”
For more than half of a century, NCGA’s National Corn Yield Contest has provided corn growers the opportunity to compete with their colleagues to grow the most corn per acre, helping feed and fuel the world. This has given participants not only the recognition they deserved, but the opportunity to learn from their peers, the association noted.
Winners receive national recognition in publications such as the NCYC Corn Yield Guide, as well as cash trips or other awards from participating sponsoring seed, chemical and crop protection companies. In New Orleans, during the 2016 Commodity Classic, winners will be honored during the NCGA Awards Banquet and the NCYC State Winners Breakfast.
More information about the National Corn Growers Association can be obtained at www.ncga.com.