ST. LOUIS — As the American farmer strives to meet the growing demand for corn required to satisfy increasing world demand, one area grower has been honored for their efforts through the 2016 National Corn Yield Contest. The national contest, sponsored annually by the National Corn Growers Association, recognizes farmers from across the country for their exceptional efforts.
Kevin Matthews of East Bend placed first in the state in the I: Irrigated Class with a yield of 304.8757 bushels per acre. The hybrid used in the winning field was Pioneer P1311AM?. The winning field was located in North Carolina.
Matthews was one of 400 state winners nationwide. The 2016 contest participation included 7,979 entries from 46 states. Of the state winners, 18 growers — three from each of six classes — were named national winners, representing nine states.
The average yield among national winners was 374.7 bushels per acre — greater than the projected 2016 U.S. average of 175.3 bushels per acre. Five of the national winners recorded yields of 400 bushels or more per acre.
“This harvest, the world witnessed the incredible bounty U.S. corn farmers can provide to meet the growing need for food, fuel and fiber both in our nation and around the world,” said NCGA President Wesley Spurlock, a corn grower from Stratford, Texas.
“Our contest participants demonstrated that America’s farmers continue to strive for excellence while adopting state-of-the-art tools which help them meet those goals,” Spurlock continued. “The top yield in this year’s contest — a tremendous 521.3968 bushels per acre achieved by Randy Dowdy of Valdosta, Georgia — is a testament to these efforts.”
Farmers are encouraged through the contest to utilize new, efficient production techniques.
Agronomic data gleaned from the contest reveal the following:
• Average planting population for the national winners was 39,111 seeds per acre, compared to 34,110 for all entrants.
• National winners applied an average of 311.06 pounds of nitrogen, 84.61 pounds of phosphorus and 180.83 pounds of potassium per acre.
• Average commercial nitrogen use per bushel of yield was 0.83 pounds for the national winners and 0.83 pounds for all entrants.
• 33.33 percent of the national winners applied trace minerals, compared to 37.04 percent of all entrants.
• Use of manure as a fertilizer was consistent. 33.33 percent of national winners applied manure, compared to 14.91 percent of all entrants.
The National Corn Yield Contest began in 1965 with 20 entries from 3 states. The highest overall yield was 218.9 bushels per acre, while the national yield average was in the mid-60 bushel-per-acre range.
The winners were recognized March 3 at the 2017 Commodity Classic, the premier convention and trade show of the U.S. corn, soybean, sorghum, wheat and equipment industries, held this year in San Antonio, Texas.
For a complete list of winners and for more information about NCYC, visit the NCGA website at www.ncga.com. The National Corn Growers Association represents more than 40,000 members, 49 affiliated state corn grower and checkoff organizations, and hundreds of thousands of growers who contribute to state checkoff programs.