The backbone of agriculture in the U.S. continues to be the American farmer. As they strive to meet the growing demand for corn required to satisfy increasing world need, one area grower has been honored for her efforts through the 2017 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.
Jenna K. Sobeck, of Winona, placed first in the state in the No-Till/Strip-Till Irrigated Class with a yield of 279.3737 bushels per acre. The hybrid used in the winning field was DEKALB DKC62- 20RIB. The winning field was located in Minnesota.
Sobeck was one of 426 state winners nationwide. The 2017 contest participation included 7,269 entries from 46 states. Of the state winners, 18 growers — three from each of six classes — were named national winners, representing eight states.
The average yield among national winners was more than 386 bushels per acre — greater than the projected 2017 U.S. average of 175.4 bushels per acre. Five of the national winners recorded yields of 400 bushels or more per acre, and include a new world record of 542.2740 bushels per acre achieved by David Hula of Charles City, Va.
“Our nation’s corn farmers stepped up to the plate and hit a homerun yet again in 2017,” said NCGA President Kevin Skunes, a corn grower from Arthur, North Dakota.
“As a whole, the data contestants share from their fields enables all our countries’ farmers as they work to feed and fuel the world in an increasingly sustainable way,” Skunes continued. “They are preserving both America’s family farms and the nation’s natural resources for many generations to come.”
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 40,261 seeds per acre, compared to 33,870 for all entrants.
• National winners applied an average of 336.11 pounds of nitrogen, 105.78 pounds of phosphorus and 207.00 pounds of potassium per acre.
• Average commercial nitrogen use per bushel of yield was 0.87 pounds for the national winners and 0.88 pounds for all entrants.
• 33.33 percent of the national winners applied trace minerals, compared to 40.71 percent of all entrants.
• 44.44 percent of national winners applied manure, compared to 16.19 percent of all entrants.
The National Corn Yield Contest began in 1965 with 20 entries from three 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 on February 29 at the 2018 Commodity Classic — the premier convention and trade show of the U.S. corn, soybean, sorghum, wheat and equipment industries — held this year in Anaheim, Calif. 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.