A commitment to continuous improvement in environmental and economic sustainability, a contribution to the body of agronomic research that pushes the needle forward on efficiency, an innate call to be one’s personal best — these are the hallmarks of the American farmer. It is this steadfast spirit that the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) tips its hat to every year as we salute farmers from across the country for their efforts and exceptional results in the 2021 National Corn Yield Contest. 

Through their efforts, NCGA members contributed valuable data that will help all growers overcome incredible obstacles as they continue to drive efficient and sustainable agricultural production. We are proud of the dedicated families and individuals who make up our rural communities, and we earnestly salute this year’s winners. 

Chris Sobeck, of Winona, placed first in the state in the No‐Till Non‐Irrigated Class with a yield of 308.8026 bushels per acre. The hybrid used in the winning field was DEKALB DKC60‐80RIB.

Deanna Sobeck, of Winona, placed first in the state in the Strip‐Till, Minimum‐Till, Mulch‐Till, Ridge‐Till Irrigated Class with a yield of 278.1214 bushels per acre. The hybrid used in the winning field was DEKALB DKC59‐82RIB.

Mike Unruh, of Winona, placed second in the state in the No‐Till Non‐Irrigated Class with a yield of 281.1148 bushels per acre. The hybrid used in the winning field was Dairyland Seed DS‐4878Q.

Gary Sobeck, of Winona, placed second in the state in the Strip‐Till, Minimum‐Till, Mulch‐Till, Ridge‐ Till Class Non‐Irrigated Class with a yield of 296.0929 bushels per acre. The hybrid used in the winning field was DEKALB DKC59‐82RIB.

Janneke Sobeck, of Winona, placed third in the state in the Conventional Non‐Irrigated Class with a yield of 290.2984 bushels per acre. The hybrid used in the winning field was DEKALB DKC59‐82RIB.

Jenna Sobeck, of Winona, placed third in the state in the No‐Till Irrigated Class with a yield of 288.9563 bushels per acre. The hybrid used in the winning field was DEKALB DKC59‐82RIB.

These farmers were among 530 state winners nationwide. The 2021 contest participation included 7,213 entries from 47 states. Of the state winners, 27 growers – three from each of nine classes – were named national winners, representing 14 states. 

The average yield among national winners was more than 376.7593 bushels per acre – more than double the projected 2021 U.S. average of 177 bushels per acre. While there is no overall contest winner, yields from first, second and third place farmers’ overall production categories topped out at 269.4164 bushels per acre. 

“The National Corn Yield Contest provides a special two‐fold opportunity — contribute to the knowledge that will help corn farmers thrive in the future while enjoying good‐natured competition and comradery with their peers today,” said Lowell Neitzel, chair of NCGA’s Member and Consumer Engagement Action Team.