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Corn Yield Contest Innovates Production Practices

February 28, 2014
By: Pam Fretwell, Farm Journal Media Multimedia; Farm Journal Special Projects Editor google + 
corn field

Don Glenn has been involved on the committee that oversees the National Corn Growers Association's Corn Yield Contest for the past five years. And this year marks the 49th year of the contest.

"Next year will be the 50th year for the contest, and we’re planning a lot of promotions for that event next year. It’s a yield contest, that’s what it is about, it’s seeing how much corn we can grow given the right conditions and the right inputs," Glenn says.

Although he was a state winner himself, he says that the yields are changing dramatically in those 49 years.

"Somewhere around the '50s is when hybrid corn emerged and the national yield average was around the 40 to 50 bu. per acre range. Today we are up around 158 and our highest national winner was up to 455 bu. to the acre. In fact, we had 5 yields that went over the 400 bu. range. That shows us how far we have come in the last 50 to 60 years," Glenn reports.

When asked why the NCGA continues to have this contest, Glenn replies: "The contest is all about experimentation and innovation. A lot of the practices that we use today in production agriculture were developed through our yield contest, and today they are common practice."

Hear the full interview with Glenn as he talks with Farm Journal Radio’s Pam Fretwell on the "Straight From the Heartland" radio show:

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