As farmers reach for higher yields year after year, a handful of farmers across the U.S. pushed their yields to be crowned contest winners. Each year, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) hosts a contest to see what farmers can accomplish.
"So many corn farmers initially join the National Corn Growers Association for the chance to participate in the National Corn Yield Contest," said Paul Taylor, chair of NCGA's Engaging Members Committee.
This year, more than 2,800 farmers put their hat in the ring, with 18 national winners and winners in each state. Of the 46 states represented Iowa had the highest number of contestants at 429, and four made it to the winner’s circle. Georgia had 29 contestants and four national winners, meantime. Indiana, Maryland, Oregon, South Carolina, Virginia and Wisconsin were also represented.
Of the 39 seed companies represented in the contest, three made it to the national winner’s circle: AgriGold, Dekalb and Pioneer. Contestants can only use commercial hybrids and follow rules outlined by NCGA to be eligible for the contest.
Farmers combined hybrid selection and careful management to maximize yields in each contest category. Contestants must be a member of NCGA and can have multiple entries in different categories, but they can only win one national and one state award.
Here are the 2016 NCGA Yield Contest winners:
- A Non-Irrigated
- 1 Heath Cutrell Chesapeake VA DEKALB DKC64-69 347.2323
- 2 Drew Haines Middletown MD DEKALB DKC58- 83RIB 324.9316
- 3 John Gause Scranton SC Pioneer P1498AM 318.6724
- AA Non-Irrigated
- 1 Kevin Kalb Dubois IN DEKALB DKC68- 26RIB 339.0287
- 2 Patrick Hammes Batavia IA Pioneer P1197AM 320.2897
- 3 John Ruff Monona IA DEKALB DKC62- 08RIB 313.2838
- A No-Till/Strip-Till Non-Irrigated
- 1 Dan Gause Scranton SC Pioneer P1916YHR 346.0533
- 2 Daniel Gause Scranton SC Pioneer P1498AM 345.2789
- 3 William Thomas Cades SC Pioneer P1775YHR 336.5413
- AA No-Till/Strip-Till Non-Irrigated
- 1 Tim, Dan & Joe Durick Council Bluffs IA Pioneer P1751AMT 333.5025
- 2 Robert Jensen Neola IA DEKALB DKC61- 54RIB 332.7353
- 3 Luke Mezera Bagley WI DEKALB DKC62-78 312.1836
- No-Till/Strip-Till Irrigated
- 1 Randy Dowdy Valdosta GA AgriGold A6499 STX/RIB 521.3968
- 2 David Hula Charles City VA Pioneer P1197AM 485.0320
- 3 Kristen Corpus Hermiston OR DEKALB DKC62- 08RIB 339.6230
- 1 Kevin Dowdy Valdosta GA AgriGold A6499 STX/RIB 501.0196
- 2 Michelle Dowdy Valdosta GA AgriGold A6711 VT2P 465.0332
- 3 Loren Seabolt Valdosta GA AgriGold A6499 STX/RIB 463.1138