Advanced production techniques, informed growing practices and improved seed varieties helped corn growers achieve high yields in the National Corn Growers Association 2014 National Corn Yield Contest. Entrants continued to far surpass the national average corn yield, setting a contest record with a new all-time high yield of 503 bushels per acre. Additionally, a record six national entries surpassed the 400-plus bushel per acre mark.
The National Corn Yield Contest is now in its 50th year and remains NCGA’s most popular program for members. Participation in the contest remained strong in 2014 with 8,129 entries received.
“While this contest provides individual growers a chance for good-natured competition with their peers, it also advances farming as a whole,” said Don Glenn, chairman of NCGA’s Production and Stewardship Action Team. “The techniques and practices contest winners develop provide the basis for widely used advances that help farmers across the country excel in a variety of situations, including drought. This contest highlights how innovation, from both growers and technology providers, allows us to meet the growing demand for food, feed, fuel and fiber.”
The 18 winners in six production categories had verified yields averaging more than 383.6 bushels per acre, compared to the projected national average of 173.4 bushels per acre in 2014. While there is no overall contest winner, yields from first, second and third place farmers overall production categories topped out at 503.7190.
The all-time high yield record of 503 bushels per acre was set by Randy Dowdy, growbigcorn.com, of Valdosta, GA. The seven national entrants recording yields of more than 400 bushels per acre are: David Hula of Charles City, Va.; Craig Hula of Charles City, Va.; Steven Albracht of Hart, Texas; Randy Dowdy of Valdosta, Ga.;Dowdy Farms VIII of Valdosta, Ga; and Dowdy Farms II of Valdosta, Ga.
“Many of our members first joined NCGA so that they could participate in the National Corn Yield Contest and test their skills as a farmer,” said Tom Haag, chairman of NCGA’s Grower Services Action Team. “While they join to gain entry, their view of the organization, and corresponding level of participation, evolves. Once a contest participant looks at our activities and achievements on behalf of all American growers, they see the value in a grassroots approach that unites the voices of corn farmers across the country to affect change. Reluctant joiners turn into vital members, spokespeople for their industry and active advocates of NCGA membership.”
For half of a century, NCGA’s National Corn Yield Contest has provided corn growers the opportunity to compete with their colleagues to grow the most corn per acre, helping feed and fuel the world. This has given participants not only the recognition they deserved, but the opportunity to learn from their peers.