ST. LOUIS — As the American farmer strives to meet the growing demand for corn required to satisfy increasing world demand, one Somerset County, Maryland, grower has been honored for his efforts through the 2016 National Corn Yield Contest.
Gary L. King of Princess Anne placed third in the state in the No-Till/Strip-Till Irrigated Class (Class E) with a yield of 265.4891 bushels per acre. The hybrid used in the winning field was Pioneer P1197AM. He was one of 400 state winners nationwide in a contest that included 7,979 entries from 46 states. Of the state winners, 18 growers — three from each of six classes — were named national winners, representing nine states.
First place in Class E in Maryland went to Bruce Bartz of Denton with 311.6199 bushels per acre using DEKALB DKC62-08RIB seed. Second was Edward Appenzeller Jr. of Millington using Axis 64K24 seed. His yield was 272.8002 bushels per acre. While Queen Anne’s County farmer Michael Bostic edged Mr. King by just over two bushels per acre using the same seed as he did, Mr. Bostic instead gets credit for placing second in another class as there is only one winner if there are multiple entries.
Mr. King has had good luck with Pioneer brand hybrids. In 2011 he placed third in the No-Till/Strip Till Non-Irrigated category with 192 bushels per acre. The hybrid used that year was P1184HR.
The average yield among national winners in the 2016 contest was 374.7 bushels per acre — greater than the projected U.S. average of 175.3 bushels per acre. Five of the national winners recorded yields of 400 bushels or more per acre.
“This harvest, the world witnessed the incredible bounty U.S. corn farmers can provide to meet the growing need for food, fuel and fiber both in our nation and around the world,” said NCGA President Wesley Spurlock, a corn grower from Stratford, Texas. “Our contest participants demonstrated that America’s farmers continue to strive for excellence while adopting state-of-the-art tools which help them meet those goals,” Spurlock continued.
“The top yield in this year’s contest —a tremendous 521.3968 bushels per acre achieved by Randy Dowdy of Valdosta, Ga., is a testament to these efforts.”
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 39,111 seeds per acre, compared to 34,110 for all entrants.
- National winners applied an average of 311.06 pounds of nitrogen, 84.61 pounds of phosphorus and 180.83 pounds of potassium per acre.
- Average commercial nitrogen use per bushel of yield was 0.83 pounds for the national winners and 0.83 pounds for all entrants.
- 33.33 percent of the national winners applied trace minerals, compared to 37.04 percent of all entrants.
- Use of manure as a fertilizer was consistent. 33.33 percent of national winners applied manure, compared to 14.91 percent of all entrants.
The National Corn Yield Contest began in 1965 with 20 entries from 3 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 March 3 at the 2017 Commodity Classic, the premier convention and trade show of the U.S. corn, soybean, sorghum, wheat and equipment industries, held this year in San Antonio, Texas. 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.
— Rachel Orf is with the National Corn Growers Association.