Advanced production techniques, informed growing practices and improved seed varieties helped corn growers achieve high yields in the National Corn Growers Association 2011 National Corn Yield Contest. Despite the challenging weather conditions that plagued the Corn Belt throughout the year, entrants continued to far surpass the national average corn yield, even doubling it in some circumstances.

The National Corn Yield Contest is in its 47th year and remains NCGA’s most popular program for members. With 8,425 entries, the 2011 NCGA National Corn Yield Contest set a new participation record again this year. This is a 18 percent increase over 2010 (7,125) and an incredible 70 percent increase over 2007 (4,932).

“While this contest provides individual growers a chance for good-natured competition with their peers, it also advances farming as a whole,” said Dean Taylor, chair of NCGA’s Production and Stewardship Action Team. “The techniques and practices contest winners develop provide the basis for widely used advances that benefit the industry. This contest highlights how innovation, from both growers and technology providers, allows us to meet the growing demand for food, feed, fuel and fiber in a sustainable manner.”

The 18 winners in six production categories had verified yields averaging more than 313.107 bushels per acre, compared to the projected national average of 146.7 bushels per acre in 2011.

While there is no overall contest winner, yields from first, second and third place farmers overall production categories ranged from 277.5 to 429.0 bushels per acre.

“Many of our members joined NCGA so that they could participate in the National Corn Yield Contest and test their skills as a grower,” said Brandon Hunnicutt, chairman of NCGA’s Grower Services Action Team. “While many join to gain entry, their view of the organization, and corresponding level of participation, evolves. Once a contest participant looks more closely 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.”

The national and state contest winners will be honored at the 2012 Commodity Classic in Nashville, Tenn. March 1-3. Contest winners will also be featured in a special edition of Farm Journal magazine.

Click here for the national winners.