Source: BASF news release

More than 1,400 growers gathered at the National Corn Growers Association's annual banquet to honor the winners of the 2008 National Corn Yield Contest, sponsored by BASF and the NCGA.

Adam Burnhams, Marketing Manager, U.S. Crop Protection Products at BASF, served as a keynote speaker and congratulated participants on their success, many of whom had to overcome sometimes daunting weather-related challenges in 2008. Burnhams remarks also addressed future demand.

"The demand for corn will continue to rise and this demand will be driven particularly by ethanol," Burnhams said. "To seize this opportunity, we must continue to embrace technology, continue to innovate and continue to challenge our crop management practices so we can identify new ways to break the yield barrier."

Burnhams praised the NCGA and growers in attendence for their leadership in the corn industry and for their willingness to take calculated risks to meet the needs of the marketplace. This entrepreneurial spirit, Burnhams said, is one reason average U.S. corn yields have increased from 50 bushels per acre when the NCGA was formed in 1957 to 180 bushels per acre last year. Some NCYC winners nearly doubled the 2008 U.S. average yield.

"We're here tonight honoring corn yields of more than 300 bushels per acre, which is a testament to the amazing potential that can be realized with the help of new technologies, innovation and collaboration," Burnhams said. "But we won't be satisfied with that for long. We will have to continue working to increase yields even further to meet the demands of tomorrow."

Nearly 60 percent of the 2008 NCYC winners treated their test acres with Headline fungicide. Burnhams used that fact as evidence for the results that innovative products can bring to the field.

"Our mission at BASF is to help you get the most out of every acre you plant. Our portfolio of products, including Headline, was designed to help you achieve that," Burnhams said. "As a technology developer, BASF is proud to be a sponsor of the National Corn Yield Contest for almost 20 years and proud to be your partner in these exciting times."