Area farmers earn top honors in National Corn Yield contest


LINGLE – Four area farmers were recently honored by the National Corn Growers Association for their success in the National Corn Yield Contest. Rick Cook, Joe Speckner, Robert Cook and Robb Cook all placed in this year’s event. 

Rick Cook placed first in the state in the H: Strip-Till, Minimum-Till, Mulch-Till, Ridge Till Irrigated Class with a yield of 211.849 bushels per acre. The hybrid used in the winning field was Pioneer P0339Q.

Joe Speckner placed second in the state in the H: Strip-Till, Minimum-Till, Mulch-Till, Ridge Till Irrigated Class with a yield of 210.5437 bushels per acre. The hybrid used in the winning field was Pioneer P0339Q.

Robert Cook placed second in the state in the I: Conventional Irrigated Class with a yield of 195.9422 bushels per acre. The hybrid used in the winning field was Pioneer P9608AM.

Robb Cook placed third in the state in the I: Conventional Irrigated Class with a yield of 179.6777 bushels per acre. The hybrid used in the winning field was Pioneer P9870AM.

The four men were each one of 506 state winners nationwide. The 2020 contest participation included 7,844 entries from48 states. Of the state winners, 27 growers were named national winners, representing 12 states, according to a release from the National Corn Yield Contest.

From the NCGA

The average yield among national winners was more than 346 bushels per acre – greater than the projected 2020 U.S. average of 175 bushels per acre. While there is no overall contest winner, yields from first, second and third place farmers’ overall production categories topped out at 476.9052 bushels per acre.

“In hindsight, 2020 looked much different for all of us. For farmers, the year brought unique challenges, true tests of their determination, grit and ability to persevere. As always, America’s farm families did not waiver in optimism or commitment. That dedication, along with eyes holding the future steadily in their gaze, allowed farmers to find abundance, opportunity and success in an unforeseeable time,” NCGA President John Linder said in
the release. 

“Farmers relied upon an innovative nature and ability to adapt practices while adopting technologies. They did more with less. They planned for the future, focusing on both environmental and economic sustainability. Drawing from knowledge rooted in tradition while exploring ever-evolving choices, farmers used the best of both old and new to provide food, feed and fiber for the world.”

Farmers are encouraged through the contest to utilize new, efficient production techniques.

Agronomic data gleaned from the contest revealed the following:

Average planting population for the national winners was 38,425 seeds per acre, compared to 34,163for all entrants.

National winners applied an average of 277.9525 pounds of nitrogen, 92.5185 pounds of phosphorus and 108.7837 pounds of potassium per acre.

Average commercial nitrogen use per bushel of yield was 0.88 pounds for the national winners and 0.84 pounds for all entrants.

23% of the national winners applied trace minerals, compared to 19% of all entrants.

15% of national winners applied manure, the same percentage of all entrants.

The National Corn Yield Contest began in 1965 with 20 entries from 3 states. At that time, the highest overall yield was 218.9 bushels per acre, while the national yield average was in the mid-60 bushel-per-acre range.

All 2020 contest winners were invited to attend the first ever virtual Commodity Classic. 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 our nearly 40,000 members, 50 affiliated state corn grower and checkoff organizations, and over 300,000 corn farmers who contribute to state checkoff programs.

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