The backbone of agriculture in the U.S. continues to be the American farmer. As they strive to meet the growing demand for corn to satisfy increasing world need, one area grower has been honored through the 2018 National Corn Yield Contest. The national contest, sponsored annually by the National Corn Growers Association, recognizes farmers from across the country for their exceptional efforts.

Donovan Cooper of Fairfax, Missouri, placed third in the state in the D: AA No-Till/Strip-Till Non-Irrigated Class with a yield of 284.58609999999999 bushels per acre. The hybrid used in the winning field was Pioneer P1366AM™. The winning field was located in Missouri.

Cooper was one of 417 state winners nationwide. The 2018 contest participation included 7,258 entries from 46 states. Of the state winners, 18 growers – three from each of six classes – were named national winners, representing eight states.

The average yield among national winners was more than 349 bushels per acre – greater than the projected 2018 U.S. average of 176.6 bushels per acre. One national winner recorded a yield of over 475 bushels per acre topping out at an astounding 477.6877 bushels per acre which was achieved by Don Stall of Charlotte, Michigan.

“In 2018, corn farmers showed, yet again, that they continually grow an abundance that feeds and fuels the world sustainably,” said NCGA President Lynn Chrisp, a corn grower from Hastings, Nebraska.

“The NCGA NCYC contest participants exhibited the potential of all America’s farmers as they continually adopt innovative tools which help them achieve excellence,” Chrisp continued. “Their incredible achievements, from averaging more than 349 bushels per acre amounts all national winners to a top yield of 477.6877, clearly showed the ability of America’s corn farmers to excel even facing less-than-ideal conditions.”

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 39,203 seeds per acre, compared to 34,450 for all entrants.

• National winners applied an average of 206.28 pounds of nitrogen, 82.23 pounds of phosphorus and 80.50 pounds of potassium per acre.

• Average commercial nitrogen use per bushel of yield was 0.87 pounds for the national winners and 0.92 pounds for all entrants.

• 27.00 percent of the national winners applied trace minerals, compared to 36.44 percent of all entrants.

• 11.00 percent of national winners applied manure, compared to 15.20 percent of all entrants.

The National Corn Yield Contest began in 1965 with 20 entries from three 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-peracre range.

The winners were recognized March 1 at the 2019 Commodity Classic, the premier convention and trade show of the U.S. corn, soybean, sorghum, wheat and equipment industries, held this year in Orlando, Florida.