How did Jamie Gorder, Wahpeton, N.D., produce the 298.6 bushel per acre yield for the National Corn Growers Association Yield contest?
Her entry was the highest in North Dakota and 2nd highest nationally in the non-irrigated division.
Jamie farms with her husband, Mark, and their son, Vincent. Mark took second in the North Dakota non-irrigated division with a 288 bushel per acre entry.
Jamie produced 298.6 bushels per acre with DuPont Pioneer P0062XR -- a Roundup Ready genetically modified hybrid. It is a 102-day maturity hybrid. On their commercial fields, the Gorders plant 92- to 96-day conventional hybrids. The Gorders save Roundup Ready technology for sugarbeets.
They seeded the entry at a rate of 40,000 seed per acre in 30-inch rows. The plants were about 5 inches apart down the row. The Gorders usually plant a rate of 30,000-32,000.
The entry was grown on a sandy loam soil in a with a high water table. “We have been wet for the past 17 years,” Jamie notes.
The Gorders ridge-till. The ridges warm up faster than flat ground in the spring and keep the seedlings drier when the soil is too wet.
They split apply fertilizer. First they apply fertilizer with macro and micro nutrients on either side of the ridges so the roots from the seedlings run into them quickly. Later, they sidedress anhydrous ammonia when the corn is about knee-high. They foliar apply nitrogen when they apply herbicides, too.
Mark, who is spray pilot, flies on a fungicide when the corn silk has turned brown.
The Gorders have entered the yield contest for many years and have frequently won or placed second or third in their division. They use the contest to try new products and practices. The constant experimentation has helped them raise their whole farm corn yield average..
“We were so excited when we broke 200 bushels in the contest,” Jamie says.
Now 300 bushels seems within reach.
“If we get the right year, it could happen,” she says.