During its recent corn yield contest, the National Corn Growers Association sorted and placed a record number of entries that surpassed national average corn yields despite crippling, persistent drought. Kansas growers did well among national competitors, posting several impressive yields on the state level.
The National Corn Yield Contest, in its 48th year, is NCGA's most popular member program. With 8.262 contest entries, 2012 surpassed all other years of the competition and awarded 18 winners in six production categories with verified yields averaging more than 316.3222 bushels per acre. This was compared to the projected national average of 122.3 bushels per acre last year.
All four of Kansas first place state winners had a combined average yield of 279.6 bushels per acre. At more than 317 bushels per acre, Vern Nightengale, Ingalls, had the top yield in the state competing in the irrigated division.
Brandon Hunnicutt, chair of NCGA's Grower Services Action Team, said many members join NCGA to participate in the National Corn Yield Contest. The event tests their skills as a farmer, he said.
"While they join to gain entry, their view of the organization and corresponding level of participation, evolves," Hunnicutt, a Giltner, Neb., grower, said. "Once a contest participant looks 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."