A Harford County farmer has been honored as a state winner in the 2012 National Corn Yield Contest, sponsored annually by the National Corn Growers Association.
Harrison Rigdon, of Jarrettsville, placed first in the state in the A No-Till/Strip Till Non-Irrigated Class with a yield of 268.9818 bushels per acre. The hybrid used in the winning field was Pioneer P1395XR.
Rigdon was one of 421 state winners nationwide. The 2012 contest had 8,263 entries from 46 states. Of the state winners, 18 growers – three from each of six classes – were named national winners, representing 13 states.
The average yield among national winners was 316.3 bushels per acre – greater than the 2012 U.S. average of 122.3 bushels per acre. Nine of the national winners recorded yields of 300 bushels or more per acre.
"Despite the fact that 2012 was a challenging production year, individual growers continued to provide a showcase for American production agriculture," NCGA Chairman Garry Niemeyer, a corn grower from Auburn, Ill., said in a press release.
"While the national corn yield average declined more than 24 bushels per acre in 2012, the average yield in this year's contest actually increased by more than three bushels per acre as compared to 2011," Niemeyer said.
"That's why this contest and its focus on safe, advanced corn production methods are so important," Niemeyer said. "The top yield in this year's contest – a tremendous 384.4 bushels per acre achieved by David Hula of Charles City, Va., – is a testament to these efforts."
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 37,941 seeds per acre, compared to 33,532 for all entrants.
• National winners applied an average of 273 pounds of nitrogen, 82 pounds of phosphorus and 115 pounds of potassium per acre.
• Average commercial nitrogen use per bushel of yield was 0.87 pounds for the national winners and 0.90 pounds for all entrants.
• Half of the national winners applied trace minerals, compared to 36 percent of all entrants.
• Use of manure as a fertilizer was consistent; 17 percent of national winners applied manure, compared to 16 percent of all entrants.
The National Corn Yield Contest began in 1965 with 20 entries from three states. The highest overall yield then was 218.9 bushels per acre, while the national yield average was in the mid-60 bushel-per-acre range.
This year's winners were recognized March 1 at the 2013 Commodity Classic – the premier convention and trade show of the U.S. corn, soybean, sorghum and wheat industries – held in Kissimmee, Fla. For a complete list of winners and for more information about NCYC, visit the NCGA Web site at http://www.ncga.com.
The National Corn Growers Association represents more than 38,000 members, 48 affiliated state corn grower and checkoff organizations, and hundreds of thousands of growers who contribute to state checkoff programs.