(Posted Thu. Feb 16th, 2012)
Feb. 16: The National Corn Growers Association released its 2011 National Corn Yield Contest Guide online, providing a sneak preview of the winner profiles and sustainability information that will hit many farmers’ mailboxes in the mid February issue of Farm Journal. With a personal message from NCGA President Garry Niemeyer and informative and entertaining information, such as a look at the nation’s oldest corn club, this edition of the annual publication provides the detailed contest information, insightful articles and exciting updates upon which farmers have come to rely.
Click here to view the full guide, which was co-sponsored by BASF, John Deere and Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont Business.
In his letter, Niemeyer praises the ability of America’s corn farmers to resiliently press ahead, achieving a bountiful harvest despite difficult weather conditions across the country. He notes that this optimism is reflected in the contest as well.
“Farmers demonstrated their hope and excitement about their profession by setting a new record,” Niemeyer says. “With 8,431 entries, the National Corn Yield Contest set a new participation record again in 2011. This is an 18 percent increase over 2010’s 7,125 entries and an incredible 71 percent increase over the 4,932 submitted in 2007.”
He also explains that the growth of the contest has larger implications than initially apparent.
“The importance of the contest to the industry as a whole increases along with its size,” he explains. “In providing a broader, more comprehensive data set, the techniques used by contest applicants help farmers across the country develop more efficient, productive operations.”
The feature article, which looks at using sustainability assessment as a risk management strategy, also embraces this forward-facing approach, an integral facet of the contest. Providing both an analysis of the current national climate surrounding the idea of sustainability and an in-depth look at the role it could play in the future of agriculture, the piece helps clearly illustrate a vision of the future in which farmers actively play a role in discussions of sustainability and, in turn, chart their own course within the movement.
In 2011, the 18 winners in six production categories had verified yields averaging more than 313.107 bushels per acre, compared to the projected national average of 146.7 bushels per acre in 2011. While there is no overall contest winner, yields from first, second and third place farmers overall production categories ranged from 277.5 to 429.0 bushels per acre.
The National Corn Yield Contest is in its 47th year and remains NCGA’s most popular program for members. National and state contest winners will be honored at the 2012 Commodity Classic in Nashville, Tenn. March 1-3.