The all-time corn yield record inched upward again in 2017, with a farmer from Virginia breaking his old record with a yield of 542 bushels per acre in the 2017 National Corn Growers Association 2017 Corn Yield Contest.
David Hula, a farmer from Charles City, Va., broke his 2015 record of 532 bushels per acre with this year’s winning entry in the no-till/strip-till irrigated division. Hula’s son, Craig, finished just behind his father’s record-breaking yield with a yield of 529 bushels per acre. Craig’s cousin, Johnny Hula, also of Charles City, had the nation’s third-highest yield at 504 bushels per acre.
The top three yields were all in the no-till/strip-till irrigated category.
The 18 national winners in six production categories had verified yields averaging more than 386 bushels per acre, compared to the projected national average of 175.4 bushels per acre in 2017.
NCGA officials attributed the record-breaking yields to improved seed varieties, advanced production techniques and innovative grower practices.
“The contest provides farmers more than just an opportunity for friendly competition; it generates data that impact future production practices across the country,” Roger Zylstra, chairman of the NCGA’s Stewardship Action Team, said in a news release. “The techniques first developed by contest winners grow into far-reaching advances, helping farmers across the country excel in a variety of situations. Our contest emphasizes innovation both from growers and technology providers, thus enabling us to meet the growing demand for food, feed, fuel and fiber.”
Winners receive national recognition as well as cash trips or other awards from participating sponsoring seed, chemical and crop-protection companies. The winners will be honored during the 2018 Commodity Classic in Anaheim, Calif.
The National Corn Yield Contest is now in its 53rd year and remains the farm group’s most popular program for members.
National winners in the five other contest categories came from South Carolina, Indiana and Michigan. Only two other yields nationally topped 400 bushels per acre.
Jeff Laskowski of Plover had the highest yielding entry of any Wisconsin grower, at 317.6 bushels per acre. His winning entry was in the “irrigated” category.
The second-highest yield from Wisconsin was turned in by Eugene Steiger of Bloomington, with a yield of 314.2 bushels per acre in the no-till/strip-till non-irrigated category.
The top Wisconsin finishers in each of the four categories they entered included:
Irrigated: Jeff Laskowski, Plover, 317.6 and 311.9 bushels per acre; Barb Laskowski, Plover, 305.3; David Arndt, Janesville, 288.7.
No-till/strip-till irrigated: Rick Hargrave, Sarona, 289.8; Ken and Gerard Kau, Eagle, 277.2; Tyler Troila, Eagle, 274.9.
No-till/strip-till non-irrigated: Eugene Steiger, Bloomington, 314.2; Matt Mezera, Bagley, 302.2; Mike and Judy Berget, Darlington, 300.8.
Non-irrigated: Kiel Martin, Shullsburg, 290; Betty Steiger, Bloomington, 287.6; Kevin Bahr, Darlington, 284.8.