Shakopee, Minn. - The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) announced the winners of the Associations' annual Corn Yield Contest recently. The contest gives Minnesota corn producers the chance to compete against fellow growers and show their knowledge of seed purchases, planting, and management of fertilizers to maximize their corn yields.
This year, a drought stretched from July 4 through mid-September in many parts of the Minnesota, and yet the state's corn farmers managed to bring in an above-average crop, with a statewide yield average of 146 bushels of corn per acre. Ger-Bes Enterprises of Dakota County produced the highest over-all yield of 291.9 bushels per acre, nearly twice the state average. Ger-Bes scored their victory in the Corn Yield Contest with Pioneer variety 34N44.
Beyond the fun of competing, the contest provides corn growers another independent information source for comparing the performance of corn varieties. In addition to the Corn Yield Contest, the MCGA also conducts the Variety Plot Program, an even more comprehensive comparison of different seeds and how they perform.
This year, 30 producers from across the state were named first, second or third place finishers in 11 categories. In a change from previous year's contests, the MCGA divided the state into three zones - north, central and south - replacing the former system of categorizing contests by maturity dates (how many days after planting before the corn plant would typically be ready for harvest). The contest also divided producers according to the type of tillage used - mulch or minimum - and whether the they employ irrigation or not.
Nearly all contest winners topped 200 bushels per acre, and many harvested more than 250 bushels per acre. The United States Department of Agriculture estimates that Minnesota corn farmers harvested a total of 970.9 million bushels of field corn in 2003, about a tenth of total feed corn production in the United States.
This crop represents a direct value to farmers of $2.6 billion, according to the Minnesota Agricultural Statistics Service. The overall economic impact for Minnesota goes far beyond that amount, in terms of jobs and the value-added production of livestock, dairy, ethanol and other farm products to which corn contributes.
Here is the list of the thirty top producers in the 2003 MCGA Corn Yield Contest:
Northern, Minimum-Till, Non-Irrigated
First - Bruce Hamm, Meeker County, Monsanto DKC 47-10, Yield 237.4996
Second - Robert Hamm, Meeker County, Garst 8812YG1/RR, Yield 202.5488
Third - Dean Peterson, Todd County, Syngenta N25-J7, Yield 91.8562
Northern, Mulch-Till, Irrigated
First - John Traut, Stearns County, Monsanto DKC 44-42, Yield 257.1021
Second - John Traut, Stearns County, Monsanto DKC 46-26, Yield 242.6577
Third - Dennis Wurm, Wright County, Monsanto DKC 47-10, Yield 239.3306
Northern, Mulch-Till, Non-Irrigated
First - Lee Tollefsrud, Swift County, Monsanto DKC 44-46, Yield 216.9896
Second - Scott Swenson, Grant County, Monsanto DKC 46-28, Yield 214.3947
Third - Larry Smith, Wright County, Pioneer 36N71, Yield 205.9760
Central, Minimum-Till, Irrigated
First - Charles Louis, Dakota County, Pioneer 34N44, Yield 252.4436
Second - Winton Nelson, Meeker County, Syngenta N45-T5, Yield 194.3182
Third - Jason Nelson, Meeker County, Legend LS 5120, Yield 183.6769
Central, Minimum-Till, Non-Irrigated
First - Steve Carlson, Goodhue County, Syngenta N45-A6, Yield 206.6430
Second - Milton Olson, Rice County, Syngenta N32-L9, Yield 205.3145
Third - Delmar & Chris Hinck, Goodhue County, Pioneer 38A23, Yield 205.1532
Central, Mulch-Till, Irrigated
First - Ger-Bes Enterprises, Dakota County, Pioneer 34N44, Yield 290.9394
Second - Kevin Bauer, Dakota County, Pioneer 34M95, Yield 281.6418
Third - Kevin Bauer, Dakota County, Pioneer 34N44, Yield 269.6354
Central, Mulch-Till, Non-Irrigated
First - Larry Mischke, Wabasha County, Monsanto DKC 50-18, Yield 235.4376
Second - Richard Compart, Nicollet County, Pioneer 35Y55, Yield 226.3339
Third - Tony Liebl, Nicollet County, Pioneer 38H67, Yield 225.449
Southern, Minimum-Till, Irrigated
First - Ronald Thompson, Freeborn County, Monsanto DKC 5824, Yield 223.0725
Southern, Minimum-Till, Non-Irrigated
First - Joseph & James Schieber, Houston County, Pioneer 34N44, Yield 253.8715
Second - Gary Miller, Olmsted County, Stauffer 2517 BT, Yield 223.4008
Third - David Heublein, Winona County, Monsanto DKC 5334, Yield 222.7668
Southern, Mulch-Till, Irrigated
First - Stan Thompson, Freeborn County, Monsanto DKC 53-34, Yield 218.3396
Second - Raymond Stevermer, Faribault County, Monsanto DKC 53-32, Yield 204.1504
Southern, Mulch-Till, Non-Irrigated
First - Arlo Schmitt, Fillmore County, Monsanto DKC 50-18, Yield 251.9849
Second - Don Stenzel, Faribault County, Monsanto DKC 51-43, Yield 248.1415
Third - Scott Johnson, Faribault County, Monsanto DKC 58-24, Yield 246.9521