Georgia recognizes top corn growers Georgia honored its most efficient corn producers and the producers with the highest yields in 2000 at the recent Georgia Corn Short Course held in Tifton.

There were 59 entries in the 2000 corn yield contest and 23 in the production efficiency program

Georgia's 2000 corn acreage of approximately 340,000 acres was slightly larger than the 1999 crop. And, incredibly, yield estimates are approximately the same as the previous year - 103 bushels per acre - despite a prolonged drought, says Dewey Lee, University of Georgia Extension agronomist.

Exceptional irrigated yields "This is due in most part to he exceptional irrigated yields," says Lee. "Favorable planting conditions in March helped the corn get off to a good start. However, it soon turned dry and remained so throughout most of the growing season.

Bright, sunny days with cool nighttime temperatures allowed irrigated corn to progress with little disease problems and plenty of carbohydrate production needed later for high yields, he adds. Approximately 40 percent of Georgia's corn crop is irrigated, and the agricultural statistics service indicates the state's growers produced more than 35 million bushels of corn in 2000.

The winning entry in the irrigated production category was submitted by Charles Smith, Jr. of Jefferson County with a yield of 281.1 bushels per acre. Richard Weaver of Gordon County submitted the winning entry in the non-irrigated production category with a yield of 211.7 bushels per acre.

Smith's winning irrigated entry was planted in Pioneer 31G98. It was harvested at 17.2 percent moisture and planted at 33,454 plants per acre. Smith planted in 30-inch rows on March 12 and harvested on Aug. 15. Smith's corn land was in cotton the previous summer and fallow during the winter.

Weaver's top dryland entry was planted in Pioneer 33G26 variety. It was harvested at 14.5 percent moisture and planted at 26.136 plants per acre. Weaver planted in 30-inch rows on May 5 and harvested on Oct. 7. His corn land was in fallow both last summer and winter.

The most efficient irrigated producer honors were shared by Ron and Scott Everidge of Rabbit Ridge Farms in Dooly County and Jim Hobgood of Gordon County. Rabbit Ridge Farms submitted a winning entry of 265.4 bushels per acre at $1.46 per bushel. Hobgood submitted an entry of 278.8 bushels per acre at $1.46 per bushel.

Rabbit Ridge Farms listed seed costs at $28.80 per acre. Starter fertilizer 19-58-49 was used and total nitrogen applied was 200 pounds per acre. Fifty-eight pounds of phosphate and 152 pounds per acre of potassium also were applied. Pesticides used included Atrazine and Basic Gold.

Hobgood's efficiency entry listed seed costs of $30 per acre. He applied 272 pounds per acre of nitrogen, 75 pounds of phosphate and 150 pounds of potassium. Two tons of manure also were applied. Pesticides used included Gramoxone, Roundup, Lasso and Atrazine.

Other winners The most efficiency non-irrigated producer in 2000 was Richard Weaver of Gordon County with 211.7 bushels per acre at $1.15 per bushel. Weaver listed seed costs at $29.54 per acre. He applied 231 pounds of nitrogen per acre, 51 pounds of phosphate and 63 pounds of potassium. Pesticides used included Roundup and Basic Gold.

Other irrigated production winners for 2000 included Heard and McDaniel Farm of Baker County with 268.45 bushels per acre, Tim Pope of Irwin County with 259.52 bushels per acre, Jim Reid of Sumter County with 267.76 bushels per acre, Jim Hobgood of Gordon County with 278.77 bushels per acre and Charles Smith Jr. of Jefferson County with 281.09 bushels per acre.

Other irrigated efficiency winners for 2000 included Hillside Farm of Early County with 267.4 bushels per acre at $1.62 per bushels, Hulin Reeves Jr. of Ben Hill County with 247.8 bushels per acre at $1.54 per bushel and Charles Smith Jr. of Jefferson County with 281.1 bushels per acres at $1.51 per bushel.