Advanced production techniques, informed growing practices and improved seed varieties helped corn growers achieve high yields in the National Corn Growers Association 2009 National Corn Yield Contest.

Despite the challenging weather conditions that plagued the Corn Belt throughout the year, entrants continued to far surpass the national average corn yield, even doubling it in some circumstances.

The National Corn Yield Contest is in its 45th year and remains NCGA’s most popular program for members. This year, NCGA has processed 6,960 entries — a 3.5 percent increase over 2008 (6,727 entries) and 41 percent increase over 2007 (4,932 entries).

“Again this year, we are excited and pleased looking at the yields achieved by our growers,” said Steve Ebke, chair of NCGA’s Production and Stewardship Action Team. “This contest highlights how, through scientific advances and grower innovation, we can meet growing demand for food, feed, fuel and fiber.”

The 24 winners in eight production categories had verified yields averaging more than 300 bushels per acre, compared to the projected national average of 162.9 bushels per acre.

While there is no overall contest winner, yields from first, second and third place farmers overall production categories ranged from 287.0744 to 346.0156 bushels per acre.

“It was great to see both veteran growers and new faces among the list of entrants,” said Tim Dolan, chairman of NCGA’s Grower Services Action Team. “This program has always been one of the most popular member benefits we offer, and it continually provides growers a chance to celebrate success and learn better growing methods.”

The national and state contest winners will be honored at the 2010 Commodity Classic.