Twenty-seven corn growers from 14 states surpassed 3,601 entrants to emerge as national winners of the 2003 National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) National Corn Yield Contest (NCYC).

The 2003 contest drew entries from 47 states and proved to be one of the best ever in its 38-year history. "Despite unfavorable conditions throughout much of the nation, this year’s contest is the second largest ever," said NCGA President Dee Vaughan, noting the record of 3,679 was set in 1996.

While there is no one overall winner in the NCYC, the resulting top yields of farmers who placed first, second and third nationally in the respective categories ranged from 321.8402 bushels per acre by David Hula in Charles City, Va., to 229.9746 by Elwin Tanner in Union City, Tenn.

"This was a very strange year in terms of weather and growing conditions," said Vaughan, a grower from Dumas, Texas. "While some areas experienced severe drought, others benefited from ideal wet and cool conditions. Other states fell somewhere in between. And despite these conditions, our growers proved once again their ability to excel regardless of the conditions."

He noted that, each year producers use the NCYC to improved their operations through the unparalleled opportunity to compare their own proven corn production capabilities with farmers in their states and across the country.

"The Corn Yield Contest offers a chance to highlight competition among our growers to strive for excellence and get the most they can per acre," Vaughan said, "plus it’s an opportunity for them to learn some cultural practices that some growers have seen success with and have an opportunity to use those practices in the future. It’s also a great tool for membership and recruitment."

State yield contest winners will be recognized at a breakfast and national winners will be honored during an awards banquet at Commodity Classic, the combined convention and traded show of NCGA and the American Soybean Association, March 2-4, 2004, in Las Vegas.

For a complete list of winners and for more information about the NCYC, visit the NCGA Web site at www.ncga.com.