An area corn grower has been named a national winner in the 2000 National Corn Yield Contest (NCYC), sponsored by the National Corn Growers Association. (NCGA).

Bobby Woodall of Decherd, Tenn., placed second in the nation in the Non-Irrigated Class with a yield of 254.7995 bushels per acre. The hybrid planted was Pioneer 31G98.

Three placings are awarded within each of nine classes in the national competition. The 27 winning fields were located in 18 different states.

The local grower also was one of 507 state winners from among 3,552 entrants. The state winners used 159 different hybrids to produce an average yield of 207.5 bushels per acre, up 1.1 bushels from last year’s winning yield average.

Even the non-winners fared well — only 5.2 bushels separated the average winning yield from the average of all entrants (202.3 bpa). The high yield was 357.3 bushels per acre produced by a grower from Manchester, Iowa, who topped the popular contest for the second year in a row.

Weather once again played a significant role in yields that ranged from the winning 357.3 bushels to the lowest national yield of 216.7 bushels per acre.

"It’s interesting that the majority of the winners were east of the Mississippi River," said NCGA President Lee Klein of Battle Creek, Neb. "Growers in eastern states who endured devastating droughts in previous years finally enjoyed better growing conditions in 2000.

"Hot and dry conditions pulled yields down in Nebraska and Kansas, while a pre-harvest storm in the central Corn Belt damaged crops in key corn growing states like Iowa and Illinois," Klein said.

The top national yields ranged from 226 bushels per acre in the A Ridge-Till Non-Irrigated Class to 357.3 bushels per acre in the AA Non-Irrigated Class. Average yields, by class, ranged from 169.5 bushels in the Ridge-Till Non-Irrigated Class to 214.7 bushels per acre in the Irrigated Class.

The goal of the National Corn Yield Contest is to provide farmers with information that can help improve their methods of production to increase profitability, while addressing environmental concerns. Contest participants also improve their operations by getting a unique opportunity to compare their own proven corn production capabilities with other farmers in their state and across the country.

Farmers are encouraged through the contest to develop new, efficient production techniques.

Fertilizer is one example of the improved efficiency being reflected in the contest. The average commercial nitrogen use per bushel of yield was 0.98 pounds for all entrants, significantly less than the agronomic requirement of 1.1 to 1.2 pounds per bushel.

Other agronomic data gleaned from the 2000 contest include:

o Contest entrants planted 548 different hybrids.

o 67.6 percent of the contest fields followed soybeans; 17.7 percent followed corn.

o 70.9 percent of entrants ran a soil test on their entry field before planting.

o Average planted population per acre was 30,895 for entrants; 30,928 for winners.

Contest winners were recognized at the 2001 Commodity Classic, the combined convention and trade show of the NCGA and the American Soybean Association (ASA) held in San Antonio, Texas.

A complete list of winners is posted on the NCGA Website at www.ncga.com.

NCGA is a national commodity association with more than 32,000 members in 48 states and 25 affiliated state corn organizations.