2020 Corn Yield Contest Winners

Michigan Grower Tops National Corn Yield Contest with 476-BPA Entry

Emily Unglesbee
By  Emily Unglesbee , DTN Staff Reporter
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Don Stall, of Charlotte, Michigan, led the NCGA's 2020 National Corn Yield Contest with a conventional irrigated field that hit 476 bushels per acre. (DTN photo by Rod Sanford)

ROCKVILLE, Md. (DTN) -- Don Stall, a corn grower from Charlotte, Michigan, pushed beyond 400 bushels per acre (bpa) this year, netting him the top yield of the NCGA's 2020 National Corn Yield Contest.

Stall submitted a 476.91-bpa yield in the conventional irrigated corn category of the contest, with Pioneer hybrid P0720AM. The next highest yield in the 2020 contest was Daniel Gause, Sr., who landed a 387.09-bpa entry in the no-till, non-irrigated corn category on his Scranton, South Carolina, farm with Pioneer hybrid P1847VYHR. Close behind him, for the third-highest yield, was Kevin Kalb, of Dubois, Indiana, with a 385.44-bpa entry in the conventional, non-irrigated category with DeKalb hybrid DKC67-44RIB.

This year's contest follows the heady 2019 yield contest, where David Hula set his fourth world record with a 616.2-bpa entry. While no world records were shattered this year, participation was up 5% from last year, with 7,844 entries from 48 states.

Iowa led the contest in entries, with 1,088 coming from Iowa NCGA members this year, with Illinois close behind with 839 entries and Nebraska with 818 entries.

As always, this year's corn contest showcased how intensive input management can push corn plants to their full genetic potential. The contest entrants averaged 213 lbs. of added nitrogen, with national winners averaging 278 lbs. In-season application of nutrients was a popular choice, with 70% and 55% of the national winners applying nitrogen at planting and side-dress, respectively, versus only 4% applying it in the fall or 15% at pre-plant.

Crop rotation was also a winning management practice in the contest this year, with 88% of the national winners following a soybean crop with their winning entry, versus only 12% following a corn crop.

The industry's growing interest in sustainable farming practices was also on display among the contest entrants, with 46% using cover crops on their farming operation and 38% using manure from their own livestock operations. A solid majority -- 78% -- added that they are actively reducing tillage practices on their operation, and 72% said they have an integrated pest management (IPM) plan in place for their row crop operation.

Here are all the first-place national winners from the 2020 contest, by category:

CONVENTIONAL NON-IRRIGATED (Corn Belt States of Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin)

--385.44 bpa: Kevin Kalb, of Dubois, Indiana, with DeKalb hybrid DKC67-44RIB.

CONVENTIONAL NON-IRRIGATED (Non-Corn Belt states)

-- 381.56 bpa: Sam Santini, of Belvidere, New Jersey, with DeKalb hybrid DKC70-27RIB.

NO-TILL NON-IRRIGATED (Non-Corn Belt states)

-- 387.09 bpa: Daniel Gause, Sr., of Scranton, South Carolina, with Pioneer hybrid P1847VYHR.

NO-TILL NON-IRRIGATED (Corn Belt States)

-- 329.06 bpa: Shawn Kalb, of Dubois, Indiana, with DeKalb hybrid DKC64-35RIB.

STRIP-TILL NON-IRRIGATED (Non-Corn Belt States)

--358.74 bpa: Jeffrey Barlieb, of Stewartsville, New Jersey, with Pioneer hybrid P1197AMT.

STRIP-TILL NON-IRRIGATED (Corn Belt States)

-- 347.46 bpa: Brad Wehr, of Jasper, Indiana, with DeKalb hybrid DKC65-95RIB.

NO-TILL IRRIGATED

-- 322.87 bpa: Blake E. Johnson, of Holdrege, Nebraska with Pioneer hybrid P1138AML.

STRIP-TILL IRRIGATED

-- 367.32 bpa: Ben Kron, of Evansville, Indiana, with LG Seeds hybrid LG62C35VT2RIB.

CONVENTIONAL IRRIGATED

-- 476.91 bpa: Don Stall, of Charlotte, Michigan, with Pioneer hybrid P0720AM.

For a full listing of the 2020 national winners, see the NCGA contest website here: https://ncga.com/….

Watch for full details of the contest in Progressive Farmer.

Emily Unglesbee can be reached at Emily.unglesbee@dtn.com

Follow her on Twitter @Emily_Unglesbee

Emily Unglesbee