New pilot class in yield contest to focus on nitrogen management  

The National Corn Growers Association has expanded the National Corn Yield Contest to include a pilot class focused on nitrogen management.

NCGA President Tom Haag, a farmer from Minnesota, says it will allow some new farmers to participate.

“The old contest has been the same basically since we started. They’ve had different classes, but the goal is to see how many bushels you can get per acre and you’re probably using more fertilizer,” he says. “This time we’ve decided to try a new class because some of the growers have been asking for it and it’s something we thought would be a good way to start something new for corn growers that don’t want to go to the extreme limits of high yields.”

The total nitrogen applied must be 180 pounds or less. Participation in the pilot class is limited to the first 100 growers in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, or Wisconsin.

Participants will decide what nitrogen forms to use and when to apply.

“You’re going to have to show documentation that you didn’t use more than 180 pounds,” he says. “You can use so much regular nitrogen, or you can use manure from cows, or pigs, or turkeys etc. As long as it adds up to those 180 pounds, you’re eligible.”

Haag tells Brownfield the new class highlights that corn growers remain committed to sustainability.

“The other aspect of the contest is the more the better. This (class) is limited to a certain amount of nitrogen and that shows sustainability and what farmers can do,” he says.

The 2023 contest launched today.

NCGA has partnered with Verdesian Life Sciences to offer the nitrogen management class aimed at allowing growers to continue experimenting with practices that reduce inputs to optimize environmental stewardship and improve their bottom line. Click here for more information.

Audio: Tom Haag

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