More than 1,800 growers took advantage of this year's National Corn Yield Contest early registration deadline, putting the competition on pace to beat the record 3,581 growers who signed up in the year 2000.
"The response is overwhelming," says Max Starbuck, director of Production, Stewardship and Livestock for the National Corn Growers Association. "It shows that corn growers aren't just planting more acres, they're confident they have the production skills to raise yields, as well."
More than 20% of this year's entries are by growers who have never entered the NCYC before, Starbuck says.
The numbers should increase significantly by the final deadline Aug. 1, Starbuck believes. "Typically, we see the majority of entries arrive near the final deadline. That means the number of growers who enter could be the highest ever."
Growers may compete in as many categories as they wish. However, each field entered must be classed in only one production category. There are nine categories:
- A Non-irrigated class
- AA Non-irrigated class
- A No Till/Strip Till Non-irrigated
- AA No Till/Strip Till Irrigated
- No Till/Strip Till Non-irrigated
- A Ridge Till Non-irrigated
- AA Ridge Till Non-irrigated
- Ridge Till Irrigated
Class AA includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin. Class A is for all other states. No-till irrigated, ridge-till irrigated and irrigated classes comprise all states.