Despite a severe drought, several South Dakota farmers who entered the 2012 Corn Yield Contest harvested some of the highest corn yields in history.
Steve Breding of Chamberlain recorded the highest yield in the state this year by raising 279.32 bushels per acre in one of his fields. That ranks as the fourth-highest yield ever recorded on irrigated land using no-till or strip-till farming practices. Randy Svendsen of Volin harvested 276.52 bushels per acre in a field, ranking as the second-highest all time in the irrigated classification.
On non-irrigated land, Ronald Johnson of Alcester produced 271.49 bushels per acre, which ranks fifth all-time in that category. Jeffery Fliehs had the highest yield in non-irrigated fields using no-till or strip-till farming. His 261.01-bushel yield ranks second on record in that category.
South Dakota had 121 entries in four categories. The contest, conducted by the National Corn Growers Association, is in its 48th year and remains the organization's most popular program for members. The contest, which provides good-natured competition among neighbors, drew a near-record 8,262 entries nationally.
"It's a fun contest for our members and there's a value in seeing how old and new hybrids stack up over the years," said Mark Gross, president of the South Dakota Corn Growers Association. "Thanks to new technology and advanced farming practices, yields in this contest have been creeping closer to 300 bushels an acre and are likely to hit that mark in the near future. Farmers need to keep making gains to meet demands in this growing nation and world."
Winners in South Dakota's contest:
1. Randy Svendsen, Volin, Channel 211-99 VT3P, 276.52
2. Cary Hajek, Tyndall, Pioneer P1151HR, 265.22
3. Grant McCann, Springfield, Pioneer P1498HR, 261.06
1. Steve Breding, Chamberlain, Dekalb DKC63-07, 279.32
2. Val Mosel, Pukwana, Dekalb DKC55-24, 273.43
3. Prairie Creek Ranch, Yankton, Pioneer 34F07, 261.46
1. Jeffery Fliehs, Groton, Dekalb DKC52-59, 261.01
2. Steven Dayton, Stratford Dekalb DKC50-66, 249.80
3. Mark LaBrie, Frankfort, Pioneer P0533AM1, 249.00
1. Ronald Johnson, Alcester Pioneer 34F07, 271.49
2. Huron Farms, Huron Dekalb DKC52-59, 249.90
3. DustinReiff, Dell Rapids Pioneer P9917AM1, 246.39