The National Corn Growers Association has announced the expansion of the National Corn Yield Contest to include a new pilot class focused on nitrogen management.
The pilot allows corn growers to continue experimenting with practices that reduce inputs to optimize economics and environmental stewardship, while creating opportunities for current participants to pilot new practices, and new participants to join the contest.
NCGA will partner with Verdesian Life Sciences to bring this new opportunity to corn growers for the 2023 contest, which launches on May 1.
The pilot parameters are simple: growers will decide what nitrogen forms to use and when to apply, but total nitrogen applied must be 180 pounds or less. The 2023 participation will be limited to the first 100 growers located in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, or Wisconsin.
“One thing I know about corn farmers . . . they are #AllIn. They love to push themselves to be their personal best,” said NCGA President and Minnesota farmer Tom Haag. “This nitrogen management pilot allows for new players to become involved in the National Corn Yield Contest, and for our already-successful NCYC champions to apply their skillsets to a different challenge.”
Although the National Corn Yield Contest is in its 58th year, it is still adept at taking cues from the continuous advances being made across the ag industry. Sustainability has been front and center for growers and stakeholders, and the new pilot class also aims to help NCGA achieve its 2030 goals.
Verdesian believes that nutrient use efficiency is the next frontier in crop yield and quality, which aligns with the NCGA’s goals and goals for the pilot class. Together, NCGA and Verdesian seek to shed additional light on innovative best management practices (BMPs) that show promising yields with limited nitrogen inputs.
“The partnership between Verdesian and NCGA on this nitrogen efficiency class aligns perfectly with our goal to promote practices and technologies that empower farmers to be sustainably profitable. Nitrogen efficiency is critical for both near-term yield gains and long-term sustainability at both the grower and industry level,” said Brady Eilers, Vice President of Global Marketing for Verdesian.