Corn yield contest reflects resilience of corn and farmers who grow it

Wisconsin State Farmer
Despite weather challenges and a pandemic, corn growers turn in impressive yields in annual national contest.

U.S. farmers not only planted and harvested a large crop successfully in 2020, but they also rolled out some impressive yields in the National Corn Growers Association’s National Corn Yield Contest despite weather challenges, wildfires, and a pandemic.

Michigan farmer Don Stall turned in a bin busting yield of 476.9052 bushels per acre, reflecting farmers' resilience and the value of modern seed varieties, advanced production techniques and innovative growing practices, the NCGA said.

The National Corn Yield Contest is now in its 56th year and remains NCGA’s most popular program for members.

“This contest brings farmers together to create, innovate and explore ways to optimize the nation’s largest and arguably most important crop,” said Debbie Borg, chair of NCGA’s Member and Consumer Engagement Action Team. “At both the state and national levels, contest winners find new ways to excel while using a variety of techniques. Ultimately, the invention and improvement by farmers and input providers enable U.S. farmers to continue to meet the future demand for critical food, feed, fuel and fiber.”

The 27 national winners in 9 production categories had verified yields averaging more than 345.9948 bushels per acre, compared to the projected national average of 175 bushels per acre nationwide. While there is no overall contest winner, yields from first, second and third place farmers overall production categories topped out at 274.2037 bushels per acre.

For more than half a century, NCGA’s National Corn Yield Contest has provided corn growers with the opportunity to compete with their colleagues to grow the most corn per acre, helping feed and fuel the world. This has given participants not only the recognition they deserved but the opportunity to learn from their peers.


Winners receive national recognition in publications such as the NCYC Corn Yield Guide, as well as trips or other awards from participating sponsoring seed, chemical and crop protection companies.

Wisconsin farmers receiving national recognition include Charles Baxter of Darlington who placed third in the Strip, Min, Mulch, Ridge-Till Non-Irrigated division. Baxter planted DEKALB DKC64- 34RIB which had a yield of 323.4118 bu/acre. Placing second in the Conventional Irrigated division was George Andrew of Evansville. Andrew planted Pioneer P0720Q for a yield of 324.7783 bu/acre.

Receiving first place finishes in the state competition were the following Wisconsin growers: 

  • Conventional Non-Irrigated – Tim Appell of Shullsburg, growing DEKALB DKC64-35RIB for a yield of 318.4729 bu/acre.
  • No-Till Non-Irrigated – Dale Bahr of Belmont growing DEKALB DKC63-90RIB for a yield of 310.5680 bu/acre.
  • Strip, Min, Mulch, Ridge-Till Non-Irrigated – Baxter, Darlington.
  • No-Till Irrigated – Tim Gaffron, Twin Lakes growing Pioneer P0720Q for a yield of 268.9966 bu/acre.
  • Strip, Min, Mulch, Ridge-Till Irrigated – Matt & Gene Larsen of Baraboo growing DEKALB DKC54-64RIB for a yield of 276.7952 bu/acre.
  • Conventional Irrigated – George Andrew Evansville.