The 2015 growing season will be memorable for Ohio’s corn growers, with many of those memories being not so positive. That, however, is not the case for the state winners in the National Corn Growers Association 2015 National Corn Yield Contest.
The Ohio winner in the No-Till/Strip-Till Non-Irrigated Category was James Jacobs of Bloomingburg with 276.9825 bushels with Seed Consultants SCS 10HR43.
“It is not an easy contest and Mother Nature plays a big role. We just had the right weather this year and things turned out very well for us,” Jacobs said. “I know a lot of folks suffered from too much rain in Ohio but we were really blessed this year.”
Like most of the state, there was plenty of moisture in the spring on the Fayette County farm.
“It was wet early, then we got a dry spell and we were able to start planting corn on May 2. The contest field was no-till and we waited a little longer to plant it — I believe it was May 5. We had a good dry stretch of weather right there,” Jacobs said. “We had one field where we were putting tile in and cleaning a fence row and we planted that corn later. I know it suffered more when we got some rain after planting and that corn wasn’t big enough to handle all the moisture. All of the early-planted corn did really well, though. We had a lot of rain throughout the growing season and we had a good, cool summer and I think that helped with the yields.”
The bountiful moisture did boost yields but it also led to nitrogen loss concerns.
“The rain was a big issue and nitrogen loss seemed to be a big factor in the growing season this year. We used different management practices to help control that,” he said. “Typically we put down about 20 gallons of 28% with the chemicals in the spring and then we come back and sidedress with around 140 pounds of anhydrous, but in the contest field we put down 160 pounds last year. Then we did put a little more nitrogen on that field at tassel to finish it out. We flew it on. I did not do that in every field but that is something we might take a look at in the future if we get another year where get a lot of rain and nitrogen loss. That is something we may look at to help finish that corn out.”
The moisture also created some issues with diseases and fungicides were applied as needed on the farm, including on the winning contest field.
The SCS 10HR43 is a corn borer and Roundup resistant hybrid with the ability to tolerate stress, a trait that paid off in 2015.
“I picked that hybrid because in the last two years it was up near the top in the Seed Consultants trials. I liked how it handled the stress. It has been really consistent. It did really well for us. I think the winning field averaged 221 bushels over the whole field and we picked the right sweet spot in the field to get that 276,” he said. “Seed Consultants gives you $1,000 if you win first place in your state contest to go toward your seed purchase. You get a trip to Commodity Classic too and this year it is in New Orleans and my wife is excited about that. Down there you get to pick the brains of good corn growers and hear about their production practices to gain some insights. I am a firm believer that you can’t expect to do the same thing year after year and get different results, so it is always nice to go down there and learn about different things to incorporate into your program to get higher yields in the future.”
Here are the other top finishers in Ohio by category.
In the Non-Irrigated Category, the top Ohio yield was from Adam Smith of North Fairfield with 289.5824 bushels with DEKALB DKC64-89RIB. Ohio’s second highest yield in the category was from Nathan Smith from Marion with 289.1934 bushels with Channel 213-59STXRIB and the third place yield was from Fred Penick from Hebron with 277.9642 with Channel 209-51VT2PRIB.
In the No-Till/Strip-Till Non-Irrigated Category, the Ohio winners were Jacobs of Bloomingburg with 276.9825 bushels with Seed Consultants SCS 10HR43; Chris Waymire of Yellow Springs with 268.0480 bushels with DEKALB DKC63-33RIB; and Dale Stewart of Springfield with 256.2333 bushels with DEKALB DKC62-77RIB.
In the No-Till/Strip-Till Irrigated Category, Ohio winners were Mike Funderburgh of North Lewisburg with 266.4969 bushels with Pioneer P1197AMTM; Jim Motycka of Napoleon with 257.8354 bushels with Pioneer P0825AMXTTM; and Matt Milless of Amanda with 254.8025 bushels with Seed Consultants 1135.
In the Irrigated Category, Ohio winners were Matthew Funderburgh of North Lewisburg with 266.2018 bushels with Pioneer P119AMXTTM; Byron Gearhart from Chillicothe had 253.3042 bushels with AgriGold A6559 VTPRIB; and Dan Watchman of Napoleon had 249.4837 bushels with Seed Consultants 1125AMX.