Corn growers shattered yield records in a year beset with weather problems, using innovative production techniques and improved seed varieties to achieve top numbers in the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) 2008 National Corn Yield Contest.

Not only was the number of entries (6,725) higher than ever before, and double the number in 2006, but several entrants scored yields of more than double the estimated national average.

“Our growers faced so many challenges this year and really proved their mettle,” said David Ward, chairman of NCGA’s Production and Stewardship Action Team. “Thanks to hard work and innovation, we’re producing more corn per acre and meeting all demands once again, for corn-based food, feed, fuel, and fiber. The end results were great and we appreciate the efforts of all corn growers to meet the needs of all of our customers. We salute the thousands who got involved in this contest to test and prove their skills as growers, and congratulate the winners for their success.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s estimated national average yield for field corn is 153.8 bushels per acre. The 24 national winners in eight production categories had verified yields averaging more than 310 bushels per acre. In this year’s contest, 19 entrants harvested yields of 300 bushels or more per acre.

While there is no overall winner in the contest due to the variety of growing climates and methods, the national winners with the first, second and third highest yields in each of the eight production categories ranged from 368.2742 to 284.5849 bushels per acre.

“It was great to see so many veteran growers and new faces among the list of entries,” said Tim Dolan, chairman of NCGA’s Grower Services Action Team. “This program has always been one of the most popular member benefits we offer, and in its long history of more than four decades it has always given growers a chance to celebrate success and learn better growing methods.”

The national and state contest winners will be honored at the 2009 Commodity Classic.