Despite drought conditions that are fairly uniform across the U.S. Sorghum Belt, Gerald Simonsen, National Grain Sorghum Producers (NGSP) Yield and Management Contest chairman from Ruskin Neb., is encouraging farmers to see how their yields stack up in this year's contest.

“We know there are skilled and dedicated producers out there whose sorghum yields could still be competitive with farmers from other areas and states despite widespread dry conditions this year,” says Simonsen.

Sorghum growers from across the United States compete each year to determine how their sorghum yields stack up on the county, state and national levels.

“Because contestants compete against their own county yields, even farmers in areas with traditionally low yields find their own entries are competitive in this contest,” says Simonsen.

Winners of the contest, which includes five divisions, are determined by the amount a contestant's yield exceeds the five-year average yield in that contestant's county as determined by USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. The contestant's score is the difference between their yield and the county five-year average. Winners are determined by high scores in each division. The contest's five divisions are non-irrigated conventional tillage, irrigated conventional tillage, non-irrigated no-till, non-irrigated mulch-till, and irrigated reduced-till.

Based on scores, state and national winners are named in first, second and third places in each division. State first-place winners then compete for national honors.

Producers may enter as many contest plots as they wish. A $35 nonrefundable regular entry fee or $70 express entry fee must accompany each entry/contest plot. Contestants must be members of NGSP; however, dues may accompany the entry.

State and national winners of this year's contest who are present will be honored at NGSP's annual conference slated for Feb. 16-18 in Albuquerque, N.M.

Producers may contact NGSP by phone at 806-749-3478 or by email at member@sorghumgrowers.com. Entry forms in Adobe Acrobat pdf format also are available by visiting www.sorghumgrowers.com.