Corn and soybean growers have banner year

CEWM-MR-1-Corn and 1by Sally Colby

With nearly ideal growing conditions in many segments of the Mid-Atlantic region, 2013 was a record year for production. According to Dr. Greg Roth, Penn State Extension, Pennsylvania corn growers averaged an outstanding 237 bushels/acre.

At the Professional Crop Growers Conference held recently in Lancaster, PA, awards were given to growers who achieved top yields. Because the measurement of crop yields over a period of years is a better accurate indicator of overall performance than just one year’s yield, participants in the state’s Corn Club are recognized for three-year average performance.

John Frederick of Bucks County placed first in the three-year average shelled corn/tilled class.

Frederick grew Growmark FS62R26VT3P with a plant population of 33,171. His three-year average is 225.2 bu/acre. In second place was David Schantz of Berks County, with a three-year average of 216.3 bu/acre. Brian Fulmer, of Northampton County, placed third with 214.3 bu/acre over three years.

Carl Shaffer of Columbia County was the winner of the three-year average in the shelled corn/no-till class. Shaffer, who is the president of Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, grew Pioneer P1498HR with a plant population of 30,142. His three-year average 245.8 bu/acre. In second place was A. Dale Herr of Lancaster County, with 242.7 bu/acre average over three years. Kristen Grumbine, of Lebanon County, placed third with a three-year average of 231.5 bu/acre.

Individuals are also recognized for the previous growing year. Winners for 2013 shelled corn/no-till include first place winner Marlyn Shaffer of Wayne County with 273.8 bu/acre. Shaffer grew Pioneer PO987 with a plant population of 32,409. Herman Manbeck, of Berks County, was second with 271.3 bu/acre of Pioneer P1319HR. In third was A. Dale Herr who grew Pioneer P1339AMI for 270.5 bu/acre.

In the shelled corn/tilled division, the first place winner was Glenn Krall, Lebanon County, who grew Pioneer P1319HR with a plant population of 33,000 for 263.2 bu/acre. In second was John Frederick, Bucks County, who grew Growmark FS62R26VT3P for a yield of 262.8 bu/acre. Third place winner was Linda Krall of Lebanon County, who grew Pioneer P1498HR for a yield of 261.3 bu/acre.

Roth noted that at one time, 200 bu/acre was an outstanding yield, but this year, only four of the 54 entries yielded less than 200 bu/acre. Records over the years indicate that Corn Club members have been increasing yields annually by about 3.7 bu/acre. Roth says examining production practices of the growers provides insight and helps other growers determine which practices might benefit their operation. The average final stand for growers is around 31,000, and more farmers are using no-till methods. Corn is being grown in rotation with soybeans, and over 70 percent of fields are side-dressed and 50 percent are treated with fungicide.

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