BLOOMINGBURG – Although the 2015 growing season was a challenging one for many of Ohio’s corn growers, that was not the case for a Bloomingburg farmer.
In fact, James Jacobs had such a stellar growing season, he was the Ohio winner in the No-Till/Strip-Till Non-Irrigated category in the National Corn Growers Association 2015 National Corn Yield Contest.
The premier event of every corn growing season since 1965, this contest offers challenges and rewards to each entrant. The National Corn Growers Association holds the contest to challenge farmers to take advantage of the opportunity to explore new ideas and production techniques, while gleaning knowledge to enhance future yield potential.
Jacobs, who works at Seed Consultants in Washington C.H., did just that while he and his step-father farmed approximately 1,500 acres. He took the top prize in his category with nearly 277 bushels an acre.
“I’m a firm believer that you can’t be doing the same practices year after year and expecting different results,” said Jacobs. “You have to try different things to help increase yields and you won’t know unless you try.”
Jacobs has entered the contest several times before, placing third in the state in 2011. He said the contest encourages him to try new methods.
Despite the moisture that made growing difficult for many farmers in 2015, Jacobs said he was blessed with a good year.
“We had a little trouble with moisture….the early planted corn seemed to do better,” he said. “I thought we lost some nitrogen because we had so much rain later on in the season. So I put a fungicide on the corn to help with leaf disease because it’s really conducive for leaf disease when you have a lot of rain.”
Typically, Jacobs said, he puts down about 20 gallons of 28 percent with the chemicals in the spring and then comes back and side-dresses with around 140 pounds of anhydrous. However, in this contest, they put down 160 pounds.
“I was really fortunate,” Jacobs said. “I really didn’t want to brag too much about it because a lot of farmers, especially a lot up north, struggled even more with water than we did. Interestingly enough, on my tougher ground – it has a slight hill to it – the water was able to get away from that. That’s where I saw my biggest yield. When I got down into the lower ground where the more productive soil is, I think the water laid on there too much. It wasn’t quite as good.”
The National Corn Yield Contest is now in its 51st year and remains the National Corn Growers Association’s most popular program for members. There were 7,729 entries.