Field Insights

Growers Push for High Yields to Win the National Corn Yield Contest

Many participants find more bushels per acre with Acuron corn herbicide.

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) inspires growers to aim for higher corn yields with the National Corn Yield Contest (NCYC), its longest-running program. The NCYC motivates growers to advance their skills with each growing season by earning the highest yield of one continuous hybrid on a 10-acre plot.

The contest rewards the skill and know-how of growers, but the takeaway is greater than trophies and recognition. “Because of the contest, farmers learn from themselves and each other,” says Linda Lambur, manager of the NCYC. “They try new practices, techniques, equipment and products while learning from and teaching each other.”

In this way, the NCYC provides valuable lessons to every participant while encouraging innovative collaboration through competition. “It is a contest, and a love of competition is a part of the farmer’s spirit,” says Lambur. “They’re all helping each other because everybody’s in it for a reason: to learn, to help, to grow.”

The NCGA introduced the contest to boost engagement among the state corn grower associations. In its first year, only 20 growers from four states entered the contest. Now, thousands of growers from across the country participate, with entries from nearly every state in the U.S.

Participation in the contest is a source of pride, and winners are recognized as industry leaders with successful corn yield plans — including seed selection and crop protection programs. “Yield contest winners are great role models because other farmers look to them for innovative ways to break through their own yield ceilings,” says Shawn Hock, corn herbicide product marketing lead for Syngenta.


A love of competition is a part of the farmer’s spirit. They’re all helping each other because everybody’s in it for a reason: to learn, to help, to grow.

Linda Lambur NCGA President

Find More Corn Bushels

Top corn producers manage factors like planting date, plant density, plant nutrition, genetics and pest management. Choosing the highest quality crop protection solutions can push growers to increase yield.

“To raise the highest yields possible, variables that can be controlled should be closely managed,” says Hock. “Acuron® really sets itself apart from other herbicides because of its unique combination for superior crop safety and broad-spectrum, long-lasting residual control. That’s what gives Acuron users the edge when raising high yields.”1

The combination of industry-leading inputs and excellent agronomic practices allows contest winners to achieve yields that once seemed impossible. “In 2022, the national corn yield was about 173 bushels per acre,” says Hock. “The average national contest winner in 2022 was over 340 bushels per acre.”

Syngenta supports the NCGA’s efforts to drive corn growers to push the boundaries of possible yields. Acuron helps growers accomplish that by providing greater consistency, enhanced weed control, built-in burndown and long-lasting residual. “It’s unique in the marketplace because of its combination of proven crop safety and residual weed control,” says Hock. “When you put those two things together, that unlocks more yield potential.”

In addition to higher yields, growers who register for the Find More Bushels program benefit from perks throughout the season, including a welcome gift and, for NCGA members entering the contest, a chance to win a trip to Commodity Classic, where winners will be honored at the NCGA reception.

Look Ahead to 2024

Reliable products and collaboration can help growers achieve the highest yields possible. The 2023 NCYC winners, who will be announced in December, are a testament to that. “We are looking forward to celebrating growers that are continuing to advance new management practices to continue raising the yield bar,” says Hock.

Next year marks the 60th anniversary of the NCYC. Participants can enter the contest in May 2024 by visiting and preparing their entries with their NCGA membership numbers. New members can reach out to the NCGA directly. Growers planning to find more bushels with Acuron can register online for the program in the spring of 2024.

  • The National Corn Yield Contest motivates growers to achieve higher yields.
  • The Find More Bushels program and Acuron® herbicide can help increase yield potential and set higher expectations.
  • The combination of crop protection inputs and solid agronomic practices gives competitive growers an edge.