An all-star cast of high-yield farmers had loads of advice for growers at the 2020 Commodity Classic Wednesday; however, the secret to high yields boils down to excellent agronomic expertise.
David Hula of Charles City, Virginia, has the world corn yield record, at 616 bushels per acre.
Randy Dowdy, Valdosta, Georgia, has the world soybean yield record, at 190 bushels per acre. Jena and Levi Ochsner, Sutton, Nebraska, 251 bushels of corn per acre. Cory Atley, Cedarville, Ohio, 279.2 bushels of corn per acre
Dowdy, a first-generation farmer who cultivates corn, soybeans, and peanuts in Georgia and Florida, is famous for his bin-busting soybean yields. When he started witnessing success, he learned a lesson from corn yield chief David Hula.
Any given year, Atley and his family try 30 products and 20 different hybrids.
Hula emphasizes the importance of uniform emergence. “When the corn comes up uniformly, which is our goal, it enhances the complete crop. And we ensure the inputs we apply impact 100% of that crop, rather than just the share that came up uniformly,” he says.
Hula has been a long-term no-tiller; however, the last few years have utilized a Soil Warrior strip-till rig before planting, with which he sprinkles fertilizer.
Levi Ochsner admits he doesn’t have innovative equipment. However, he continues to play around new things. Last fall, he chiseled ground, spreading dry fertilizer afterward. The dry pellets went into the chisel furrows, which were as much as a foot deep.