Huron farm breaks 300-bushel per acre barrier

Farm Forum

A piece of really good ground is one of the most important factors in producing 300-bushels of corn per acre according to Bennett Waldner of Riverview Colony near Huron.

“Last year that field got close to 290 bushels of corn,” Waldner said. “It is some of our best ground. It’s sandy loam and doesn’t flood. It has good topsoil.”

The South Dakota Corn Growers Association says Riverside Farms broke the 300-bushel per acre barrier with a record yield above 308 bushels in the irrigated-ground category for South Dakota in the National Corn Yield Contest.

In addition to the ground, weather is a huge factor. The ability to add water through irrigation is a big plus. Waldner said that early on it got pretty dry and then there were some good rains in July and August, probably about 6 inches. They put 8 inches of water on the ground through the irrigation system.

When harvesting this fall, the crop dried down real well and was at 15 to 16 percent moisture when it was harvested.

“Weather is the biggest factor in getting these yields,” Waldner said. “It didn’t get too hot, but there were enough heat units. And we didn’t get extreme hot dry winds like sometimes happens.”

A farmer for many years, Waldner said that they really didn’t do anything different than use good farming practices. They put down dry fertilizer when they planted the seeds the last week of April. They side-dressed the rows with nitrogen.

As far as seed type, Waldner said that 70 percent of the seed he plants is Pioneer but he also plants some DeKalb, Legend and Channel.

When asked if he thinks he’ll continue to get such a good yield, he said with a laugh, “That’s a good question. I hope to get more fields yielding 300 bushels, but everything has to fall into place.”

In another part of the country with different soil and weather conditions, even higher results are pulled from the fields. Georgia farmer Randy Dowdy harvested 503 bushels per acre this year to take top spot in the National Corn Growers Association National Corn Yield Contest, setting the highest yield ever in the 50 years of the competition.

South Dakotan’s aren’t seeing those yields, but raising 300-bushels of corn on a field in South Dakota is a reason to celebrate. Each year, the South Dakota Corn Growers Association sponsors a yield contest to encourage producers to reach for higher yields. Riverside Farms has entered the contest and had some great results.

Many crop consultants who speak in the state set the 300-bushel mark as a goal made possible with today’s seed and technology. Yields have consistently climbed higher, but many factors come into play each year. The state had 119 entries in four categories this year.

Riverside Farms also won the no-till/strip-till irrigated category with more than 289 bushels per acre. Scott McKee, of Hawarden, Iowa, (he lives in S.D.) won the non-irrigated ground category with nearly 287 bushels per acre. And Nathan Hoeft, of Stratford, took the top spot in no-till/strip-till non-irrigated with more than 261 bushels.

Here’s a list of winners, including seed brand, hybrid and yield.

Rank, Name, City, Brand, Hybrid, Yield

South Dakota


1. Scott McKee, Hawarden, Iowa, Pioneer, P1151AM, 286.81

2. Huron Colony, Huron, Dekalb, DKC52-61RIB, 285.11

3. Dean Bosse, Elk Point, Pioneer, P1151AM, 254.54

No-Till/Strip-Till Non-Irrigated

1. Nathan Hoeft, Stratford, Dekalb, DKC48-12RIB, 261.49

2. Swisher Inc., Groton, Croplan, 4099SS/RIB, 244.41

3. Swisher Inc. Groton, Renk, RK568VT3P, 235.05


1. Riverside Farms, Huron, Pioneer, P0533AM1, 308.92

2. Breding Farms, Chamberlain, Dekalb, DKC62-97RIB, 279.95

3. Breding Farms, Chamberlain, Dekalb, DKC58-89RIB, 276.71

No-Till/Strip-Till Irrigated

1. Riverside Farms, Huron, Pioneer, P0533AM1, 289.19

2. Breding Farms, Chamberlain, Dekalb, DKC63-33RIB, 261.68

3. Lower Brule Farms, Pukwana, Dekalb, DKC59-90RIB, 260.25

North Dakota

A: A Non-Irrigated

1. Mark Gorder, Wahpeton, Pioneer, P9917, 273.7088

2. Cody Frauenberg, Lamoure, DEKALB, DKC46-20RIB, 269.2056

3. Amy Frauenberg, Lamoure, Pioneer, P9917AM1, 259.9702

C: A No-Till/Strip-Till Non-Irrigated

1. Donna Frauenberg, Lamoure, DEKALB, DKC46-20RIB, 265.2883

* Bobby Frauenberg, Lamoure, DEKALB, DKC46-20RIB, 262.9355

2. Quandt Brothers #2, Oakes, DEKALB, DKC46-20RIB, 230.2315

3. Drew Courtney, Oakes, Pioneer, P9526AMX, 225.0085

E: No-Till/Strip-Till Irrigated

1. Jamie Gorder, Wahpeton, Pioneer P9917, 274.5014

2. Frauenberg Farms #1, LaMoure, DEKALB, DKC47-35RIB, 271.7294

* Cody Frauenberg, Lamoure, Pioneer, P9703AM, 257.8640

3. Quandt Brothers #3, Oakes, Channel, 196-05VT2PRIB, 226.6091

ND I: Irrigated

1. Bobby Frauenberg, Lamoure, DEKALB, DKC44-13RIB, 266.8787

* Donna Frauenberg, Lamoure, Pioneer, P9917AM1, 260.1183

2. Sundale Farm, Milnor, DEKALB, DKC51-19RIB, 238.8053

3. Quandt Brothers #1, Oakes, DEKALB, DKC46-20RIB, 230.7219


B: AA Non-Irrigated

1. David Swenson, Mabel, Pioneer, P0533AM1, 270.9354

2. Wellens Farms, Carver, Pioneer, P0533AM1, 263.6373

3. Gary LeVan, Elgin, DEKALB, DKC54-38RIB, 258.9164

D: AA No-Till/Strip-Till Non-Irrigated

1. Chris Sobeck, Winona, DEKALB, DKC62-97RIB, 262.2668

2. Jordan J Redalen, Fountain, DEKALB, DKC57-75RIB, 261.5865

3. Joseph & James Schieber, Caledonia, Pioneer, P0533AM1, 254.4629

E: No-Till/Strip-Till Irrigated

1. Sobeck Farms, Winona, DEKALB, DKC60-67RIB, 231.8299

2. Robert Braun, Le Sueur, DEKALB, DKC53-78RIB, 216.2093

3. Roger Toquam, Blooming, Prairie, DEKALB, DKC54-38RIB, 211.6430

I: Irrigated

1. Curt Haler, Hastings, Pioneer, P1151AM, 253.7533

2. Bill Schaffer, Hastings, Pioneer, P1142AMX, 251.4898

3. Paul Beskau, Hastings, Pioneer, 34F07, 236.8582