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Plains Farmer Wins Corn Yield Contest

Joe Denoyer - April 20, 2024 2:46 pm

JOHNSTON, Iowa – AgVenture brand dealer and farmer Kelby Ross from Plains won the state title in the 2023 National Corn Growers (NCGA) National Corn Yield Contest for achieving the highest corn yield in the Kansas no-till, irrigated land class.

Ross’s winning entry of 301.7986 bu/A was with AgVenture brand AV8614AM™ corn planted on a 125-acre irrigated circle in a continuous wheat-corn rotation.

Despite challenges like excessive rain, wind and hail, Kelby’s contest plot mostly escaped damage, showcasing the resilience of his cropping system and the favorable conditions provided by Mother Nature.

Kelby explained, “We drilled wheat into the soybean field to prevent it from blowing away over the winter, and that allowed us to successfully plant no-till corn in the spring directly into the wheat stand.”

Kelby attributes the farm’s success to the high-quality AgVenture brand seed and his attention to details. In particular, he stresses the importance of consistent plant emergence to maximize yield potential.

“AgVenture’s high quality seed gives you the best chance to get that crop started,” a Kelby added.

Kelby employs both precise and practical agricultural practices, which are part of the mindset of AgVenture’s Maximum Profit System™ – a proven system that helps farmers produce more bushels.

This includes using a center pivot irrigation system, planting in 20-inch rows with 35,000-36,000 seeds, using a John Deere 251H to reduce soil disturbance, and applying UAN-32 through the center pivot at 20 pounds of nitrogen per application.

Kelby said he typically does 2-3 applications, beginning at tassel time or at the R1 growth stage. If it is a wet year, he said they’ll pump some nitrogen as the crop grows and do the final application up to the brown silk stage.

Kelby first entered the contest in 2018, a year after he started farming right out of college. Now, he and his wife, Rebi, farm about 900 acres and help out Rebi’s father’s operation.

Together their operations include growing corn on irrigated land plus wheat and grain sorghum on dry land. They also run a cow-calf operation that utilizes the corn stalks, creating a beneficial cycle for soil health and feed resources.

In addition to farming and livestock, Kelby is also a dealer for AgVenture High Plains and serves customers in Meade and Seward counties in Kansas.

AgVenture High Plains is an AgVenture independent seed company based in Hugoton and Elm Creek, Neb., and sell corn, soybean, sorghum, sudangrass, sunflower, and plant nutrition products in Southwest Kansas, parts of Nebraska and surrounding areas.

The 59th NCGA Corn Yield Contest attracted nearly 7,000 entries from 46 states. A complete list of 2023 national and state winners list can be found at at



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