During a very difficult planting and growing season in southwestern Indiana, another national yield contest win was the last thing Kevin Kalb expected. But the yield champ from Dubois is back at the top again this year after coaxing just over 339 bushels per acre from his contest plot in the National Corn Yield Contest. That field is the only one he was able to plant in April.
“Sandy, clay, creek-gravely dirt” is how Kalb described the soil. “We tiled it two years ago on twenty foot centers. It really dries good, lays nice, and holds moisture really well.”
That land is now perfect for early planting and Kalb uses a combination of strategies to get the most out of the corn planted there.
“We run in furrow fertilizer and then run 2X2 on the planter and then we foliar feed. We bought our own sprayer this year. We’re running a Hagie and we bought the Y drops and the undercover system to be more efficient with more precise timing of application of our fungicides and nitrogen. That plays a key role to be able to pinpoint where you want to put your nutrients and your micro’s. It’s taking the guess work out.”
DEKALB has also been a winner for Kalb in past years, but this year he planted DKC68-26RIB hybrid for the first time.
“It’s 118 day with a really good disease package,” he told HAT. “It puts on a big, girthy flex ear with a lot of 18 and 20 arounds, a lot of 40-44 long kernels, big, deep kernels with great 61, 62-pound test weight corn. It’s just a phenomenal hybrid for us.”
Being named a corn yield contest winner again is a nice end to the year for Kalb. The challenges of 2016 started with a cold and wet April and early May. Then a devastating wave of southern rust moved in around mid-July and severely limited overall corn yields.
“It caught us and everybody in our area off guard with what kind of damage it could do to this corn crop in southern Indiana. The late corn really suffered very badly.”
Luckily the contest corn was that early corn from April, and Kalb took first place in the AA Non-Irrigated production category of the annual NCGA contest.
Winners receive national recognition in publications such as the NCYC Corn Yield Guide, as well as cash trips or other awards from participating sponsoring seed, chemical and crop protection companies. In San Antonio during the 2017 Commodity Classic, winners will be honored during the NCGA Awards Banquet and the NCYC State Winners Breakfast.
Other contest winners from Indiana are AA Non-Irrigated, Kalb’s category:
2nd Terry Hoffman, Jasper, DEKALB DKC62-78RIB, 287.060
3rd Faith Little, Hebron, Pioneer P0801AM, 278.7568
AA No-Till/Strip-Till Non-Irrigated:
1st Terry Vissing, Marysville, AgriGold A6499 VT2/RIB, 288.3517
2nd Robert Little, Hebron, Pioneer P0825AM, 277.6443
3rd Josh Butt, Cory, Pioneer P1311AMXT, 271.1305
1st Craig Williams, Oaktown, Pioneer P1306WHR, 263.0062
2nd Jeff Herrold, Wanatah, Wyckoff’s 2665 GENVT2PRIB, 247.7957
3rd Matt Spurgeon, Freetown, Pioneer P2089AM, 227.1436
1st Marvin Murphy, Rochester, Pioneer P0825AMXT, 276.3416
2nd Duane Wanpler, Merom, AgriGold A6711 VT2/RIB, 274.0691
3rd Jacob Smoker, Wanatah, Pioneer P1197AM, 271.7700