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Reranking the 2023 NCGA Yield Contest Nitrogen Management Class Winners

Nick Preissler, an N-Time user hailing from Giltner, NE, proudly clinched the 2023 NCGA National Corn Yield Contest Nitrogen Management Class champion title with a yield of 313 bushels per acre (bpa) on 178 pounds of nitrogen per acre. 

This achievement got the Sentinel team thinking: How would our farmer customers have ranked in the contest if they had participated? To help us answer that, we took our dataset of both verified nitrogen application and yield monitor records from 13 on-farm trials around Nebraska in 2023.

Instead of relying on a narrow 2.5-acre test strip from these fields, we opted to: 

  • Take the averages from both our Sentinel treatment yields and nitrogen-applied numbers from approximately 40 to 80 acres per field

  • Compare the values to those posted by the NCGA for its Nitrogen Management Class winners

  • All Nitrogen Management Class winners were assumed to have applied the maximum allowed 180 lb-N/ac. 

  • Profit calculations were based on a $5.00/bu corn price and a $0.63/lb N price. 

Yield data and nitrogen application records for on-farm trials were processed and analyzed by the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. 

Here’s what we found:

Out of the 13 on-farm trials pitting N-Time® software against grower management in 2023, Sentinel treatments from 9 trials would've made their mark in the top 15 of the NCGA National Corn Yield Contest Nitrogen Management Class. 

Here’s what the top 15 would have looked like: 

  1. Nick Preissler, using Sentinel 

  2. Terry Vissing - Marysville, IN

  3. Jay Reiners - Juniata, NE

  4. A Sentinel treatment from Pierce, NE, on loamy fine sands would have secured 4th place, boasting a yield of 301 bu/ac on 179.4 lb-N/ac.

  5. Dave Preissler, using Sentinel

  6. A Sentinel field that averaged 276 bu/ac on 149 lb-N/ac near Clay Center, NE

  7. Another Sentinel field that would have yielded an average of 273 bu/ac on 95 lb-N/ac near Gibbon, NE.

  8. Erik Friesen - Henderson, NE

  9. Another field from Dave Preissler, using Sentinel

  10. Randy Hardy - Roanoke, IN

  11. A Sentinel field near Gibbon, NE, with a 266 bu/ac yield on 102.5 lb-N/ac applied.

  12. A Sentinel field near McCool Junction, NE, with 258 bu/ac on 123 lb-N/ac applied.

  13. Kelly Garrett - Arion, IA

  14. A Sentinel field outside of Lexington, NE, with a 249 bu/ac yield on 144 lb-N/ac.

  15. John Stasiak - Holmen, WI

Looking at field-level averages, six Sentinel treatments would have secured positions within the Top 15 of the NCGA National Corn Yield Contest Nitrogen Management Class. This adds to the three commercial fields that already entered and ranked within the top 6. So, 60% (9 of 15) of the Top 15 fields in the contest would have been under Sentinel’s N-Time management, and of the top 25, 14 (56%) would have been monitored by Sentinel. That’s almost as good as the SEC in the college football top 25 (just joking). 

Sentinel would have helped farmers average 138 lb-N/ac applied, 259 bu/ac yield, 0.54 NUE, and $1,206.62 partial profit with $5/bu corn and $0.63/lb-N.

What this ultimately tells us is our N-Time technology is powerful. These results not only prove the technology’s ability to achieve high productivity and profitability with efficiency — but also that it can successfully operate in high-yield environments. N-Time also empowers farmers to be exemplary stewards of their land and farms, ensuring sustainability for generations to come.

While the Sentinel treatments and the farmers embracing them can’t retroactively receive recognition as winners in the 2023 NCGA National Corn Yield Contest Nitrogen Management Class, we hope this reassessment sparks conversations about the growers who consistently achieve greater productivity with fewer resources (and enhance their profitability along the way).

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