As the number of family farmers dwindles in the Hawkeye State, so is interest in a long-running competition for the title of best grain producer. The Iowa Master Corn and Soybean Growers Contests are being discontinued for a variety of reasons.Jeff Meis is assistant secretary of the Iowa Crop Improvement Association, a non-profit group which had organized the contests for 61 years. It recognized farmers in various categories for the largest number of bushels per acre. Meis the number of sponsors and entries has been declining. He says the rise in corporate farming may be partly to blame for killing the contests.In addition to the declining number of entries and a lack of local sponsors, Meis says the contest which rewarded corn and soybean producers for the largest yields in Iowa faced other obstacles. He says trying to find replacement yield checkers when someone retired or left has become tough.He says other parties which might be interested in running the program in the future will be investigated.
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