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Story County Crop Competition

1924 Henry Birkel of Milford Twp won the 1924 Story County corn yield contest out of 119 entries. His corn yielded 45.1 which beat the second place contestant by 6.8 bushels per acre.

1962 When Leon Wilson, who later became the postmaster at Nevada, Iowa, lived in Milford Township, he won the Story County corn yield contest in 1962 with a yield of 151.9 bushels per acre. This was the first time that a yield exceeding 150 bpa had been recorded in the contest. He lived in Sec 20 a mile west and 3/4 mile south of Milford School.

1964 In 1964 Roy Borton Sec 11 in Milford Twp won second place in the corn yield contest.

1971 Don Book & Sons, Sec 15, won the Story County Corn yield contest in 1971 with a yield of 162.39 bpa.

1973 In 1973, Gary Handelman, Sec 20, won the Story County Corn Yield Contest with 178.98 bpa.

1978 Dale Hughes, Sec 14, won the second place in the Story County corn yield contest with a yield of 171 bushels per acre.

1988 In 1988 Wakefield Farms, Sec 19, won the Story County Corn Yield Contest with a yield of 160.6 bpa.

2001 In 2001, Max Bailey, on some of his Milford Twp ground, won the Story County Corn Yield Contest with a yield of 222.17 bpa and also won the bean yield contest with a yield of 71.45 bpa. in the long history of Story County crop competition, he is the

first to win both the corn and bean contest in the same year.

2006 Swanson Farms won the corn-on-bean contest.

2007, 2009 Max Bailey won the corn-on-bean contest. Record yield of 254.36 bpa

2008, 2009 Max Bailey won the corn-on-corn contest.

2010 Couser Cattle Co won corn-on-corn Record 238.47


1964 In 1964, Fred Waugh won the Story County Soybean Contest with a yield of 47.89 bpa. Also, in 1964, Art Borton won third place.

1970 In 1970, Bill Christy won the Story County Soybean Yield Contest with a yield of 54.77 bpa.

1985 &1986 In 1985 and 1986, Gene Mortvedt, won the Story County Soybean Yield Contest with yields of 58.57 and 60.40 bpa respectively. Gene was the first individual to win the contest in consecutive years.

2005 In 2005, Loyd Brown won the Story County Soybean Yield Contest with a yield of 84.75. This is the first time a yield of more than 80 bpa has been recorded in the Story County portion of the contest. Also, it is the current record for a soybean yield in Story County.

2008 Eric Jenson won 76.3 bpa. Field in Milford Twp.

Drought in Milford Twp

One of the worst droughts, statewide, was in the mid 1890's when the statewide yield of corn dropped from 33.9 BPA in 1893 to 15.0 in 1894 and then rebounded to 35.1 in 1895. Iowa's Great Lakes reached record lows in the mid nineties that were never exceeded. Soper's Mill rarely ran because of the low water.

The worst drought, in terms of crop damage, in the history of Milford Twp, since European settlers came to the area, was in early summer of 1977. It was a small area of severe drought that included portions of Boone, Story, and Marshall Counties.

Phil Allen, who, at the time, lived 1 mile east and 3/4 mile south of Milford School, reported it was the worst drought he had seen in his fifty years of crop production. Phil had started farming in 1928 so he had farmed through the infamous days of the “Dust Bowl” with its record setting heat (and cold) and dry weather. He always had something to harvest in those days; “but in `77, there was nothing,” he reported.

Allen, like many farmers in Milford Twp, did not bother harvesting his corn, but simply disked it under. Other farmers, who did harvest, reported a typical yield of four bushels an acre of low-quality grain. Most questioned the value of even doing this as the wear and tear on the combine plus the cost of operation exceeded the income from the yield, but they went ahead and harvested to reduce the amount of volunteer corn in the following year's bean crop.

The season started with very low soil moisture and the rain clouds with any meaningful moisture always missed this tri-county zone. One storm, forming in the northwest, looked as though it would give the area some rain; however, it split and one half went east along Hwy 175 in southern Hamilton and Hardin Counties toward Hubbard and the other half went south-southeast toward Ankeny, once again missing the Milford Twp area. Typically, farmers in the Randall, Radcliffe area reported a 75-bushel per acre crop.

In Milford Twp, when the corn attained fence-post height in the latter part of June, the dry weather continued and the hot weather set in, with day after day of 95-98 degrees and light breezes. I'm not sure the temperature reached 100 degrees that summer, but it didn't have to as the 95 plus degree temperatures and the dryness continued. The corn leaves curled and turned whitish green; the plants went into stress, tasseled while having no silks, and for all practical purposes, died. The weather remained hot and dry until the first day of August. At that time it started to rain, and, amazingly enough, there was record rainfall in that month. This made the rainfall amount for the year to be “average”. These rains were too late to do the corn any good.

By the end of July the corn had shrunk in height and by harvest was only 2 1/2 to 3 feet or so in height.

The situation for soybeans was a little different in that the beans seemed to go into a dormant stage when at about 8”

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