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Source: Netafirm news release

Netafim USA, the leader in drip irrigation technology, congratulates three of its Drip Irrigation Champions on their first place finishes in the 2016 National Corn Growers Association Yield Contest.

All users of Netafim drip irrigation, Kevin Matthews of East Bend, North Carolina (304.8757 bu/ac - Irrigated Land), Dan Luepkes of Oregon, Illinois (315.6245 bu/ac - Irrigated Land) and Kelly Garrett of Arion, Iowa (289.7270 bu/ac - No-Till/Strip-Till Irrigated) recorded yields that out-paced all other growers (per category) to take top state-level prizes at the 52nd annual Corn Yield Contest.

"Each of these award winning yields is the result of a crop management strategy that included the use of Netafim subsurface drip irrigation technology to deliver precise amounts of nutrients and water to the crop during the critical growth stages," said Zeev Barylka, Marketing Director for Netafim USA. "We could not be more excited for Kevin, Dan, and Kelly on this great achievement. All are great examples of how Netafim technologies together with the expertise of our Crop Advisory Team enable growers to maximize growth, yield and profitability."

Luepkes, who farms in Northern Illinois, turned to drip irrigation a few years ago as a way to overcome the poor soil composition on a piece of land he had recently bought.

"A lot of people told me that this property had such poor soil that I would go broke if I tried to raise a crop on it," said Dan. "The Netafim system allowed us to better manage our nitrogen application in order to stretch it out later in the season to maximize efficiency and yield. We monitored the crop very closely with tissue sampling, and when the crop was hungry, we were able to feed it in real-time using the drip. Despite having some pretty poor soil on this land, I believe we can out-produce some of the best ground in this area on this property with Netafim drip irrigation."

Garrett says it was the topography of Western Iowa that influenced his decision to install drip irrigation on his award-winning field.

"With our rolling hills, elevation changes, creeks and ditches we knew that a pressure compensating drip system was going to be the only way to get water and nutrients to this crop," said Kelly. "It's cheaper than buying more land, you don't need another planter, you don't need more help, you don't need another combine, you don't need more seed, worse case scenario is you need another truck to haul away the bushels. It was a no-brainer for us."

For Matthews, the decision to install subsurface drip irrigation on his North Carolina farm was based on his previous experience with the limitations of a center pivot system.

"We felt like we needed to make a change," explains Matthews. "We've had center pivots for awhile, but they just don't work in our small field sizes, so we decided we had to do something different and went with subsurface drip irrigation. SDI allows us to irrigate fields that you just cannot irrigate with a center pivot. Our goal is to farm fewer acres while producing more bushels and SDI has done exactly that."

More on each of these award-winning growers stories is available by visiting or the Netafim USA Youtube page.

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