Not every field is going to be a national yield contest winner, but useful information can be gleaned from high-yield efforts, according to national corn yield champion Randy Dowdy.

The Georgia farmer harvest­ed a record 503 bushels per acre last year to take top honors in the National Corn Growers Association National Corn Yield Contest.

"A lot of people think 500 bushels isn’t doable because they haven’t seen it done," said Dowdy, who farms 1,700 acres of corn, peanuts, wheat and soybeans. "Now that I’ve seen it done, I want to replicate it."

The contest...