Wheat yield enhancement network winners top 152 bushels per acre

The Great Lakes Yield Enhancement Network (YEN) has announced its winning wheat growers after completing its pilot project year in 2021.

Grain Farmers of Ontario, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Michigan Wheat Program, Michigan State University, and the University of Guelph, launched the Great Lakes YEN to help farmers and the industry build insights and knowledge about practices and other factors impacting yield. In its inaugural year, it focused solely on winter wheat, working with 40 farmers from Ontario and Michigan to determine the difference in their actual and potential yields.

Winners were announced for two categories — overall yield and achieving the highest percentage of potential yield. Taking the gold award for grain yield was Simcoe, Ont. grower Kevin Van Netten who harvested 152.8 bu/ac. The silver went to Ken Smith of Wyoming, Ont., with a yield of 151.3 bu/ac. Jeff Cook of London, Ont. took home the bronze with 148.6 bu/ac.

Jeff Krohn from Owendale, Michigan, was awarded the gold for achieving the highest percentage of potential yield with 73.7per cent. Gordon Briggs of Scottville, Michigan, took home the silver with a 67 per cent score, and Adam Pfeffer from St. Thomas, Ont., took home the bronze after achieving 66.6 per cent of potential yield. The average achieved potential for the network was 52.5 per cent.

The Great Lakes YEN was supported with insight from the already established ADAS YEN team from the United Kingdom, which began their program in 2012. The pilot project crop model was built on the same platform using crop production factors applicable for Ontario and the Great Lakes. RealAgriculture first reported on the ADAS YEN two years ago at the Southwest Agricultural Conference.

The project collaborators found several factors were associated with high yielding wheat. These include but are not limited to: total biomass; number of heads per metre squared; and total nitrogen applied and nutrient uptake.

“The Great Lakes YEN is a unique collaboration that will propel our understanding of production and benefit farmer-members across the province, and across the border,” says Crosby Devitt, CEO, Grain Farmers of Ontario. “Collaborations like this will help the grain industry continue to grow and thrive and we are thrilled to be a founding member. We congratulate all pilot project participants and the winners of the yield competition,”

Farmers from Ontario, Michigan, and Ohio provided their field data and highlighted their agronomic practices to help identify links to achieving the highest percent of yield potential and also the highest yield.

The yield enhancement network is currently accepting applications for the 2022 project year. There are limited spaces in this program, so farmers are urged to sign up now. For more information, visit www.GreatLakesYEN.com.