Great Lakes Yield Enhancement Network winners hit new highs

(Kara Oosterhuis/RealAgriculture)

Hitting a whopping 173.4 bushels, Jeff Cook of London, Ont., achieved the highest wheat yield in the 2023 Great Lakes Yield Enhancement Network (YEN) competition. Winning the highest per cent of yield potential was Mark Davis, of Napanee, Ont., with an achievement of 117.6 per cent of potential yield.

Overall, Great Lakes YEN participants increased this year’s average yield by two bushels per acre to 118 bushels per acre.

The Great Lakes YEN is a collaborative, cross-border effort by Grain Farmers of Ontario, Michigan State University, Michigan Wheat Program, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and the University of Guelph.

Now in its third year, the Great Lakes YEN project involves data collection throughout the season, including soil and tissue testing, plant stand and head counts, and nutrient management plans. Farmers in the YEN are able to benchmark wheat performance against a potential yield for their area and against other farms in Ontario and Michigan.

The winners of the Great Lakes YEN competition for the highest yield potential in 2023 are

1. Mark Davis (Ontario) – 117.6 per cent
2. Jeffery Krohn (Michigan) – 107.2 per cent
3. Wallace Loewen (Michigan) – 107.2 per cent

The winners of the highest yield are:
1. Jeff Cook (Ontario) – 173.4 bushels/acre
2. Nick Suwyn (Michigan) – 171.43 bushels/acre
3. Jeffery Krohn (Michigan) – 167.1 bushels/acre

Great Lakes YEN 2023 participants (Supplied)

“Farmers greatly appreciate the knowledge and insights related to the potential of winter wheat and enhancing yield. The Great Lakes YEN has provided us with valuable data regarding yields and more,” says Paul Hoekstra, vice president, strategic development, Grain Farmers of Ontario.

Fall 2022 planting conditions were excellent across the Great Lakes YEN region, giving winter wheat an ideal start to the growing season. Weather conditions in spring and early summer 2023 brought some challenges to program participants, with unseasonably cool temperatures across most of the region in the spring, followed by a significant lack of rainfall in May and June. Despite a wet harvest, cool nighttime temperatures through the grain fill period translated to higher yields than anticipated.

This year’s Great Lakes YEN project participants will gather in January for wrap-up meetings, including the opportunity to learn more about how yield were achieved and have the chance to connect and share with the other farmers in the group.

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