At 211.59 bushels per acre, Rick Pearson’s AgriPro SY Ovation entry from Buhl, Idaho, broke all expectations for the 2019 National Wheat Yield Contest. It won the Bin Buster Award for the Irrigated Class and set a new record.

Since 2017, the National Wheat Foundation has put together the National Wheat Yield Contest as a way to show the possibilities of today’s wheat genetics across the nation. According to the Nov. 12 press release announcing the winners, the National Wheat Foundation’s National Wheat Yield Contest offers growers the opportunity to compete with farmers from across the United States and improve their production practices through new and innovative techniques. 

The contest is broken into two primary competition categories, winter and spring wheat, and within those two subcategories, dryland and irrigated. For the second year the contest also included a quality component.

“Because wheat is a food crop, quality is important to our consumers, bakers and millers,” said Foundation Board President Wayne Hurst in the release. “Improved quality is very important and critical to increasing demand for wheat.”

With a dryland winter wheat yield of 191.66 bushels per acre, Tom Duyck of Washington, Oregon, brought home the Dryland Bin Buster award with the ORCF variety, Rosalyn.

Other national winners included:

• Spring Wheat Irrigated first place, Derek Friehe, Washington, WestBred WB9668, 180.77 bushels per acre;

• Spring Wheat Dryland first place, Trevor Stout, Idaho, WestBred 9668, 111.13 bushels per acre;

• Winter Wheat Irrigated first place, March Arnusch, Colorado, WestBred WB4418, 210.52 bushels per acre; and

• Winter Wheat Dryland first place, Doug Stout, Idaho, WestBred Keldin, 181.93 bushels per acre.

Also representing the High Plains coverage area, Winter Wheat Dryland category, was Alec Horton, Kansas, with fourth place yield, for his WestBred WB4792 at 146.77 bushels per acre.

This year, the contest also added recognition for those entrants that showed excellent percentage yield increases over the most recent 5-year Olympic county average as determined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Shawn Kimbrel, Sunray, Texas, took first place in percentage yield increase, with his WestBred Winterhawk dryland winter wheat entry. It brought 70.93 bushels per acre, or a 373% increase in yield over his county average.

Also representing the High Plains coverage area in percentage increase in Dryland Winter Wheat were:

• Second place, Travis Freeburg, Nebraska, AgriPro Monument, 125.04 bushels per acre, or 362% increased yield;

• Third place, Rick Horton, Kansas, WestBred WB4792, 132 bushels per acre, or 340% increased yield;

• Fourth place, CR Freeman, Oklahoma, WestBred WB4515, 95.29 bushels per acre, or 333% increased yield; and

• Fifth place Ty Anderson, Wyoming, Croplan CP7909, 119.32 bushels per acre, or 298% increased yield.

The national winners will be recognized at the 2020 Commodity Classic, which is Feb. 27 to 29, in San Antonio, Texas. The sponsors for the 2019 National Yield Contest are AgriMaxx, Ardent Mills, BASF, Corteva Agriscience, Croplan/Winfield, Indigo Ag, Grain Craft, John Deere, LCS, Mennel Milling, Miller Milling, Syngenta, and WestBred.

To enter the 2020 contest, wheat growers can find official rules and entry details online Jan. 1 at www.yieldcontest.wheatfoundation.org.

Jennifer M. Latzke can be reached at 620-2227-1807 or jlatzke@hpj.com.

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