While overall prospects for the 2023 Kansas wheat harvest remain dim due to sustained drought conditions, producers who have received timely moisture are encouraged to enter the 2023 National Wheat Yield Contest.
“No one can deny Mother Nature has not been kind to this year’s winter wheat crop in Kansas,” said Kansas Wheat CEO Justin Gilpin. “Even with the drought, we encourage producers to enter the National Wheat Yield Contest to demonstrate how their management practices maximize moisture when available and improve both yields and quality.”
The National Wheat Yield Contest is organized by the National Wheat Foundation (NWF). The contest is divided into two primary competition categories: winter wheat and spring wheat, and two subcategories: dryland and irrigated.
Entries for winter wheat are open until May 15, 2023, with each entry costing $100. Each contestant must save an eight-pound sample of their wheat. The 24 national winners will send in their samples for analysis of milling and baking characteristics. Depending on the class, wheat samples must also exceed 57 or 58 pound test weight to compete.
Kansas farmers must be members of the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers to enter the national contest. Learn more about membership at kswheat.com/join.
The 2023 National Wheat Yield Contest will recognize the top 24 individual winners, each of whom will be recognized at the 2024 Commodity Classic in Houston, Texas, with quality winners also recognized per class and eligible for an extra cash award.
Last year’s state winners were no strangers to a lack of rainfall. Fifth-generation farmer Brett Oelke raised triple-digit wheat in northwest Kansas with only four inches of moisture — entering a plot of WestBred Grainfield near Hoxie that yielded 106.34 bushels per acre in the 2022 National Wheat Yield Contest. The entry earned him the top spot in Kansas for dryland winter wheat and fifth nationally in percent increase over the county average. Read Oelke’s full story at https://kswheat.com/oelke.
Rain also doesn’t fall often in Sherman County, so David Leonard has learned how to improve yields by optimizing crop rotations, taking advantage of the moisture that does come and supplementing what Mother Nature doesn’t provide through irrigation. That combination of practice and luck is Leonard’s not-so-secret to winning the top spot in Kansas for irrigated winter wheat in the 2022 National Wheat Yield Contest with an entry of nearly 120 bushels per acre. Read Leonard’s full story at https://kswheat.com/leonard.
And brothers John and Matt Grabbe put Schoenchen, Kansas, near Hays, on the map with two of the top three entries in the 2022 National Wheat Yield Contest. John placed second in Kansas in the winter wheat dryland category with an entry of WestBred WB4422 that yielded 103.24 bushels per acre. Brother Matt took third in the same category with an entry of WestBred WB4792 that yielded 97.88 bushels per acre. Read their full story at https://kswheat.com/grabbebros.
“We’re proud to see our growers continue to reach for higher and better yields, even when moisture is limited,” Gilpin said. “We can’t control the weather, but last year’s winners demonstrated how variety selection and management decisions help utilize the full potential of wheat genetics, even under challenging growing conditions.”
WestBred, John Deere, U.S. Wheat Associates, BASF, The McGregor Companies, Croplan, Eastman, AgriMaxx, Ardent Mills, DynaGro, Limagrain Cereal Seeds, PlainsGold, UPL, Ohio Corn & Wheat, Mennel Milling, FarmLogs powered by Bushel, GrainSense, Miller Milling, North Carolina Small Grain Growers, Grain Craft, Grow Pro Genetics, Michigan Wheat, Kansas Wheat, Northern Crops Institute and the North Dakota Mill and Elevator are all supporting this year’s contest.
Learn more about the National Wheat Yield Contest and enter at www.yieldcontest.wheatfoundation.org.
Written by Julia Debes for Kansas Wheat