Doug Queen Combines Management, Hard Work and a Little Luck to Win 2015 Kansas Wheat Yield Contest

Posted November 4, 2015

Rossville farmer Doug Queen did not just ask for 2014 Kansas Wheat Yield Contest winner Doug Keas’ advice; he bought his lucky drill. And, thanks to a combination of a little luck and great management, he won the 2015 Kansas Wheat Yield Contest Eastern Region with a final yield of 70.3 bushels per acre.

Managing a Difficult Weather Year

Even with a winning entry, Queen said his overall wheat acres had a tough year in 2015. About 250 acres of his wheat was hailed out with less than a week before harvest. Then, rain delays postponed cutting until mid-June, allowing weeds to resurge.

“It was good we sprayed or we would not have seen anything,” he said. “It was kind of depressing.”

Queen explained that his farming operation, consisting of himself, wife Denise and daughter Megan Davis, try to compensate for uncontrollable weather with good management practices. They always plant 100 percent certified seed and this past year fertilized fields and sprayed fungicide twice. And, when Doug Keas traded his lucky drill into a dealer, Queen traveled from Rossville to Plainville to purchase it.

“He is an awfully good wheat farmer,” he said. “We are 220 miles apart, but we became friends from our kids showing animals at state fairs.”

Sharing Hard Work Ethic Off the Farm

Even though his two daughters are now grown, Queen and his wife still volunteer at state hog shows, including the American Royal. In fact, his granddaughter Cheyenne, age 3, showed her pig at the open show at the Kansas State Fair this fall – one of the youngest exhibitors at the show.

“We must be halfway decent at it, so they keep asking us to come help,” he said. “Anything that needs to be done, well, we do it.”

With that combination of hard work, timely management and maybe a little luck from his new drill, Queen demonstrated that even an unlikely weather year can produce high yields. Time will tell for next year’s wheat crop, which Queen said is already super dry and could use some additional rain to aid emergence. 

by Julia Debes