Bekemeyer wins 2017 Kansas Wheat Quality Initiative

Posted September 15, 2017


Neil Bekemeyer, Washington, proved that careful management practices can produce high yielding, high quality wheat with his winning entry in the Kansas Wheat Yield Contest’s Quality Initiative competition. Bekemeyer’s quality sample came from a 5.79 acre plot of SY Monument and had superior milling and baking qualities while yielding 96.49 bushels per acre. While the yield fell short of taking home the Central Region yield award, Bekemeyer said his operation is focusing on growing a high quality crop that he can market directly to consumers.

“I am so excited to be honored by this contest,” said Bekemeyer. “Quality is what I have been so focused on for the last year and that has been the most important factor for me.”

Bekemeyer said he has set aside a few thousand bushels of wheat for flour milling and selling whole berries directly to consumers. He has partnered with a small “you-pick-it” hydroponic farm in Winter Garden, Florida and will plan on selling his high quality wheat directly to the consumers online, as well.

In order to raise wheat of this quality caliber, Bekemeyer gave credit to good management practices.

“It’s all about keeping nutrition to the plant,” said Bekemeyer. “We ‘spoon feed it’, bringing nitrogen directly to the plant, as well as apply micro-nutrients when needed. Another huge part of our program is finding good genetics. I seek out varieties with favorable baking and milling qualities and build the nutrition on top of that.”

Bekemeyer’s sample, along with the other entrants into the Quality Initiative component of the Kansas Wheat Yield Contest, was graded by the Kansas Grain Inspection Service and analyzed for quality by the ADM Milling Lab in Kansas City.

“The sample’s stability time of more than 17 minutes with good protein levels and overall dough strength ‘raised’ this sample to the top this year,” Justin Gilpin, Kansas Wheat CEO, said. “SY Monument has proven to be a high quality wheat that’s performance is highlighted by this award.”

Photo: 2017 Kansas Wheat Yield Contest Winners, Alec Horton, Richard Seck, Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer, Spencer West, Neil Bekemeyer and Kansas Wheat Commissioner Scott VanAllen.

2017 Kansas Wheat Yield Contest Winners: Alec Horton, Richard Seck, Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer, Spencer West, Neil Bekemeyer and Kansas Wheat Commissioner Scott VanAllen.

Bekemeyer’s win was celebrated September 14 at the Kansas State Fair, along with the three regional yield contest winners. This year’s top wheat yields belong to Spencer West of LeRoy, Eastern Region winner; Richard Seck of Hutchinson, Central Region Winner and Alec Horton of Horton Seed Services in  Leoti, Western Region Winner.

Now in its eighth year, the Kansas contest includes three regions: Region 1 (Western Kansas), Region 2 (Central Kansas) and Region 3 (Eastern Kansas). Producers achieving the top yield in each region receive a $1,000 cash prize and plaque from Kansas Wheat. Quality Initiative winners receive a $250 cash prize.

“Hosting the Kansas Wheat Yield Contest is an exciting part of what we do here,” said Gilpin. “We’re proud to recognize farmers across the state for their dedication to good management practices and celebrate their successes.”

Agronomic Information

Quality Initiative: Neil Bekemeyer

Date Planted: 10/25/2016
Variety Planted: SY Monument
Planting Rate: 70 pounds per acre
Seed Treatment: Cruiser MAxx Cereal, Agnition Commence
Fertility Info: In furrow – 80 pounds per acre MESZ
                         In furrow - 20 pounds per acre 46-0-0 dry
                         Fall Topdress - 10 gallons 28-0-0 liquid
                         Greenup - 25 gallons 28-0-0
                         Feekes 6 - 30 gallons of 28-0-0
Herbicide Info: Pre-Plant– 28 ounces of glyphosate 
                            Feekes 7 - .5 ounces of Affinity Broadspec
                            Feekes 7 - 4 ounces 2-4D 616 LoVol Ester
Fungicide Info: Feekes 7 - 2.5 ounces of Absolute Maxx
                            Feekes 10 – 5 ounces Avsolute Maxx

Eastern Region: Spencer West
Date Planted: 11/10/2016
Variety Planted: WB- Cedar
Planting Rate: 200 pounds per acre
Seed Treatment: Warden Cereals
Fertility Info: In furrow – 100 pounds per acre 18-46-0
                         In furrow - 50 pounds per acre 0-0-60 
                         In furrow - 10 pounds per acre zinc sulfate
                         Feekes 1 - 60 pounds per acre UAN 28 liquid
                         Feekes 1 - 6-0-0-16.5Cl liquid
                         Feekes 6 - 90 pounds per acre UAN 28 liquid
                         Feekes 9 - 25-0-0-0.5B liquid
Herbicide Info: Pre-Emergence– .2 ounce per acre Finesse + Glyphosate
Fungicide Info: Feekes 4 - 5 ounces per acre Trevo P
                             Feekes 8 – 8 ounces per acre Twinline
                             Feekes 10.5 – 8 ounces per acre Prosaro
Insecticide Info: Feekes 1 – 3.84 ounces per acre Ravage
                               Feekes 10.5 – 1.92 ounces acre Province II


Central Region: Richard Seck
Date Planted: 10/21/2016
Variety Planted: LCS Mint
Planting Rate: 80 pounds per acre
Seed Treatment: Vibrance Extreme, Cruiser
Fertility Info: In furrow – 100 pounds per acre 10-34-0
                         December - 30 pounds per acre 0-0-60 dry broadcast
                         December - 70 pounds per acre 21-0-0-24 dry broadcast
                         Tillering - 160 pounds per acre 30-0-0-3 liquid stream
                         Jointing - 225 pounds per acre 30-0-0-3 liquid stream
                         Flag Leaf - 155 pounds per acre 32-0-0 liquid stream
Herbicide Info: November– .33 ounce per acre Finesse
                             November - 8 ounces per acre MCPE
Fungicide Info: Feekes 8 - 4 ounces per acre Fitness
                             Feekes 8 – 6.4 ounces per acre AFrame
                             Feekes 10.51 – 4 ounces per acre Monsoon
                             Feekes 10.51 - 6.4 ounces per acre AFrame
Plant Growth Regulator: Feekes 7– 10.5 ounces per acre Palisade                     


Western Region: Alec Horton
Date Planted: 9/27/2016
Variety Planted: WB - Grainfield
Planting Rate: 453,600 seeds per acre 
Seed Treatment: Vibrance Extreme, REVIZE IMIDA ST
Soil Fertility Info: Pre-Plant - 5 tons conditioned manure
                                 Top-dress  - 60 pounds per acre UAN liquid 
Herbicide Info: Dormancy– 2/10 oz Ally
Fungicide Info: Double Ridge – 6 ounces per acre Azoxy 2SC
                            Double Ridge – 4 ounces per acre Tebustar
                            Flag Leaf – 6 ounces per acre Azoxy 2SC
                            Flag Leaf – 4 ounces per acre Tebustar
Insecticide Info: Double Ridge – 4 ounces per acre Generic Warrior