Posted November 4, 2021
Withstanding weather challenges, disease pressure and more, Kansas farmers once again proved how informed management can maximize yield potential year-in and year-out during the 2021 National Wheat Yield Contest. National and state winners were recently released by the National Wheat Foundation, which organizes the competition.
“The National Wheat Yield Contest encourages growers to maximize the management of their wheat crop to improve wheat yields and quality,” said Justin Gilpin, Kansas Wheat CEO. “Kansas wheat producers continually demonstrate they are up to the challenge by adopting new practices that utilize the full potential of top-of-the-line wheat genetics.”
This year’s contest included 63 wheat growers from 20 different states, offering producers a chance to compete against their counterparts from across the country and learn how to better improve their production.
“This year has presented many diverse challenges to farmers,” stated National Wheat Foundation Board Chairman, David Cleavinger, in a release announcing the state winners. “Drought has plagued most spring wheat growers and many winter wheat farmers faced the exact opposite fighting a wet harvest in multiple areas. These challenges have not only shown the persistence of growers in this industry, but also have highlighted the diversity of wheat which is shown in the range of yields of each region.”
The contest was split into winter wheat and spring wheat and then further divided into dryland and irrigated production.
In the dryland winter wheat category, Tyler Ediger from Meade took the top Kansas slot with a final yield of 125.66 bushels per acre. The entry also earned Ediger the fifth-place “bin buster” award in the national winter wheat-dryland category.
Darwin Ediger, Tyler’s father, was the second-place Kansas winner with a final yield of 123.48 bushels per acre.
“I don’t know what else I could have done to make it a more perfect growing season,” Tyler said. “It all came together.”
Third place went to Matt Jaeger from Minneola with a final yield of 122.47 bushels per acre. The entry also won Jaeger fifth place nationally, based on the percent increase over the county average. Winners in this portion of the contest were determined by yield increases exceeding the most recent five-year Olympic county average as determined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“It does show a lot of hard work that’s been put in,” Jaeger said. “But at the end of the day, if God doesn’t send the rain, we’re not very good farmers. We’re looking forward to trying some new things and hopefully having a good season. The crop is off to a good start this year, and hopefully, we’ll have some winners next year.”
The variety for all three top Kansas winter wheat entries was WestBred WB4792.
In the dryland spring wheat category, Michael Anshutz from Russell took first place with a final yield of 50.41 bushels per acre. The planted variety was WestBred WB9719.
“Yields and quality were excellent in this year’s entries and contestants tell us they are continuing to learn how to increase yields and quality on their farms,” Cleavinger stated in the national release.
The sponsors for the 2021 National Yield Contest were AgriMaxx, Ardent Mills, BASF, Croplan/Winfield, Elevate Ag, Grain Craft, GrainSense, John Deere, Miller Milling, Michigan Wheat, Nutrien, Ohio Corn and Wheat, and WestBred.
For more details on the winning entries and to review the official rules and entry details for the 2022 contest, visit yieldcontest.wheatfoundation.org.
Written by Julia Debes for Kansas Wheat