Two Kansas Farmers Are Winners of 2016 National Wheat Yield Contest

Posted December 1, 2016

The National Wheat Foundation is proud and excited to announce the winners of the 2016 National Wheat Yield Contest, where winning growers utilized innovative techniques, advanced seed varieties, and cutting-edge growing practices to produce an average of 135 bushels per acre. Sponsored by Monsanto, BASF, John Deere, Winfield, and seeing nearly 170 entrants, the 2016 National Wheat Yield Contest is the first in twenty years and encouraged farmers to innovate, exchange knowledge, and utilize available technology.

The National Wheat Yield Contest winners were split into two categories and two subcategories, of Winter Wheat (Dryland and Irrigated) and Spring Wheat (Dryland and Irrigated). The 14 national winners in these production categories had a yield average of 135 bushels per acre, far surpassing the county averages for the winning growers.

Two of the top winners are farmers from western Kansas.

The top yielding dryland winter wheat winner was Rick Horton, of Horton Seed Services in Leoti, Kan., whose variety, Joe, a white wheat from the Kansas Wheat Alliance, yielded 127.94 bushels per acre, 373.85% above the county average.

The top yielding irrigated winter wheat was WestBred’s hard red winter wheat variety WB-Grainfield, planted by Jagger Borth of Plains, Kan., who achieved a yield of 133.64 bushels per acre, 377.29% above the county average.

The dryland spring wheat winner was Kent Pfaff of Washburn, N.D., who planted Croplan’s hard red spring variety 3530. He reached a yield of 104.29 bushels per acre, 126.72% over the county average.

Dan Mills of Stanfield, Ore., was the top yielder in the irrigated spring wheat category. His hard red spring variety Solano from WestBred yielded 146.5 bushels per acre, 112.32% above his county average.

The top yield nationally for the Bin-Buster award came from Phillip Gross, a grower out of Warden, Wash., who grew irrigated hard red winter wheat variety Keldin from WestBred to a final yield of 192.85 bushels per acre, 216.15% above the county average.

For a full list of the national and state winners, visit

“The Foundation believes that the National Wheat Yield Contest will be the catalyst to driving innovation among growers, and communication with competitors and colleagues to facilitate productive discourse on successful practices and techniques,” says NWF Chairman Phil McLain. “We are thrilled that the 2016 Contest saw a robust level of participation, and we hope that the 2017 Contest will see even higher levels of enrollment from wheat growers. We are at a point, as an industry, where farmers are capitalizing on modern and innovative growing techniques to produce the surpluses that we are seeing today. The Wheat Yield Contest will allow those hugely successful growers to share those techniques to bring the whole industry to the forefront of cutting-edge technology and practices.”

The sponsorship of the Yield Contest by Monsanto, BASF, John Deere, and Winfield provided growers with the tools, products, and management techniques to produce excellent yields and encourage the transfer of knowledge from industry experts to growers. The National Wheat Foundation is proud to have partnered with these industry partners to bring back the Contest as a way to revitalize the industry.

The 2016 winners will be recognized at the 2017 Commodity Classic in San Antonio, Texas, as guests of the National Wheat Foundation.

With the announcement of the 2016 winners, the National Wheat Foundation would also like to announce the opening of the 2017 National Wheat Yield Contest. Registration for the fall wheat sector will end May 1, 2017, and registration for the spring wheat sector will end August 1, 2017. Growers should look ahead to the coming year to enter the Contest and join their fellow growers in achieving the objectives of the National Wheat Yield Contest. Visit for more information on the 2017 Contest.


Contact: Ainslie Campbell, National Association of Wheat Growers, Communications Manager,, (202) 547-7800