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Winter wheat yield project a success

Winter wheat yield project a success

By Andrew Joseph,

A pilot winter wheat grain cross-border project collaboration between Ontario and the Great Lakes region of the US has been deemed a success.

The Great Lakes Yield Enhancement Network (YEN) is the first-ever grain partnership between the two areas, the brain-child of the Grain Farmers of Ontario, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), Michigan Wheat Program, Michigan State University, and the University of Guelph.

Its purpose is to help farmers and further industry knowledge regarding best practices and issues that impact grain yield, with this year’s program examining winter wheat involving 40 farmers and examining differences in actual and potential yields.

“Innovation has always been at the heart of the Ontario agriculture sector. Our government recognizes that partnerships propel prosperity and together with our stakeholders we look forward to driving more best practices and embracing new technologies,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “This ground-breaking cross-border collaboration, in the grains and oilseeds sector, will showcase the power of innovative farm practices that will increase yield, resulting in an increase in the amount of food grown per acre. This initiative is vital to the future of the agri-food sector in Ontario as we continue to feed a growing population.”

To celebrate the end of the pilot project, the top producers involved were presented with awards for overall yield and achieving the highest percentage of potential yield.

This year’s highest percentage winner achieved 73.7 per cent of potential while the average from the network was 52.5 per cent of potential.

The highest yield for this pilot year of the program was a whopping 152.8 bu/ac. A full list of the award winners can be found at

The top producers were determined after all field data for farmer participants and agronomists was carefully gathered, reviewed and analyzed. The full group of farmers, agronomists and organizers then met to examine how to narrow the gap between potential yield and actual yield. They will be reviewing their results with the compilation of the study group’s results, measurement by measurement.
The YEN project discovered many factors associated with high yielding wheat.

These include but are not limited to:

  • Total biomass;
  • The number of heads per m2;
  • Total nitrogen applied and uptake

“The Great Lakes YEN is a unique collaboration that will propel our understanding of production and benefit farmer-members across the province, and across the border. Collaborations like this will help the grain industry continue to grow and thrive and we are thrilled to be a founding member. We congratulate all pilot project participants and the winners of the yield competition,” said Crosby Devitt, Chief Executive Officer of the Grain Farmers of Ontario.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2022 YEN project. For more information on the Great Lakes YEN project, visit

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