Guelph, Ont. & Lansing, Mich. – Grain Farmers of Ontario, Michigan State University, Michigan Wheat Program, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and the University of Guelph are proud to announce the winners of the 2022-2023 Great Lakes Yield Enhancement Network (YEN) competition.
Now in its third year, the Great Lakes YEN project has been instrumental in fostering knowledge exchange among farmers seeking innovative methods to enhance their winter wheat yields. This year's Great Lakes YEN project participants will come together in January for wrap-up meetings, providing them with a valuable opportunity to connect and share successful farming practices with their peers.
The winners of the Great Lakes YEN competition for the highest yield potential include:
- Mark Davis (Ontario) – 117.6 per cent
- Jeffery Krohn (Michigan) – 107.2 per cent
- Wallace Loewen (Michigan) – 107.2 per cent
The winners of the highest yield are:
- Jeff Cook (Ontario) – 173.4 bushels/acre
- Nick Suwyn (Michigan) – 171.43 bushels/acre
- Jeffery Krohn (Michigan) – 167.1 bushels/acre
"Farmers greatly appreciate the knowledge and insights related to the potential of winter wheat and enhancing yield. The Great Lakes YEN has provided us with valuable data regarding yields and more," says Paul Hoekstra, vice president, strategic development, Grain Farmers of Ontario. "Grain Farmers of Ontario is thrilled with the achievements of the Great Lakes YEN. We extend our congratulations to the winners and look forward to what the future holds in subsequent years of the Great Lakes YEN."
Great Lakes YEN participants increased this year's average yield by two bushels per acre to 118 bushels per acre. Fall 2022 planting conditions were excellent across the Great Lakes YEN region, giving winter wheat an ideal start to the growing season. Weather conditions in spring and early summer 2023 brought some challenges to program participants, with unseasonably cool temperatures across most of the region in the spring, followed by a significant lack of rainfall in May and June. Despite a wet harvest, cool nighttime temperatures through the grain fill period translated to higher yields than anticipated.
“Yield increases and percentage of yield achieved are great monitors for farmers to track their gains in winter wheat production, “ says Jody Pollok-Newsom, executive director of the Michigan Wheat Program. “The detailed, written reports that are compiled and sent to growers provide valuable information on the more than 200 data points they enter on their wheat crop during the growing season. Through reviewing those reports to see how their farm stacks up and by participating in our grower networking opportunities, farmers are able to share what works on their farms to enhance their winter wheat yields and decide what they may want to try next year.”
Congratulations to all the winners, and thank you to all our participants, partners, and sponsors for such a successful year for the Great Lakes YEN. Farmers interested in participating in the 2023-2024 Great Lakes YEN are encouraged to visit https://greatlakesyen.com/how-to-participate/ for more information and to register to receive program updates, and to watch for the hashtag #GreatLakesYEN on Twitter/X. Registration for the program opens on December 4, 2023 and closes on February 2, 2024.