Production Blog

Put Wheat to the Test

Pamela Smith
By  Pamela Smith , Crops Technology Editor
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There's information in those stands of wheat. Plan to enter the 2023 National Wheat Yield Contest. (DTN photo by Pamela Smith)

Here's a challenge worthy of taking a national wheat stand. An English farmer achieved a new Guinness World Record wheat yield of 267 bushels per acre (bpa) in 2022. U.S. growers who enter the National Wheat Yield Contest (NWYC) have a chance to rewrite the record book in 2023.

The National Wheat Foundation is now accepting entries for its contest, which has a goal of teaching growers how to improve wheat -- both in terms of productivity and quality.

The 2022 NWYC winner, Rylee Reynolds of Castleford, Idaho, did his part to set records by producing 231.37 bpa of irrigated soft white winter wheat -- beating the previous contest high of 211.59 bpa recorded in 2019. Three 2022 contest entries binned more than 200 bpa.

This year there are a few rule changes. Entry deadlines have changed slightly with winter wheat entries due May 15, 2023, and spring wheat entries are Aug. 1, 2023.

Each entry costs $100. There are many partners with vouchers that contestants are encouraged to use for the entry payments. Entrants must also be a member in good standing of a recognized state wheat grower association -- or National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) if from a state without a state wheat grower association -- before completing and submitting an entry.

Wheat growers are encouraged to enter early and plan what management techniques they will adopt to reach their top yield potential.

The wheat yield contest is designed to help contestants strive for high yield, quality and profit.

Beyond winter and spring wheat, the contest selects yield winners in dryland and irrigated categories. It selects the highest-yielding entry from each state for each category. National winners are selected from this group of entries based on highest yield.

To improve competitiveness of the contest, a separate contest level looks at the percentage increase by which the measured yield exceeds the most recent five-year Olympic county average, which is published annually by USDA. This serves to level the playing field for growers producing wheat in low-yielding regions.

A grower can win only one national award each year.

Each contestant must save an 8-pound sample of their wheat and the 24 national winners will send their samples in for analysis of baking and milling characteristics. There is also a test weight requirement for eligibility to win the national contest. Depending on class, wheat must exceed 57- or 58-pound test weight to compete.

"Growers who are shooting for high yields, select a good variety and provide the crop with proper management for their yield level usually end up with high-quality wheat. Our quality testing over the past couple of years has proven this," said Anne Osborne, director of the contest.

Partners in the NWYC include WestBred, John Deere, U.S. Wheat Associates, BASF, The McGregor Companies, Croplan, Eastman, AgriMaxx, Ardent Mills, DynaGro, Limagrain Cereal Seeds, PlainsGold, UPL, Ohio Corn & Wheat, Mennel Milling, FarmLogs powered by Bushel, GrainSense, Miller Milling, North Carolina Small Grain Growers, Grain Craft, Grow Pro Genetics, Michigan Wheat, Kansas Wheat, Northern Crops Institute and the North Dakota Mill and Elevator. DTN and Progressive Farmer serve as the official media outlet for the contest.

National winners will receive a trip to the 2024 Commodity Classic in Houston, Texas. They are invited to the winners' reception along with their families, seed suppliers and agronomists. Quality winners will be recognized per class and will have the opportunity to earn an extra cash award.

To learn more about the contest and to enter go to:

Read all about the 2022 NWYC winners:…

Find the Guinness World Record:…

Pamela Smith can be reached at

Follow her on Twitter @PamSmithDTN


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