Wheat Yield Contest Open for 2024

National Wheat Yield Contest Features New Category and Website for 2024

Jason Jenkins
By  Jason Jenkins , DTN Crops Editor
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Spring wheat growers in Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota have a new pilot category they may enter in the 2024 National Wheat Yield Contest.(DTN photo by Jason Jenkins)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (DTN) -- The National Wheat Foundation (NWF) is now accepting entries for its ninth annual yield contest, which features a new website and pilot category in 2024. Twnety-six national winners will be named this year as wheat growers strive for high yield, exceptional quality and increased profit while trying new and innovative management strategies.

Deadlines to enter the contest are May 15 for winter wheat categories and Aug. 1 for spring wheat categories. Growers should register on NWF's new contest website: https://www.wheatcontest.org/….

"We are so thrilled to launch this new website where contestants will find it easier to enter, even using their cell phones," said Anne Osborne, NWF yield contest director, in a press release. "The data analysis is improved on this new website, so we can continue to share production practices that lead to winning yields and top quality."

Osborne noted the new website features a frequently asked questions (FAQs) section, as well as helpful reminders on each contestant's dashboard regarding the days remaining until deadlines for entries, payment and harvest data.

All growers and their trusted advisers, such as seed reps, county agents or agronomists, are encouraged to read through the contest rules and get their entries started, she said. Each entry costs $100.

"As in past years, many of our great partners in the contest are offering vouchers that will pay a grower's contest entry fee," Osborne said. "A grower can select this option as they submit their contest entry."

Though growers can only be recognized as a national winner in one category, they may enter as many categories for which they are eligible. The 2024 categories include irrigated winter wheat, dryland winter wheat, irrigated spring wheat and dryland spring wheat.

Contest fields must be at least five continuous acres planted with professionally produced, certified, branded and newly purchased wheat seed. The field must be verified by a third-party supervisor during harvest of the contest field.

Also new for 2024 is a pilot category, Digital Yield, for dryland spring wheat growers in Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota. This option will allow growers to use technologies such as John Deere Operations Center, Climate FieldView or Bushel -- along with data from their calibrated grain cart scales -- to submit their yield into the contest from a 20-acre selected area in a previously entered field.

"NWF and our partners want to continue to expand the reach of the contest and the Digital Yield category is one way we hope more growers will be interested in giving it a try," said Bernard Peterson, NWF chairman and a Kentucky wheat grower. "We look forward to learning from contestants who are interested in helping the contest improve and take advantage of the great digital technologies that many wheat growers have adopted."

Eligible spring wheat growers may enter up to three fields in the new Digital Yield category.

Because the NWF yield contest encourages growers to strive for both high yield and high quality, all contestants must retain a 10-pound sample of grain from their contest entry. Should an entry place nationally, the wheat sample will be milled, baked and evaluated for quality. Those ranked in the Top 3 for quality in their class by a panel of experts will be recognized and awarded an additional $250. All national winners will receive a trip to the 2025 Commodity Classic to be held March 2-4 in Denver.

Entrants must 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.

A total of 417 entries were received in the 2023 contest, falling just one entry short of the contest's all-time high set in 2020. In total, 83 state yield contest winners were named from 28 states. Their yield average across all categories was 127 bushels per acre (bpa). For the 24 national winners from 12 states, the yield average was 144 bpa.

Partnering sponsors for the 2024 National Wheat Yield Contest include WestBred, John Deere, BASF, U.S. Wheat Associates, The McGregor Company, Croplan, Limagrain, Ardent Mills, AgriMaxx, Bushel, DynaGro, Eastman, Kentucky Small Grain Growers Association, Mennel, North Carolina Small Grains, Ohio Corn & Wheat, Siemer Milling Company, USG, Grain Craft, Kansas Wheat, Miller Milling, Montana Grain Growers Association, ND Mill & Elevator and PlainsGold. DTN/Progressive Farmer is the competition's official media outlet.

For more information or to register for the 2024 yield contest, visit https://www.wheatcontest.org/….

Jason Jenkins can be reached at jason.jenkins@dtn.com.

Follow him on X, formerly known as Twitter, @JasonJenkinsDTN.

Jason Jenkins