Bin-Busting Wheat Yields

(Progressive Farmer image by Joel Reichenberger)

It was another record-setting year for the 2019 National Wheat Yield Contest. Three winners topped 200 bushels per acre (bpa), with Rick Pearson, of Buhl, Idaho, receiving top bin-buster honors with 211.59 bpa of irrigated winter wheat field.

Close behind was Marc Arnusch, of Keenesburg, Colorado, whose irrigated winter wheat field reached 210.52 bpa, and Phillip Gross, whose irrigated winter wheat field in Warden, Washington, hit 200.48 bpa. A 191.66 bpa brought home the dryland bin-buster award for Tom Duyck, Forest Grove, Oregon.

DTN/Progressive Farmer is the official media sponsor of the contest, which is sponsored by the National Wheat Foundation.

The contest recognizes winners in two primary competition categories: winter wheat and spring wheat, and two subcategories: dryland and irrigated. Category winners are also recognized by percentage they yield above their county's five-year yield average. To qualify for the contest, entries must also make Grade 1 or 2, the cutoff for food-grade wheat.

This year, the contest received 397 initial entries and finished with 154 final harvested samples -- an indication of the challenging environmental conditions of 2019. The quality assessment component eliminated 11 entries for a total of 143 eligible entries.

Watch for the March 2020 issue of Progressive Farmer, where we sort through the contest details -- such as how Texas grower Shawn Kimbrell coaxed his dryland hard red winter wheat crop to exceed the county average by 372.87%.

Follow the latest from Pamela Smith, Crops Technology Editor, by visiting the Production Blogs at or following her on Twitter: @PamSmithDTN.


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