Winning spring wheat yields

SPRING WHEAT CHALLENGE WINNERS ANNOUNCED

the results of Grain Farmers of Ontario’s second annual Spring Wheat Challenge are in and three impressive farmers have now gained bragging rights and a monetary prize for their yields.

First place and the prize of $1,500 goes to Schouten Corner View Farms of Richmond for their 98.42 bushel per acre. The winning field was planted with Sable wheat.

Teeswater farmer, John Schiestel, takes home second prize and $750 with his big  yield of 92.08 bushels per acre from his field of Wilken wheat.

Rounding out the cream of the crop is R&J Fraser Farms of Ottawa with 91.71 bushels per acre, also from a field of Sable, and a prize of $500.

“It was a tight competition this year,” says Crosby Devitt, manager of research and market development at Grain Farmers of Ontario. “These are all remarkable yields for Ontario spring wheat and these farmers certainly deserve credit for great production practices.”

The winners were announced at the January District Grain Committee Meeting in District 13 in Elgin.

common practices
While production practices vary across the province and from field to field, there were some similarities in this year’s Spring Wheat Challenge entrants.

“All participants used at least one fungicide on their wheat and several farmers used a two-pass fungicide system,” says Devitt.

The average yield of all participants in the challenge was 85.4 bushels per acre. This is an notable average when you consider the provincial average for spring wheat in 2011 was 51.9 bushels per acre.

Within the challenge, Sable was the most popular variety and Cruiser Maxx seed treatment was used on all three of the winning fields.

The challenge was open to all spring wheat growers in the province and all legal production practices were permitted. Farmers were required to use certified seed and their harvest must have made milling quality (Grade 1, 2 or 3).

managing for success
Challenge winner, Chris Schouten of Schouten Corner View Farms, attributes his great field to the weather. “We didn’t do anything dramatically different. I guess we just had the right weather.”

The winning field followed the Schouten’s typical production practices although they did plant later than usual due to the wet spring. The field received two foliar fungicide treatments – Headline at stem elongation and Caramba at heading and the seed was treated with Cruiser Maxx.

Schouten was pleased with his variety choice and has relied on Sable for a number of years. “Here, we call it ‘Able-Sable’. For me, it’s a good variety,” he says.

Chris farms with his father Ed and his uncle, Rick. They have 4000 acres of spring wheat, soybeans, corn and alfalfa and they also milk 550 cows.

special thanks
This challenge would not have been possible without generous support from our sponsors:?Platinum Sponsor – Bayer Crop?Science and Gold Sponsors – C&M?Seeds and Hyland Seeds. •