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Ontario Grain Farmer Magazine is the flagship publication of Grain Farmers of Ontario and a source of information for our province’s grain farmers. 

Farmers recognized for high yield


no one can claim it was an easy growing season, but many farmers did make the best of it. Impressive crops came out of the Soybean Yield Challenge and the Winter Wheat Challenge and winners were recently announced.


“It was a good year for both challenges,” says Meghan Moran of Grain Farmers of Ontario. Moran compiled all of the data for the challenges and presented the results at the joint banquet, sponsored by Pioneer Hi-Bred Ltd, which was held in Ingersoll in early December.

“Between the two challenges we had 55 entries,” says Moran. “More entered the challenge at the beginning of the season but didn’t see it through after a challenging year, as we expected.”

soybean yield challenge winners
The Soybean Yield Challenge was separated into two divisions: an IP division sponsored by DuPont and a non-IP division brought to you by Genuity. Within each division, entrants were separated into three zones based on crop heat units.

All winners and runners up received admission to Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show and a local farm show of their choice. Winners in each division and each zone went home with a cash prize of $10 x their yield in bushels.

The two Grand Prize winners: George Ennis and Jon Bakker each receive a trip for two to the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Kentucky!

Zone 1 (2700 CHU and under)
Non-IP Division
1st Place  Ronald Rody, Moorefield, 26-11RY, 57.8 bu/ac

IP Division
1st Place  Jon Bakker, Frankford, S05-T6, 74.0 bu/ac
2nd Place Schouten Corner View Farms, Richmond, S03-W4, 73.7 bu/ac

Zone 2 (2725 to 3000 CHU)
Non-IP Division
1st Place George Ennis, Winchester, Titanium, 80.2 bu/ac
2nd Place R&J Fraser Farms Ltd, Ottawa, 91Y90, 68.5 bu/ac

IP Division
1st Place Ceresmore Farms, Bowmanville, Colby, 69.7 bu/ac
2nd Place Justin Dorland, Brighton, 91M01, 64.1 bu/ac

Zone 3 (3025 CHU and above)
Non-IP division
1st Place Simard Bros Inc., Oldcastle, 92Y80, 72.9 bu/ac
2nd Place Robert Devolder, Dover Centre, 32-60RY, 67.9 bu/ac 

winter wheat challenge winners
This was the first year of the Winter Wheat Challenge and the winners definitely deserve their prizes. First place took home a prize of $1,500, second received $750.

1st place Lloyd Crowe, Picton, 25R56, 150 bu/ac
2nd place Zilke Farms, Woodstock, 25R47, 140.8 bu/ac

a little bit of luck and a lot of planning
Although many farmers struggled through the season with the wet spring, dry, hot summer and wet fall, some farmers lucked out with the weather and were able to grow a great crop. Soybean winner Jon Bakker attributes his big yields to a “perfect growing season.”

Another factor in Bakker’s win was his  higher than normal population of 239,000 seed per acre. “The population definitely went in high and that was an accident,” he admits. Fortunately, it ended up being a pleasantly surprising accident.

For George Ennis, he gives credit to good timing and a change in planting technique for his big win of 80.2 bushels per acre. “We planted on May 9 this year so the crop was in the ground in good time,” says Innis. The field also benefitted from timely weather systems in the summer.

Innis planted at 180,000 seeds per acre and carefully adjusted their drill to get more down pressure and more consistent coverage.

In the Winter Wheat Challenge, first place winner Lloyd Crowe attributes his win to great land. “It was a new piece of property that had peas on it and from years past when we used to grow peas, we always knew that it was the best ground for planting winter wheat. I knew right away that’s the land we were going to enter,” he says.

He was also pleased with his planting date of September 20 and his high planting rate of 150 pounds per acre. These factors combined with fertility advice from an agronomist resulted in a stellar yield of 150 bushels per acre.

THAnks to our sponsors
These production challenges would not be possible without the generous help of our sponsors. For the Soybean Yield Challenge, the prizes for the IP division were provided by DuPont, the prizes for the non-IP division were sponsored by Genuity and the banquet received generous assistance from Pioneer Hi-Bred Ltd. Also providing support for this challenge at the Gold Sponsorship level was Dekalb, Hyland Seeds, Maizex, Mycogen and NK Seeds. Silver level sponsors were Country Farm Seeds and SeCan.

The Winter Wheat Challenge was generously sponsored by Bayer CropScience, Hyland Seeds and C&M Seeds. •


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