Ontario Grain Farmer March 2024

8 Cover story continued from page 6 GREAT LAKES YEN TOURED MICHIGAN IN 2023. and days analyzing the data to pick out a few things.” Krohn says that there is not one specific thing that he has gleaned from his YEN reports that has ultimately changed the management of his wheat crop, but rather, it has reinforced that the things he is doing are leading him in the right direction. “Nitrogen is a big driver in building biomass,” he says. “When I see other YEN participants using 180 to 200 pounds of nitrogen, and they are not even close to being top yields — that verifies that using 135 to 140 pounds of nitrogen, that makes me feel better, that it’s the right rate.” Looking at the other high performers in the YEN program, Krohn says he sees many similarities in their management practices. “Cover crops, lower seeding rate, narrower rows, T1 and T2 application of fungicides, those are things that Jeff [Cook] and I are doing that are similar,” says Krohn. “That helps to verify that I’m on the right track.” PLANTING DATE MATTERS In addition to wheat, Krohn and his wife Stephanie grow a rotation of corn, soybeans, dry beans, and alfalfa on 2,000 acres in partnership with his sons, Brandon and Nathan and his wife Amber, and their son Westin — the fifth, sixth, and seventh generations to operate the family farm. Including dry beans in his rotation ahead of wheat is one of the keys to Krohn’s success, according to Joanna Follings, cereals specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and member of the Great Lakes YEN steering committee. “Dry beans come off the field one to two weeks earlier than soybeans,” says Follings. “We know that early planting is critical to getting those high wheat yields.” BEST ADVICE When asked what his best advice is for someone who wants to grow higher-yielding wheat, Krohn points to seeding rate. “Lower your seeding rate,” says Krohn. “I see too many guys going with high seeding rates. Plant early, and lower your seeding rate.” •