Winners announced for the 2021 National Wheat Yield Contest

The National Wheat Foundation’s (NWF) National Wheat Yield Contest (NWYC) offers growers the opportunity to compete with farmers from across the U.S. and improve their production practices through new and innovative techniques. The NWF is happy to announce the national and state winners for the 2021 National Wheat Yield Contest. See the national winners and read more about their entries here. See the state winners and read more about their entries here.

Washington growers made a strong showing in the national irrigated categories. Joel Zwainz of Lincoln County placed second in the winter wheat-irrigated category with a final yield of 182.17 bushels. Phillip Gross of Adams County took the bin buster award in the spring wheat-irrigated category with a yield of 184.35 bushels. Boe Clausen of Grant County placed first in that same category with a yield of 157.72 bushels.

State winners in Washington are Garrett Warren of Columbia County with a yield of 116.08 bushels in the winter wheat-dryland category. In the winter wheat-irrigated category are Zwainz, followed by David Gross of Spokane County with a yield of 164.20 bushels and Benjamin Leavitt of Grant County with a yield of 152.44 bushels. Spring wheat-dryland winner was John Dixon of Garfield County with a yield of 91.86 bushels. To round out the spring wheat-irrigated category was Pat Ochoa of Adams County with a yield of 141.85 bushels (the other two winners were Gross and Clausen, already mentioned above).

“Better than expected” is how many of the grower participants describe their 2021 wheat crops. The crops in the spring wheat areas overcame historic drought and a heatwave that is being described as a 1,000-year weather event. The winter wheat crop experienced the “Valentine’s Week Historic Winter Outbreak” of snow, sleet, freezing rain and extremely cold temperatures that lasted for several days. In the Northeast, the rain was plentiful and too much so during harvest time. Despite these challenges, 387 wheat growers still entered the contest and 150 of them took their entries to yield in order to compete and see how they fared versus other growers in the country.

“NWF would like to thank each grower for enrolling in the NWYC and thank our sponsors for helping to make the contest available to wheat growers in the U.S. Entries for the contest were 387 this year, spring wheat entries were down a little, due to the drought,” stated National Wheat Foundation Board Chairman David Cleavinger. “Yields and quality were excellent in this year’s entries and contestants tell us they are continuing to learn how to increase their yields and quality on their farms.”

The contest recognizes winners in two primary competition categories: winter wheat and spring wheat, and two subcategories: dryland and irrigated. Grain must be Grade 1 or 2 by Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) standards to be eligible for awards. National winners will receive a trip to the Commodity Classic in New Orleans, La., in March 2022 and be recognized at an awards reception.

The sponsors for the 2021 National Yield Contest are AgriMaxx, Ardent Mills, BASF, Croplan/Winfield, Elevate Ag, Grain Craft, GrainSense, John Deere, Miller Milling, Michigan Wheat, Nutrien, Ohio Corn and Wheat and WestBred.

*It should be noted winners are selected by the percentage increase their yield exceeds the most recent five-year Olympic County average as determined by USDA.