National Wheat Yield Contest Quality Ward Winners Named
January 18, 2024
The National Wheat Foundation (NWF) has released the results of the quality component of its 2023 National Wheat Yield Contest. This year's 10 winners include wheat growers from eight different states from Virginia to Oregon.
It was the second year the yield contest included an evaluation of grain quality. Those who participated were required to save an 8-pound sample from their harvested entry. Once the 24 national winners were named in October 2023, those growers sent in their samples for analysis of milling and baking characteristics.
Anne Osborne, NWF's project manager for the yield contest, said the goal is to promote continuous improvement, not only in terms of higher yields but also higher quality.
"It gives us an opportunity to educate growers on why it is so important that they select varieties with the characteristics that end-users desire," she said during an interview with DTN, the official media outlet of the competition. "And they do have choices. They don't have to pick a variety that will just yield well. They can choose a variety that can do both when the proper management is applied."
To evaluate quality, the hard wheat samples were milled and analyzed at the Northern Crops Institute in Fargo, North Dakota. Soft wheat samples were sent to the Wheat Marketing Center in Portland, Oregon. In addition to grain quality characteristics such as test weight and protein, flour characteristics such as falling number, gluten percentage, consistency and stability were evaluated.
As a final step, the flour samples were used to produce baked goods. The hard wheat entries were baked into bread, while the soft wheat entries were evaluated as sponge cake and sugar cookies.
"In all, eight wheat experts evaluated the entries, and it was really clear that there was consensus about which were the winners," Osborne said. "It's important to have those functional qualities that a miller and baker are demanding because that's what our customers, both international and domestic, are expecting."
Osborne noted that environmental factors can play a role in grain quality. Such was the case for some yield contest winners this year.
"Every year's crop is a little different," she said. "2022 was a great year for all wheat classes, while this year presented challenges in some regions for some classes. What's important is to encourage growers to strive for consistent high quality while pushing for higher yields. We'll continue to encourage them to do both and recognize them when they succeed."
On Feb. 28, all national yield and quality contest winners will be recognized at the NWF Winner's Reception held in Houston at the 2024 Commodity Classic. That day, the foundation will also begin accepting entries for the 2024 National Wheat Yield Contest through a new contest website at https://wheatcontest.org/…
2023 National Wheat Yield Contest Quality Award Winners
HARD RED WINTER WHEAT CLASS
-- First Place: Chris Gross
Yield Contest Finish: Bin Buster, Winter Wheat Irrigated
Variety: WestBred Keldin, 211.98 bpa
-- Second Place: Travis Freeburg
Pine Bluffs, Wyoming
Yield Contest Finish: Third Place, Winter Wheat Dryland Above County Average
Variety: PlainsGold Brawl CL Plus, 118.24 bpa
HARD RED SPRING WHEAT CLASS
-- First Place: Brad Disrud
Rolla, North Dakota
Yield Contest Finish: Bin Buster, Spring Wheat Dryland
Variety: WestBred WB9590, 129.98 bpa
-- Second Place: John Wesolowski
Yield Contest Finish: First Place, Spring Wheat Dryland
Variety: WestBred WB9590, 126.09 bpa
-- Third Place: Devan Laufer
Mott, North Dakota
Yield Contest Finish: Third Place, Spring Wheat Dryland Above County Average
Variety: WestBred WB9719, 109.84 bpa
SOFT WHITE WINTER CLASS
-- First Place: Derek Berger
Yield Contest Finish: First Place, Winter Wheat Dryland
Variety: Limagrain LCS Shine, 171.58 bpa
-- Second Place: Dick Judah
Yield Contest Finish: Bin Buster, Winter Wheat Dryland
Variety: Limagrain LCS Shine 173.77 bpa
SOFT RED WINTER WHEAT CLASS
-- First Place: Kent Edwards
Yield Contest Finish: Third Place, Winter Wheat Dryland
Variety: Pioneer 25R29, 169.40 bpa
-- Second Place: Guy Gochenour
Yield Contest Finish: Fourth Place, Winter Wheat Dryland
Variety: Mid Atlantic Seeds 139, 163.31 bpa
-- Third Place: Nick Suwyn
Yield Contest Finish: Second Place, Winter Wheat Irrigated
Variety: DF Seeds DF-131, 171.71 bpa
For a list of all the 2023 national yield contest winners, go here: https://www.dtnpf.com/…
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