Wheat Yield Contest Winners Announced 

October 23, 2023

 Four new individuals earned the title of "Bin Buster" in the 2023 National Wheat Yield Contest. On Monday, the National Wheat Foundation (NWF) announced this year's state and national winners, including those who topped the contest's four main categories.

Chris Gross of Reardan, Washington, earned overall Bin Buster honors, raising irrigated hard red winter wheat that yielded 211.98 bushels per acre (bpa). It's the second-highest yield recorded in the contest's history.

The dryland winter wheat Bin Buster was Dick Judah of Hillsboro, Oregon, whose soft white winter wheat averaged 173.77 bpa. Dallin Wilcox of Rexburg, Idaho, was named Bin Buster for irrigated hard white spring wheat yielding 170.14 bpa, while Brad Disrud of Rolla, North Dakota, earned the Bin Buster title in the dryland spring wheat category with hard red spring wheat that averaged 129.98 bpa. This year, two national contest winners binned entries that exceeded 200 bpa, both in the irrigated winter wheat category.

Now in its eighth year, the NWF's yield contest is designed to encourage wheat growers to strive for high yield, quality and profit while trying new and innovative management strategies. DTN/Progressive Farmer is the official media outlet of the competition.

The overall contest record was set in 2022 by Rylee Reynolds of Castleford, Idaho, who produced 231.37 bpa of irrigated soft white winter wheat.

Additional national awards are presented to dryland wheat growers who raise a crop that excels when compared to others in the county where it is produced. Entries are judged based on their percentage above their five-year Olympic County average, a figure published annually by USDA. This levels the playing field and provides a means of recognizing growers who succeed at producing wheat in lower-yielding areas.

This year, Marc Arnusch of Keenesburg, Colorado, produced dryland hard red winter wheat that yielded 130.69 bpa -- 330.5% above his county average of 30.36 bpa. In Mott, North Dakota, Austin Kautzman raised dryland hard red spring wheat that yielded 119.94 bpa, which was 273% above his county average of 32.19 bpa.

As was the case last year, drought conditions in 2023 reduced winter wheat yield potential across much of the Southern and Central Plains. Violent hailstorms also destroyed many fields, adding insult to injury. Hot, dry weather early in the growing season also was a factor for some spring wheat growers, especially in the Northern Plains.

"Eastern soft winter wheat areas had tremendous yields this year, and millers are happy with the quality of wheat coming from these areas," said Bernard Peterson, NWF chairman and farmer from Loretto, Kentucky. "It is exciting to see the potential when the genetics, management and environment all align in the wheat grower's favor."

Anne Osborne, NWF's project manager for the contest, noted that despite the ongoing environmental challenges, 417 entries were received this year, up nearly 25% from 2022 and falling just one entry short of the contest's all-time high set in 2020.

In total, 83 state yield contest winners were named from 28 states. Their yield average across all categories was 127 bpa. For the 24 national winners from 12 states, the yield average increased to 144 bpa.

Though contest winners are selected based on yield, emphasis is also placed on the production of high-quality grain. The 24 national winners are required to submit an 8-pound sample that will be analyzed for milling and baking qualities. A panel of experts will rank the wheat samples by quality, and the winners will be announced in mid-January.

National winners are awarded a trip to the Commodity Classic, which will be held in February 2024 in Houston, Texas, where they will be recognized at the NWF Winner's Reception on Feb. 28, 2024.



-- Bin Buster: Dick Judah

Hillsboro, Oregon

Variety: Limagrain LCS Shine

Yield: 173.77 bpa

-- First Place: Derek Berger

Hillsboro, Oregon

Variety: Limagrain LCS Shine

Yield: 171.58 bpa

-- Second Place: Randy Eschenburg

Almont, Michigan

Variety: Michigan State Whitetail

Yield: 169.75 bpa

-- Third Place: Kent Edwards

Castalia, Ohio

Variety: Pioneer 25R29

Yield: 169.4 bpa

-- Fourth Place: Guy Gochenour

Woodstock, Virginia

Variety: Mid-Atlantic Seeds 139

Yield: 163.31 bpa

-- Fifth Place: William Willard

Frederick, Maryland

Variety: Pioneer 25R64

Yield: 157.67 bpa



-- First Place: Marc Arnusch

Keenesburg, Colorado

Variety: Limagrain Helix AX

Yield: 130.69 bpa, 330.5% above Weld County, Colorado, average

-- Second Place: Brett Arnusch

Keenesburg, Colorado

Variety: Limagrain Helix AX

Yield: 130.64 bpa, 330.3% above Weld County, Colorado, average

-- Third Place: Travis Freeburg

Pine Bluffs, Wyoming

Variety: PlainsGold Brawl CL Plus

Yield: 118.24 bpa, 295% above Kimball County, Nebraska, average

-- Fourth Place: Casey Cantwell

Keenesburg, Colorado

Variety: Limagrain Helix AX

Yield: 99.75 bpa, 229% over Weld County, Colorado, average

-- Fifth Place: David Ebers

Wellston, Oklahoma

Variety: WestBred WB4699

Yield: 114.88 bpa, 204% above Seminole County, Oklahoma, average



-- Bin Buster: Chris Gross

Reardan, Washington

Variety: WestBred Keldin

Yield: 211.98 bpa

-- First Place: Gary Reynolds

Castleford, Idaho

Variety: Syngenta SY Ovation

Yield: 201.94 bpa

-- Second Place: Nick Suwyn

Wayland, Michigan

Variety: DF Seeds DF-131

Yield: 171.71 bpa



-- Bin Buster: Brad Disrud

Rolla, North Dakota

Variety: WestBred WB9590

Yield: 129.98 bpa

-- First Place: John Wesolowski

Warren, Minnesota

Variety: WestBred WB9590

Yield: 126.09 bpa

-- Second Place: Lance Olson

Mott, North Dakota

Variety: WestBred WB9606

Yield: 122.09 bpa

-- Third Place: Trevor Stout

Genesee, Idaho

Variety: WestBred WB9623

Yield: 119.91 bpa



-- First Place: Austin Kautzman

Mott, North Dakota

Variety: WestBred WB9606

Yield: 119.94 bpa, 273% above Grant County, North Dakota, average

-- Second Place: Jason Signalness

Watford City, North Dakota

Variety: Croplan CP3099A

Yield: 109.13 bpa, 250% above McKenzie County, North Dakota, average

-- Third Place: Devan Laufer

Mott, North Dakota

Variety: WestBred WB9719

Yield: 109.84 bpa, 241% above Adams County, North Dakota, average



-- Bin Buster: Dallin Wilcox

Rexburg, Idaho

Variety: WestBred WB7589

Yield: 170.14 bpa

-- First Place: Jess Blatchford

Haines, Oregon

Variety: WestBred WB6341

Yield: 164.5 bpa

-- Second Place: Jeff Bieber

Fairview, Montana

Variety: WestBred WB9719

Yield: 109.33 bpa

Source: National Wheat Foundation, DTN, Western Ag Network