Lansing, Mich. (February 10, 2022) – Wheat growers interested in becoming a part of a ground-breaking new program need to get registered now, so they don’t lose out on their opportunity to learn more about their wheat crop and how to hit their potential.
Registration will be closing soon for growers interested in participating in this first full year of the Great Lakes Yield Enhancement Network program. To register or for more information on the Great Lakes YEN project visit https://www.GreatLakesYEN.com or look for the hashtag #GreatLakesYEN. Great Lakes YEN registration for the 2022 growing season closes February 23 as the new program launches on February 25 with a 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. virtual program. Boxes with all the materials needed to take the samples with pre-addressed and stamped envelopes will be sent to all registered growers so they arrive prior to the February 25 launch. In order to get your box in time, please register now.
Every farm involved in the Great Lakes YEN will share soil, tissue, and whole plant analysis for comparison and benchmarking, which will allow the Great Lakes YEN team to offer better insight into each field‘s performance. Farmers will learn more about how their wheat crop develops and produces yield and how they compare to their peers.
“The idea of looking at the estimated yield potential and then providing a direct link back to growers is a novel concept that has really moved the needle in the UK when it comes to yields,” said Dennis Pennington, Michigan State University Wheat Specialist. “During our 2021 Wheat Wisdom webinar series, we were able to feature Dr. Pete Berry from the UK as one of our speakers. There was much interest by growers as to how their YEN functioned. We had already begun our collaborative work with Ontario, so these comments from growers were just what we needed to get the Great Lakes YEN up and running even more quickly.”
It is a program that will encourage farmers to try new things and learn from data that are comparable across the Great Lakes region. Every field is different and has different yield potential based on a multitude of factors, such as environment (rainfall, sunlight), soil (water holding capacity, nutrient level), and management (inputs used and timing). Once harvest is complete, data will be compiled and reported back to each participant via a field-specific written report as well as through a regional event. Individual farm data will be specific to each grower.
The Great Lakes YEN is built off the strong history of the YEN developed in the United Kingdom in 2012. Through the collaboration of agricultural stakeholders in the Great Lakes region in the U.S. and Ontario, the Great Lakes YEN connects farmers, agronomists, academics, extension specialists, agriculture organizations and more, to analyze, measure, and understand yield potential and the actual yield of a given field.
Beginning with a focus on winter wheat, the Great Lakes YEN will also build greater understanding of the growing regions around the Great Lakes, identify opportunities for change and betterment from a yield perspective, and potentially more about the environmental and economic benefits of current practices.
Growers interested in learning more may want to attend the Michigan Wheat Program’s 10th Annual Winter Grower Meeting! The in-person event will be held from 8:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Eagle Eye Conference Center, 15500 Chandler Rd., in Bath. The focus of the program is the Great Lakes YEN focusing on the information gained from last year, the pilot year of the program. Registration and the agenda are live at miwheat.org at the top of the “What’s Hot” column on the left edge of the page. Meeting attendance is free to wheat growers and stakeholders, but pre-registration is requested to ensure adequate food, seats and handout materials.
This program is very expensive and US sponsors are welcome to help offset some of the expenses. The first US sponsors jumping on board are Star of the West milling, Mennel Milling, King Milling and BASF. For those companies interested in joining the Great Lakes YEN as a sponsor, please reach out to the Michigan Wheat Program (Jody Pollok-Newsom firstname.lastname@example.org) or Grain Farmers of Ontario (Marty Vermey email@example.com).
Great Lakes YEN Project
Established in 2021, the Great Lakes YEN (Yield Enhancement Network) was created in partnership with Grain Farmers of Ontario, Michigan State University, Michigan Wheat Program, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and the University of Guelph, to improve crop returns through greater understanding of crop performance and increased collaboration between industry and farmers. For more information visit www.GreatLakesYEN.com.