Michigan Wheat Program Announces New Michigan Wheat Yield Contest

Lansing, Mich.  (May 6, 2020) –The Michigan Wheat Program (MWP) is excited to introduce its first Michigan Wheat Yield Contest to recognize the outstanding wheat growers in the Great Lakes State.

“Michigan wheat yields are very competitive and, in fact, we have one of the highest average state yields in the nation,” said executive director Jody Pollok-Newsom. “Michigan’s record wheat production was an average 89 bushels per acre set in 2016 compared to the current national average which is only 49 bushels per acre!”

“Michigan growers are clearly doing many things right, and it only seems natural to highlight our growers through a state yield contest,” she said.

The Michigan wheat yield contest is modeled on the successful National Wheat Yield contest, sponsored by the National Wheat Foundation (NWF) and launched in the fall of 2015. The June 2020 harvest will be the first entries eligible for Michigan’s top wheat production awards.

To make contest entry easier for growers, Michigan has partnered with the Foundation so there is only one entry portal which is through the NWF. The Michigan Wheat Program will utilize data submitted by Michigan farmers to NWF’s National Contest to determine the home-state winners.

“In the National Contest, only the first place State winner is eligible for one of its 24 awards. While it is wonderful to compete against the nation’s top wheat producers, the recognition opportunities are limited,” said David Milligan, the Cass City-area farmer who chairs the nine-member Michigan Wheat Program and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG), companion organization to the NWF. “The Michigan wheat yield contest offers Michigan growers a chance to compete against one another, drawing in more competition to generate creative thinking to solve production challenges within our State. Winners will be chosen in irrigated and dryland wheat for both red and white wheat.”

“We are looking for our agribusiness partners to sponsor this fun wheat challenge that is specific to Michigan,” said Pollok-Newsom. “Yield contests have been proven to promote grower innovation to improve productivity. As we move through this first year, we want to make sure we really recognize those growers who go above-and-beyond to try new management practices and who make wheat their top priority.”

Plans are still evolving for the Michigan Wheat Yield Contest, but awards will be given for the top yielder in both red and white wheat in both dryland and irrigated production. The top winners will receive free registration and lodging at Michigan’s 2021 Great Lakes Crop Summit in Mt. Pleasant; recognition at the Michigan Wheat Program’s Annual Meeting in March 2021; and be highlighted in a special publication honoring Michigan’s best farmers.

To sign up for the Michigan contest, visit the NAWG website at https://yieldcontest.wheatfoundation.org/ and register for the national contest. The $125 entry fee is due May 15, 2020. Usually, the entry fee will be covered by one of the ag businesses you work with. Questions may be directed to your ag business representative. NAWG/NWF indicate that entry fees are covered by: Bayer/WestBred, BASF and Corteva/Pioneer through their national sponsorship.

For more information, visit the Michigan Wheat Program website at www.miwheat.org find the “Farmer Perks” tab and click on the Michigan Wheat Yield Contest tab. If you have questions, contact Jody Pollok-Newsom at (517) 625-9432 or jody@miwheat.org for more information.

Michigan ranks 12th in the nation for wheat production. The state’s 8,000 wheat growers benefit from wheat processing in five mills in the state that add value to the commodity, along with several end-users located in the Great Lakes region. For more wheat information go to: www.miwheat.org.