By Mike Estadt, Laura Lindsey, Eric Richer, CCA, Ohio State University Extension
Wheat growers interested in becoming part of a ground-breaking new program in the Great Lakes region must register now, so they don’t lose out on the 2023 opportunity to learn more about their wheat crop and how to hit their yield potential.
Registration closes January 27 for growers interested in participating in the second year of the Great Lakes Wheat Yield Enhancement Network (YEN) program. To register or for more information on Great Lakes YEN visit https://www.GreatLakesYEN.com or look for the hashtag #GreatLakesYEN.
Every farm involved in the Great Lakes YEN anonymously shares soil, tissue and whole plant analysis for comparison and benchmarking. Growers receive reports specific to their farm. Growers will learn more about how their wheat crop develops and produces yield, and how they compare to their peers.
According to 2022 participant Rick Clifton of Circleville, Ohio, “The sampling aspect of the YEN program in itself is a learning opportunity. It makes you get out of the cab of the sprayer and combine and see things in your wheat crop that you don’t see driving across the field.”
Great Lakes YEN registration for 2023 closes Jan. 27.Growers must be registered and submit the $250 participation fee prior to program launch in February 2023. Sponsorships may be available for Ohio growers who sign up.
In 2022, growers from six states and Ontario participated in the program, including over 25 growers from Ohio.
This is a great opportunity for wheat growers to identify yield-limiting factors within their individual fields. By collecting soil samples and plant samples, farmers will be ground-truthing their own fields, which is a great learning opportunity.
“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, YEN collaborator and Michigan State University wheat specialist. “There was much interest by growers as to how the UK 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,” Pennington said.
As the second year of Great Lakes YEN gets underway, it’s already proving to be a program that encourages 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). Growers are responsible to enter their data throughout the growing season.
Once harvest is complete, data is compiled and reported back to each participant via a field-specific written report as well as through regional events. Individual farm data will be specific to each grower and is safeguarded and not reported back to anyone except that grower.
For more information visit www.GreatLakesYEN.com. Additional information is available by contacting Dennis Pennington, Wheat Systems Specialist, Michigan State University, email@example.com.