Now that the 2014 winter wheat crop is mostly in the ground, farmers can begin thinking about entering next year's fifth annual Kansas Wheat Yield Contest, which carries with it a shot at $1,000 in cash.
The contest requires farmers to choose a plot of at least five acres and provide management information about the plot. The state is regions – Region 1 in Western Kansas, Region 2 in Central Kansas and Region 3 in Eastern Kansas – for the contest.
$1,000 cash prize
The farmer with the top yield in each region will win $1,000 in cash from Kansas Wheat and BASF, the lead corporate sponsor of the contest. More cash prizes for winning entries are available for growers using AgriPro, PlainsGold, WestBred, Limagrain, or Kansas Wheat Alliance seed.
"BASF is excited to be a sponsor of the 2014 Kansas Wheat Yield Contest. Kansas wheat producers continue to raise the bar on wheat yields, a necessary step to feeding the expanding world population," said Sean Mills, BASF North Central Kansas business representative. "Confirmation of high-production techniques and practices contest winners develop demonstrates the potential for all Kansas wheat producers to increase yield and maintain high quality production demanded by the world market."
A completed entry form and payment of the $50 entry fee must be made by May 1, 2014. Members of the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers will have the entry fee waived for ltheir first entry.
Farmers can enter as many times as they want, but each entry must be submitted on a separate form.~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~
"Kansas wheat farmers are some of the best in the world. One of our objectives in this yield contest is to provide an opportunity for them to highlight their profession, along with creating a little friendly competition sponsored by industry partners," said Justin Gilpin, Kansas Wheat CEO. "The deadline for entering the yield contest isn't until next spring, but preparations to compete in the yield contest begin in this fall. Wheat is becoming a higher management crop, and as we've seen with past winners, early decisions help their crop reach its genetic yield potential."
In order to enter, contestants must be wheat farmers of at least 18 years of age and Kansas residents. Farmers must use certified seed to be considered and the contest is only open to dryland fields planted with hard winter wheat varieties.
Contestants are encouraged to keep detailed records for any field that may be submitted to the contest. Important records for the contest include planting date, seed and fertilizer rate, and herbicide and fungicide applications. Other beneficial items to track are precipitation and soil type.
In addition to yield-based prizes, farmers will be eligible for the Quality Initiative of the contest sponsored by Kansas Wheat and Kansas Grain Inspection Service. Participants will be asked to collect a two-pound sample of wheat at harvest and send it to the Kansas Wheat office. These samples will be graded, scored and evaluated based on a number of quality parameters. The farmer with the top-quality sample will receive $250 in cash.
Ron Ohlde, 2013 yield contest winner, enjoys participating in the Kansas Wheat Yield Contest because it gives him a chance to compare his operation to others.
"I love to see how my operation stacks up," said Olhde. "It boils down to testing. You've got to test varieties, fertilizer types and rates. Every field and every operation is different, but we can learn from each other."
Additional information about the contest rules and deadlines can be found at the Kansas Wheat website.