Wednesday, October 3, 2012

2012 Wheat Contest Winners and Production Practices

Chad Lee, Extension Agronomist, University of Kentucky

The 2012 Kentucky Extension Wheat Contest winners are published. State champions are awarded to the highest yields each in No-Tillage and Conventional Tillage. Clark Farms of Graves County was the Tillage State Champion with a yield of 115.41 bushels per acre. The No-Tillage State Champion was Blake Edwards of Green County with a yield of 108.51 bushels per acre. For the contest, Kentucky is divided into four areas. Area Champions are awarded to the highest yield in each area (that is not a state champion), regardless of tillage class. Area 1 Champion was Malcolm Oatts of Christian County (108.18 bu/acre, tillage). Area 2 Champion was Flat Lick Farms – Scott Kuegel of Daviess County (109.61 bu/acre, tillage). Area 3 Champion was Jamie Summers (106.73 bu/acre, tillage). Area 4 Champion was Homestead Family Farms (97.94 bu/acre, no-tillage).

Overall, the winners had an average yield of 107.73 bu/acre. Two of the six winners used no-tillage, three of the winners used a single pass of cultivation and one winner disked twice. This is the second year in a row that the Tillage State Champion yielded better than the No-Tillage State Champion. The winners had an average planting date of October 29, with the earliest planting date being October 16 and the latest November 11. Four of the six winners used 7.5-inch rows, one used 7-inch rows and the other used 15-inch rows. The wheat in the 15-inch rows was the second highest yield in the contest (109.61 bu/A).

The winners averaged about 88 pounds of phosphorus (P2O5) per acre and 84 pounds of potassium (K2O) per acre. The winners averaged a total 137 pounds of nitrogen (N) per acre delivered in multiple applications. All winners included pest management programs involving herbicides, foliar fungicides and insecticides.

For the first time, county Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agents were recognized for the top three average yields supervised from a single county and the most entries supervised from a county. Clint Hardy of Daviess County won both categories with a top three average yield of 96.90 bu/acre and 7 entries supervised. Jay Stone, Christian County ANR Extension Agent, supervised three entries and had an average yield of 98.92 bu/acre, but the entries were from different counties.

The Kentucky Extension Wheat Production Contest was established in 1987. Tillage and No-Tillage divisions were established in 1997. The highest yield reported since the contest began was 130.61 bu/acre from Elkin Farms in Warren County in 2008. Over the past five years, the average top yield for Tillage is 110.01 bu/acre and for No-Tillage is 111.06 bu/acre. The four areas for the contest are Area 1: Purchase and Pennyrile; Area 2: Green River; Area 3: Mammoth Cave; and Area 4: rest of the state.

The Kentucky Extension Wheat Production Contest is sponsored by the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, Kentucky Small Grain Growers Association and supporting agribusinesses. The traveling trophy for the highest overall yields is sponsored by DuPont Pioneer and traveling trophy for the highest no-tillage yields is sponsored by the Kentucky Small Grains Growers Association. Winners will receive their awards at the Kentucky Commodity Conference, scheduled for January 18, 2013 in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

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