Wheat field with an Ontario great lake in the background

Great Lakes YEN

The Great Lakes Yield Enhancement Network (YEN) is one of a global series of YENs that help local farmers better understand their yield potential and learn what is limiting that potential.  The goal of the YEN is to connect agricultural organizations, extension specialists, academics, agronomists, and farmers who are striving to improve crop returns by unlocking the potential of the field by closing the gap between potential yield and actual yield. The Great Lakes YEN is currently focused on winter wheat and covers the geographic area of the Province of Ontario, Canada, and the Great Lakes region of the USA.

Working together to build stronger farms through collaboration and increased knowledge of crop performance.

Why get involved?

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Participating will give farmers better insight into their actual and potential yields by learning more about how their wheat crop grows and develops, and how yield is formed.

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The information farmers will receive about their field(s) will offer insight and discussion points for factors that might be limiting their yield potential.

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There is great opportunity to share and improve knowledge and datasets. Our hope is that it will help farmers to enhance their yield and work with their peers to bring greater benefit to their farms, their farming practices, and to their bottom line.

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Its an opportunity for a farmer to have a field benchmarked and compared to their yield potential and other farmers.

What farmers & agronomists think of the program

“The 2021 Great Lakes YEN program was really great to be a part of! There is effort required to provide quality information and timely samples, but the reported feedback and opportunity for learning is extremely rewarding. Some standard agronomic practices have been reinforced, but our eyes were certainly opened to a few more. Participation is a must for all serious wheat growers, and I am glad we enrolled. The ranking of Percentage Achieved of Potential Yield was particularly interesting. (And, there is nothing wrong with a little healthy competition!)”

Tim Meulensteen CCA-ON, Agronomist, Wellington County

“This was a great program to get involved with to learn from peers on how to grow a better crop. Plus I get direct access to our public wheat experts for any agronomy advice!”

Adam Pfeffer, farmer, Sparta, Ontario

“I learned a tremendous amount from the Great Lakes YEN pilot. With the help of good weather and several agronomic changes made, as a result of the lessons I learned, I SIGNIFICANTLY improved my yields in 2022.”

Norm Lamonthe, farmer, pilot and 2022 participant, Cavan , ON

“The YEN project showed us more of what our ground is capable of with proper management. From now on, we are going to be doing tissue sampling and more soil testing to push our yields from what we learned.”

Matt Beischlag, farmer, Hagersville, ON

“The Great Lakes YEN pilot has helped me immensely as an agronomist. My farm client and I get a report card on our yield gap and provides us with metrics on how we can make improvements for the following season.”

Jonathan Zettler CCA-ON, Agronomist, Wellington County

Applications for the 2023 growing season are now open! Apply now or sign up for updates on the Great Lakes YEN program. 

Great Lakes YEN Partners

Certified Crop Adviser logo
Grain Farmers of Ontario Logo
Michigan State University Extension Logo
Michigan Wheat Program logo
Ontario logo
University of Guelph logo