When will applications be accepted?

Applications for the 2023 Great Lakes YEN will be open from December 1, 2022 to January 27, 2023. Details will be posted on social media and this website.

How do I apply?

Applications for the 2023 season open on December 1, 2022. Check back or follow us on social media for updates on registration. Space is limited, so get your application in early to have a better chance of participating.

What are the criteria for selection?

  1. Participants must carry out the YEN protocol and submit the required data.
  2. Participants will be selected in order to represent a varied geography across Ontario and the Great Lakes region of the USA, as well as diverse soil types.
  3. Participants must be willing to share and learn more about their wheat crop.
  4. Participants must be able to help collect and share critical agronomic data including, but not limited to: seeding information, crop inputs, harvest date, and more.
  5. Participants must be able to collect one soil sample in the spring, tissue samples at GS31 and GS39 and a grab sample of 100 shoots at maturity. They must submit a grain sample for analysis and have the ability to weigh off harvested area with a third-party verifier. Yield monitor data is not acceptable.
  6. There are limited spaces available, so applicants who meet requirements will be selected on a first come, first served basis.
  7. Only those completing the data submission will qualify for analysis.

Is there a cost?

Yes. Each participant will pay $250 to the program for entry of a single field site for a single growing season. This fee allows us to offset part of the lab sample costs for soil sampling, 2x tissue testing, grain sample analysis for nutrients and quality, and attendance to our year-end networking event. The Great Lakes YEN will be seeking sponsors to offset additional costs.

Payment will be due upon confirmation of participation in the Great Lakes YEN.

What are the categories of recognition for participation?

Recognition will be given to the participant that achieves the highest percent of yield potential overall, the top three growers within each of the regions (province/state) for percent of yield potential achieved; and the highest yield achieved in each region.

A regional networking event will be held to hand out awards, discuss the previous crop year and talk about what was learned with farmers, agronomists, researchers and extension specialists.

How will you be verifying the results?

The Great Lakes YEN team will work with farmer participants to verify data and yield results. Farmers must provide the yield weight data, moisture and area, or be able to work with their CCA to provide results.

What do the winners receive?

  • Bragging rights!
  • Public recognition of their accomplishment.
  • A Great Lakes YEN award.

How is this different from other yield competitions?

  • This project goes above and beyond the scope of yield alone.
  • This network is about achieving the highest yield from your farm’s potential in a percentage rather than raw yield. It is about efficiencies and maximization of ability.
  • This project will provide an in-depth review of all the components of yield.
  • A project report will be generated for each field, which will provide much more information than a simple yield competition.

What is potential yield and how is potential yield calculated?

We consider the modeled yield potential of the season and compare it to the actual yield achieved. To estimate the yield potential, we look at the development of a given crop, the basic resources (light, energy, and water) available to that crop, and then its success in capturing these and using them to form grain.

Do I have to enter my best yielding field, or can I enter one of my challenging fields?

Any field can be entered, and a farmer should choose a field that they feel they could learn a lot about through this initiative. The yield contest is only one component of the Great Lakes YEN.

What has YEN data shown in other areas of the world?

  1. YEN projects span several countries and many crops, including wheat, oats, edible beans, and potatoes.
  2. Some learnings from recent UK wheat YEN projects are:
    • 15 tonnes per hectare is possible almost anywhere in the U.K.
    • It’s less about what you spend, more about attention to detail.
    • Large yields come from large crops (able to capture more sunlight and water).
    • Taller crops with higher straw nitrogen percentage tended to have higher yield.
    • Good nutrition, control of disease and reducing lodging risks are all important.
  3. For more information on the global YEN, please visit https://www.yen.adas.co.uk/.