A lower seeding rate, narrow rows and attention to detail.
They’re all management practices grower Jeffrey Krohn employs to grow high-yielding winter wheat on his Elkton, Michigan farm.
Krohn’s strategy helped him win top honours in the 2022 Great Lakes Yield Enhancement Network (YEN). When all the results were tabulated, Krohn finished first in both the yield and per cent of potential yield categories with a 165.92 bu/ac harvest and 87.97 per cent yield potential. In the latest episode of RealAgriculture’s Wheat School, he shares a snapshot of the 2,000 acre operation he farms with his two sons and the keys to those BIG yields.
Coordinated by the Grain Farmers of Ontario, Michigan State University, Michigan Wheat Program, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and the University of Guelph, the Great Lakes YEN project helps farmers learn from each other about new ways to improve winter wheat yields.
In the video below, Krohn discusses how the move to narrower rows with a Pottinger drill and a lower seeding rate has helped increase yields by five to 15 percent. He now targets a seeding rate of 800,000 to 900,000 seeds in five-inch rows.
Krohn also shares how attention to detail — he’s in his wheat fields almost every day — helps drive management decisions, and why he thinks joining the YEN is a great move for growers who want to grow better wheat. “There’s no other program that’s like this that I know of here in our area. And you get to collaborate with a lot of really top-notch growers,” he says.
Check out the full conversation in the video, below:
Click here for more Wheat School episodes.