Wheat challenges highlighted at Grain Farmers of Ontario March Classic

LONDON, ON (MARCH 21, 2011) – Excitement was building about the upcoming crop year as Grain Farmers of Ontario launched the 2011 Spring Wheat Challenge and highlighted the 2011 Winter Wheat Challenge at the March Classic.

The two challenges are part of Grain Farmers of Ontario’s suite of production challenges which aim to recognize the elite farmers of Ontario while providing an important venue for discussion of production practices that lead to high yields and good quality crops.

“Ontario has excellent wheat growers and it’s important we celebrate that,” says Don Kenny, chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario. “They are friendly competitions that all wheat farmers should consider. Even if you don’t think you’re going to win, it’s a great way to learn about what you’re neighbours and friends are doing to achieve those high yields,” he continues.

The 2011 Spring Wheat Challenge comes on the heels of the successful inaugural year of the competition. The average yield for last year’s registrants was 71.9 bushels per acre, a whopping 36 percent higher than the provincial average for the year.

2011 is the first year of the Winter Wheat Challenge. “Many farmers have been thinking about their winning strategies since the fall when the challenge was announced at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show,” says Crosby Devitt, manager of research and market development at Grain Farmers of Ontario. “But if early scouting is telling you that your crop is in good shape, you should definitely register for the challenge,” he continues.

In both challenges, the first place winner will take home a $1,500 prize with the second highest yield being awarded $750. The third place winner will receive $500.

The challenges are open to all spring and winter wheat growers in the province and all legal production practices are permitted. Certified seed must be used and the wheat must be graded at milling quality, either grade 1, 2 or 3.

Both challenges are made possible by generous support from Bayer CropScience, C&M Seeds and Hyland Seeds.

Farmers can collect registration cards from Grain Farmers of Ontario or our industry sponsors. Challenge information including rules and a downloadable registration card is also available at www.gfo.ca/springwheatchallenge and www.gfo.ca/winterwheatchallenge.

The deadline to register for the Spring Wheat Challenge is June 30, 2011 and the deadline to register for the Winter Wheat Challenge is May 2, 2011.

Grain Farmers of Ontario

Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 corn, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.

Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 barley, corn, oat, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.