Winners For The 2021 National Wheat Foundation’s Yield Contest Announced


he National Wheat Foundation’s (NWF) National Wheat Yield Contest (NWYC) offers growers the opportunity to compete with farmers from across the United States and improve their production practices through new and innovative techniques. Today, NWF is happy to announce the national winners for the 2021 National Wheat Yield Contest. See who won and read more about their entries here!

“Better than expected” is how many of the grower participants describe their 2021 wheat crops. The crops in the spring wheat areas overcame historic drought and a heatwave that is being described as a 1000-year weather event. The winter wheat crop experienced the “Valentine’s Week Historic Winter Outbreak” of snow, sleet, freezing rain and extremely cold temperatures that lasted for several days. In the Northeast, the rain was plentiful and too much so during harvest time. Despite these challenges, 387 wheat growers still entered the contest and 150 of them took their entries to yield in order to compete and see how they fared versus other growers in the country.

Wheat growers are resilient and hopeful by nature. The challenge of growing better wheat than they did the year before motivates them to try new management practices, varieties, and techniques. We know the winners appreciate the prize of being recognized, but more importantly, learn and improve their wheat yields and quality every season.

“NWF would like to thank each grower for enrolling in the NWYC and thank our sponsors for helping to make the Contest available to wheat growers in the United States. Entries for the Contest were 387 this year, spring wheat entries were down a little, due to the drought,” stated National Wheat Foundation Board Chairman, David Cleavinger. “Yields and quality were excellent in this year’s entries and contestants tell us they are continuing to learn how to increase their yields and quality on their farms.”

The contest recognizes winners in two primary competition categories: winter wheat and spring wheat, and two subcategories: dryland and irrigated. Grain must be Grade 1 or 2 by Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) standards to be eligible for awards. National winners will receive a trip to the Commodity Classic in New Orleans, LA in March 2022 and be recognized at an awards reception.

The sponsors for the 2021 National Yield Contest are AgriMaxx, Ardent Mills, BASF, Croplan/Winfield, Elevate Ag, Grain Craft, GrainSense, John Deere, Miller Milling, Michigan Wheat, Nutrien, Ohio Corn and Wheat, and WestBred.

Winter Wheat – Dryland
William Willard MD Bin Buster
Jeffery Krohn MI 1st
Brian Kreider PA 2nd
Douglas Goyings OH 3rd
Michael Ebelhar KY 4th
Tyler Ediger KS 5th

Winter Wheat – Dryland % Increase
Travis Freeburg NE 1st
Shawn Kimbrell TX 2nd
Zach Balahtsis OK 3rd
Kenneth O’Neal TX 4th
Matt Jaeger KS 5th

Spring Wheat – Dryland
John Hofer ND Bin Buster
Dallas Diesen MN 1st
Robert Holzwarth SD 2nd
Bruce Anderson ND 3rd

Spring Wheat – Dryland % Increase
Greg Messer ND 1st
Chris Carlson ND 2nd
Jordan Christman ND 3rd

Winter Wheat – Irrigated
Steven VanGrunsven OR Bin Buster
Rylee Reynolds ID 1st
Joel Zwainz WA 2nd

Spring Wheat – Irrigated
Phillip Gross WA Bin Buster
Boe Clausen WA 1st
Dallin Wilcox ID 2nd

*It should be noted winners are selected by the percentage increase their yield exceeds the most recent 5-year Olympic County average as determined by USDA.

For more details on the winning entries and to review the official rules and entry details for the 2022 contest, visit