National Wheat Yield Contest 2023 winners

Wheat (Journal photo by Jennifer M. Latzke.)

The National Wheat Yield Contest is thrilled to announce the achievements of its 24 national winners, hailing from 12 different states, who have achieved an average yield of 144 bushels per acre across all categories. Additionally, we proudly recognize the 83 state winners representing 28 states, with their remarkable yields averaging 127 bushels per acre across the various categories, including winter wheat-dryland, winter wheat-irrigated, spring wheat-dryland, and spring wheat-irrigated. It is worth noting that some dryland category winners are determined by high yield, while others are evaluated based on their percentage over the county average.

One of the highlights this year is the exceptional resilience demonstrated by wheat growers. Despite facing adversity, with 59% of winter wheat production affected by drought on May 9, and 75% of spring wheat production impacted on July 25, these dedicated individuals have showcased their unwavering commitment to maximizing their wheat productivity in spite of environmental challenges. The entry deadlines for the contest, falling on May 15 and Aug. 1 for winter and spring wheat, received robust participation, defying the odds posed by prolonged drought in the central and southern plains, as well as the challenging conditions in spring wheat areas.

“Eastern soft winter wheat areas had tremendous yields this year, and millers are happy with the quality of wheat coming from these areas. It is exciting to see the potential when the genetics, management, and environment are all aligned in the wheat grower’s favor,” commented Bernard Peterson, chairman of the National Wheat Foundation, and farmer in Loretto, Kentucky. 

The contest not only emphasizes high yield but also places great importance on quality. The 24 national winners will submit grain samples for detailed analysis of milling and baking qualities, with expert panels assessing the wheat samples for quality. Outstanding quality will be rewarded with $250 awards at the reception, and these exceptional quality winners will be officially announced in mid-January.

In recognition of their outstanding achievements, the national winners will be honored with a trip to the Commodity Classic in February 2024, hosted in Houston, Texas. The accolades will culminate in a special celebration at the National Wheat Foundation Winner’s Reception on Feb. 28, 2024. 

These remarkable individuals not only demonstrate exceptional yields but also exemplify the unwavering spirit and dedication within the wheat industry, setting a high standard for excellence and innovation.

The contest would not be possible without the help of our tremendous partners: John Deere, WestBred, BASF, U.S. Wheat Associates, Croplan, Eastman, The McGregor Companies, AgriMaxx, Ardent Mills, BushelFarm, Dyna-Gro, GrainSense, Limagrain Cereal Seeds, Mennel, North Carolina Small Grain Growers Association, Ohio Corn&Wheat, PlainsGold, UniSouth Genetics, UPL, Grain Craft, Grow Pro, Kansas Wheat, Michigan Wheat, Miller Milling, North Dakota Mill, and Northern Crops Institute.

An additional thanks to Progressive Farmer/DTN, the official publication of the National Wheat Yield Contest.

See the national winners here and the state winners here.


Winter Wheat-Dryland

Bin Buster   Dick Judah    Oregon

1st    Derek Berger    Oregon

2nd    Randy Eschenburg    Michigan

3rd    Kent Edwards   Ohio

4th    Guy Gochenour   Virginia

5th    William Willard   Maryland

1st-% Over County  Marc Arnusch   Colorado

2nd-% Over County  Brett Arnusch   Colorado

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3rd-% Over County  Travis Freeburg   Nebraska

4th-% Over County  Casey Cantwell   Colorado

5th-% Over County  David Ebers    Oklahoma

Winter Wheat-Irrigated

Bin Buster   Chris Gross    Washington

1st    Gary Reynolds   Idaho

2nd    Nick Suwyn    Michigan

Spring Wheat-Dryland

Bin Buster   Brad Disrud    North Dakota

1st    John Wesolowski   Minnesota

2nd    Lance Olson    North Dakota

3rd    Trevor Stout    Idaho

1st-% Over County  Austin Kautzman   North Dakota

2nd-% Over County  Jason Signalness   North Dakota

3rd-% Over County  Devan Laufer    North Dakota

Spring Wheat-Irrigated

Bin Buster   Dallin Wilcox   Idaho

1st    Jess Blatchford   Oregon

2nd    Jeff Bieber    North Dakota

For more details on the National Wheat Yield Contest, visit For questions on sponsorship of the 2024 contest, contact Anne Osborne [email protected]