Winter wheat trials provide high yields

Ray Mueller
A field of winter wheat in Ozaukee County is among the 265,000 acres that growers in Wisconsin planted last year.


Very high yields of winter wheat were recorded when the performance trial plots at four sites in the southeastern one third of Wisconsin were harvested during the last two weeks of July. Those plots are overseen by the Extension Service and the Wisconsin College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

At the plot on Kolbe Seed Farms near Chilton in Calumet County, the 100 winter wheat varieties representing 21 companies or brand names harvested on July 26 yielded the equivalent of 120 bushels per acre. Thirteen of them earned a starred rating based on having a yield of at least 134 bushels per acre.

The plot on the Arlington research farm in Columbia County had an average yield of 116 bushels per acre when harvested on July 18. The eight varieties with a yield of at least 129 bushels per acre earned a starred rating.

At Sharon in Walworth County, the average yield was 106 bushels per acre with 21 varieties earning a star. With the lower yield average of 92 bushels per acre and less spread between the individual varieties in the plot at Lamartine in Fond du Lac County, the number of starred varieties rose to 26.

Highest yield varieties

In the Kolbe Seed Farms plot, only eight of the 100 varieties had a yield of less than 100 bushels per acre. The DuPont Pioneer 25R40 grown there turned in the highest yield of the year at any of the plots with 144 bushels per acre along with a high test weight of 59.2 pounds per bushel.

Other high yields in the plot at Chilton were 139 bushels per acre for FS Seed's FS 602, 138 bushels for L& M Brand's 7511, 137 bushels for PIP's 720, and 136 bushels for both Diener's D491W and DuPont Pioneer's 25R254.

At Arlington, where only nine of the varieties had a yield of under 100 bushels per acre, the DuPont Pioneer 25R40 also posted the top yield of 136 bushels per acre. Following were the AgriMAXX 413 with 135 bushels, the L & M Brand 7511 with 134 bushels, and the FS 624 with 133 bushels.

The public variety Whale, Jung's 5888, and PIP's 715 tied for the top yield of 126 bushels in the plot at Sharon, which was harvested on July 20. Coming in with 125 bushels were Diener's DXW1601 and Steyer's Morrin while the AgriMAXX 463 had 124 bushels per acre.

Only nine of the 100 varieties posted a yield of at least 100 bushels in the plot on the Montsma farm near Lamartine. The top yield was 104 bushels for AgriMAXX's 444, followed by DuPont Pioneer's 25R34 at 103 bushels. Yielding 102 bushels each in the Fond du lac County plot were Syngenta's SY 100 and PIP's 721 and 776.

Four plot averages

For their performance this year, 19 of the 100 entries were awarded a star for their average yield in the four plots. The top yield honor was captured by the DuPont Pioneer 25R40 with an average of 126 bushels in the four plots.

Posting averages of 122 bushels were the FS 602 and 624. The public Whale and L &M Brand 7511 had averages of 121 bushels. Following with a 120 bushel average were Jung's 5855 and 5888, DuPont Pioneer's 25R34, and Legacy's LW 1155.

For test weights, eight entries posted at least 60 pounds per bushel in one or more of the plots. PRO Ex 380 from Pro Seed Genetics posted a four-plot average of 60.3 pounds, including 61.5 pounds at Sharon. Other top test weights were 60.8 pounds for the public variety Sunburst at Lamartine and the FS 622 at Sharon. Next on the list was 60.7 pounds for L-Brand's L-304 at Sharon.

The latest estimate for winter wheat being harvested on Wisconsin farms this year is an average yield of 78 bushels per acre from 265,000 acres – up by 4 bushels and 55,000 acres from 2015. This would result in a crop of 20.7 million bushels or 33 percent more than in 2015.