Press Release: NWF Announces National Winners for the 2021 National Wheat Yield Contest

 For Immediate Release:

NWF Announces National Winners for the 2021 National Wheat Yield Contest

Washington D.C. (October 25, 2021) – The 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


About the National Wheat Foundation

The National Wheat Foundation was established by the industry to serve as the national center for wheat research, education and outreach. The Foundation works to advance the wheat industry through strategic research, education and outreach collaborations, guided by core values of grower centeredness, integrity, honesty and trustworthiness.

The Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization incorporated and headquartered in Washington, D.C., governed by a nine-member Board of Directors, overseen by Chandler Goule, Executive Director and managed by Anne Osborne, project manager, who is assisted by the staff of the National Association of Wheat Growers, the Foundation’s sole member.