Great Lakes YEN wraps up successful pilot year

Christina Baxter

The first year of the Great Lakes Yield Enhancement Network (YEN) came to a close in November with results meeting for the 43 growers from the US and Canada who took part and other supporters of the program. The Great Lakes YEN was initiated as a partnership between Michigan and Ontario, building off the existing successful UK YEN networks. The leadership team collected agronomic and management data of wheat crops from the 43 entrants, calculated the crops’ yield potential using a modified version of the UK YEN’s crop model, and collected pre-harvest grab samples to assess the crops’ yield components. The data was shared back with the growers in a 25-page report and messages from the first year dataset was shared at the results meeting.

The top three yielders achieved 9.5, 9.33 and 9.31 t/ha. The higher yielders tended to plant earlier at lower seed rates and apply higher rates of nitrogen fertiliser; resulting in a longer grain fill period, higher ears/m2 and greater TGW. Registration for the current growing season has begun, with the continuation of the network allowing the database to grow. This will provide stronger insights into what the main limitations to yield are in the Great Lakes region and how current crop management strategies can be enhanced to reduce these limitations and increase yields.

To find out more and keep up to date with Great Lakes YEN activities, please visit