- Associated Press - Friday, December 16, 2016

MEADE, Kan. (AP) - A Kansas teenager and his family, along with another local farmer, top honors at the inaugural National Wheat Yield Contest.

The winning variety for irrigated winter wheat, WestBred’s Grainfield, came from 17-year-old Jagger Borth of Meade. It had a yield of 133.64 bushels an acre, which is more than 377 percent above county average, according to the Hutchinson News (http://j.mp/2h6c4gs ).

“This year was so exceptional for wheat,” said Jagger, a fifth generation farmer who hopes to study agronomy at Kansas State University.

“A lot of the farmers in our area produced above-average wheat. We had an exceptional growing season and cool weather during the grain-fill period. That was what pushed everything over the top this year,” he said.

Still, Jagger said he was surprised about the win because of the rain that occurred during the harvest.

Rick Horton of Leoti had the contest’s highest yielding dryland winter wheat plot, which yielded 127.94 bushels an acre. Horton planted the winning plot with Joe, the variety through the Kansas Wheat Alliance. He said it has good resistance to three major diseases in western Kansas: wheat streak mosaic virus, stripe rust and leaf rust.

The National Wheat Foundation announced the winners earlier this month.

Kansas farmers in general saw a record-high average yield of 57 bushels an acre, an increase from 20 bushes last year.

“I think everyone had great wheat around here and across Kansas, and I am sure lots of farmers had bin-busting yields,” said Jagger’s father, John Borth.

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Information from: The Hutchinson (Kan.) News, http://www.hutchnews.com

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