Despite what was one of the most difficult wheat growing seasons in a while, 14 entries into the North Carolina Wheat Yield Contest topped 100 bushels per acre, with Sanderson Farming Company in Wayne County taking top honors with 117 bushels per acre.

Of the 100 plus bushel per acre entries, seven came from the Coastal Plain Region, with the remainder coming from the Tidewater Region.

Though impacted by excessive rainfall during the spring, these areas were less affected than growers in other parts of the state.

Of the remaining seven 100 plus bushel per acre entries, six came from the Coastal Plain Region and one from the Piedmont.

Walter Johnson in Surry County in the Piedmont posted 101.1 bushels per acre in a region that was devastated by record breaking rainfall from January to August in some counties.

Typically one of the highest yielding grain regions of North Carolina, wheat yields and likely soybean and corn, were hurt by long periods of wet, damp and cool weather.

In Addition to Sanderson Farming Company, David Kennedy and Ryan Kennedy in nearby Cumberland County posted yields of 107.7 and 107.6 to take second and third place, respectively, in the Coastal Plain Region. 

Both of the Kennedy entries came from the Coker 9436 variety.

The winning 117.8 bushel per acre entry came on the DG Shirley variety.

In the Tidewater Region, the excessive rainfall was more sporadic than in other areas of the state and growers for the most part produced a good crop of wheat.

The winning variety in the region was turned in by Lawrence Chappell in Perquimans County. His 110.4 bushel per acre total barely eclipsed region runner-up Barco Brothers Farms in Currituck County. Chappell and Jim Barco took second and third place, respectively in the statewide competition.

Lynn Hobbs Farms in Chowan County took third place honors in the Tidewater Region with 105.5 bushels per acre. He grew Southern States 5205 variety.

Chappell grew DG Shirley and Barco grew Pioneer 26R20 variety wheat.

North Carolina planted a huge wheat crop last fall and until early May it looked to be high in quality in addition to high in quantity. Then the rains came and came, leaving many growers with wheat to be harvested well into July.

North Carolina State Small Grains Specialist Randy Weisz says the 2012-13 crop will go down as a good one, but one that never had the chance to reach its full potential because of the many stresses put on the crop by excessive moisture and long periods of cool damp weather