Grant County Grower Takes First Place in National Wheat Yield Contest

December 12, 2016

Grower credits achievement to WestBred® wheat variety

ST. LOUIS, Jan. 10, 2017 – WestBred® wheat is proud to announce the “Bin-Buster” national award, which recognizes the top yield, was awarded to Phillip Gross of Warden Hutterian Brethren Farms in Warden, Washington. The competition, organized by the National Wheat Foundation, champions yield-maximizing production practices employed by innovative wheat growers. Gross achieved a 192.85 bushels per acre yield with KELDIN, a broadly adaptive Hard Red Winter variety in the WestBred brand portfolio.

“It was a pleasant surprise when we finally drove the combines into the field and the yield was quite a bit higher than in normal years,” Gross said. “We’ve been growing KELDIN for several years and it was always at the top of the list in our yield plot, so we knew that it had great potential and that we could push the threshold of yield with it if we could manage it correctly.”

More than 170 individual growers across wheat-growing counties in the United States entered to compete in four categories: irrigated winter wheat, dryland winter wheat, irrigated spring wheat and dryland spring wheat.

Winners were determined by evaluating the yield percentage increase above the USDA-NASS county averages. The inaugural contest encouraged growers to innovate, exchange knowledge and employ the newest available technology.

The 2016 national winners will be recognized at the 2017 Commodity Classic in San Antonio, Texas, March 2-4. At the event, each grower will discuss the techniques that helped them place in the contest.

“We saw pretty significant yield bumps by continuously feeding the crop fertilizer, versus by adding all of the fertilizer up front,” Gross said. “We put a portion of it on in the fall, and then in the springtime once the wheat started growing and was established, we slowly started to feed it. As the crops progressed, we would increase our feeding rate. It seems like this technique really worked.”

As a sponsor of the National Wheat Yield Contest, WestBred wheat provide growers with opportunities to succeed in the wheat industry and avenues to exchange successful techniques.

“Innovative techniques, high-performing seed varieties and cutting-edge production practices make planting wheat a more attractive option for growers,” says John Fietsam, Wheat Technical Product Lead for Monsanto.

With commodity prices of wheat fluctuating, growers today need to look for ways to maximize their yield and profit potential, and WestBred wheat is committed to providing solutions for growers.

“Through this contest, we’ve learned different management techniques growers are employing to maximize the proportion of genetic yield potential they harvest from their wheat seed investment,” said Fietsam. “By harnessing the benefits of new technology, the best wheat genetics and innovative production practices, the winning growers have shown the boundaries of wheat yields can be pushed.”

To register for the 2017 National Wheat Yield Contest, growers can visit The registration deadline for winter wheat is May 1, 2017, and the deadline for spring wheat is August 1, 2017.

Wheat growers interested in competing in the contest can also contact their WestBred seed supplier or local WestBred representative. Additional details can be found at

About WestBred Wheat

WestBred wheat provides seed suppliers and their growers access to the highest yield potential wheat seed, as well as testing, education, resources and experienced representatives to help maximize their yield potential.

ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. Individual results may vary, and performance may vary from location to location and from year to year. WestBred and Design® and WestBred® are trademarks of Monsanto Technology LLC. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners. ©2017 Monsanto Company.