Minnesota Grower Wins National Wheat Yield Contest on First Try

February 10, 2020

Wheat is a rotational crop at Lacey Ridge Farm in northwestern Minnesota. Brian Lacey, who farms with wife Debbie and sons Stephen and Donald, also grows barley, sugar beets, corn and soybeans; he serves as Chairman of the Barley Research and Promotion Council in Minnesota. The National Wheat Yield Contest was not on his radar — until his local WestBred® representative, Grant Mehring, suggested he enter his WB9479 variety into the 2019 contest.

Lacey ended up having the highest Spring Wheat – Dryland yield in the state of Minnesota with a yield of 103.04 Bu/A — well above the USDA Grant County average of 61 Bu/A. This was also the second highest wheat yield in the nation in its category.

“As farmers, we always have to look at the bottom line,” Lacey says. “We looked at WB9479 for its protein levels and yield, of course. It didn’t hurt that we also had a very good wheat growing year, and we got our wheat in early and didn’t have to worry about many diseases or Scab issues.”

What do the Laceys think it takes to be successful farmers today? “Careful management, precision tools and a good marketing plan.” They note that good timing doesn’t hurt, either.

Brian Lacey’s Winning Wheat Yield at a Glance

  • Lacey Ridge Farm in Grant County, Minnesota
  • Brian and team have been growing WestBred wheat varieties for three years. They were first drawn to it “after hearing good reports” about its yield and quality.
  • Seed dealer: Adams Seed, Wendell, Minnesota (Scott Walker and Paul Adams)
  • 2019 National Wheat Yield Contest – 1st place state; 2nd place national, high yield, Spring Dryland Weight with WB9479
  • 42 Bu/A above county yield average

Performance may vary, from location to location and from year to year, as local growing, soil and weather conditions may vary. Growers should evaluate data from multiple locations and years whenever possible and should consider the impacts of these conditions on the grower’s fields.

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