Twin Falls County Grower Takes First Place in Idaho in National Wheat Yield Contest

January 11, 2017

Grower credits achievement to WestBred® wheat variety

ST. LOUIS, Jan. 12, 2017 – WestBred® wheat is proud to announce Twin Falls county wheat grower Rick Pearson won first place in Idaho and fourth place nationally in the National Wheat Yield Contest’s Winter Wheat—Irrigated category. The competition, organized by the National Wheat Foundation, champions yield-maximizing practices employed by innovative wheat growers. Pearson placed after a yield increase of 49.7 percent over the most recent USDA-NASS published county average data.

Pearson achieved a yield average of 167.71 bushels per acre with WestBred variety WB-1070CL.

"Lansing Grain seed manager, Robin English, asked me to grow WB-1070CL for seed production, and since it did well last year, he encouraged me to enter into the National Wheat Yield Contest. Lansing wanted this variety, because not only does it yield great, it can be planted behind beans that have been sprayed with herbicide."

More than 170 individual growers across wheat-growing counties in the United States entered to compete in four categories: Spring Wheat-Irrigated, Spring Wheat-Dryland, Winter Wheat-Irrigated and Winter Wheat-Dryland. Combined, the 14 WestBred national and state winners averaged 136.9 bushels per acre, versus the collective average county yield of 63.3 bushels per acre.

“I was happy with the final yield,” said Pearson. “My yield monitor was up into the 180’s in some areas of the field. Because this was our first experience in the yield contest, we didn't treat the plots any different from the rest of the 128 acres."

The National Wheat Yield Contest recognized national winners in each category as well as the top three state winners. Winners were determined by evaluating the yield percentage increase based on USDA-NASS county averages. The inaugural contest encouraged growers to innovate, exchange knowledge and employ the newest available technology.

Pearson credits the variety chosen, the location of his farm and a lot of help from mother nature for his win.

“That particular farm just has really good soil. It always raises really good crops,” Pearson said.

As a sponsor of the National Wheat Yield Contest, WestBred wheat provides 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,” said 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.