Umatilla County Grower Takes First Place in Oregon National Wheat Yield Contest

January 10, 2017

Grower credits achievement to WestBred® wheat variety

ST. LOUIS, Jan. 10, 2017 – WestBred® wheat is proud to announce Umatilla county wheat grower Dan Mills won first place in Oregon and first place nationally in the National Wheat Yield Contest’s Spring Wheat—Irrigated category. The competition, organized by the National Wheat Foundation, champions production practices of growers. Mills placed after a yield increase of 112.3 percent over the most recent USDA-NASS published county average data.

Mills achieved a yield average of 146.5 bushels per acre with WestBred variety SOLANO.

“I entered SOLANO in the contest because it was my field man’s recommendation of being the best. He said that the variety would have the highest yield potential,” Mills said.

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 average county yield of 63.3 bushels per acre.

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.

Mills credits the variety chosen and a heavy planting rate for his success.

“When we started growing spring wheat, we continued to up the rates, and that really helped our yields,” Mills said. “The spring wheat doesn’t tiller as much as the winter wheat, because it doesn’t have as long to grow, and it really helped bump up yield numbers.”

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.

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.