WestBred Wheat Growers Recognized in National Wheat Foundation’s Inaugural Yield Contest

December 6, 2016

ST. LOUIS – Dec. 7, 2016 –WestBred® wheat is proud to have 14 national- and state-level winners represented in the National Wheat Yield Contest. The National Wheat Yield Contest, organized by the National Wheat Foundation (NWF), highlights the production practices of growers that maximize the quantity and quality of wheat.

As a sponsor of the National Wheat Yield Contest, WestBred wheat is helping to facilitate the exchange of successful techniques among growers that enable them to succeed.

“We take great pride in our growers’ success,” said Jeff Koscelny, Global Wheat Commercial Strategy Lead. “We’re honored to see so many WestBred grower customers being recognized for their outstanding accomplishments in this inaugural yield contest. We also commend the outstanding efforts of our WestBred seed supplier network to work with their customers to produce these remarkable results.”

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 statewinners averaged 136.9 bushels per acre, versus their collective average county yield of 63.3 bushels per acre.

The “Bin-Buster” national award, which recognizes the top yield, was awarded to Phillip Gross of Warden Hutterian Brethren Farms in Warden, Washington. 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.”

The National Wheat Yield Contest recognized national winners in each category as well as the top three state winners per category. Winners were determined by evaluating the yield percentage increase above the USDA-NASS county averages.

In addition to the “Bin-Buster” award, WestBred wheat is equally proud of the four additional national winners which included:

Jagger Borth, Plains, Kansas – Borth planted WB-GRAINFIELD and won first place in the Winter Wheat-Irrigated category

Dan Mills, Stanfield, Oregon – Mills planted WestBred variety SOLANO and won first place in the Spring Wheat-Irrigated category

Rick Pearson, Buhl, Idaho – Pearson planted WB-1070CL and won fourth place in the Winter Wheat-Irrigated category

Terry Wilcox, Rexburg, Idaho – Wilcox planted WB9668 and won second place in the Spring Wheat-Irrigated category

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.”

In addition to the five national winners, nine growers placed in state competitions with WestBred varieties. All state competitions awarded the top three yield increases.

The WestBred state winners included:

Brad Parks, Hamer, Idaho – Parks planted WB9411 and won second place in Idaho in the Spring Wheat-Irrigated category

Darwin Ediger, Meade, Kansas – Ediger planted WB4458 and won third place in Kansas in the Winter Wheat-Dryland category

Sam Miller, Haven, Kansas – Miller planted WB-CEDAR and won third place in Kansas in the Winter Wheat-Irrigated category

John and Sam Hofer, Milnor, North Dakota – The Hofers planted WB-MAYVILLE and won third place in North Dakota in the Spring Wheat-Dryland category

Jim Pearson, Donnybrook, North Dakota – Pearson planted WB9653 and won second place in North Dakota in the Spring Wheat-Dryland category

Terry Wehlander, Lidgerwood, North Dakota – Wehlander planted WB-MATLOCK and won second place in North Dakota in the Winter Wheat-Dryland category

Chris Ledbetter, Okmulgee, Oklahoma – Ledbetter planted WB4458 and won first place in Oklahoma in the Winter Wheat-Dryland category

Jason Beechinor, Walla Walla, Washington – Beechinor planted WB1529 and won third place in Washington in the Winter Wheat-Irrigated category

David Gross, Reardan, Washington – Gross planted KELDIN and won second place in Washington in the Winter Wheat-Irrigated category

WestBred wheat’s commitment to increasing yield productivity goes far beyond the sponsorship of the National Wheat Yield Contest. The brand focuses on innovation and technology to help growers achieve results in the field.

“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. “As a company we are committed to providing growers with not only the highest yield potential varieties but also the solutions to help them succeed.”

Recent innovations include Optimal Seeding Rate recommendations from WestBred seed suppliers, local experts on wheat varieties and production practices and access to further technology such as QuickRoots® microbial seed inoculant.

WestBred wheat will continue to partner with the NWF to showcase U.S. wheat production and wheat grower productivity and profitability. NWF Chairman Phil McLain said this year’s contest is just the beginning of the innovations to come in the wheat industry.

To register for the 2017 National Wheat Yield Contest, growers can visit yieldcontest.wheatfoundation.org. 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.

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. Additional details about WestBred products and the winning varieties can be found here.

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