Real Yield Sweepstakes

The LibertyLink® Real Yield Sweepstakes kicked off this July, offering growers the chance to win up to 500 acres of the LibertyLink system for either cotton or soybeans. Bayer will also be awarding 200 acres of the LibertyLink system for cotton and soybeans monthly. Two winners will be drawn each month through December. Once again, state FFA will have the chance to compete for dollars to support their organizations.

Growers can participate in the Sweepstakes by visiting Real Yield Sweepstakes to enter their information. Six cotton growers and six soy growers will win 200 acres of LibertyLink, and one lucky winner will win 500 acres of LibertyLink for the crop of their choice!

Read more below to learn about our winners!

Grand Prize Winner- Gary Tretter

Gary Tretter of Murphysboro, Illinois is the December winner of the LibertyLink® system for soybeans. He grows soybeans and wheat on his 4,000-acre farm, primarily focusing on soy with no-till farming. Gary entered the Real Yield Sweepstakes at the Bayer booth during Farm Progress Show and is very excited to win more LibertyLink enabled soybeans for this year’s crop. He switched to LibertyLink in 2015 and has since seen great weed control against waterhemp and marestail.

Bayer, the Bayer Cross, and LibertyLink are registered trademarks of Bayer.


December Soybean Winner – Bill Knapke

Bill Knapke of Ft. Recovery, Ohio is the December winner of the LibertyLink® system for soybeans. He grows corn, soybeans, wheat and also has livestock on his farm. Bill entered the sweepstakes after talking with an herbicide dealer about Liberty® and the LibertyLink system. He has previously used Liberty herbicide to combat ragweed and marestail and has had great success. He’s looking forward to another good season.

Bayer, the Bayer Cross, Liberty and LibertyLink are registered trademarks of Bayer.

December Cotton Winner – Robert Fleming

Robert Fleming of Halifax, North Carolina is the December winner of the LibertyLink® system for cotton. He has been farming since 1998 and has since started Fleming Bros Farm LLC. He grows a mix of crops including soy, cotton, peanuts, and corn. Robert has seen positive results from using Liberty® and is pleased with the ease of use. He currently plants Stoneville® 4946GLB2 cotton seed and has been following variety trials to plan for the upcoming crop season.

Bayer, the Bayer Cross, Stoneville, LibertyLink, and Liberty are registered trademarks of Bayer.

November Soybean Winner – Mark Hardy

Mark Hardy of Huntington, IN is the November winner of the LibertyLink® system for soybeans. He currently farms 1,200-acres of soybeans and corn. Mark entered the sweepstakes during Farm Progress Show after learning about LibertyLink at the Bayer booth. He is looking forward to trying the LibertyLink varieties and seeing a yield advantage in his crops.

Bayer, the Bayer Cross, Liberty and LibertyLink are registered trademarks of Bayer.

November Cotton Winner – Andy Carthel

Andy Carthel of Friona, Texas is the November winner of the LibertyLink® system for cotton. He currently has 4,000-acres and grows mostly FiberMax® 2011 GT. With limited irrigation, Andy and his partners have found this cottonseed to grow successfully in their fields. Andy came across the contest through Twitter and is glad he did. He is looking forward to trying a new LibertyLink-traited FiberMax variety in 2017 as a solution to resistant pigweeds.

Bayer, the Bayer Cross, FiberMax, and LibertyLink are registered trademarks of Bayer.

October Soybean Winner – Tommy Harrison

Tommy Harrison of Tunica, Mississippi is the October winner of the LibertyLink® system for soybeans. He currently plants soybeans, corn, and wheat and operates with a half under irrigation, half no-irrigation system. Tommy has been using Liberty® for the past 3-4 years as a solution for pigweed and Palmer amaranth. He is hoping to continue to see high yields with Liberty and plans to retire in the near future.

Bayer, the Bayer Cross, Liberty and LibertyLink are registered trademarks of Bayer.

October Cotton Winner – Lee Ott

Lee Ott of Yuma, Arizona is the October winner of the LibertyLink® system for cotton. He currently has 6500-acres and rotates between winter vegetables, cotton, and wheat. Lee has planted Stoneville® cotton with LibertyLink and it was one of his top producing varieties this past year. He continues to test varieties on his farm to find the best fit and plans to continue using Stoneville cottonseeds.

Bayer, the Bayer Cross, Stoneville, and LibertyLink are registered trademarks of Bayer.

September Soybean Winner – Darin Rich

Darin Rich of Washington, Iowa is the September winner of the LibertyLink system for soybeans. He currently has a family farm where they grow soybeans, corn, and rye, as well as manage a manure pumping business. Darin entered the LibertyLink Real Yield Sweepstakes while attending Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa. With the new LibertyLink seeds, he hopes to have more efficient weed management of his spring crops.

Bayer, the Bayer Cross, Liberty and LibertyLink are registered trademarks of Bayer.

September Cotton Winner – Blake Lauritsen

Blake Lauritsen of Wharton, Texas is the September winner of the LibertyLink system for cotton. He is a 3rd generation farmer and currently plants FiberMax® and LibertyLink as they have done well in his climate. Blake entered the LibertyLink Real Yield Sweepstakes through his local retailer’s recommendation. Blake was excited to win his seeds, as he was in the process of planning for next year’s crop.

Bayer, the Bayer Cross, Liberty, LibertyLink, and FiberMax are registered trademarks of Bayer.

August Soybean Winner – Royce Rothfusz

Royce Rothfusz of Oswego, Kansas is the August winner of the LibertyLink system for soybeans. He currently plants soybeans, corn, and wheat with a combination of conventional and no-till farming. Royce entered the LibertyLink Real Yield Sweepstakes after a year of success with Liberty®. With the new LibertyLink seeds, he plans to continue to fight off waterhemp weeds and increase his crop yields.

Bayer, the Bayer Cross, Liberty and LibertyLink are registered trademarks of Bayer.

August Cotton Winner – Luke Smith

Luke Smith of Shelby, Alabama is the August winner of the LibertyLink system for cotton. He currently plants Stoneville® cotton among other crops across four counties in Alabama. Luke has seen good results pairing Liberty and Roundup® herbicides. He plans to integrate his LibertyLink seeds into the sensitive areas for strong weed-management.

Bayer, the Bayer Cross, Stoneville, Liberty and LibertyLink are registered trademarks of Bayer. Roundup is registered trademark of Monsanto.

July Soybean Winner – Waylon Keller

Waylon Keller of Wright County, Iowa is the July winner of 200 acres of the LibertyLink system for soybeans. He currently plants NK and Beck’s RoundUp Ready® soybeans. He farms with his father and brother at ‘Keller Farms’ and rotates corn and soybeans. They have been using a Roundup system and also a conventional system on corn. Up to this point they have been fairly happy with their corn weed control, but lately they have been hand pulling weed escapes in soybeans, which is the reason he entered the Sweepstakes. Keller says he “needs to try something different.”

Bayer, the Bayer Cross, Liberty and LibertyLink are registered trademarks of Bayer. RoundUp and RoundUp Ready are registered trademarks of Monsanto.

July Cotton Winner – Justin Damron

Justin Damron of Castro County, Texas is the July winner of 200 acres of the LibertyLink system for cotton. Glyphosate-resistant weeds are an emerging problem in west Texas, where Damron Farms produces cotton, corn silage, alfalfa and stocker cattle. Damron is looking forward to implementing the LibertyLink system to add herbicide rotation options. Damron came across the LibertyLink Real Yield Sweepstakes on Twitter and entered from there.

Bayer, the Bayer Cross, Liberty and LibertyLink are registered trademarks of Bayer.


In addition to the soybean and cotton prizes that growers can enter to win, a donation will be made to local FFA chapters. For each entry, Bayer will contribute to that grower’s state FFA, up to $50,000 nationally. The Sweepstakes is open through December 31, 2016, and winners will be announced in March at Commodity Classic in San Antonio, TX.

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