November 06, 2017

WestBred Wheat Growers Make Up Nearly 50 Percent of National Winners in Yield Contest

ST. LOUIS, Nov. 6, 2017 – WestBred® wheat announced today that 22 WestBred growers placed at the national and/or state levels in the 2017 National Wheat Yield Contest. The National Wheat Yield Contest, organized by the National Wheat Foundation (NWF), highlights the practices of growers that maximize production.

Of the WestBred winners, nine growers placed first through fourth nationally in their sectors with an average yield of 129.81 Bu/A, a collective average of 122 percent higher than their corresponding county averages. The average yield for all 22 WestBred state winners was 111.94 Bu/A, which is almost exactly twice their corresponding county averages of 56 Bu/A.

As a sponsor of the National Wheat Yield Contest, WestBred wheat helps bring attention to successful techniques and practices used by growers to elevate the wheat industry.

“We are incredibly proud of each WestBred grower who placed in the National Wheat Yield Contest,” said Dr. Jeff Koscelny, Global Wheat Commercial Strategy Lead. “The performance of WestBred varieties in this contest illuminates that a combination of elite germplasm with the farmers’ season-long dedication and management can drive wheat potential in the field. We also applaud the many WestBred seed suppliers who assisted these growers in their management decisions”

Two-hundred eighty-seven growers across wheat-growing counties in the United States entered to compete in four sectors: Spring Wheat-Irrigated, Spring Wheat-Dryland, Winter Wheat-Irrigated and Winter Wheat-Dryland. Last year, 14 WestBred growers won national- and state-level awards. This year, increased interest in the contest led to WestBred growers placing in all four contest sectors.

“Contests like this help elevate the wheat industry,” said Koscelny. “By bringing attention to the potential of wheat and facilitating communication within the industry on successful techniques, higher yields and profitability in wheat are attainable.”

The National Wheat Yield Contest recognized the top five growers within each sector with national honors, as well as the top three growers per state within each sector with state honors. Winners were determined by evaluating the yield percentage increase above the USDA-NASS county Olympic averages. Only first-place state winners within each sector compete for the national awards.

WestBred winners include:


  • Marc Arnusch, 2nd Place Winter Wheat-Irrigated; 162.17 Bu/A with WB4303
  • Nathan Franklin, 3rd Place Winter Wheat-Irrigated; 144.07 Bu/A with WB-CEDAR
  • Brandon Friesen, 1st Place Winter Wheat-Dryland; 115.26 Bu/A with WB-GRAINFIELD
  • James Getzinger, 3rd Place Spring Wheat-Irrigated; 152.92 Bu/A with SOLANO
  • Dan Mills, 1st Place Spring Wheat-Irrigated; 137.85 Bu/A with SOLANO
  • Matt Schupbach, 3rd Place Winter Wheat-Dryland; 94.70 Bu/A with WB4303
  • Paul Solem, 1st Place Spring Wheat-Dryland; 103.42 Bu/A with WB9479
  • Doug Stout, 4th Place Spring Wheat-Dryland; 114.05 Bu/A with WB9668
  • Terry Wilcox, 2nd Place Spring Wheat-Irrigated; 143.91 Bu/A with WB9668


  • Marc Arnusch, 1st Place Colorado Winter Wheat-Irrigated; 162.17 Bu/A with WB4303
  • Marc Arnusch, 2nd Place Colorado Winter Wheat-Dryland; 109.02 Bu/A with WB4721
  • Kurt Druffel, 1st Place Washington Spring Wheat-Dryland; 90.86 Bu/A with WB9229
  • Tyler Ediger, 2nd Place Kansas Winter Wheat-Dryland; 110.98 Bu/A with WB4303
  • Nathan Franklin, 1st Place Kansas Winter Wheat-Irrigated; 144.07 Bu/A with WB-CEDAR
  • Todd Hansen, 1st Place Montana Winter Wheat-Dryland; 49.38 Bu/A with KELDIN
  • John and Sam Hofer, 3rd Place North Dakota Spring Wheat-Dryland; 85.20 Bu/A with WB9653
  • Alec Horton, 3rd Place Kansas Winter Wheat-Dryland; 95.30 Bu/A with WB-GRAINFIELD
  • Chris Ledbetter, 3rd Place Oklahoma Winter Wheat-Dryland; 102.03 Bu/A with WB4303
  • Nick Midcap, 3rd Place Colorado Winter Wheat-Dryland; 86.52 Bu/A with WB-GRAINFIELD
  • Dan Mills, 1st Place Oregon Spring Wheat-Irrigated; 137.85 Bu/A with Solano
  • Brad Parks, 3rd Place Idaho Spring Wheat-Irrigated; 141.46 Bu/A with WB9668
  • Raymond Parrish, 2nd Place Oklahoma Winter Wheat-Dryland; 76.99 Bu/A with WB-GRAINFIELD
  • Jon Rethemeier, 2nd Place North Dakota Spring Wheat-Dryland; 93.71 Bu/A with WB9479
  • Jared Sands, 2nd Place Minnesota Spring Wheat-Dryland; 110.64 Bu/A with WB9590
  • Matt Schupbach, 1st Place Oklahoma Winter Wheat-Dryland; 94.70 Bu/A with WB4303
  • Paul Solem, 1st Place Minnesota Spring Wheat-Dryland; 103.42 Bu/A with WB9479
  • Doug Stout, 1st Place Idaho Spring Wheat-Dryland; 114.05 Bu/A with WB9668
  • Terry Wilcox, 1st Place Idaho Spring Wheat-Irrigated; 143.91 Bu/A with WB9668
  • Dallin Wilcox, 2nd Place Idaho Spring Wheat-Irrigated; 142.14 Bu/A with WB9668

The national winners will be recognized at the 2018 Commodity Classic in Anaheim, California, February 27–March 1. At the event, each grower will discuss the techniques that helped them place in the contest.

“The things that reward us the most always start with timing,” said Marc Arnusch, second place winner in the Winter Wheat-Irrigated sector, of the management strategies that helped him achieve his high yield.

Arnusch believes starting with a proper seed treatment, planting based on seed count per acre and careful timing of fertilizer and crop protection product applications helped optimize plant health and improved his wheat yield’s potential.

Along with these strategies, Arnusch also attributes part of his win to the variety he planted.

“WB4303 is easily the best irrigated wheat variety we’ve ever grown. It has the agronomic package that fits well on the high-managed acre, it has the straw strength to carry its yield to harvest without any lodging issues and it’s the compact variety we need when pushing top end yields,” he said. “It’s going to be our choice again next year, not just in the contest, but certainly on all of our best irrigated acres.”

For the 2018 growing season, growers will continue to have access to new, advanced germplasm with the commercial release of 10 regionally tested, locally adapted varieties. “For those of us at WestBred wheat, our top priority is providing innovative products with outstanding yield potential and grain quality while featuring improved agronomic and disease packages,” said Koscelny.

WestBred wheat will continue to partner with the NWF to showcase U.S. wheat production and wheat grower productivity and profitability. Wheat growers interested in competing in the contest can contact their WestBred seed supplier or local WestBred representative.

Additional details can be found at Official rules and entry deadlines will be available in January 2018.

About WestBred

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.