February 15, 2018
Advice from the field: RCM Ryan Weber talks about his time in the field
WestBred® wheat prides itself on not just being an elite germplasm provider, but a network of skilled experts and agronomists dedicated to helping you increase your yield for your field and region’s given specifications. And no one has a better understanding of your region than our regional commercial managers like Montana’s Ryan Weber.
You may have seen Ryan representing WestBred wheat at trade shows and conventions like Commodity Classic. He's also active on social media and uses it as a tool to reach growers and seed suppliers he’s helping.
For Ryan, helping people reach their maximum yield potential with WestBred wheat is part of a lifelong passion for agriculture and the tight-knit community that farming breeds.
“I’ve been in ag most of my life,” Ryan said in a phone interview with The Tiller. He grew up on a farm where they raised horses and grew a variety of crops, like alfalfa, but also managed pest control solutions. Ryan’s career took him from that farm to a number of different locations, from Philadelphia to Raleigh to Minnesota and finally to Montana, in a variety of different roles.
“I’ve been at WestBred since 2015,” he said. “It’s pretty rare when your customers can become your friends, but the amount of time you spend with them, helping with their farm, building that relationship, it’s just natural.”
But Ryan recognizes, along with his farmers, the challenges of growing wheat and how vital his expertise can be.
“There’s always the standard struggle of commodity prices,” Ryan said. “But that’s something the grower can’t control. One of the biggest factors they can control is finding the right variety, and that can be a challenge because there are so many new ones that can work in one field, but might be the best for that specific region.
“I’m trying to help maximize their yield and help guide them toward the right solution, either with the right variety or by using certified seed.”
Ryan said solutions like using certified seed over bin-run or saved seed have had a great impact on the farms he’s assisted.
“Growers in the past would buy seed and then they’d use it years upon years down the line,” Ryan explained. “Then they’d clean it and replant it the next year. Clean and replant. Clean and replant.”
Ryan continued, “But the problem with going with bin-run seed is that you miss out on the new technologies, the new varieties with better genetics that give can give you higher yields. Not only that, but you know the germination and purity is there with certified seed. There are a lot of factors you can eliminate versus the uncertainty of bin-run seed.”
But the challenges of growing wheat never outweigh the fond relationships that are built within the farming community.
“That’s my favorite part of agriculture — that community relationship,” Ryan said. Taking farmers to trade shows like Commodity Classic are always great opportunities to grow beyond the friendly confines of a wheat field.
“Every time I take someone new to Commodity Classic, they’re almost overwhelmed, just blown away by what’s out there,” Ryan said.
“We can get so tied down by our county, the nearest city or the region. It’s great to help people open their eyes to the latest and greatest developments in agriculture and from WestBred.”
Getting started on your spring wheat seed selection? Check out our certified varieties here. Or chat with us about the benefits of certified seed at Commodity Classic in Anaheim, CA, from Feb 27-March 1!