September 27, 2018

#BredtoWin winner spotlight

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Another #BredToWin entry by Kurt Druffel

Our #BredToWin social contest returned for its second year to celebrate the hard work and successes of this season’s harvest. Farmers submitted countless photos of their fields, families and farming team, and shared with us their dedication and love of growing wheat.

Get to know a few of our winners below and read the story behind their wheat operations.

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Kurt Druffel

Kurt’s winning photo was taken in the fields of Norm Druffel & Sons farm, a three-generation farm in Pullman, Washington. There, Kurt farms alongside his dad, three uncles and several cousins. Winter wheat has always been a staple crop in this region of Washington, and Kurt’s operation rotates winter wheat with spring wheat and legumes. Soft winter wheat is the common choice for farmers in this area, but Kurt says he has success growing the higher-valued Hard Red Winter and Dark Northern Spring wheats.

His #BredToWin entry shows a field of WB9518 that Kurt says has strong yields and protein levels. “The picture was taken on the edge of the Snake River Canyon. Our new GVM sprayer was applying herbicide and fungicide, and as I sat on a hill opposite I happened to get a great shot that shows the amazing views we get to enjoy with our hills and landscape,” said Kurt.  

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Barbara Cole

Barbara’s #BredToWin entry features a field of WB9668 on her operation in Montana. She says incorporating wheat onto her farm is good for her rotation which includes seed potatoes and alfalfa. Wheat harvest was strong this year, which Barbara attributes to a good growing season and good harvest weather. With a bit of luck, a good growing season can help drive yields, but you never know what Mother Nature will throw at you. So, Barbara also recognizes the importance of high-quality seed. “Success is due to good seed and growing season,” she said. With 40 years of growing wheat under her belt, Barbara knows the value of the crop “Years ago, I embroidered a saying that sums it up for us: ‘Who plants a seed beneath the sod, and waits to see believes in God,’” said Barbara.

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Chad Thorson

The wheat farmer in training in this winning photo is Chad’s son, Lane, standing in front of WB9590. Lane just might be the sixth generation to take over the family farm when he gets older. As of now, Chad and his brother Jason operate the Minnesota farm that has been raising wheat for five generations. For Chad, wheat plays an important role in his crop rotation. He grows sugar beets and dry beans as well, and utilizes the wheat to help break disease and insect cycles. With the launch of new wheat varieties, the elevated yields have also made wheat a profitable crop for his farm. He credits the success of this season to his team and timely rain. “We have great employees and work with some really great companies in the industry that help keep us in front of new technologies,” said Chad.

Chad’s team, even the youngest members, definitely has an important role on his wheat operation. Lane helped his dad secure a weekly prize in the #BredToWin social contest. “The picture was taken in our test plot we did for WestBred® wheat. I brought my oldest son Lane out to check out the plots and he wanted his picture taken by all the plot signs,” said Chad.

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Nic Schroeder

Nic began his wheat operation when he took over the farm from his grandpa. Now, with over 14 years of experience raising wheat, he says the key is to treat your wheat as well as any of the other crops on your acres. “The advice I would give my younger self would be to not short the nutrients your wheat needs.  It didn’t take long to start seeing the benefits after I started doing that,” said Nic. He began his foray into the world of wheat as a contract farmer for his dad who owns a seed business. Nic said he would help grow some of the dryland varieties which allowed him to gain knowledge about them. One of the varieties Nic grew this season was Winterhawk, as shown in his photo of his Kansas fields. This photo highlights one of Nic’s more important lessons for success: don’t skimp on inputs. “I think the biggest success factor for me would be to always buy certified wheat and to have your seed treated. Well worth the extra cost and will bring in bigger returns if you do,” said Nic.

See all the winning images from the #BredToWin contest here!

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