December 02, 2019

Idaho Farmer Undefeated in National Wheat Yield Contest

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it — this mentality could be used to describe Terry Wilcox’s approach to variety selection. The Rexburg, Idaho, wheat farmer has been planting the same WestBred® wheat variety, WB9668, for six years. He’s entered his yields from this variety into the National Wheat Yield Contest since its inception four years ago — and 2019 marks his fourth consecutive year placing at both the state and national levels.

“It’s important to enter because you never know until you try, especially in challenging years,” Wilcox advises. He says that 2019 was a challenging year for farmers in his area due to two factors: Mother Nature and the markets. “You can’t control either one,” he says, adding that despite such challenges, there’s nothing he’d rather do than farm. “I enjoy farming because you get to see the results of your hard work right away, unlike most professions,” he says.

This is Terry’s fourth year entering and fourth year winning. For 2019, he placed first in Idaho in the Spring Wheat – Irrigated category for high yield and second in the nation with a yield of 151.40 bu/A.

  • Seed Supplier: Thresher Artisan Wheat.

  • Sales Representative: Ken Morgan.

  • Biggest Challenge of the 2019 Wheat Growing Season: Mother Nature (spring rains delayed planting).

  • Plans for 2020: Terry will plant WB9668 again.

  • Crops: Terry Wilcox and his team grow wheat, potatoes, barley and alfalfa, as well as raise cows.

  • The Team: It takes a group of about 20 to manage Keith Wilcox and Sons LLC. While each team member has his own responsibilities and areas of expertise, it’s all hands on deck in the summer and at harvest.

  • The Generations: Terry’s father, Keith, founded Keith Wilcox and Sons LLC. Today, Terry farms with his brothers, Lynn and Ron. The fourth generation is also getting involved.

  • Wilcox Fresh: The Wilcox family has been growing, packing and shipping fresh Idaho potatoes for more than 70 years, supplying local grocery stores and chain restaurants alike. Visit WilcoxFresh.com for potato recipes, information or to order potatoes online.

We asked Terry what it takes to be a successful farmer — and to win a national wheat yield contest. His answer? “Planning, organizing your resources and choosing the best varieties,” says Wilcox. “We just do the very best job we can, every season, and hope it’s enough.” 

It certainly was enough in 2019. As a national winner of the National Wheat Yield Contest, Wilcox, along with other winners from across the country, will be recognized for his achievement at the 2020 Commodity Classic.

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