December 26, 2018

NWYC winner spotlight: Orin Knutson is a first-time WestBred® grower and a first-time winner

After planting WestBred® wheat in his fields for the first time, Orin Knutson became a NWYC national winner. Dig into his story!

Orin Knutson farms a 2,400-acre operation with his brother in the Red River Valley just north of Grand Forks, North Dakota. He grows sugar beets, barley and soybeans in his fields. And as of this past year, he’s started growing WestBred® wheat. “This is the first year I have grown WestBred wheat. Last year I helped out a neighbor and I was able to see what it could do.”

And so far, he hasn’t been disappointed. His very first WestBred crop, the WB9590 spring variety, landed him first place for the NWYC in Minnesota and second overall in the nation. Orin was also excited to exceed his goal of 100 bushels per acre.  “I am very pleased with how it turned out. It was awesome to hit over 100 bushels. After farming for 32 years, to hit 100 bushels, I never thought it would be done. It was a very good feeling and I am very happy. It made my year.”

Aside from how his fields performed on the national stage, Orin was impressed by how robust his crop was. “It’s one of the better varieties as far as disease package goes, especially with what it offers compared to what is out there. It did very well for us. The disease factor is a major issue for us to have. I always look at this when I look at new varieties to see what they have.”

Orin will now head to Orlando for Commodity Classic along with the other national winners. He is looking forward to comparing notes and making plans for the next growing season. “I never dreamed I would be that far up in the poll. I just wanted to see what I could do as far as competition, and for something to work out like that it’s once in a lifetime.”