Today, the National Wheat Foundation hosted a virtual awards ceremony for the National Wheat Yield Contest winners. Limagrain Cereal Seed (LCS) was honored to be the genetic provider of three contest winners!

Winning varieties LCS Shine (SWW), LCS Jet (HRW) and LCS Trigger (HRS).

Derek Friehe of Moses Lake, Wash., led the field in the National Wheat Foundation’s 2020 National Wheat Yield Contest (NWYC). Friehe’s 206.7 bu/ac yield with LCS Jet was the highest in the contest and landed him the Bin Buster award for irrigated winter wheat.

LCS Jet is a NWYC heavy-hitter, giving LCS farmers wins for the past four years and topping the contest for three of those four years. Friehe knew about LCS Jet’s past NWYC performance and had been following the data. “In all the trials, LCS Jet has done really well in our area,” explains Friehe, who has been planting LCS Jet for a few years. “It’s one of the top yielders with good quality, and this year we grew it at full irrigation.”

A plot of LCS Jet.

LCS varieties delivered NWYC award-winning yields for growers in both irrigated and dryland wheat, including a national irrigated winter wheat win for Joel and Emily Zwainz with LCS Shine and a national dryland spring wheat win for Jon Wert with LCS Trigger.

LCS Shine was recommended to Emily and Joel Zwainz by their local cooperative HighLine Grain Growers after strong yield trial results. “It performed extremely well for us,” says Joel, who also credits their agronomist with helping them achieve big yields. “This was our first year farming irrigated.”

A plot of LCS Shine in Oakesdale, Wash.

“We’re dryland farmers who got a chance to farm with water for a change,” laughs Emily. “We had a good first year with the water.” Joel and Emily knew the yield they were getting with LCS Shine and how their neighbors were faring in comparison. They thought they had a shot, decided to enter the yield contest for the first time and came away with a national win.

Released in 2018, LCS Shine is a relatively new variety for Limagrain Cereal Seeds. Emily and Joel Zwainz were part of a smaller group of farmers in the Pacific Northwest who received early access to Certified seed last fall. “Now, anyone who wants to grow LCS Shine has a better chance of getting seed,” reports Hannah Kammeyer, Limagrain Cereal Seeds marketing lead. “We’ve been ramping up seed production to try and meet growing demand. LCS Shine is broadly adapted across the PNW, so seed increase has been a group effort with dealers in the region.”

In the Northern Plains, LCS Trigger has been a blockbuster yielder for Jon Wert. 2020 marks his third NWYC win in as many years.

A production field of LCS Trigger in Thompson, N.D.

“LCS Trigger is such a great variety with such high yield potential. It just performs. It’s insane,” says Wert. He cautions that LCS Trigger is low in protein but is otherwise, “the best variety I’ve ever had.”

“In addition to yield, it has disease tolerance and standability — and shatter tolerance.” Shattering isn’t usually a problem for Wert, but last season brought a pummeling. “When the hail hit, the variety [planted next to LCS Trigger] completely shelled out from the hail, but LCS Trigger did OK.”

The National Wheat Foundation created the National Wheat Yield Contest in 2015 to spur wheat productivity and encourage innovation in wheat growing. The competition has grown along with yields over the years, attracting a record-breaking 418 entries from across the United States this year.

“It’s great to have a place for healthy competition,” says Friehe about his decision to enter the contest. “You can really see where you stand on a national level.”

On the state level, LCS varieties swept the NWYC irrigated winter wheat category in Washington, led dryland spring wheat in South Dakota and produced dryland winter wheat winners in Idaho and Washington.

“Having our varieties win awards is a lot of fun, but what I enjoy most is getting phone calls and texts during harvest when farmers are excited about their yield,” declares Kammeyer. “With or without wins, the National Wheat Yield Contest is great for generating interest in getting the most out of your wheat crop.”

LCS National 2020 National Wheat Yield Contest Winners:

  • Bin Buster, High Yield Winter Wheat Irrigated: Derek Friehe, 206.7 bu/ac with LCS Jet
  • 1st Place, High Yield Winter Wheat Irrigated: Joel and Emily Zwainz, 197.15 bu/ac with LCS Shine
  • 1st Place, % Increase Spring Wheat Dryland: Jon Wert, 160.68% increase of county average, 105.0 bu/ac with LCS Trigger

LCS State 2020 National Wheat Yield Contest Winners:

  • 1st Place Washington, Winter Wheat Irrigated: Derek Friehe, 206.7 bu/ac with LCS Jet
  • 2nd Place Washington, Winter Wheat Irrigated: Joel and Emily Zwainz, 197.15 bu/ac with LCS Shine
  • 3rd Place Washington, Winter Wheat Irrigated: Travis Schuh, 196.44 bu/ac with LCS Jet
  • 2nd Place Washington, Winter Wheat Dryland: Jason Beechinor, 171.92 bu/ac with LCS Artdeco
  • 2nd Place Idaho, Winter Wheat Dryland: Harlan Zenner, 176.4 bu/ac with LCS Hulk
  • 1st Place South Dakota, Spring Wheat Dryland: Robert Holzwarth, 87.73 bu/ac with LCS Cannon


~Limagrain Cereal Seeds

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