New Zealand farmers, Eric and Maxine Watson have officially broken the world record for growing the highest yielding crop of wheat, with a 16.79t/ha (6.79t/acre) crop of Oakley.
The kiwis regained ownership of the title after the couple’s bumper crop exceeded the UK record of 16.52t/ha (6.7t/acre), set by Northumberland grower, Rod Smith in 2015.
The pair, who farm in South Island’s Canterbury region, harvested the 11ha (4.5-acre) field in mid-April, but have only recently received confirmation of the new world record.
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Mr Watson says: “We’ve been achieving high yields for several years but have never bothered about the world record. The record definitely became harder to achieve after the 16.5-tonne barrier was broken in the UK harvest of 2015.”
On average, irrigated wheat crops in New Zealand typically yield around 12t/ha (4.9t/acre), demonstrating the scale of the accomplishment. Despite this, Mr Watson believes he can do better. “It is an exceptional yield, but I could always do better and that’s my aim. There were things I saw when I was out there in the combine harvester and I thought, yeah, I could do this a whole lot better.”
Source: Bayer NZ