New Zealand wheat crop breaks world yield record

Grain Central July 8, 2020

The world record-breaking, 17.398t/ha crop of Kerrin wheat being harvested on Eric Watson’s farm at Ashburton, NZ.

NEW Zealand farmer, Eric Watson, has taken out the Guinness World Record for the highest wheat yield for the second consecutive time.

Mr Watson produced a 17.398 tonnes per hectare wheat crop on his Ashburton farm, beating his previous record crop grown in 2017 of 16.791t/ha.

On average, irrigated wheat yields in New Zealand produce around 12t/ha, demonstrating how remarkable the new record is – an achievement providing insights into innovations for future growth.

Mr Watson said he was very proud to have achieved such a result.

“The Guinness World Record is a nice recognition of our hard work and new innovations we’ve put in place. While we were thrilled with the record result in 2017, we saw ways in which we could make improvements and achieve an even higher yield,” Mr Watson said.

“By trying new cultivars, switching to liquid nitrogen and monitoring plant health more regularly we were able to achieve another incredible result.

“Because of the high wheat yields we can grow on our farm we are pleased if we see yields increase year-on-year by 100-200 kilograms/ha. So, to beat my last crop by almost 600kg/ha exceeded even my hopes.”

Planted in April 2019 and harvested on 17 February 2020, the wheat variety is Kerrin, bred by KWS and supplied by Carrfields Grain & Seed.

The grain will likely be used for feeding New Zealand’s beef or dairy herd.

The record-breaking crop of Kerrin wheat.

Bayer regional business manager for Mid & South Canterbury, David Weith, said the latest Guinness World Record shows New Zealand was an important part of the global arable market and put the country at the forefront in developing farming techniques and technologies that could be utilised by other farming nations to feed the world.

“We are delighted to see another Guinness World Record come out of New Zealand and to have contributed to this incredible result,” Mr Weith said.

“Bayer is focused on improving crop yields through developing innovative products and crop management solutions. Our aim is to assist New Zealand to sustainably become the highest yield producing country in the world.”

Ashburton farmer, Eric Watson, and Bayer regional business manager for Mid & South Canterbury, David Weith, in Mr Watson’s world record-breaking crop of wheat that yielded 17.398t/ha.

The record attempt was a team partnership with PGG Wrightson Rural Supplies, Yara Fertilisers, SGS, Davis Ogilvie and Hill Laboratories, working alongside Bayer.

NZ farmers harvest approximately 400,000 tonnes of wheat each year, mainly to produce high quality ingredients for the food industry in NZ and for export.

Source: Bayer,



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