Commodity News

World Record: New Zealand Farmer breaks his own Record of Highest Wheat Yield

Aiswarya R Nair
Aiswarya R Nair

A New Zealand farmer has broken his own world record for the highest wheat yield with a staggering 17.398t/ha crop. Three years after adding his name to the record books, Canterbury's Eric Watson is still top of the crops. Watson, from Ashburton, has broken his own Guinness World Record for the highest wheat yield with a crop-producing 17.398 tonnes per hectare (t/ha). He beat his previous record crop, grown in 2017, of 16.791t/ha.

On average, irrigated wheat crops in New Zealand produce about 12t/ha, and Mr Watson said he has always strived to improve his growing. His latest success was a result of trying new cultivars, switching to liquid nitrogen and monitoring plant health more regularly.

The country was at the forefront in developing farming techniques and technologies that could be utilised by other farming nations, he said. According to the Foundation for Arable Research, New Zealand farmers harvest approximately 400,000 tonnes of wheat each year. The wheat is either milled for flour or goes into feed for pork, chickens or cows.

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

Watson worked closely with Bayer Crop Science for both of his records. Business manager for Mid and South Canterbury, David Weith, said the latest record shows New Zealand’s importance in the global arable market.

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