A joint attempt by a UK plant breeder and an agronomy business to break the world record for turning freshly harvested wheat into loaves of bread was successful, subject to confirmation by Guinness World Records.
The attempt was organised by agronomy company ProCam and seed breeder RAGT UK at RAGT’s wheat breeding station at Ickleton, near Saffron Walden. A standing crop or RAGT Skyfall was combined, with the resulting grain milled, made into a soda-based dough and then 13 loaves oven baked in just 15 minutes and 27 seconds. The process was officially observed and timed by Dr Sarah Cook of ADAS. The existing official world record of 16 minutes 30.83 seconds was set in New South Wales, Australia in January 2013.
“It’s a bit of fun really, but there is a serious message behind it in reminding people of the closeness of the link between our countryside and the food they eat,” says ProCam technical director and chief baker for the day Dr Tudor Dawkins. “At another level, it focuses the mind on the considerable effort now going into crop production thinking and technology to help growers produce crops that meet the precise needs of consumers in the most cost-effective and sustainable manner possible for the future.”
Mr Dawkins says group 1 variety Skyfall was chosen because of its outstanding yield, quality and milling properties. ProCam agronomist Drummond Scrase was involved in the key agronomy decisions to ensure the optimum crop specification and maturity for the attempt.
Simon Howell, managing director of RAGT Seeds UK, adds: “To beat the existing record by over a minute, subject to confirmation, is fantastic. Tudor approached us to see if we could help and we were only too pleased to be involved, as ProCam has been helping farmers across the country to ensure Skyfall delivers on farm. Feedback from farmers and the seed trade has been incredible -one national seed company has said Skyfall is averaging 13.2% protein so far and is typically delivering 10t/ha.”