The Guinness Book of Records has officially confirmed that a crop of winter wheat harvested in 2015 has broken the world record wheat yield.
The 16.52 tonnes/ha seed crop of Dickens, a group 4 feed wheat bred by Secobra and marketed in the UK by Agrii, was grown by farmer Rod Smith at Beal Farm on the Northumberland coast near Berwick-upon-Tweed. It beats the previous record of 15.64t/ha set by Mike Solari in New Zealand in 2010.
The crop, grown for Agrii’s Master Seeds range, was part of Agrii’s Best of British Wheat 15t Challenge. The company says the variety was selected for its northern potential and managed under its integrated agronomy programme with carefully prescriptive crop nutrition and protection. Despite a later than ideal sowing date, the level and timing of inputs was carefully managed to take maximum advantage in a season without serious disease or other environmental limitations. The total input costs of under £46/t meant the crop was profitable even at the current low feed wheat values. Nitrogen fertiliser use was some two thirds of that used on the previous record crop.
“We’re proud to have put Northumberland in its rightful place at the top of the world wheat rankings,” comments Mr Smith. “It’s especially satisfying we’ve been able to ensure England out-performs the Kiwis after the disappointment of the Rugby World Cup.”
The agronomy programme for the record breaking crop:
• 330 seeds/m2 with fluquinconazole seed dressing at T(-1) sown on Sept 22, 2014
• 300 kg/ha each of TSP and MOP fertiliser after variable P&K to even-up soil indices
• Post-em annual meadowgrass and broad-leaf herbicide + insecticide + Nutriphyte PGA
• 310 kg/ha total N plus balancing S (on top of 140 kg/ha available N from the soil)
• Four nitrogen fertiliser splits, two of stabilised urea
• Four main fungicide sprays – including SDHIs at T1 & T2.
• Little and often four spray PGR programme from T0
• Foliar Mn, Cu, Zn, B and Mg strictly to tissue analyses
• 16.52 t/ha at 15% moisture with a specific weight of 82 kg/hl combined on Sept 1, 2015