Carrfields Grain & Seed produce second world record grain crop

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An Ashburton farmer’s record-breaking wheat crop is the second world record grain yield to be produced from Carrfields Grain & Seed in two years.

Eric Watson’s February 2017 harvest of 16.8 tonnes a hectare, grown from Carrfields’ winter wheat variety Oakley, has just made the Guinness World Records list for highest wheat yield.

It follows the world record for the highest yielding barley crop, set by Timaru growers Warren and Joy Darling in January 2015. The Darlings broke the previous 25-year-old record with a yield of 13.8 tonnes a hectare from Carrfields’ variety 776.

Carrfields’ Cereal Seed Product Manager, Phil Smith, said he was thrilled to see two world records set in Canterbury in a short space of time.

“It’s fantastic that these world records have both been set right here in Canterbury and we’re immensely proud that both the farmers are Carrfields customers,” he says.

“It’s very humbling to see all the work we have put in with our breeders to develop the best seeds for our customers now come to fruition with two world-beating yields in two years.”

Eric Watson’s crop was harvested from 11.9 hectares of land at Paddock 15, Wakanui, on February 17. The wheat was planted in April 2016.

His record-setting 2017 yield beat the previous record of 16.5 tonnes, held for two years by a UK farmer. On average, irrigated wheat yields in New Zealand are around 12 tonnes per hectare.

The Darlings’ record barley crop was grown in an 11.6ha paddock on their coastal property several kilometres south of Timaru. It beat the previous record, set in Scotland in 1989.

Carrfields works to specifically breed, select and trial cultivars for New Zealand growing conditions, giving growers the potential to realise financial gain from new, higher-yielding cereal cultivars, said Smith.

Bayer Crop Science also had a large part to play in Eric Watson’s record result, providing advice and crop protection products and services.

Carrfields would not rest on its laurels following the double world record, he said.

“We’re constantly innovating and pushing to get new seed varieties to the best they can be. Our varieties have now helped growers gain two world records for crop yields but we’re not stopping – we want to keep going further with innovation and development in this area,” said Smith.