Record breaking farmer Eric Watson and David Weith, Bayer regional business manager
Image credit: Supplied to Stuff

A few years ago Milling and Grain magazine reported on Eric Watson, a farmer from Ashburton in Canterbury, New Zealand when he set the Guinness World record of for the highest wheat yield with a crop of 16.791 tonnes per hectare in 2017.

Mr Watson has just broken his record, producing a whopping 17.398 tonnes per hectare, much higher than New Zealand's national average of 12 tonnes per hectare.

Mr Watson spoke to Stuff, a local media outlet about his achievement, "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. By trying new cultivars, switching to liquid nitrogen and monitoring plant health more regularly we were able to achieve another incredible result. The farm has produced several high-yield wheat crops in recent years and Watson said he is pleased with a year-on-year increase of 100-200 kiograms per hectare. So to beat my last crop by almost 600kg/ha exceeded even my hopes.'

The wheat was planted in April 2019 and harvested on 17th February 2020, the kerrin wheat is likely to be used to feed beef or dairy cattle.

Much like for Mr Watson's previous record, Bayer Crop Science have worked closely with him in achieving these results.

According to the Foundation for Arable Research, New Zealand farmers harvest approximately 400,000 tonnes of wheat each year.

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