Rod Smith’s record-breaking wheat yield in Northumberland last summer is now in the Guinness World Records topping a five-year-old New Zealand record.
Mr Smith’s yield of 16.52t/ha on his farm overlooking Holy Island near the Scottish border displaces Mike Solari’s 15.64t/ha crop from the southern tip of New Zealand’s South Island.
The yield, which has been verified and accepted by the Guinness World Records, was achieved on the Northumberland coast with inputs similar to those used commercially across the farm.
This meant total input costs of fertiliser, seed and sprays accounted for just £46/t underlying the financial success of the crop even with feed wheat price little more than £100/t.
“We may be well outside the country’s arable heartland but there’s a long heritage of first-class wheat growing up here which deserves the wider recognition we hope our achievement will bring,” says Mr Smith.
His seed crop of the winter wheat variety of Dickens was grown with advice from an agronomy team from Agrii, and was harvested 10 days after a 16.5t/ha crop grown by Tim Lamyman in Lincolnshire.
“We may be well outside the country’s arable heartland but there’s a long heritage of first-class wheat growing up here which deserves the wider recognition we hope our achievement will bring”
Rod Smith, Northumberland grower
The bumper yield on Mr Smith’s farm helped push his average winter wheat yields to above 14t/ha last summer on his largely arable 400ha Beal Farm just south of Berwick-upon-Tweed.
“Having said that, it was only in 2014 that we managed to break my father Jimmy’s 11.6t/ha farm average wheat record set a good 15 years ago.
“And we’re convinced our ‘next generation’ team has plenty of room for improvement in the years ahead,” he adds.